Friday, July 31, 2015

Something Must Be Wrong, Because.....

....I couldn't possibly REALLY be all packed up and ready to go a whole 4 hours in advance...that never happens. My husband is also packed up and ready to toss everything into the car when he gets home.  Cue theme music from "Jaws"!! Something very different is happening this holiday time!

Wow, I have a whole hour free now to make lunch for my visiting friend, time to wash the dishes afterward without being in a total panic...what the heck...????  

This is quite a delightful feeling.  Sure do hope this could become the norm for our travelling at any time of the year.  Perhaps it is because no clergy gear of any weight or significance has to go this time, no special folders or boxes of papers.  Other than a cell phone, lap top and clipboard for my husband's meeting this evening before our holidays become official, there is no special equipment nor clothing required for this trip, beyond a 5 inch long clergy collar insert.

This is amazing...it is SO not like us. For once we are taking our holiday time as holidays....no job interviews to go to like there have been in other years, nothing to do but attend a wedding where my husband's only responsibility in the ceremony is to give a prayer of blessing to the young couple.  Everything else that we are doing requires only the clothes on our backs.  Yikes....we don't even have to drag any bedding along this time. Once the giant wedding gift bag is out of the car trunk there will even be extra space in there.  My husband doesn't have to spend time doing his packing mania frenzy before we go.

I like this!  I like it a lot!!   

Oopsy, My Bad!

Do you ever wonder, as I sometimes do, if the good Lord got distracted when he was handing out brains and missed giving you a few of the ones that should have been yours?  I certainly have wondered that about myself....more than a few times.

Last night as I was trying to explain to my husband the location of the hotel I booked for us in Calgary for next week, I realized I made a ghastly mistake in our booking.  The hotel I thought I booked near the Olympic Park was actually a complete dump up in Motel Village.  How I missed that fact, how I missed the online reviews that included words like "dreadful", "travesty", "disgusting", "blight"  and "eeeewwww", I have no idea.  Sigh....but miss them I did.

That the low price distracted me from reality is the only reason I can come up with.  The only lower price was at the Motel Village Super 8...a place we once stayed in not so many years ago and spent the next month expecting to find ourselves the subjects of some kind of police investigation as we witnessed so many drug deals ETC. going down over night in the pot holey parking lot, as we peered, frightened, out of our grubby window from a filthy and not at all sound proof room. *

*(Hint for travellers: if you are planning to stay in a Calgary hotel and find anything at all under $110 per night, FLEE, FLEE, FLEE to the safety and cleanliness of another, much pricier accommodation!!  We have found over the years that in Calgary you get what you pay for...or even less.)

I decided this wouldn't do.  For one night we could suck it up and live with the consequences, but for two nights with a possible afternoon nap each day...naaaaahhh....not going to happen according to my husband.  

Since there was time to cancel the reservation I got on the phone and I THINK I accomplished it.  A very dear woman of oriental ethnicity and first language answered the phone at the hotel and tried to assist me.  Between her struggles with the English language, my faulty hearing and the phone cutting in and out, I can only HOPE she actually cancelled the reservation...well, she DID cancel A reservation, but was it MY reservation???  This afternoon, once the busy check out time is over, I am going to call back to the hotel and make sure. Sigh....  

So now we are biting the bullet financially to stay in a very nice room at the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino.  Our total cost has gone up about a hundred dollars, BUT the safety, comfort and cleanliness quotients have also risen proportionately!  I am trying to look at it that since we are staying there on week nights we are actually saving the hundred and twenty dollars more per night that we would have to pay if we stayed on a weekend.  That is a good way to look at it, right????  Just nod, smile and placate me, okay?

My husband is happy because the hotel is so close to my parents' home, the rooms really are quite lovely and the included breakfast is very nice indeed.  He can usually sneak a snack out of the breakfast buffet for later on and some days that is all it takes to make him happy. I wish I was so easily satisfied with life.  

Okay, off and running for the rest of the day.  Those of you who pray, please send up a quick word for my husband who faces a very difficult meeting this evening after a very busy and tiring week.  Thank you!!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Rethinking the Work Schedule

It has been a good morning of making email connections with friends who want us to stop in for an hour's visit on our way to the old workshop.  Other emails requiring immediate answering have come in this morning, I spent a long time searching for my husband's missing reading glasses, (they were found, hallelujah!), and generally losing a lot of time out of my own schedule for the day.

I was starting to fret when I had a sudden revelation while washing the floors.  Other than cleaning the bathroom, why on earth am I planning to vacuum the carpets and dust the furniture and blinds today?  I have been watching the cement dust and blowing dirt, from the city street repair project outside, sifting slowly in through the closed windows that don't seal properly at the best of times.  I have been realizing that since we will only be home for a day and a half in the next 2 weeks and that the dust and grime will continue to infiltrate the place in our absence, why on earth was I planning to nearly make myself ill trying to fit a complete house clean into an all ready overburdened day?  The other factor is that I just found out Sasktel will be coming into the complex tomorrow and digging up half the back yard to begin the install for fibre optics in our neighbourhood.  There will be dirt, dried goose poop and old grass flying everywhere around here.

So, the bathroom will get a good scrubbing down this afternoon and the lino floors have been washed, but that is all I am going to do.  When we are hauling suitcases out and back in and back out and back in again over the next couple of weeks, we will be dragging grass and dirt into the house on the bottom of our shoes and what could be more discouraging than to come back when we are all done travelling about, only to find the things I cleaned before we left are all dirty and needing to be done right away again anyway?? 

My day just became even sunnier and happier and I dare say, somewhat more relaxed!  YAY!!!  Now I can concentrate on what clothes to pack for the journey: way more fun than cleaning house! hohohohoho

Sunny Day Sunny Spirit

Waking up to the sunshine again this morning makes me feel cheery despite all the work I have to do over the next day and a half to get ready for a short trip away.  There was a slight rain overnight that left no moisture in our basement, but I have wicked the cracks in the walls and retowelled the floor in case there is an unpredicted downpour in our absence over the next few days.  According to the local Water Authority, the storms this week were a once in one hundred years event and I sure hope they are correct!  A hundred years from now I will be long dead and won't need to worry about a leaking basement!!

I need to get myself showered and dressed, the laundry washed, dried and ironed, my overnight bag packed, the lunch fixings purchased for my guest tomorrow and my husband's personal gear organized to be packed up tonight since he has to work in the morning at the office before we leave in the afternoon.

Yesterday was a flurry of online activity booking hotels at the last minute for tomorrow night, for next week when we visit my parents, plus trying to imagine what we are going to need for accommodation the following weekend after the ordination we are attending.

Considering we are not going anywhere remotely exciting, or (if I am being totally honest) very interesting, for our so called "summer vacation" this year, we are certainly going to be covering a goodly number of kilometers and spending a small fortune on accommodation. Wow....it is incredibly depressing from a financial point of view!  Glad the sunshine is keeping me cheery today.  My hope is that along the way we will discover some hidden treasures...sights or sites we have never heard of before that are beautiful, or even fascinating.  Saskatchewan is really rather blessed with such places, but you have to take the time to snoop around on some side roads and go to remote areas to find them.  Here's hoping.....

Having only such a short visit with our son and not having the best feeling about our visit with my parents this summer due to the legal issues we have to deal with there have both left me feeling a tad "pessy" and stressed, so I think that has effected my ability to be more positive about the holiday time.  Not knowing yet where my husband and his annual canoeing/hiking buddies are going 3 weeks from now, or even IF they are going at all is not helping me relax.  Things are very up in the air this year for them all, so I am finding it impossible to make any plans for myself for that week.  Beside not knowing if I will have my own transportation for the week, I also have my quartely lab work here in Regina right smack in the middle of it and that is not something I have the liberty of changing dates for.  

Anyway, blah, blah, blah...all about me and how I feel.  I find that writing it all out helps me organize my own thoughts and emotions, so sorry about that, but I need the assistance at the moment.

In the meantime, I need to get going about my day and get going rather quickly.  The sun gives me energy and motivation...and so does the fact that I am leaving on the first leg of holidays a day sooner than I had planned on!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Rain on the Plain

Wow....today we experienced the full force of the storm system of the past 48 hours...well the full force sans an actual tornado like Manitoba experienced yesterday.

We had to make a 5 hour round trip west and south of here, to Hodgeville, in order to deconsecrate the old church there.  Although it was a sad time for the people there, saying goodbye to an old building that had so many memories of their family worship times over the past few decades, we also had the joy of meeting these welcoming, friendly, happy folk and sharing this very personal time with them.  I am glad we had the opportunity to connect with their community.

What was less wonderful was making the entire trip in a storm with teeming, pounding rain and winds gusting between 60 and 80km per hour.  Yikes!  We drove into the worst of it only 50km from here and remained in that kind of rain and wind until we were 20km from being home again.  It was horrendous. 

My husband's eyes were done in by the time we got back and his arms were exhausted from gripping the steering wheel to keep the truck on the road.  Twice we attempted to stop so he could rest his eyes, but the wind was so strong the truck was rocking dangerously both times, so we quickly gave up on the idea and continued to drive.

I felt so badly that he had to do all the driving himself.  We were driving a borrowed 3/4 ton truck so that we could bring back some of the old furnishings from the church that belong to the diocese and I am not insured to drive it.  My husband also didn't want me to have to struggle to keep the truck stable on the highway.  So, he bravely did all the driving.  It was a crazy jaunt and we were both still buzzing a couple of hours after getting home again.  He had to drop me off and head to a meeting at the office, I came home to a series of phone calls that were stress inducing to say the least, so by the time I went over to the office with our car and we returned the truck to its owner we were both physically vibrating!  We had to force ourselves to relax for the evening here at home.

We are both most grateful to have survived the trip with few problems, grateful to have met the lovely people from Hodgeville and also grateful to discover that after all the flooding in our basement yesterday and my husband's frustrating attempts to set up a wicking system with some fabric wrapped nails stuck into the leaking walls to direct more of the water into a pail below, there was very little water on the floor when we arrived home this afternoon. YIPPEE!

Today was a day when there have been many things to be grateful for, including safe travel.  On the way home we saw several cars blown over into the ditches alongside the highway, a few that had gone off the road and were stuck in mud patches at the edges of the fields, and one semi rig hauling 2 long trailer boxes that had jacknifed into the median and rolled one of the trailers completely onto its roof.  Why we didn't join them I will never know, but wow, I am completely grateful.

The storm is to pass overnight and we are supposedly going to be drying out with some good mid 20's temperatures for the rest of the week.  Hope that is true.

Monday, July 27, 2015

About Darned Time Someone Figured This One Out!

I just read an article in the National Post, an online headline article as it happens, citing a new study or two that suggest that many bullies are actually people with the highest self esteem, socially up in rank and have the lowest rates of depression.  

Well, gee whiz, I could have told them that myself! haha  As a victim of bullying from the age of six until my move to Saskatchewan at the age of 49, I have no trouble believing there is a strong element of truth to that particular study.  I am just sorry it has taken so long for this information to be discovered by psychologists and social scientists.  Of course not every bully falls into these categories, but a substantially high percentage of them have been discovered in recent years.

 The worst bullying I have received in my life has occured at the hands of wealthy, socially secure, confident, aggressive members of adult society.  As a kid there was a more mixed bag of bullies in school.  My son was badly bullied for the first ten years of his school life as well, again by the most popular, well to do, socially prominent kids in the community.  The kids bullied him and their parents bullied me.

While we have both recovered from such negative experiences in life and felt the joy of being able to forgive them, thanks to Jesus' teaching and presence in our lives, we will never forget the types of people who tormented us for years.  They all fall into the categories outlined in the most recent studies.

If you have been bullied in your life, check out the National Post today and find the story.  Read it for yourselves and think about the alternative options being considered for dealing with bullying in schools.  The proponents of these new ideas may just be onto something of merit.    

The Son is Safely Home and the Rain Hath Descended Here

Apparently, after yet another flight fiasco that involved our son being given the incorrect flight time from Calgary, he is safely at home in his own Vancouver bachelor suite....I call it a "onesie"!!  If you are familiar with the old houses close to downtown Vancouver and the way they have been more or less, (mostly less), turned into scandalously overpriced bachelor suites, you will understand that moniker.  Sigh....

At least he is home.  He was met by his best friend at the airport, she took him out for a vegetarian Thai stir fry and then dropped him off at home.  He was delighted by the condition he found his suite in after the subletter moved out, so that is always a bonus.  Now, if none of his mail has been stolen in the past 2 weeks all will be well.  I am hoping his area will soon be blessed with community mail boxes so that worry will be one less for him.

We mailed off his inks and art supplies yesterday at the bus depot.  Hopefully the box will be there by tomorrow.  It only cost us five dollars more to send it by bus than it would have cost him to put it under the plane from Regina to Calgary and it saved him another slug of money he would have had to pay to get it from Calgary to Vancouver.  Love being able to do those little but very helpful things for him occasionally.

Sometime overnight it began to rain here.  It has rained and rained and rained some more.  In fact we are under a heavy rainfall warning until tomorrow evening because between fifty and eighty millimeters of moisture is expected.  Wow....I have to admit that despite the inconvenience of so much rain falling while I was driving around the city this morning doing errands, I do still love the rain.  Knowing it is helping the gardeners and farmers is the icing on the cake for me.  There has been a bit of lightning and thunder, but nothing serious yet.  So far it is all good, other than the lake that has formed on the street in front of us.  Our front door is twenty or thirty yards away from it though, with a broad expanse of lawn and trees between us and the water, so I doubt we will be flooded out personally.  My husband took extra measures this morning before work to ensure our basement stays as dry as possible.

Well, time to haul the water bottles I purchased this morning down to the basement shelves.  I also need to plan out what I am going to serve my lunch guest tomorrow.  That is always fun. I so enjoy planning lunches.  

Last night we were out for dinner and had some Trinidadian style food.  Our hostess has lived in Canada for some years now, but has continued to cook her traditional foods as best as she is able with the ingredients available here.  It was fabulous, from the spicy casava chips to the milky peas and rice to the perfectly cooked and spiced chicken to the curried cous cous salad....now I am almost too intimidated to have her back here for a meal! haha  

Onward and upward....just hoping we are not going to regret having left our canoe in Alberta by the time the rain stops tomorrow evening!