Monday, October 16, 2017

And the Hat Came Back the Very Next Day......

Yes, you read that correctly. We have the fedora back in our possession. Unbelievable!

My husband got the call just before he left work. He told me just as he finished eating his dinner, so I pushed back from the dining room table, left the rest of my own dinner uneaten and away we went to the restaurant to retrieve my husband's beloved hat. It looks none the worse for wear.

We are both very grateful to the wait staff at Leopold's on Albert Street. One of the managers was on board about wanting the staff to work that hard to get the hat back, but the girls decided it was not that particular fellow's decision to make....bless their hearts. We are very grateful to the person who returned it as well. Please pray a blessing on that person and on the staff at the restaurant.

Just this morning I removed the fedora from my pile of prayer request papers and tore it up. I told God I was tired of worrying about a hat, even such an expensive hat and I would just accept the fact it was gone forever: the old "death of a vision" we learned about back in the 1970's at the Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts. The basic idea is that often, when we have suffered a loss, God restores that ministry, job, item, what have you, sometimes in a different form, after you have TRULY given it back to him.

This return of the hat, nearly 8 weeks after losing it, is giving me courage and hope in my prayers for our son as he faces a big financial loss. Thank you for all your prayers about both situations. Being part of the Christian community is a huge comfort.

Prayers For My Son

The rubber has hit the road for our son with his New York life. I feel badly for him and his five roommates who have been scammed in a sublet con. Short version: they are meeting tomorrow with a tenants' rights advocate, but since they are actually living as illegal tenants it is unlikely they will get back the twenty-four hundred dollars each in rents and damage deposits they stand to lose. It is also likely they will all be evicted at the end of this month. As stressed as our son is, he is taking on the role of being the calm voice in the midst of the upset, has set up the advocacy meetings and arranged a tenants' meeting after that. The actual landlord of the building has been mostly absentee, arriving at the building very unexpectedly and unannounced at the building on the weekend and discovered the scam her one paying tenant was perpetrating. I have been through similar upheavals in my own life so hope I was able to encourage my son when he called me today. God is good. He will get our son through this rough patch, as he has gotten him through so many others. If you have a heart for it, thank you for your prayers about this situation.

Kinda Nice To Be Home Again

I can tell I am getting more used to living here of late.  Every time I get a chance to get away, like this past weekend, I leap at it, enjoy the time away immensely, but then am very happy to return home again.  It has been a long time since I last felt that way.  

I enjoyed my sleep in yesterday in my own maple bug free bed, hahaha.  I enjoyed lingering over breakfast with no stress to have to run off anywhere....just what the doctor has ordered.....I enjoyed getting ready for choir rehearsal and the rehearsal itself, both the singing and the bit of visiting.  I enjoyed making a DIY dinner last night, my husband and I each picking away at some leftovers of our choice, finishing off the Philippine dinner rolls, trying a new jar of low sugar jam, a few slices of PC low fat Swiss cheese, a bit of chicken curry and lamb kabab.  It was a crazy dinner and such fun to have all those bits and pieces of "stuff" to eat.  Today is a cooking day and so I will enjoy that after a 3 day break.  My body is craving more home made food like I had for the two dinners at friends' houses when I was out of town.

Up and going this morning right at 7am, a nice breakfast together with my husband and then driving him to work. I don't think the rest of the office staff are losing their days off today if the complete lack of cars in the office parking lot is any indication.  I suspect my husband is kind of hoping that is the case so he can work without any interruptions today, completing the last minute details for this coming weekend's Diocesan Synod.  I just pray he can push into this very long week with no days off again and not collapse as soon as Synod ends.  At least he knows he has next Monday off as Synod ends sometime on Sunday.  I will be so relieved to have it over with, but I also pray it is an excellent time of making changes to the Canons, getting some financial issues dealt with and all the other business decisions that must be made by Synod delegates for our diocese.  I am amazed and comforted by the grace of God evidenced in my husband's health to date with all the stress he has been under and the very few days off in the past 2 months.

Decided to go and purchase one of my rare large loads of groceries after I dropped my husband at work.  For the first time I shopped at the newer Superstore on Albert street instead of at my beloved Mike's YIG.  Lately I have been comparing prices more and more and discovering that a recent rise in Mike's prices are going to limit my buying there now.  I will support that neighbourhood grocery for items I need in a hurry because it is a nice walk there and back and it is close if I only need a few items in a hurry, but this week I was able to compare the flyers and the sales as well for both stores and o my....I NEED to switch to the Superstore that is much farther away for bigger loads.  It is disappointing. I truly believe in supporting a neighbourhood independent grocer, BUT I have to be realistic about the financial side of things just now.  Yikes, what a difference in some of the prices between stores.  That was not the case until fairly recently. I am actually shocked at how things have changed so much. 

After lunch my exercise will consist of a big load of ironing!  I am so embarrassed by the amount of food I slopped on myself last week while not only cooking, but also when eating the results of my efforts!  hahaha  Two days in a row I had to change clothes after lunch!!  Now that is very sad! hahaha  Oops, slop, bring the mop!!

Tonight we have some boxing matches to watch after dinner.  My husband has graduated from burying his head in his home PC to watching tv with me. hahaha He is pacing himself by coming home at reasonable times this week, maybe going in a bit late in the mornings to compensate for the tiredness.  He has become very good at pacing himself over this year and I am proud of him for finally figuring out how best to do that.  We are getting too old to go full out every day of every week.

The saga of my husband's missing fedora continues.  2 weeks ago we had a call that the waitress we had at the restaurant where he lost it had located the customer who took it and that customer was prepared to return it.  Yesterday my husband went for a walk over to the restaurant to see what was happening.  Yes, the same waitress said, she was confident the person would be in that very evening, so my husband left his phone number....again....heard nothing by evening, so drove over before closing time, just in case.  Again, no hat, but at least his phone number was taped to the cash register.  We are getting quite a kick out of this whole thing now.  Slowly we are building relationship with all the young folk on staff.  They likely think we are two old kooks, continuing to try to get "only" a hat back for the past 2 months, but they are cheerful and welcoming and seem to get quite a kick out of us.  Whatever is REALLY going on with the hat and its probable new owner, good things are coming out of this silly event and it seems God's hand is in it...crazy as that sounds I am sure to some of you readers.

We also SKYPE'd with our son last night. It was so good to see him live on the computer screen instead of only hearing his somewhat disembodied voice over the scratchy telephone connection.  He is doing well and we are very happy for him.

It is not such a bad day today!  The sun is shining. It may go as high as +17C today and tomorrow.  It is not freezing overnight lately. Only twice have we had to scrape the car windshield this fall.

Yup, a very nice day indeed....in my own town....shopping in my own stores...sleeping in my own bed....yup....I like it!  This afternoon the maintenance fellows are coming to do the fall smoke alarm check and change the furnace filter. They are always so friendly and talkative...and CHEERY!  I think them knowing how much I like their native Philippine food contributes to their willingness to chat. They can't understand why I like their cultural foods so much. hahaha  They certainly do not like Canadian food, so why I would like their foods is beyond their comprehension.  We have had lots of chatter about that.  hahaha

Sunday, October 15, 2017

From an Email Forward, haha!

Dearest Dad,
I am coming home to get married soon, so get your cheque book out. I'm in love with a boy who is far away from me.

As you know, I am in Australia... and he lives in Scotland. We met on a dating website, became friends on Facebook, had long chats on Whatsapp.  He proposed to me on Skype, and now we've had two months of a relationship through Viber.

My beloved and favorite Dad, I need your blessing, good wishes, and a really big wedding.

Lots of love and thanks.

Your favorite daughter,
Lily.

THE RESPONSE

My Dear Lily,

Like Wow!! Really? Cool!!

Whatever... I suggest you two get married on Twitter, have fun on Tango, buy your kids on Amazon, and pay for it all through PayPal.

And when you get fed up with this new husband, sell him on eBay. 

Love,
Dad.
 

Diversity is Not What Makes Us

I noticed a group of people downtown last week, all wearing brightly coloured tee shirts with a slogan printed on the front. The slogan was "Diversity is what makes us!"  

I thought about that for awhile.  I don't think it is diversity that "makes us".  There can be great disagreement and warring factions among the "diverse".  

What "makes us" in my opinion is "harmony".  Harmony implies diversity.  Harmony instantly points to the diverse getting along, being able to work together in spite of difference.  

Yes....I believe it is more accurate to say that "Harmony is what makes us". 

Just my own little thought for the day.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

So, I and Several Dozen Maple Bugs Had a Great Sleep Last Night

Yup, and that was the several dozen left in my room this morning after I killed at least 30 of them in my hotel foom before I went to bed last night. Good thing Maple Bugs do not upset me. Spiders upset me. Mosquitoes upset me. Ants upset me. Hornets upset me. Maple Bugs do not upset me.

Honestly, I find them kind of cute. They stand on a set of tiny legs that are bent like the legs of stick man drawings by pre-schoolers. Their antennae wave about constantly and to me they appear to be like the quirky cartoon figures my son used to draw,

They don't bite. They don't destroy things. They don't sting. They don't stink unless you squash them. They just sit and crawl around on their short bent legs, looking for the warmest place to hunker down.

Last night that place was, apparently, in my bed with the sparkling white sheets! I woke up this morning, after an excellent night's sleep to chuckle at the bug facing me on the pillow and aftergiving it a cheerful "Good mornin' darlin'!" I crawled out of bed, went into the bathroom, flipped on the light, looked in the mirror and wished the one I discovered marching happily across my forehead a happy day. What else can you do, right? The whole southern half of this province is infested with them. They are impossible to get rid of until they cycle off naturally to other places. Closing the hotel for two weeks to fumigate would be a wasted effort and expense. So, since I had seen them all over town all day, I decided to just grin and bear it.  I am delighted to discover that the older I get, the less queazy I am about such things....unless it is spiders.....or mosquitoes.....or ants.....or hornets.....or........lizards....did I mention that lizards on hotel walls also upset me?

All thoughts of Maple bugs were completely forgotten 5 minutes into the wonderful presentation by Dr. Wes Hill that I attended today on Chastity and Christian Friendship in the 21st Century.  I am still mulling over my day's worth of notes and would do a great disservice to Dr. Hill by attempting to express his thoughts here on this blog tonight.  SO, if you are interested in Dr. Hill and the way he expresses the amazing grace of God to all believers no matter their area of brokenness, look for him and his talks on  YouTube.  I came away feeling newly refreshed, newly prepared to share my faith for the first time in a long time and with a far better concept of how to talk to my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in Christ.  There is a level playing field at the foot of the Cross and no one is any better or any worse than anyone else who comes to follow him.  We are all broken, we are all covered and redeemed in Christ and all are welcomed into the Kingdom as we learn how to live our faith in the midst of our brokenness, whatever it may be.  Just a fantastic day of teaching!

During the lunch break my friends and I headed over to the Royal Spices Indian Cuisine restaurant on Main Street for a wonderful feast of aloo gobi, lamb kababs, rice, naan and curried chicken.  O my....it was good!  We had great talks and lots of laughter flowed as we consumed our delicious meal. Eating out in Moose Jaw is a happy occasion more often than not with the new restaurants that have opened there over the past two years.  How long any of them will be able to stay open when so many other businesses are closing out is anyone's guess, but might as well enjoy them while they are in existence, right? Of course right!

My husband was able to come out for the last session this afternoon after his own meetings so we enjoyed sharing the last couple of hours of teaching together before heading to the home of dear, dear friends for the tastiest shepherds' pie dinner we have ever had....those people can COOK!  They dug the last carrots from their garden to add into the meal and there is, as most of you know, no flavour more enjoyable than freshly dug garden carrots...no comparison to the pithy, tasteless orange sticks sold in the grocery stores here the rest of the year.  We had the addition as well of a large turnip and that really added to the flavours of the pie.  Oooooh, my......2 of the tastiest home cooked meals I have had in ages these last two evenings.  YUM!  Being with such good friends for both meals certainly added to the enjoyment!

I was able to visit Cees while I was in town.  Please, please, please continue to pray for him.  He is skin and bone, he is plagued with cold chills, nausea, headaches and pain everywhere in his body.  I wanted to cry when I saw him.  I don't know how his wife is holding up from the stress...oh, wait a minute, yes I do: it is her incredible and inspirational faith in God.  His next appointment with the medical establishment is toward the end of this month so I am praying like ten bears he can get help this time.  Thank you for adding in your prayers.

So, now we are home again, successful meetings for us both this weekend.  I am hoping I wake up in time to go to church tomorrow, but if I don't, o well.  I am VERY tired and feeling every step of the nearly 4 straight hours of walking I did yesterday afternoon...after 2 hours of walking in the morning.  Perhaps I have reached the limit of what my ankle and hip can take, but it felt SO GOOD!!!  It was chilly, but sunny, hardly any wind.  I went to the Moose Jaw art gallery, the museum, the Yvette Moore Gallery where I spent a full 30 minutes gazing at all the wonderful pottery in the gift shop, BUT I bought none of it!  Are you proud of me?  I tried on all kinds of clothes just for the sake of having fun and wasting time until I could check into my hotel in the late afternoon, but again I bought nothing because there is nothing I need.  It was great fun.  I had a super duper visit with one of the transit drivers that used to be part of my bus ministry 7 years ago and who I have hardly seen since.  We talked and talked.  It was so good to see him again.  I am saddened by the number of mentally challenged and physically disabled former bus passengers that I met back then who have died.  Bus driver Bob filled me in on the latest losses and I wanted to cry.  What good times we all had together simply riding the bus and talking about Jesus and about their lives.

Well, it is nearly 10pm.  I should go to bed.  Maybe I should go outside, capture some Maple bugs from the troop hanging around our back door tonight and release them in the bedroom...perhaps their company would help me sleep as well as I did last night....EIGHT (8) HOURS!!!  If it had been spiders in that room I would not have slept one wink...in fact I think I would have sneaked (see my special friend, I remembered there is no such word as "snuck". Are you proud of me?? teehee) my bedding outside and into my vehicle to spend the night!!

It is difficult to gear down after such a lot of fun over the past two days away.  A hot shower...that will relax me and send me right to sleep! Thanks for your prayers for me/us over the past few weeks.  They are appreciated and we are seeing the good effects.

Friday, October 13, 2017

May I Never Be Desperate Enough For Sugar Free Foods.....

......to have to ever, ever, ever eat a sugar free Orange Marmalade ever, ever again.

Today I had a marvellous day window shopping and eating meals with friends....I had a homemade turkey stew that was to die for. I found a bag of fresh Philippine dinner rolls at the local Sari-Sari store that made a delicious bedtime snack a few minutes ago.

However, I also purchased an expensive jar of sugar free orange marmalade. I have been looking everywhere for a sugar free jelly or jam....or, I suppose I was actually thinking of a "no sugar added" condiment that still contains at least some actual fruit. Nutter's is the first place I found such a product, so I took the risk and bought a jar this afternoon. I am sure there are many people with health issues that would require a non-food "substitute " if they want to eat some kind of jelly-like spread on a slice of toast or a bun. I am happy this particular company has a product filling that niche. Unfortunately it is not for me.

There is no actual food in this product as far as I can tell, hence its no sugar, no fat, no calories labelling. It looks and tastes like jelled orange Koolaid. Now, as you know I do like a bit of Koolaid occasionally, but not as a jelly flavour! Marmalade is a sad mislabelling. I ate about two tablespoons this evening, on part of one of the dinner rolls, then had to admit I made a terrible mistake in purchasing it. I ate the rest of the roll with a slice of low fat Swiss cheese to get the taste of the jelly out of my mouth....blaaaaaaahhhhh....

I can continue to live without jelly or jam on my bread. I am not desperate enough to ingest this "stuff".  The remainder is all ready in the garbage. I am sad my experiment failed. Live and learn, right? Sometimes you score on new food products and sometimes you don't.

Everything else that happened today was fantastic! A couple of tablespoons of yucky jelly substitute hasn't ruined that!