Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Nearly Perfect Sunday Excursion

For me a day like today is near perfection.  The sun shone ALL day and the temperature rose to a springlike (finally!) +12C.  The snow is nearly gone, other than the remaining piles created by shovelling and bobcat work earlier in the winter.  The highways are clear and dry.

So, I headed out to Moose Jaw to church early this morning.  It was so much fun to be there and to be able to sing in the choir for Palm Sunday service.  Marching around outside the church singing Hosannas, singing the familiar Palm Sunday service hymns, being with good friends in Christ.  It was a wonderful morning in every way.

Had a late lunch with my good friend Patty.  After being away from here for 5 years is there anything more satisfying than getting together with best friends and sisters and brothers in the Lord that I have known for so many years? Nope, nothing quite compares.

Driving back and forth on dry highways was such a blessing....although I have to say that the condition of the TransCanada here is not very great.  The potholes are getting bigger, there are a lot of "wavy" sections that throw my car around and the general condition of the pavement is deteriorating rapidly.  Too much ice combined with too many large trucking rigs all winter are wreaking havoc on the highways across Canada.

After seeing the horrendous hog wallow sized pot holes on the Moose Jaw streets I will no longer complain about the comparatively teensy weensy pot holes that comprise most of the streets immediately around our housing development.  O for shame Moose Jaw, o for shame!!!

It has been a grand day and now I can relax here at home while I wait for my husband to return from our former parish.  I do hope it went well and that there were good vibes between our parish members and the candidate for possible new priest that went up there with my husband.  I would so like to see the parish really growing and thriving once again. The leg work has been done. Old hurts have been healed for many people.  The people deserve someone who has a true love for them and a heart to see their parish thrive now that they are ready to receive new people into the flock.

Time for dinner.......salmon steak...YES!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Zam, Zam, Thank You Ma'am! (smirk....)

I have discovered my fast food restaurant of choice: Zam Zam Wrap!

It is located in a quiet corner of Cornwall Center, tucked away on the opposite end of the mall from the food courts and features halal foods etc.  I ordered a "build your own" salad.  Beside the usual Subway type salad offerings, minus the spinach, it had my favourite pickled turnip slices and tzatziki sauce.  That was delicious enough on its own, but I asked for the topping of chicken that turned out to be delightful bits of chopped chicken ladeled across the entire top of the salad, nice and warm from the tasty herbs it had been steeped in.  O my it was delicious!  And so inexpensive. It was less than ten dollars and was nearly enough salad for two meals for me.  The diet Pepsi I had with it was a bit jarring for flavour, but I was so entranced by the salad preparation I neglected to take a proper gander at the list of beverages!!  Next time....

And there will be a next time.  It was worth the bus ride to the Center just for the salad!  I am going to check the other mall directories and see if there are any other Zam Zam locations in this city.  Yes, there was probably a ton of sodium in the chicken, but being able to get a salad without any grain carbs provided along with it and still be so filling is worth the exposure to the salt.  

The bus routes to places I need to go are, I am finding, fairly direct, easy to transfer to and fro when necessary.  Of course the transit system in such a small city leaves much to be desired, but for someone like myself who has lots of time to plan these cross city treks and not worry overly much about squeezing bus trips in between other deadlines, it is certainly sufficient.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Best Anniversary Treat!

Short version: my husband didn't have to stay over at the monastery tonight after all, so he came home for the night.  We were able to have an anniversary dinner out and a really great discussion about the retreat he was at and about the things that happened here at home in his absence.  He brought me a lovely gift of 2 Japanese plates and I gave him 2 of his favourite large sized chocolate bars because he likes edible gifts above all else. haha  Tomorrow his meetings will be at the office instead of out at the monastery, so he will be home in time to have another nice evening at home before his weekend excursion.  YAY!  It is all good! (Well, having to get up unexpectedly at 6:30am is less than spectacular, BUT what the hey....he came home!!)

Tracking the Emotions

The human mind is a frail element of our being.  I have been trying to track a few unexpected reactions I have had since moving here and come up with some reasoning behind a few days of battling mild depression since we arrived.

During the 5 years we lived in our last parish I was alone a lot of the time. Health issues cropped up one after the other, extended family issues took up a lot of my time and my ability to reach out regularly to parishioners and local people there was hampered by everything else that was going on in my life.  I didn't realize until we moved that I spent far too much time there removed from direct human contact.

Since arriving here many of the health and family issues are resolving and my energy, both physically and mentally, are on the rise.  I have had few days where I haven't seen or talked to people other than my husband.

So, why some days of mild depression?  It has happened on those few days where I had no plans to see people.  Days without social interaction have become days of fighting emotional panic: what if I am slipping back into the loneliess of our last posting???  What if I don't see anyone else this week???  What if...... and on it goes; subconsciously a fear of loneliness has developed.

Recognizing problems and fears and naming them is certainly the beginning of solving them.  Yesterday morning I woke up in a panic because I had no specific plans for the day that involved other people.  That is when I began to figure out what the problem has been since we moved here. 

After I prayed about what to do about this issue I started thinking back to the days I have been alone this week.  I have had only two days without company or a coffee time out with someone else.  Even on one of those days, the day I went to the doctor, I met people sitting in the waiting room and we struck up quite a good conversation.  It was unexpected and rather interesting.  It made me feel cheery inside for the rest of the day.

Yesterday was the other day completely on my own and I could have had the same kind of emotional panic going on, but because I woke up thinking about the issue and sorting it out, I had a very good day after all and accomplished a fair amount of work around here.  In the middle of the afternoon I realized I was starting to feel sluggish and unhappy, so I went for a walk to the grocery store and said a happy hello to absolutely every person I passed along the way.  They all responded very positively and I felt buoyed up by the time I arrived home.  During the evening I planned the lunch for my company today.  Tomorrow my husband will be home for the evening before he leaves again and I have a list of possibilities for my own plans while he is gone.

Thinking ahead in order to see the upcoming days that could create emotional stress for me is key to organizing life events that will keep my mind balanced out while I make the adjustments necessary to living in a new place once again.

I spent so much time alone in our last town that I have traumatized myself.  Time to get over it and get on with a new life in a new city.  Creative thinking and planning is called for.  Seeking out events to attend, buses routes for days I am carless, social experiences with friends, organizing well my times alone...all are necessary to maintain good mental health for me.  Thank you Lord for helping me sort this out.  I will force myself to go to greater lengths once again to maintain social contacts with the people where I actually live and will get back into the habit of planning in advance. 

It is all good news.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sunny Chocolate Birds!

It is chilly outside today but the sun is shining brightly and is melting the snow slowly but surely.  I had no reason to go out, but by mid afternoon I couldn't stand to be inside any more.  Off I wandered to the grocery store and discovered a couple of purchases to make that will be utilized soon enough as to have made the trip worthwhile.  I mailed a few Easter cards to far away relatives as well and scuffed my feet along the pavement coming home to delay the inevitable arrival back indoors. Having the huge park across the street is making me anxious for the rest of the snow to melt and the warm spring temperatures to hurry up and arrive so I can get out and walk to my heart's content.

I had an  opportunity to sample Lindt's new Intense Black Currant Chocolate.  O my....if I ever see it for sale anywhere I am going to have to avert my eyes and race by it double quick time.  It could create a huge downfall to my carefully disciplined diet.  O my... it was absolutely delicious!!  Talk about a diabetic's nightmare..... YUMMY!!

Heard quite a racket going on outside just after lunch.  There was squawking and honking and flapping close to my kitchen window. Outside were 2 large Canada geese tramping through the snow mounds on the lawn.  They looked pretty chilly and were not impressed with their surroundings.  I miss my birds very much from our last town of residence so it was great to have geese so close to our place, inches from my window actually.  They  must nest in the park for the summer, or at least take advantage of its usual riches of food on the way through.  I imagine they are not finding much to eat here just yet.  Hope they will be okay.  Their compatriots were squawking up a storm up in the sky overhead.  They are the first birds I have noticed since we got here, apart from a few forlorn looking sparrows.

Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary:  38 years!  Of course, as usual, my husband is out of town for work.  He will be gone again on the weekend so I hope we have time to celebrate Friday evening, his one night home in a ten day stretch of work related absences.  ALSO, today is his birthday: 63 years old. Wow.........For both of us, OLD is the operative word.  Some days we both feel every day of our ages.

I am happy to be having a lunch guest tomorrow.  The Bishop's wife is coming to share a meal with me.  She is hilarious and I am so looking forward to our visit.  We both find ourselves married to seriously academic men who began ministry later in life and are now fully committed to ministry positions neither of them thought they would ever qualify to have.  She and I have a fair amount in common and we do like to laugh together and pray together.  We are both also on similar special diets so lunch is going to be pretty sparse and simple to prepare: hardboiled eggs, a bit of cold chicken and a lot of salad veggies will be the sum total of the "feast", but we will feel well after we eat and that is the main thing.

I have been experimenting with my PVR and now have to erase all manner of programmes that are not worth watching, but at least I understand how the thing works now.  My husband has 3 or 4 programmes each week he likes to see, so when he gets home Friday evening there they will be ready for him to watch....after we celebrate our anniversary with dinner out....well, actually maybe we should wait until next week when we can focus on the celebration and not getting his weekend travels planned.  He will be exhausted anyway...yeah, next week will be better for a dinner out.  Monday night is a slow night at the restaurants, so a good night for us to be out and about. 

Easter will soon be upon us.  It is so early this year, I can't believe it.  My poor husband has to make return trips to our former parish this weekend to introduce a pastoral candidate to the folk there and then again next weekend to do the Easter services.  Glad as he is to make both trips, it would be a lot easier if it wasn't 2 weekends in a row that he has to make the 10 hour excursion.  He has to preach at the Cathedral here on Good Friday and we are hoping to have a young couple we adore here for dinner that night.

So much going on, so much coming up. If this weather continues and the snow keeps melting I am going to try to go to Moose Jaw to church on Sunday....and now I am going to go and start reading a book I ordered last week. UPS just delivered it. I want to enjoy reading it and then get it passed along to my parents as they introduced me to this particular series and we are all enjoying the storyline.  HOPEFULLY this one is the last of the series as it is so long between books we have to go back and re-read the one previously so we can keep up with the action.   

HAPPY SOON TO BE SPRING!!  

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Chuckling.....

I am having a little giggle all to myself.  teehee

Was just talking on the phone to a new friend here in town and told her I had found a doctor today.  She excitedly told me about HER doctor and it turns out to be the same one I decided to avoid! hahaha  All the reasons I wasn't that enthused about having him are the very reasons she thinks he is the perfect doctor for her. I am glad he is a good doctor and I am glad she has a good working relationship with him.  The kicker is that when she moved to town a couple of years ago she also checked out the doctor I have chosen.  She rejected that doctor for all the same reasons I picked her as the one best for me. hahaha

Isn't it grand that there are medical personnel available to accommodate all manner of personalities and needs that patients have?!

BINGO!! I Have a Doctor!!!

This afternoon I trudged 5 blocks through the teeming snow and over the slush and ice to have a meet and greet with a lovely doctor that I am very comfortable with.  What a relief. She was interested in my medical history, glad I have kept up with my lab tests in the absence of a local doctor, more than willing to take me on as a patient and very willing to keep my lab work and physical exams on my present schedule.  I am so grateful and so happy that my wandering through the snowy wilderness was worth it.

My new doctor is from Bangladesh, got her medical training in South Africa (usually a VERY good sign) and has been in Regina for the past 8 years, seems to like it and plans to stay for awhile.  All good news.

The relief is intense.  Thank you Lord for an apparently good doctor who is so willing to have me and who actually looked at my history before deciding to take me.  I showed up in her office looking like a drowned rat, fuzzy hair cascading about my shoulders and slop from the street up one pant leg and still she accepted me.  Whew!!