Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Point Exactly

 I have been questioned a few times about my not being able to keep quiet about my faith when I am talking to people who do not believe in God.  The link to the cartoon below sums up  my basic thinking:


Monday, April 14, 2014

Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

A prayer of St Anselm – Archbishop of Canterbury (1093 – 1109)

Lord Jesus Christ; Let me seek you by desiring you,
and let me desire you by seeking you;
let me find you by loving you,
and love you in finding you.

I confess, Lord, with thanksgiving,
that you have made me in your image,
so that I can remember you, think of you, and love you.

But that image is so worn and blotted out by faults,
and darkened by the smoke of sin,
that it cannot do that for which it was made,
unless you renew and refashion it.

Lord, I am not trying to make my way to your height,
for my understanding is in no way equal to that,
but I do desire to understand a little of your truth
which my heart already believes and loves.

I do not seek to understand so that I can believe,
but I believe so that I may understand;
and what is more,
I believe that unless I do believe, I shall not understand.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Brimming With Compliments

My husband makes me laugh more than any person on the earth.  I have another friend in another town that I used to see about 5 days a week who also is hysterically funny, but my husband reduces me to tears of laughter, often inadvertently.

He has been watching my weight loss over the past few months and making encouraging comments about how it is assisting me in regaining my health, but has never ventured a word about my actual appearance....until this morning.

Those of you who know my husband's past history with his long list of girlfriends, rather serious relationships etc. prior to getting together with me, might think that he is quite socially adept with a compliment for the ladies, but you would be dead wrong.  hahaha Those of you who REALLY know him realize that deep down inside, despite his aquired pastoral social skills, he is still a prairie farm boy who is easily embarrassed by compliments,  whether given or received.

This morning he walked up to me and told me quite seriously, "O Sue, you are looking far less bulgy these days."

There you have it: the supreme compliment from my very embarrassed husband who struggles to express compliments of any kind to anyone.

I am looking less bulgy.

It doesn't get any better than that.

Not around here.

After I picked my less bulgy self off the floor and wiped the tears of laughter from my eyes, I thanked him profusely for noticing and off we went to go about our day.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

O Happy Day!

What a happy day we are having today.  It is chilly and windy outside, but inside our home it has been warm and cozy with wonderful visitors.

My husband's "second family" was with us for several hours.  We enjoyed a delicious lunch of northern pike, sandwiched between several hours of visiting.  

Is there anything more fun that meeting up with favourite family that haven't been seen for a few years?  The amount of sharing we were able to do in our few hours together was meaningful and deep.  Hopefully, at some point during our summer holidays we will get out to where they live and visit some more.

At dinnertime tonight we are having a potluck at our local church, followed by our Palm Liturgy and a Eucharist service.  Tomorrow we will celebrate Palm Sunday in our other church.  There are times when doing the services twice in one weekend is particularly sweet.  Palm and Easter Sunday services are like that.

Friday, April 11, 2014

My Husband the Gift Giver.....NOT!

I am proud of my husband.  He is not a gift giver, finds it incredibly difficult to choose items, hates shopping, etc. etc. etc. and yet, he got himself together a couple of weeks ago and put together a big pail full of things for our son's birthday.

He spent several days deciding what he would like to send, drove around town to find the appropriate mailing contraption, spent several hours hemming and hawing, picking and choosing, an entire morning fitting and refitting the items he chose into a large industrial product pail and getting it sealed and over to the bus depot.

Our son is having a great time unpacking it and is touched that his father thought so much about him and took the time and effort to send him something.

Into the pail my husband packed: an assortment of green and red teas, a new duffel bag, a Dutch oven for my son to make his favourite soups and stews in, some special snacks, a wonderful book about art and spirituality and imagination, new tea towels, dish cloths and oven mitts, post-it notes etc. Everything needed, everything practical, of course a book had to be included and even the pail has its uses in our son's studio...he can mix paint, store brushes, turn it over to use as a small table or sit on it.  haha

I was delighted that my husband was able to come up with ideas for any sort of gifts. It is so far out of his comfort zone.  Our son is chuckling over the particular assortment....he knows his father well! haha

My husband was absent for many of our son's special childhood  days: birthdays, school events, even some Christmases were spent working overseas.  When he was at home the effects of his CFS made him somewhat absent in mind and spirit so much of the time.  Seeing my 2 favourite men bonding in more recent years the way fathers and sons should gives my own spirit a lift.  The gifts and packaging made me giggle, but I am thrilled that my husband would put himself into a "state of shopping" for his son.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Confirmation on the spring thing: this morning's reappearance of the robins and blue jays just after I wrote the last post. YAY!!  Now, if the grey clouds would disperse and allow the sun to shine on me again, it would be a perfect day! I will go for a walk this afternoon and enjoy the warmer temperatures.

Yesterday was my next to last local diabetic clinic.  My husband had to go to the city so I walked to the hospital in the brilliant sunshine.  Unfortunately that lovely sunshine was accompanied by 50 to 70km wind gusts so I ate dirt from the surrounding fields all the way there and back, but the sense of freedom I experienced by being able to safely walk outside again was amazing!

The clinic was particularly good yesterday as it answered so many of my remaining questions about blood pressure and cholesterol, sodium and fats that all relate to diabetes in very direct ways.  After the first tense and awkward session, people are loosening up and talking to each other, not afraid to answer the questions posed to us by the RN and dietician, laughing and chatting just a bit before class.  Typical of me, after only 4 weeks with these people I am going to really miss them when class is over.  It isn't because I am particularly lonely these days, I just always miss people when I meet them for short periods of time and then am unlikely to see any of them again.  Most of this group don't live in town, so we will likely only run into each other at the grocery store on occasion and none of us know each other well enough to be exchanging phone numbers or anything considered to be so socially scary  here. The fellow I wrote about before who was so impressed by his diabetic friend taking his blood sugar count before imbibing, shared openly about his own struggles to quit smoking as his diabetic wife is, like all diabetics, not supposed to be exposed to second hand smoke.  I felt for him.  He was so sincere in his expression of wanting to help his wife while still being overtaken with the nicotine bug when he has stresses of his own. Been there and done that.....

I had a great chat with my parents this morning as well. They are both doing pretty well with their health issues, but mom is fretting over doing income tax.  She is getting worse about this worrying thing as she gets older (a family trait) and I truly believe she thinks if she doesn't send in the right forms for her charitable receipts etc. that she is going to go to jail.  Poor mom....poor dad having to put up with that level of her fretting all their married lives.  In my extended family it is my mom who has inherited her family worry genes, the pressure of having to always do one's very best and hopefully all the way to perfection in all things.  My husband and son also struggle with that, while Dad and I have the attitude that if either of us makes a mistake, despite our best attempts to do things properly, well it is too late now so let's deal with it as best we can and move on.  I am so glad I turned out to be more like him in this area of life.  I didn't used to be, but so happy things changed in my middle age.

So, off to do another load of laundry.  I picked up all the groceries yesterday that I will need to make a nice lunch for our company on Saturday.  A little housecleaning tomorrow and all will be well.

Time to go and prepare lunch.  Then my second walk of the spring season...OUTSIDE....! NO ICE!! (only mud)  YIPPEE!!


Spiders Tell the Tale

Farmers, First Nations peoples and others who have traditionally lived close to the land have a wonderful ability to predict the upcoming changing of seasons by looking at cloud formations, checking the thickness of the coats of various animals, wind direction and what have you. Weather forecasters have their instruments, graphs and charts.

I have my own personal predictor of the onset of true spring weather:  spiders begin to abound inside the rectory.

In the past 2 days I have mashed, bashed, zapped, crushed, swatted, aerosol sprayed and otherwise slaughtered at least two dozen of the little beasties and have begun checking the white living room ceiling every time I enter the room, as that is one place they love to hang out with daily frequency.  There must be some wonderfully warm weather on the way, since out of that two dozen or so eight legged wonders there have been no two alike.  Wonder how many other breeds of spider I will discover inside the house this spring.  Wonder how many dozen more I will have the "joy" of finding crawling in my bed, over my shoulders, in my hair and dropping down on long strands of webbing right in front of my face as I sit and watch the living room television?  

The other places the spiders seem to love as much as or more than the living room ceiling and carpets are the bathroom off my bedroom, behind the headboard of my bed and along the baseboards under the big window in the kitchen.  In other words, they adore popping up in 2/3 of the rooms in the house!

In another month, as the big outdoors continues to warm up, there will fewer spiders in the house and the next onslaught will not be until they return to the house seeking warm nooks and crannies to hibernate or give birth or lay eggs in or whatever spiders do to preserve their species over the next winter.  They will likely return sometime in October.  

For now I am getting darned good at using a fly swatter to wing them off the ceiling and my eyes are becoming quite adept at following their trajectory so I can track them down immediately they land on the carpet or the window or the curtains and finish them off.

My husband is far less bloodthirsty than I when it comes to spiders, although he has no compunction about killing mosquitoes when they have the audacity to land on him. (which they rarely do if I happen to be around to munch on instead)  When it comes to spiders of any breed he is all compassion, scooping them up on a sheet of paper and making a beeline for the front door, depositing them gently on the grass or into the planters.  We have learned to ignore, without comment, the differences in the way we each treat the two spider infestations each year. As long as they are not inside the house I don't really care, although mass slaughter is my preference.....

So, apparently spring has arrived in our town.  The spiders tell me so.