Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Coming Full Circle...Back To the Garden.....

I am starting to suspect that many of the Anglican folk in my own particular, small circle really are not cluing in to how irrelevant their Christianity and faith in general are to the secular world around them, particularly the younger members of society.  We have insulated ourselves rather well from these dear younger folk and are now shaking our heads wondering why they have either retreated from church after growing up there, or have never developed an interest in God and Christ in the first place.

This afternoon I was reading a couple of short articles on Google Scholar and got thinking about some of the strong influences that have effected the thinking of the upcoming generations about the spiritual realm.

For example, if all of creation is ONLY the result of an accident and morality and belief in an "other" is unnecessary or silly or wrong or what have you,but we still can't as human products of that accident, completely get around our innate sense that there has to be a value system for our human society, then it must be up to us to choose what right and wrong should be. When we believe there is no creator or other force to whom we owe our lives and allegiance, then, when we cannot shake the idea that there is still a concept of right and wrong in our universe, surely we must have the right, the obligation, to "choose for ourselves".   

Is this not what we have been hearing on an almost daily basis for the past decade and more?  We get to create our own personal norms, define our own morality, design our own value systems, and these days even choose our own gender affinity and resulting lifestyle. 

Nowadays it is all about the "us", the "me", and not about the "other".  

Choosing for ourselves.....hmmmm....this seems an old theme rather than a new one for some reason....hmmmm...where have I heard about this sort of thing before?  O, wait....I believe it has something to do with a biblical story about a fellow named Adam and his partner Eve. They too made a choice to ignore the "other", to disobey the one command from that "other" that they themselves decided was negative rather than positive, life restricting instead of life affirming.  They chose for themselves....

Yeah, this kind of thinking certainly is very familiar indeed.  For Adam and Eve their decision to choose for themselves didn't work out so well in the end.  How is it working so far for the rest of us??

Thanks (AGAIN) Doug Reichel Wine Marketing For Our Little Celebration!

Today we are grateful for the following wine that we were introduced to by Doug Reichel Wine Marketing:

Goru El Blanco Moscatel Chardonnay (2015)

At 10:30am my very ill husband decided he was tired of laying around, doing bits of office work in between naps and that he wanted to have a celebration, "just because".  So, he opened a bottle of the above delicious but affordable wine and we began frying pork cutlets and sliced apples in soy sauce, lemon juice over a bed of sauteed onion slices.  With a couple of small chunks of olive bread it made for a fabulous VERY early lunch/brunch celebration by the time we finished cooking it. I was in the midst of making spaghetti sauce when my husband came up with his crazy and delicious idea, so since I can't have more than a tiny taste of apple, I made myself a pizza with the sauce and some pork.  We finished off with a second glass of wine and a small cheese board...the Pacific Rock cheese was particularly delicious, although it didn't pair with the Goru as well as we thought it would so I whipped out some white cheddars that did indeed pair well.

As we stood in the kitchen with our very early in the day glass of wine, preparing a simple and delicious brunch time meal, it gave me a glimpse of what retirement COULD be like if we could ever afford at that time to live half as well as we do now.  We got talking about it over our meal and decided the best thing to plan is to wake up each day of retirement and look for the simplest of daily pleasures; to take comfort and joy from those small things. 

Some kind of hope about the future was suddenly and unexpectedly restored.  Thank you Lord! And thank you Doug Reichel!

Another Week "Off" Together

My husband's cold is peaking today and will likely be about the same tomorrow if he continues the same symptom path as myself.  Assuming so, he should have no trouble getting on the plane in another 4 days' time. ✈

He is working from home today so that he doesn't spread this horrible cold to the rest of the office staff. Their gratitude for his thoughtfulness SHOULD make up for their being ticked off that he is out of the office when the Bishop is also away.  That is the hope anyway, hahaha.  They are a good crew, wishing him well and healing when we both know darned well his absence this week is a problem for everybody. Bless their collective hearts.

I am so happy he has so many computer related tasks to do that are transferable to right here at home.  He can nap in between tasks, pop his cold meds, take time out to read a chapter in a book and eat when he feels hungry.  In the end it is mostly all good! 

My sinuses are still kind of snoggly, but at least I can get rid of some of the build up now. My thinking is a lot more clear. Not having a sore nose at this point is my best advertising for spending the extra money I spend on good quality, 3 ply tissues. My energy is returning at last.  Shovelling out the bit of snow that fell overnight has been a nice morning task.  I enjoyed it.  It is much warmer than it was at this time yesterday so I didn't get a chill.

I think today and the rest of this week will be pretty laid back between the illnesses and the weather.  My husband will be carrying most of the stress in terms of work and I will just enjoy caring for him while he goes through the cycle of this cold virus.

There is a joint women's meeting in early December for 3 of our local Anglican churches.  I am excited about this event and I pray other women will be as well.  The level of acceptance and interconnection between the various city parishes is at an all time low and it is hurting our denomination at the local level.  There are quite a few women in the 3 churches and they are all great people.  I am so fortunate to have met most of them because of my husband's position in the denomination...what a blessing for me.  I am going to try very hard to attend and support this group.  There is food, fellowship, table talks and a Eucharist to share together.  Maybe, just maybe, we will get a chance to model some cohesive social structures for our socially lazy men!!  (oops, did I say that???) 

One good side effect of my husband's cold is that he has been at home for enough consecutive hours since Sunday that we have had some chances to talk.  We are re-evaluating our lives, our spiritual and social directions and discovering we are certainly on the same page about many things.  It may take some time for solutions and new directions to present themselves, but we are feeling primed and ready for a few positive changes to occur at some point in the new year.  Most encouraging!


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

My Poor Husband....My Poor Computer....Bad Day For Them Both

Yup, as I suspected, my husband will not be returning to work today apart from a couple of calls to other staff to get them going on their part of some joint projects.  He is so disgusted to be ill...and at a crucial time because of the Bishop currently being out of the country.  What a nuisance for everyone for my husband to be ill this particular week.  Now, Lord, please, if he could just be well enough to get on that plane to Victoria next week. Those meetings are kinda important not only for my husband but for our diocese for future decisions.  Thanks Lord and......Amen!

The old back up battery for my computer finally gave up the ghost today.  We are sure we have been using it for at least 15 years.  Poor old thing.  It is so old in the wild and ever changing world of computer techn0logy we will be surprised if we can even find a replacement battery for that ancient back up system.  It has worked so incredibly well all this time.  So, now I am working without back up and if the power goes out I am hatched.  It is not a good feeling!! haha  The way the power goes on and off here during snow, wind and rain storms, all willy nilly and who knows when and for how often, makes it difficult to relax when using a computer.  My own computer's automatic backup programme has never worked properly either, trying to do it manually is unnecessarily complicated, so recovering information or lost files is almost impossible without that old battery back up to keep things running during an outage until I can save whatever I am working on and shut the computer down.

I am finally able to clear my sinuses of all the guck they have been plugged with for the past 7 days and that is a good, good feeling.  I think if I remain vigilant on keeping warm and out of the wind I will be over this in a few more days.  I must remember to wear my new knit hat and mitts today when I go over to my husband's office to make some photocopies.  Friends gave me the most wonderfully warm coat scarf that I will also wear.  It is as pretty as it is warm so I feel a little less obviously "prairie winter practical" in my appearance when I wear it.

Guess I better go and do that so I can get the copies mailed in to Revenue Canada.

Happy, happy, joy, joy everyone.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Breathing Easier Tonight!

At least I am physically breathing easier, but my poor husband is now taking his turn with this virus.  I am praying very hard that his symptoms track the same path as my own so that he will be up to taking his flight to the west coast next weekend.  In the morning it will be 7 days for me and, unless I have relapsed myself by going grocery shopping in today's cold wind, I should be completely well in another couple of days.

Mentally and emotionally we are both "breathing a lot easier" after receiving an email this evening from our relative who has spent most of the past year fighting cancer.  There was a big post-chemotherapy appointment today with the radiation oncologist and the big news, happy news, joyful news, is that there is no cause for concern.  Everything looks really good and it could be next March before another check has to happen.  If we are this ecstatic we can only imagine how our dear relative is feeling right now.  Thanks again for all the prayers.

Our son just picked up 2 or 3 weeks' worth of temporary studio and gallery work starting next week.  So, he is scraping along okay for now.  He is quite excited that, even though full time work continues to elude him, he is eking out enough to get by a bit at a time.  His dad and I have LOTS of experience at that sort of life style so are not panicking like we probably should be....? hahaha

My mom called me for....the third time, I reiterate her list of callers and card/gift senders for her 90th birthday. She is flying so high from all the unexpected attention.  I am delighted for her. She still has 3 celebrations over the rest of this week...two of them without my dad for  a change so she really feels like she is getting away with something. hahaha  She had a doctor's appointment today and it went well. He has put her on a wait list for approval for the same osteoporosis injections I am taking, but it is going to take a lot longer in AB to get approval for the drug than it took me to get it here...that seems so wierd to me. SK moving faster than AB on something medical...go I am praying she gets taken care of very soon. Apparently she could be waiting for up to a year and in the meantime cannot take the same drugs I cannot take for similar allergy reasons.  That poor woman has developed such severe osteoporosis so quickly that it is taking a lot of my energy to keep from worrying she is going to break more bones. Her painfully swollen wrist from the one serious fracture we know she sustained a few months ago is just now starting to heal enough for the pain to be lessened. She is wearing a brace contraption a lot of the time to ease the pain and to keep the bones in the proper position.  Stupid osteoporosis!

Have to get up early to drive my husband to work so I can use the photocopier in his office.  A mistake made by the tax department on our LAST year's taxes that we didn't know about until we applied for the Guaranteed Income Supplement back in March has been holding things up and just today we found out what the problem has been and what old tax forms we need to send in so they can correct it.  At least the application has been accepted once they get the forms. That too is good news for us.


A Short Break Out!

This morning I forced myself to get dressed and drive across town to a discount grocery store and pick up some badly needed items.  I am rather glad my husband hadn't asked me if I needed these items when he sneaked off after church yesterday to pick up some edible surprises for me because it gave me the oomph to get my still tired, unmotivated self off my duff and get outside for a grocery run of my own.

I was able to leave for the store during the brief period of our daytime high of +2C.  I parked half way across the large parking lot from the store itself so I could at least extend my walk by a little bit after lazing around ill for most of the past week.  While not feeling particularly strong, a little bit light headed and definitely still rather snoggly in the sinuses and lungs, it was incredibly liberating emotionally to be out of the suite and doing something useful!  Unfortunately as I exited the store with my purchases, the temperature had all ready begun its downward trend toward tonight's -20C, the wind had come up in all its freezing blast and flakes of snow were swirling down from the dark clouds above.  I sort of regretted having parked so far away!  Exposure to strong and cold wind gusts is not particularly healing to colds!!

Ah well, still so good to get out.  After I unpacked the groceries at home and made a large mug of my delicious hot chocolate.  I gave my husband some hints as to how to take care of his own cold that has definitely begun to hit him today and have been exchanging emails with our son.  

Thus far I have resisted the urge to peel off the first set of clothing I have worn in 5 days and put my Mark's Comfy Robe back on!  I WILL remain dressed like a human being for the rest of the day, I WILL, I WILL!!!  

(Won't I?) 

Up and down go the temperatures and wind speeds...I suspect by the time this 2 week period of such great ranges in temperatures is over there will be many more people ill.  These kinds of wild weather swings are very hard on the human immune system!

Time to go and prepare lunch....all ready.  For the past 5 days the time has dragged on interminably it seems. Today, just from having a chance to get out and move around, the hours seem to be flying past! 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Miss Dyck Would Be SOOOO Proud!

Our son phoned us tonight to let us know he has signed a new lease and arrangements have been made by the courts to get his money back from the scammer who rooked him and the other building tenants....even if the cheque bounces, at least he has recouped a month's rent by virtue of the rent strike he and the other tenants held at the beginning of this Lord, he still needs a job.....thank You very much for it when it shows up.

He is reading an interesting book.  It is about the development of mathematical formulas, as well as some of the philosophies behind their invention.  He is taking some of what he is learning and applying it to his latest art works.  This from a kid who came up 2% short on his Grade 12 math final examinations and, had he wanted to take an academic route in university, would have spent his summer after highschool repeating his Math 30 course in order to gain entrance!  His teacher at the time, the long suffering and infinitely patient Miss Dyck, did her best to encourage him to reach his full potential in her class, but he admitted even at the time he was too disinterested and lazy to be bothered.  Now he is reading feverishly every book about the development of mathematics he can get his hands on.  This is "good stuff".

The artists in his circle are much less excited about his application of math to his art works over the past couple of years. They are concerned he is going to be painting under restrictions and boundaries that his Masters degree profs told their students they must not allow their creativity to be limited by. That is not though how my son views his new studies and the excitement he experiences when translating formulas to canvas.  

It seems every new generation of artists, no matter what creative field, every set of avant garde new leaders of particular art movements, ends up promoting ideas and styles that eventually become tropes to be rebelled against by the subsequent generation, while being hotly defended by their inventors.  

I suspect my son is running up against this sort of stifling demand on how he "should" express his creativity, but I doubt he will cave in to it.  He is his parents' son in that regard.

What fun discussing art, mathematics, rent fraud, unemployment and Christmas plans all in the same joyful conversation.  His dad and I find ourselves living for these Sunday evening phone calls our son initiates on a regular basis.