Saturday, March 25, 2017

Non-Stop Celebrating!!

My husband woke up at 6am today, awake and rested sufficiently for the first time in a couple of weeks, conscious of the fact that for our 40th anniversary tomorrow he had arranged a big fat zero for me.  No flowers, no gift, no dinner reservations, not so much as a card!  hahahaha  (Why he found himself so shocked by his own behaviour I do not know, because he rarely has anything prepared for our anniversary anyway as such things are not HIS thing.)  So, he spent the early waking hours of the morning ordering me a special surprise bouquet of roses, mini-carnations, baby's breath and ferns and making a dinner reservation back at Memories for tomorrow evening.  teehee  I LOVE it when he makes himself feel guilty about such things because I "do" far better than if he had remembered in the first place. hahaha  Lots to look forward to tomorrow on top of him being free to attend morning church service with me, plus I have choir rehearsal for my afternoon entertainment.

Today has been quite a wonderful birthday for him.  Although he woke up early, he felt well and has continued to feel well all day long.  We ran a few errands this morning, stopping into the Cathedral shopping district briefly afterward where I was able to find one of my needed two pair of SAS sandals and he was able to get a stellar deal on some special Chinese tea he loves.  The store is not allowed to sell it in less than 50gram packs and all the manager had left was about 45 grams, so he just bagged it up and gave it to my husband for free along with the other bit of tea he was purchasing.  YAY! What a nice birthday treat for him.  While I was buying my sandals, my husband raced down the street to the very florist's shop where he had ordered my flowers so early in the morning, sneaked them into the car and presented them to me as soon as we got home.  When he asked me what I wanted to do after our errands had been completed and I said I wanted to look for sandals at the Cathedral district store (Ianonne's shoes and foot clinic)he couldn't believe it.  We rarely go there and he was wondering how best to get my flowers picked up without having to ruin the surprise. haha

What could I do but take him out for lunch, right?  We went to Dosa Garden on Albert Street.  They have new owners (again) and the menu is more comprehensive. The food is just as delicious, if not more so, than previously.  I ordered a spicy pepper chicken.  The sauce was exquisite and just hot enough, along with buttered naan bread.  The sauce was so delicious I refused to waste any and brought home the remains to heat up tonight with some left over ground chicken that has spent the last 48 hours in my refrigerator looking kind of drab and tasteless. Not any more........tonight's dinner awaits!  My husband ordered a potato and chicken stuffed dosa and it was exactly what he was hoping for.  There were 3 dipping sauces for the dosa:  tomato yogurt, coconut cashew and sambhar.  YUM!!  I think next time I am there I will order a dosa, cut off the extra batter on the ends for him to enjoy so I don't over-carb, then eat the delicious stuffed centre with the dips.  The dosa was thin, thin, thin and perfectly rolled and browned.

So, the birthday and anniversary parties continue.  How very blessed are we?  How I wish all the people I was worrying about last night could enjoy what we are enjoying this weekend.   Why us and not them, is all I can wonder.......

Friday, March 24, 2017

Just Wond'rin'.......

What do people do when they are forced to stop racing around life at light speed and have to face up to the fact that their lives have just been one disappointment after another:  broken dreams, loss of love, the realization that love given is not returned in kind, dashed hopes and unmet expectations, the complete death of the vision of career or relationship, the shock of a tragic health diagnosis? How do people feel who never get a break in life, or who have to one day face the reality that they have been fooling themselves that all is well in their work or families or marriages or...or....or....?

I am thinking about some of those people tonight who I know and... just wond'rin'....

A Wonderful Spring Day of Celebration!

Today my husband's office cronies threw him a surprise party at Golf's Steak House over the lunch break in honour of his 65th.  What fun!  He certainly was completely surprised. hahaha  He always goes into kind of a stunned state when people surprise him, particularly in public places, but he recovered well, opened his many gifts with appropriate comments and jokes, enjoyed his magnificent roast beef luncheon and was generally pretty pleased by all the attention.  The staff gifts were hilarious:  a magnifying glass and some Superman logo bandaids to celebrate his pensioner status, a bobble head doll that looks like my hippie husband looked like in the '60's, with the idea that when he is able to grant requests around the Diocese he will set the doll's head a' bobbing!  Then there is the rottweiler shaped clock to be used when he has to lay down the law around the Diocese! hahaha  He was given a lovely large tea mug and strainer to use at the office so he doesn't have to keep dragging his insulated mugs back and forth from the house every morning, a cool flashlight arrangement he can use when he is walking back and forth to work through the back alleys in the dark, 2 blocks of his favourite cheeses and wonderful crackers he loves to eat to go with them, as well as a lovely bottle of Argentinian merlot.  The Bishop gave him a gift certificate for Fresh Air Experience so he can purchase another canoe bag for this summer's upcoming trip.  He received hilarious cards and notes as well.  I am SO happy for this acknowledgement from his colleagues.  May they be blessed beyond measure!

The day started off well too.  Friends from Alberta travelling through on their way to Winnipeg stopped in for a long breakfast visit.  My husband was able to take a couple of hours off work to join in the fun.  What a great time we had catching up on their lives, and getting their news about other old friends.

Since my husband stayed home with these dear friends until the last possible second before he absolutely HAD to be at work, he tore off to the office in our vehicle, not knowing of course that I would have to find an alternate way of getting to his surprise luncheon.  haha  The good news is that he was in so much of a hurry he didn't realize I hadn't sent any lunch with him. haha

I added up the number of blocks from our place to the restaurant and decided it was a pleasant enough day temperature-wise to walk up there and back:  my first walk outside since the snow fell last autumn.  It was +3C when I walked to the restaurant and +7C by the time I returned home.  Although the breeze was chilly, it was still a perfect day for a stroll.  I stuck to the main thoroughfares to avoid any sidewalk ice still lingering under the big trees on the side streets.  That first spring walk leaves me with an intense feeling of freedom each year.  It was FANTASTIC to be outside, strutting along unburdened by a heavy parka and boots.  My spring rain coat and walking shoes were sufficient today.  What a relief!  There will be more spring snow and ice storms over the month of April, no doubt, but today gave me a good taste of what it is going to be like to be able to wander about in the fresh air once again.

Bonus: my aching leg and hip muscles that nearly drove me crazy when walking last summer and autumn were able to heal more deeply over my relatively inactive winter and today I experienced NO pain, NO aches and NO discomfort during my 1hour walk.  Last October, even on my final walkabout of the year, after a spring and summer of building my muscle strength to the point where I could walk for 3 to 7km with only a short rest half way along the route, every step was painful from the time I left home to the time I returned, limping and crabby from the constant ache.  Today, it was almost like I hadn't fallen and broken my hip.  YIPPEE!

The only disappointment today is that the movie my friend and I planned to see tonight had its last run yesterday. BUT it is returning to Regina in a few weeks' time to another theater, so we will see it then.  The good part of not going is that I get to spend some extra time with my husband. He will be gone most of next week to a conference, so I am making the most of our time together between now and then.  

Thank you Lord for a truly happy day!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Personal Reflection From Last Night

This morning I am mulling over some song lyrics from the opening number of last night's performance by Martyn Joseph.

The lyrics told me, in effect, to step away from all I am doing and allow my heart to return to what it needs, to what is truly meaningful to me.  The song hit me like a sledge hammer and I am sure I completely missed what the next 2 songs were all about because I was lost in thought and prayer.

Like all good spiritual lessons, I was tested immediately on my thoughts and heart desires during the intermission.  My husband was embroiled in an animated theological discussion with the woman who had been sitting next to me, leaving me free to meet and talk to the friend she brought with her.

This young woman turned out to be intensely troubled, consumed by thoughts of death, heaven, hell, forgiveness, the existence or not of God, etc. etc. etc.  Long story short, she and I were able to have a very long and involved conversation about Jesus and about the love of God for her, that her sins too are covered by Christ's sacrifice and that no sin is too awful to leave her in a position of being shunned eternally by the Lord.  Forgiveness in Christ, security in his love, transformation of her life by his spirit are all as available to her as they are to everyone else, if she will be willing to reach out and grasp them.  We exchanged phone numbers and I hope we can get together again sometime for coffee and a chat.  She is not "church ignorant".  She was raised by a minister father and has attended a number of different churches sporadically as an adult, she just struggles to believe that so many good spiritual gifts can be hers to enjoy.  She is grappling with the concept of dealing with an invisible God and a lack of "definites" to hang on to...full, uncompromising faith in a person or system lacking in concrete substance is a difficult struggle for her as it is for so many.

So, I do hope something that was said last night to her by either myself, my husband or her friend will assist her to find her way out of the darkness she is surrounding herself with, the fear and uncertainty that plague her.

For myself, it definitely confirmed my heart's desire to share more about Jesus with more people.  I have been sitting on it for so many years because there was no place opening up for me to go to talk to new people, partly due to fear and paranoia of my own engendered by a general lack of acceptance of myself in various communities we have lived over the past few years.  

Without going into too much detail, I can say it felt good to be talking openly and honestly once again about my own faith in Jesus with someone who actually needed and wanted to hear about him.  I stepped away from my own combination of fear and resignation that "no one cares anyway what I have to say about anything", and let the Lord just be present.  THAT made/makes my heart happy.  

I can only trust that the conversational exchange last night will help this dear girl.  For myself it was the dawn of a new day as far as opening up my heart again to fulfill the desires within it.  For that I am grateful.

Martyn Joseph House Concert...SPECTACULAR!

What a fantastic evening we had!  We didn't want the concert to end!  40 of us packed in "cheek by jowl", listening to the passionate singing of my favourite Welsh singer/songwriter, Martyn Joseph.

We clapped, we sang, we hooted, we hollered, we snacked, we visited, we made new friends, but mostly we just enjoyed every moment of Martyn Joseph's singing and amazing guitar and harmonica playing.  He flies into Calgary tomorrow to do a concert there tomorrow night, about half way into his month long tour here in North America.

It was a privilege to be able to hear this man perform to such a tiny group of people and he was incredibly gracious to us all.  His songs touched my heart and mind and spirit.

House concerts ROCK!!!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Don't Mind Me...I'm Only the Pedestrian WITH THE RIGHT OF WAY!!!!!!

Enjoyed a very successful sweater shopping excursion this morning...thank you Mom and Dad.  I stopped long enough for a shawarma chicken salad at Zam Zam Wraps, probably the tastiest, most generally nutritious lunch in the city, and caught my bus right when I wanted to come home.  Perfect!

The bus stop across from our place is right beside the 6 lane intersection I have to cross to get to our building.  There is also a curve in the road there, so pedestrians have to be extra careful despite it being a well marked crosswalk.

My being so careful likely saved my life today!  There was no one coming from the north in any of the 3 lanes so I knew I could make it safely across that side of the intersection.  All 3 lanes had traffic coming from the opposite direction, but they were far enough away that I could get started across and be easily seen by the oncoming cars.

Sure enough, about the time I reached the middle of the intersection, 2 of the 3 lanes had indeed stopped for me and for a lady crossing on the other side of the intersection.  Unfortunately a man in his pre-middle aged years decided he didn't need to bother stopping for the pedestrians, even though he was looking to see why the cars in the 2 lanes beside him were stopping, looked back in front of himself and saw me about to cross his lane, but did that mean he made even the most hesitant of attempts to stop?  No!  It most certainly did not!!

He didn't slow down even a fraction, just continued to drive through the intersection, passing approximately 3 feet in front of me, doing a minimum of 50km, looking at me quizzically as he sped past.  If I had not noticed him looking at the stopped cars as I was approaching his lane, nor noticed his rate of speed indicating he had no intention of stopping, I would have been struck and most likely killed.  If the roof of his car had been any lower to the ground I may not have seen him at all until it was too late. I think the height of his car is what prevented the accident due to its visibility from street level. Somehow he also missed hitting the woman on the other side of the intersection as well. 

I have been back in my home for about 10 minutes now and am still shaking.  I have been hit by one car going illegally through an intersection once in my life all ready, am still dealing with the consequences of those injuries over 40 years later and have no interest in attempting that sort of event ever again!

Well, it is still a great day.  I am going to do my ironing from yesterday's laundry.  I am going to pray my husband has a safe trip to Davidson and back this afternoon and I am going to look forward to tonight's concert.

Thank you everyone for allowing me to debrief here on the blog!  I am starting to feel better just for being able to write down what almost happened to me today as I was crossing the street. Whew...thank you Lord for protecting both myself and my crossing buddy!

A ME Day Today!

In a few minutes I am going to catch the bus downtown to do some shopping with some anniversary money that came in today's mail.  My half is going on 2 or 3 of the 3/4 sleeve sweaters that match some sleeveless summer tops I got a couple of weeks ago at Cleo's.  The sweater stock for those tops had not yet arrived at the time.  How nice that I will be able to match up the colours appropriately by purchasing the sweaters at the same store.  Light summer sweaters made of cotton and rayon are so perfect to cover the floppy, elderly, upper arms that the sleeveless tops on their own leave exposed to public sight...and ridicule! haha  Aaaah, to be old.......hahaha.

Tonight is a very exciting time for us, me in particular: we are going to a house concert at my husband's cousin's home.  The singer/songwriter is the wonderful Welshman, Martyn Joseph, whose politically left leaning commentary is always interesting to hear both in his speech and music.  He has nailed a few of the world's political problems on the head and is very good at bringing attention to the issues and some possible solutions, through his songs and stories.  Cousin met him at a big festival in Ontario this past summer and was able to talk him into including this house concert on his Canadian tour this winter.  YIPPEE!

I think it is going to be a good day today despite overcast skies and wind going on outside.  At least no snow or rain are forecast here today........yet.........