Thursday, September 21, 2017

Found it!

I am very happy today.  After a ton of fun visiting and rehearsing with my friend for her audition, I headed downtown for my hair appointment.  My goodness, I knew I needed to have my hair cut, but wow....I look SO much better, I should have paid closer attention and had it cut about 10 days ago!  Gotta pay more attention to such things!!

I stopped in at The Bay afterward with the intention of finding the "almost what I want" winter dress coat I saw in there the other day...in every size but mine.  My sister-in-law suggested I go back there, copy down the tag numbers and then try to find it online.  When I got back there today I searched all around, but could not find the remaining few coats I saw previously. Sigh..... Then, around a massive corner post I found a whole new section devoted to winter coats.  Now I am happy the Anne Klein coat was unavailable in my size a few days ago.  I found a very cute ready-to-wear Calvin Klein that is even closer in style to what I have been looking for.  Unfortunately there wasn't one in black, but I fell very much in like with the grey one and settled on purchasing the coat in a deep navy after deciding the grey was too light and would show every bit of dirt and dark lint even more than the darker colour.  The coat is at least knee length and, although what I really want is a much more expensive ankle length coat, this one will suffice.  The price was very good so that certainly added to the attraction.  The coat is 60% wool with cotton and a bit of polyester and is well lined so it should be warm.  It is roomy enough to wear a suit jacket or heavy sweater under, as evidenced by the fact that I was wearing a heavy suit jacket when I tried the coat on.  There is a large, heavy duty angled zipper the full length of the coat as well as a huge snap both top and bottom to prevent pull on the zipper.  It has a belt that I am ambivalent about.  Generally I do not like wearing belts on coats as they make a short person like me appear to be cut in half.  However, the belt loops are just cotton/nylon thread and can be easily removed if I decide the belt is not what I want.  This coat is definitely second choice for style, but it is stylish, long enough to keep my knees warm and nicely affordable. Even after having to pay our new 11% total tax, the coat was reasonable for cost.

I am happy!

The walk home was quite wonderful.  It was cool this morning when I left home and the bright  yellow suit jacket was definitely a wasp magnet, so I ended up catching the bus part way downtown....and the stupid wasps followed me right onto the bus. Fortunately for me, as well as for the other passengers, the attraction of buzzing themselves into a frenzy against the closed bus windows was bigger than the attraction to my jacket or other passengers.  Walking home the wind was much stronger and I didn't see more than one wasp the entire way.  I stuck to the main business streets, away from all the beautiful old trees on the residential streets, so I think that helped as well.

This weekend's laundry will see the last washing up of all my summer clothes and they will be packed away until next spring. It will be nice to get the tubs filled and out of my bedroom, back into storage down in the basement.  I wore the last of my late summer outfits today. The "feeling" and "appearance" of the outside air has definitely changed from summer to fall and I think today was the last sandal wearing day as well.

"One more sleep" before our dinner out and evening of comedy tomorrow.

Happy To Have My Husband Home and Cheery

Yesterday was another fine day.  Although it was quite breezy and there was a bit of a nip in the air, the sun was shining most of the day and the temperature rose to +18C by mid afternoon.  Quite a glorious end to the summer season.  As of today's date it is officially autumn and this past week has certainly prepared me to come out of denial about the winter and embrace this next season.

In the late morning I decided it was time to unload some of the books I have read lately, so I walked a few blocks to a community mail box and deposited them, stopping for a couple of grocery items on the way home.  I had to pick up a can of oven cleaner to clean up the horrendous mess I made of the oven earlier in the morning when I made my husband's favourite pudding.  The baking bowl I used to cook it in broke some time ago and the one I chose to make this pudding in turned out to be just slightly too small to retain all the boiling liquid that goes into the pudding just before putting it in to cook.  By the time it was cooked the entire bottom of the oven was drenched in a layer of sugar water and apple juice.  Eek!!!  

I suppose it is just as well the mess was so bad because I absolutely had to clean it up before it would be possible to use the oven again.  While I cleaned I had a great chat with a friend who lives in Ontario.  Talking to her certainly made the job go more quickly.  May she be richly blessed for taking the time because her conversation helped me keep my cussing about my own stupidity with that too small dish to a minimum! haha She has a very calm voice and serene manner that is very good for me!

I wasn't sure what time my husband was coming home because there was no time to ask him before he blasted off Monday morning.  So, when a friend from out of town called me with some great news she wanted to celebrate with me I accepted her invitation to go out to dinner together. She was making a long drive just for dinner and I appreciate that! No sooner had I hung up the phone when my husband returned!  Fortunately he was so tired he was just as glad I was going out for a couple of hours so he could have some time alone.  He has had many days in the past month where he has been away overnight with other people for work or recreation and the constant 24 hour contact has exhausted him.  He needed some time alone and wanted to putter about putting his own dinner together, so I was free to go out and have fun.

My friend and I went to Regina's newest Mexican restaurant, Chachalacas.  It is east on Quance, in where Breakfast Bistro used to be located, directly east of Oliv and La Luna.  We had a delicious meal there.  I think I have now tried every taco salad in the city and this one was very good.  There was so much meat on it I am shocked I didn't react to all the sodium it must have been cooked with.  It came in one of those big taco bowl shells, which is perfect for me because I don't have to eat the oily, cholesterol producing shell to feel I have had a wonderful meal for the price.  There was so much salad inside I felt no need to do more than break off a teeny bit of shell just to try it.  My friend had beef tacos: soft tacos with spicy strips of steak, onion and green peppers with an accompaniment of a scoop of Mexican spiced rice and some kind of salad.  The included starter was a rather large amount of relatively fresh corn chips and a spicy pico de gallo that made our lips burn....it was DELICIOUS and if it wasn't for all the cholesterol producers in the chips I would order a meal of that and that alone sometime. My friend is the funniest person I know, so beside the great food we had many, many hearty laughs and giggles.  

When I got home my husband was flaked out on the couch idly flipping the channels on the tv and looking far more rested than he did when he first arrived home.  We watched the finale of American Ninja Warrior together and I knew he was feeling more rested because he was rather verbal about how much better he could construct that course and arrange the order of events. hahahahaha  It really irritates him that so much upper body strength is required for most of the course as he feels it caters only to certain body builds. I couldn't care less about any of it. For me it is just a chance to watch something together on tv and have some fun at home.  Some wives have to be football wives or hockey wives, me, I am an American Ninja Warrior wife. hahaha

My day ended with a phone call from a friend in BC...more good news to celebrate, so I headed off to bed feeling very happy for the many answered prayers in the lives of two of my closest friends.

A friend is coming over fairly early this morning to rehearse her audition pieces for little theatre and then I am heading out for a hair cut and some banking.  It is time to renew our car insurance and the new tax that was slapped on so unexpectedly a few weeks ago is going to ding us pretty hard each year.  I thought car insurance here was ridiculously expensive to start with!!  I am so grateful for the nearly three hundred dollars a year that is deducted from what we owe for our safe driving record.  I think we would be tempted to give up our vehicle if we didn't have that.  We are just conscious of the newly rising cost because our base insurance nearly doubled with this newer, larger vehicle.  There will be no car once we retire, that is for sure!

So happy it is going to be another decent day outdoors so I can walk to the hair dresser and back.  My husband has some African agriculturalists from Uganda to entertain today in the midst of everything else that is now another 3 days behind due to the Conference, hahaha.  However, he has been able to arrange visits to a farm and one of the potash mines with some other people from the diocese as leaders. I think he himself just has to take them to the Provincial Museum this afternoon, if all goes well. hahaha That will be his 3rd trip in as many weeks.  In his retirement I think he should lead Provincial Museum tours!  hahahaha

Okay, time to get a move on.  It is nearly 7am. I only have a bit of time to get my husband's lunch made, get myself showered and dressed, eat breakfast and practise my friend's music.  Ready, set, GO!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Rain, Rain, Gone Away

The rain ceased to fall just after lunch.  I am delighted.  We had an excellent downpour which can only help the dry conditions at least somewhat and our basement leaking was confined to the original corner where it seems it has leaked for years.  It is much better since my husband reparged it, but there is still one spot right where the landscaping outside funnels all the water right into the biggest corner crack in the foundation that starts leaking with little provocation.  Well, FAR, FAR better than it used to be down there before he sealed some of the other, even more massive cracks. Don't know how many seasons the sealant will hold, but perhaps we will be moved on elsewhere by the  time it lets go.

As I suspected, today was indeed a perfect day for cleaning house. I took my time,  I took some phone calls, I took time to make myself a decent lunch, to practise a couple of songs for my friend's audition and to read some online newsfeeds....o my goodness, those poor folk in Puerto Rico and area getting decimated by another tropical storm, horror is striking in Mexico from another serious earthquake and the leader of our neighbours to the south is making threats against North Korea when diplomacy and mediation are what is called for when dealing with Asian thought process and culture.  All I can say is that if all this nasty rhetoric ends up starting a huge world war and our country is in the midst of the bombing, I pray if one lands around here it lands directly on me and ends it all instantly!  I was furious that both our major newscasters cut away from a speech by our very own prime minister to instead bring us the speech being given at the same time to the United Nations by President Trump. Grrrrrrr!!!!!!!  Wow, that makes me intensely hot under the collar!!  The media here is minimizing our own leadership to play voyeur with our neighbouring leadeship to the south. It isn't that we shouldn't have heard that speech to the UN, it is that it could have waited until our VERY OWN leader completed his message to our VERY OWN nation.  Okay...off the bandwagon now.....

After waiting for a full week until their schedule had sufficient breaks in it to give me a call, I finally heard from my mom and dad today. hahahaha  I am glad I obeyed their "Don't call us, we'll call you when we finally get time." edict from last week.  Since they initiated the contact they were all primed to share their lives with good humour and they even asked me about my life....it has been some time since they last remembered to do that.  I am very excited to hear how many things they are up to with their fellow residents and staff. They have a wonderful recreation director and an event planner who both love senior citizens and knock themselves out to make those seniors' lives more fun and interesting.  There is a new chef now, finally, part time, to make at least a few of the nightly dinners right there in the kitchen instead of having all the meals made at a different facility, then trucked over and ending up over cooked, cold and generally unpalatable too much of the time.  The chef is a lovely man and he too enjoys seniors very much.  He put on a special BBQ lunch today for the people who had originally signed up to go on a picnic to Glenmore Park and who were disappointed when it had to be cancelled due to weather.  So, in between the BBQ and appointments with the podiatrist, my parents gave me a call. It was nice.

Tonight I want to make myself a decent dinner so I suppose I should scout around for something tasty and nutritious.  I have lots of salad veggies I can prepare. Maybe, since the chicken I thought would thaw in time for dinner has not thawed sufficiently, I will make another of my favourite tuna salads with a toasted pretzel bun. Yum!  There is lots of prep for the veggies so I think I will go and start preparing for my own little home feast!

Oh, my husband called me last night after the evening conference lecture was over at the retreat centre.  Dr. Barclay is talking about "grace" in the New Testament. There is quite a bit of teaching from the Book of Romans, but from other books as well. My husband sounded quite enthused.  Now I too am looking forward to reading his notes, like he did mine from the Galatians lectures.  I am realizing I could almost handle going back to seminary....ALMOST!!  (but not quite)

The Only Problem With Denial Coming To An End.....

....is having reality slap you upside the head!! hahaha

I awoke to a downpour of rain outside this morning.  This is not the odd scattered shower that was forecast.  Nope! This is a mighty deluge guaranteed to have my basement sprouting leaks again by after lunch. Aiiii yiiiii....TEEMING doesn't describe the pounding rainfall out there this morning.  Hopefully it will ease off a bit before long.

I certainly did enjoy my summer of weather denial.  The drought, the ensuing lack of mosquito activity and the lack of parking lot puddles helping to keep the geese over at the lake where they belong...well....these are some of the factors that made for the best summer I have had in SK in years!!  

Now hits the reality of oncoming winter.  I felt completely depressed as I looked out at the rain after crawling out of bed to the sound of pounding drops on the roof.  That only lasted about 5 minutes though because all ready I am thinking past the fall and winter and making plans to enjoy next summer....perhaps it will be a dry and warm and wonderful as this year's has been! 

It seems the perfect day to stay warm by doing some house cleaning.  There are a few overripe apples sitting in the birchbark bowl on the kitchen counter...perhaps a great day to peel and chop them up for a Poor Man's Pudding to greet my husband with when he arrives home tomorrow. 

It may be a very productive and pleasant day in this suite. Time to get at it!

Monday, September 18, 2017

A SIMPLY LOVELY DAY IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD!!!

WOW, what a wonderful, beautiful, gorgeous, perfect day it is outside today!!!  It is a brief respite for us before the cold and rain comes to us tomorrow.  

I wasn't sure how to spend my day, being too tired to do house cleaning and hoping that tomorrow and the next day will be sufficient time to do that this week.  The weather definitely decided my plans for me.  With the wasps flying about in fewer numbers since it got colder outside, I decided to risk going for a walk.

The day started out without that plan. I helped my husband pack up some snacks to take to Clergy Conference early this morning, but it wasn't until the mail came just before 11am that I even bothered to shower and dress  I sat around all morning setting up tv shows to record over the coming week, puttered and pottered about doing nothing of significance and then the telephone bill arrived in the mail.  I wandered outside to the mailbox still in my nightgown with a big old coat thrown over the top of it and discovered warm air, a nice breeze, a noticeable lack of wasp activity and some motivation to get going and do something with my day!  

I got showered and dressed and walked downtown to pay the phone bill and mail a letter.  What a grand walk it was too.  Although I had a light longsleeved sweater instead of my usual bare arms for walking comfort, the weather was perfect for the trek.  After I did my two little chores I went into Cornwall Centre to window shop and that was fun.  I did give The Bay a serious once over looking for a winter dress coat, but the only decent ones were Anne Klein and Calvin Klein and of course they were all ready sold out of my size. I was disappointed because the prices were good...well under $400!  I will try again in a couple of weeks in case these were just last year's leftover stock and new stock will be coming soon.  At least I have begun the search.  I want something good quality that is going to last me for a few years like the last wool coat I found at Sears in Moose Jaw.  I would be wearing it still, 14 years later, had I not lost so much weight and had to give it up two years ago. The quality was that good! We have to go to Calgary in November to celebrate my mom's 90th birthday and I suspect I am going to have to go to Holt Renfrew and pay bigger bucks to get what I really want and need. For now the search continues.

After a seriously fun time of window shopping I went to Zam Zam Wraps for the delicious chicken shawarma salad....oooh, so good and for only $10.  There was so much chicken on it today I could hardly find the salad...what a treat!

Another beautiful long walk home followed.  In all that distance there was only 1 very persistant wasp who insisted on bumping himself into my hand over and over again, terrifying me to death, but once I cleared the strip of restaurants on Scarth Street he disappeared again. Whew!  I was delighted to see my favourite pan handler once again at his usual post at the corner of Scarth and Victoria, but he has lost so much weight since I last saw him I hardly recognized him.  Last time I saw him I thought he was not long for this world, and he may not be, but there he was today and I was glad to visit with him for a few minutes.

Well, lots of emails to answer, lecture notes to transcribe and newspapers to read, so I had better get with the programme.  I also have to be sure I remember how to play 2 songs a friend of mine is using to audtion for a local musical theatre group. She is going to practise her audition with me some time this week so that will be a ton of fun.

My husband is safely ensconced at the retreat centre with the rest of the clergy for a few days of conference, so I don't have to worry or stress over his job or his health or his diet for awhile. It is a nice stress break for me and hopefully he will come home refreshed.  He has been feeling much better at work the few days despite the never ending busyness.  It is all good.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Another Happy Weekend

This has been a grand weekend.  My husband's pre-Synod meetings out of town went so well yesterday. Even the computer system delivering his power point presentation did not fail him.  After the past week of systems breakdowns at work it seemed a near miracle that he had no technical disasters yesterday.

The series of lectures on Galatians that I attended yesterday was just fantastic.  Professor John Barclay is quiet spoken, laid back and incredibly well educated!  It is no wonder that one of our fellow priests, not at all Anglican when he did his PhD. work under Professor Barclay's mentorship, became an Anglican partly as a result of this man's influence. I don't know how may PhD.'s this fellow has of his own because he did not use his title even once all session, but he certainly is humble in the sharing of his academic skills.

We experienced and enjoyed over 5 hours of teaching, discussion, questions and fellowship together as a group. There were people in attendance from several parts of the diocese so it was a diverse group.

Untangling Paul's theology in the Galatian letters was a great challenge, even as we just touched the surface, but I think we all learned some new things about the Apostle Paul's teachings and attitudes.  

What I enjoyed most is that the professor is very skilled in teaching a large group of people with varying degrees of theological study ability without either making those of us with less educated minds feel at sea, or dumbing it down so much for us that those in attendance who are actually theology students would feel bored and like they were wasting their time. Everyone there seemed to get something out of the teaching.


The other scriptures he quoted to support various ideas he presents left us feeling the man has memorized the entire Bible!  hahahaha  What a treat to once again be privileged to sit under the teaching of someone so knowledgeable.

Thank you so very much Professor John Barclay for spending your day teaching us, taking time out from your incredibly busy life and schedule just for us.  

My husband is very excited to hear the teaching Professor Barclay will be presenting at the clergy conference that starts tomorrow out in Lumden.  I think he will be quite pleased by the teaching he hears.

My husband arrived back in Moose Jaw just as our seminar was ending, so after an abbreviated Evening Prayer service to close the sessions, we went out for a lovely Indian dinner at Moose Jaw's new Indian Restaurant, "Spices".  We were a bit leery as we have had some pretty atrocious Indian meals of late, but this was absolutely delicious!!  My chicken zal frezi was full of large pieces of chicken and the sauce and vegetables were spiced exactly as I asked them to be.  My husband had a very mild vegetable korma and there was so much packed into the small dish he had to bring half of it home.  The samosas were huge and stuffed full of peas and potato chunks.  It was an excellent meal and I am glad there was no buffet last night so that we were forced to order from the main menu.  All the food was freshly cooked and piping not.  It isn't a large menu, but I think that allows the cooks to do their best job on each dish. I hope the quality continues.  We were happy to see so many customers in there as the street in front of the restaurant had been closed off since mid afternoon for some kind of street concert later in the evening.  Some of the businesses took quite a hit by being forced to close by 3pm on a Saturday, but it didn't seem to be hurting "Spices" much.  We will definitely go there again next time we are in Moose Jaw.

This morning I decided to attend church at the last possible second for getting dressed and ready, but I made it in time.  It was cafe church this morning so we sat around tables in groups and enjoyed the tea, coffee, juices and many, many muffins, cookies, cheeses, fruits, dips etc.  I was able to sit at a table with 3 visitors, some other congregation members joined us and all 3 visitors said how much more welcome they felt than they would have just sitting in a row of chairs for the service, then leaving afterward without as much chance to meet the congregation members.  It was fun for me too. The sermon on forgiveness given by our lay reader was fantastic!!

Now it is time to make lunch and head for choir practise.  My husband is out on the back deck with an electric tool of some kind removing rust and impurities from the camping pots he used on the canoe trip. He is scouring them out like a mad man and they are looking nearly new and very fresh and clean.  After choir practise we will head over to his new office space, hopefully, and try to get the last of the books and papers put away and some certificates and pictures up on the walls.  He is SO busy during work hours there has been no time during the last 2 weeks to finish moving in!

Chilly again today but at least we have some lovely sunshing peering around the clouds.  I wore a pair of summer pants and summer suit jacket to church this morning, but it is time to wash them and put them away now with the other summer clothes.  I will put something warmer on for choir practise this afternoon.

Have a blessed Sunday everyone!

Thiis Morning My Chilly Self Caved......

....and put the furnace on while preparing breakfast!  I took one look at my husband, huddling miserably on the couch watching the tv news broadcast while wearing a turtle necked shirt, AND a hoodie, WITh the hood up over his head, AND fleece lined sweat pants, "40 Below" socks and canvas boat shoes and I had to take pity on him.  He was completely decked out in his winter camping pj's!  Guess it was a bit too cold in here after all this morning.

I confess that hearing the furnace click on and soon feeling a blast of lovely warm air on both of us as I made breakfast created a cheerier feeling around here.  The heat felt SO SO good!  My natural chintziness with utility bills gave way to simply enjoying being warm.  

I am old now.  I am a wimp. Oh well.