Wednesday, October 31, 2012

And Away We Go........Again

I have so much to do today to get ready to leave town once again tomorrow, but the antibiotics I am taking are continuing to leave my muscles far too relaxed. My mind is slightly foggy and life is GOOOOOD, but I can't seem to get any speed up.  

It took over 15 minutes after I woke up this morning to actually gather my wits and sagging muscles to get out of bed.  Have been up for a whole hour and all I have accomplished is making breakfast and turning on the computer.

I am so out of it that I didn't even have the energy to be PO'd with Google Mail for making yet another inconvenient change in their system:  changing the window set up for composing mail.  I tried it out last night and it will work fine enough I suppose but since I am not using my gmail for work purposes and have no need of the streamlining changes, I actually  have to do more steps to compose an email the way I want to.  I suppose it bugs me but today I don't care. Maybe I will have the strength to be irritated another day.

Assuming I can get my act together in time, I will head out in the morning very early, very VERY early, to go to school with my husband while he teaches his class.  Of course the weather forecast is for freezing rain......the thing I most dread during the winter when we have to drive out anywhere.  However, again, I don't have the energy to care right now.  Maybe that is a good thing.  The new studded tires are definitely a good thing!

The funeral this weekend is shaping up and the biggest decision to make after that will be which route to take to head on into Vancouver to see our son.  If the Coquihalla highway is too icy and stormy going up to the summit we will take the longer southern route through Princeton.  Such a big decision for such a short time in Vancouver...about a day and a half before we turn around and head back to the Prairies for work.  So very glad now though that my husband had to work on so many of his days off since Sept. to give us that extra 2 or 3 days.  Any days away from prairie winter are good days, no matter how few. Every year I detest prairie winters more than the year before.

So, enough procrastination!!  Off to iron and pack, to buy a new furnace filter for our poor overworked furnace so it doesn't give out while we are gone, to get to the bank and be sure we can actually afford to go on this trip, to fill all the bird feeders and waterers, print out Sunday's church bulletins, get the mail sorted out for the church officers, pay some bills, make the meals, tote that barge, lift that bale......you know how it is when you are going away....for a short time....in the dead of winter....and NOT on a warm ocean cruise.........

Chat with you next week when we get back..........

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Manhattan Matt is A-OK

Very relieved that our son has been in touch with his friend from Manhattan and he is okay.  Whew!  Wonder what all this air flight disruption is going to do to my son's flight to Berlin next week........hopefully all will be well by then for air traffic.

And now comes the clean up and the attempt to restore electrical power to the eastern seaboard and to the hard hit provinces here in Canada.  What drudgery is ahead for all those trying to fix power lines and repair the damage.

Wonder how this storm will effect the outcome of the American election next week.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Big Super Storm to the East

Sitting here trying not to worry about friends of my son, who live in Manhattan, as Super Storm Sandy comes rolling in.  The tv coverage is causing great grief as I watch the disaster unfold.  No power to millions of peoples' homes and businesses, water flooding the eastern seaboard states, New York City subway system closed down, even the NYSE is closed tomorrow, New Jersey board walk in splinters, water pouring through the streets of Manhattan, Battery Park under water.........my son's good and faithful friend lives in Manhattan.  Each apartment building shown on tv with the sides of the building torn right off from the high winds makes me wonder what is happening to Matt.  Is he still there?  Is he safe? Where are all the New York State people my son went to University with this past summer at Bard?  Are they and the university all right?  Are the high winds creating havoc in that area as well? The construction site where the Twin Towers used to stand looks like a water fountain as the flood waters pour down over the construction beams and concrete foundations.  So much damage, so much potential for deaths to occur as they did yesterday in Jamaica due to this same storm. And now it is blowing into Canada and wreaking havoc far to the east of us in our own country as well.  

Earthquakes off the western coast on the weekend, today a super storm coming in off the east coast. And here we sit on the prairies under a mere coat of freezing rain......not so unexpected nor unusual.  It will have to be our turn eventually for far worse.  Perhaps this summer's tornadoes?? We can't be spared forever from natural disasters while the rest of the world suffers.

The weather of the world is running amok!

Homily Rough Draft From This Past Sunday aka When the Preacher's Away His Wife Can Play...


Sue’s Homily for Pentecost 22 
This week's readings:  Job 42: 1-6, 10-17; Ps. 34; Hebrews 7: 23-28; Mark 10: 46-52

I saw an Andy Capp cartoon strip this week that made me want to laugh because of its humour, but it also brought a quick tear to my eye because of its truth. 
In the cartoon the church service has ended and the vicar says to Andy Capp:  “I’ve noticed you nodding off during my sermon Mr. Capp.  Are you getting enough sleep?”
Andy Capp responds:  “Not really Vicar. Your sermons are a lot shorter these days!”
Hmmm…maybe there is too much truth in this short strip…what do you think?  I will try today to only give you time for a short nap.

One of the common themes in our readings today is the theme of deliverance.
Job was finally delivered from all the evil and testings that God had brought upon him through Satan.  Job experienced a prolonged time of trial, and a subsequent conversation with God himself that left Job in no doubt that God himself is worthy of praise and trust even though He refused to give Job an explanation of what led up to his wretched losses and his great suffering.  When Job finally acknowledged the greatness of his Creator, his family and friends, returned to him bearing all the comfort they had not previously provided and his possessions were restored in twice the number he had before.  “And Job died old and full of days,.”

(I find it interesting that God actually seems to have set Satan up to torment Job in order to prove to Satan and all the forces of evil that God’s people would be able to be trusting of their Creator even after a period of trials such as Job experienced, and Satan fell for it.  This gives me great confidence that no matter what trials have befallen me, I am not alone in the universe battling against them in some kind of friendless vacuum, surrounded by the evil outside.  God knows and is there to deliver me somehow at some point. Whether or not Job is a real person or an allegory about how a loving Creator, the forces of evil and mankind intersect, we can draw many lessons about how God operates from what can be otherwise a rather disturbing book in our Scriptural canon for those of us who grew up believing that a good and loving God must be “nice” at all times and ongoing problems make His existence suspect.  I suppose Job is not a popular biblical book for those who want to believe those things.)

Psalm 34 was one of my most favourite passages of scripture when I first decided to become a follower of Jesus back in 1972, the height of what was known as the Jesus People Movement.  We learned the Scriptures in those days by singing them.  This psalm is one of the first pieces of Scripture I ever learned.  I was taught a simple chorus for the first few verses. Let me teach it to you.  I’ll sing a line and then you sing it after me and we’ll have fun praising God together by using the Scripture.  (teach the song)

This psalm also talks about deliverance:  deliverance from terror by a trustworthy God who “ransoms the life of his servants, and none will be punished who trust in Him.”  As God’s people we do not live in fear of eternal punishment.  O yes, there are consequences when we do things that are in deliberate disobedience to God’s commands and many of these consequences are built into the way the universe and ourselves are created.  (life example) While a little healthy fear of wrongdoing and its consequences is not a bad thing, Psalm 34 reassures us that the fear of the Lord leads to righteousness and shows our trust in our Creator.  I have heard the “Fear of the Lord” defined as not really “fear” but simply “awe” and I would like to believe that because it sounds nice and not too scary and truly awe of God’s expression of love to us his people through the redeeming act of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for us can inspire a strong desire to want to please him in return for that sacrifice.  BUT sometimes I suspect a little dose here and there of actual fear of the awesomeness of God may not hurt those of us with a few rebellious tendencies!  Those of us who feel sometimes that we don’t need God’s guidance for everything and have, like I do, an occasional lapse into telling God, like a 4 year old, “Me wanna do it MYSELF!!”  (Those of you with children and grandchildren will know exactly what I am talking about.)

Even the passage in Hebrews demonstrates a form of deliverance, albeit a different type of deliverance than we have read about so far.  In this passage we are told that Jesus is our eternal and perfect High Priest and thatof course, all our earthly priests will, like ourselves be subject to their own weaknesses and temptations.  The earthly priests cannot save us from death or other consequences of our own sin, but are simply human vessels being used by God and who will one day leave us through the natural process of death.  We have been delivered from the temporal foibles of earthly teachers and placed into the spiritual safe keeping of Jesus Christ who is “holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens….who has been made perfect forever”.  Wow, who wouldn’t want to submit to a spiritual leader like that??

Finally, in our Gospel reading today, we read about an actual, literal deliverance from an earthly disease suffered by a human person.  Jesus and his disciples meet Bartimaeus as they are leaving Jericho.  Bartimaeus learns that the man passing by him as he sits begging on the streets, the man surrounded by crowds of people, is actually the famed Jesus of Nazareth.  Apparently Bartimaeus has heard of Jesus’ ability to heal the sick because he calls out to him, “Son of David, have mercy on me.”  Apparently even at this point in Jesus’ ministry there are those are still aren’t cluing in to what Jesus is doing and teaching.  They try to quieten Bartimaeus but he continues to call out to Jesus until he has his attention.  Jesus calls him to come to him and Bartimaeus, in the midst of his blindness, springs up, throws off his cloak and does just that.  That cloak may have been the only thing he owned, I don’t know, the passage doesn’t say so, but we can possibly surmise that if he is blind and begging in the streets that he took a risk in leaving it behind in his hurry to get to Jesus.  Jesus did heal him and restore his sight immediately and the man followed Jesus as he went on his way.

There are lessons for each of us to be learned as well in this passage of course, but I would caution us to refrain from the temptation to start going through such passages line by line and trying to get a healing for ourselves by creating a formula that “works every time, by cracky!”  We may have the faith of Bartimaeus, or think we do, and yet not receive physical healing or instant deliverance from a trial in our lives.  This is where we may meet the sometimes inscrutable God that we meet in Job. 
The Bible teaches us sweeping concepts like trusting in an invisible Creator who has shown us his love and deliverance from eternal death by sending a part of himself, Jesus, to earth to live as one of us, to suffer the same temptations, the same exhaustion, the same losses that we too experience and yet who becomes free of the earthly bondages. The stories in the Bible give glimpses of many ways that we can experience deliverance, many ways that we can learn to trust our Creator God, but each story is only a part of the whole picture of creation and of God’s work in it and in us.  We need to each seek our own relationship with God through Jesus.  We each need to learn our own lessons about trust and deliverance.  We each need to discover God in Christ for ourselves and for our own church community.  When we reduce God’s ways to a formula and try to plug our nickel into the slot machine to get the answer we expect God to give us, the one we have invented to make ourselves feel more secure, we are reducing God to our own human level and forgetting his vastness and his superior knowledge of the universe and of our own hearts and lives.

Let us ask God to teach us to learn to TRULY trust him and allow him to work out the details of our request…..there may be many surprises along the way, some quick and easy answers that delight us, and some answers for deliverance and healing that come about in ways we don’t appreciate at the time. Some answers to our prayers do not come quickly, or sometimes seemingly at all.  But as we walk in the Spirit, “simply trusting day by day” as the old hymn goes, let our “requests be made known unto God” and see what he does in our lives and how he accomplishes his will for our greatest ultimate benefit. 

It is a case of simple logic, “it is raining or it isn’t raining.”  Either we believe God when he says he loves us and that he can be trusted, or we don’t.  We need to find out where we stand on the issue of trust in our Heavenly Father. If you have not done it specifically before now, are you willing to take on a new adventure, to step out in faith and ask God to prove to you his trustworthiness and risk seeing what happens?  I can’t tell you how God will answer your prayers, but I can tell you it will be an adventure like no other.

The Lord be with you.

Not Quite the Day I Was Expecting

Fortunately my friend and I had all ready cancelled our lunch plans for the second time due to her bad cold.  Unfortunately I spent that lunch hour along with 3 other hours sitting in emergency in the hospital waiting to see a doctor for a prescription for a little issue that arose on the weekend.

Our poor town is in such a mess with only a doctor or 2 around to service the entire area of about ten thousand people.  One of those doctors, a great one who is retiring next month, was running the emerg. clinic today and when I finally did get in to see him he was incredibly helpful.

A good thing about being in a waiting room that long in a rural town like this is that everyone visits quite cheerily with each other even if they don't know each other, so the time passes fairly quickly. One of our parishioners was also there and we chatted for at least 2 hours during the wait.  What a great opportunity to get to know someone I haven't had much chance to befriend.  BONUS!!

The only downside was that the 5 year old girl had a mommy with a purse full of brownie treats for them to eat while the rest of us sat and starved our way through the lunch hour...by the time they were done eating I was ready to also eat the brownie treats, little girl and all!!!

My husband quite enjoyed his day at home alone.  It is a rare occurrence for him.  He was able to get some planning completed for his mother's funeral, happening this coming weekend. He was able to do some last minute checking on his course work for his students tomorrow morning.  He got a start on our parish Advent letter that has to be ready to mail out Wednesday morning. He created a new birdfeeder that won't have to be filled as often.  And all this because his loving wife was not there to pester him every 5 minutes with inane details of daily living. I suspect he had to keep himself too busy to start worrying about the freezing rain and fog he may be facing when he drives to school in the morning....sigh.....

For our one hour tv break this evening we will watch the first of the new episodes of Canada's Worst Driver.  We love that show.  I, in particular, adooooore it daaahling, smooch smooch, because it makes me look like a far better driver than I actually am in comparison to the people on the show.  

I get my personal edification where I can......

Icy Rain is On the Way After a Good Weekend of TV Sports!

The temperatures are on their way to slightly above zero so today's precipitation will arrive in the form of freezing rain.  Sigh....it is the worst thing for a prairie winter.  A layer of ice will cover absolutely every exposed surface, making driving treacherous and walking next to impossible until it all melts next March or April.  The worst case scenario once again for the 3rd winter in a row here.  Broken bones and concussions will become the daily norm for unfortunate folk all over town.  People here are quite blase about the whole thing, to them it is just what happens in the winter.  The idea that some creative solution could be considered to eliminate the ice and provide more safety for the citizens is not in the mind set; partly because there is just so darned much ice.  How to get ahead of it is a mystery with a solution likely far more expensive than the town can afford.  I remember how much money we had to spend at our house for "ice melt" crystals for our sidewalks last winter and how difficult it was to find in the stores by the new year due to sell outs. 

Here we go again.......more fatalities on the nearby highway this morning as a car and a semi slid and smashed into each other in the thick fog on black ice covered pavement.  My emotions are on overdrive as I try to focus on getting through another winter without either being physically injured outside or paralyzed by fear into never leaving the house!

The weather aside, it was a good weekend.  Helping with the one church service yesterday about did me in and I was tired by mid afternoon. 

What a delight to discover that the tv boxing matches I missed Saturday evening were being replayed Sunday afternoon.  Thank you HBO!  I put my feet up and spent my afternoon alternately dozing and cheering for athletes that I favour.  

The previous night  I watched the ladies' figure skating competition from Skate Canada and am delighted one of our new gals, Kaetlyn Osmond, won the competition.  She is young and it is her first professional competition I believe. She is going to be a powerhouse the like of which we haven't seen in Canada for some time.  Gone is the lazy, soothing grace of past winners like Jennifer Robinson and Karen Magnussen and we are back to a runaway train as our ladies champion. Looking forward to seeing what happens next for this girl.  

Bullriding was a bit of a disappointment as the bulls won too many rounds to keep it interesting, but I did enjoy seeing Chris Shivers in his final rides before retirement.  Unfortunately he was BO'd by his last 2 bulls, but he went out a champion with a champion's attitude:  no on camera temper tantrums nor sulks.  Congratulations Mr. Shivers on a great career.

My husband came safely home from his weekend seminars overjoyed with how things had gone, not only for himself but for the entire weekend.  Over 150 registrants from across the Diocese and that is most encouraging at a time when we are all struggling wondering what direction to take our parishes for the future.

Next up for us in the Diocese: the Episcopal Election in Dec. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

First Day Out On the Ice Alone

Today was a busy and somewhat awesome day!  After helping my husband get packed up early this morning for his weekend away and making sure the car got delivered to the mechanic for studded tires and a fix to the ignition, some work over at the church office and setting up more mouse traps for the garage, I stopped long enough to realize that getting the car back this afternoon would mean walking on the ice sans my wonderful protective husband!  Eeeeee.....

I confess the idea frightened me unduly.  I mean, what can you do when you live on the prairies in winter and every walking surface in town is covered with ice??  If I can't get out there on my own to some extent I might as well just move myself into a nursing home and stay there forever or until death do us part, whichever comes first.  I had been warned by other members of the Previously Broken Ankle Club that this first winter would be the most terrifying and they are right, but I am grateful I got a chance to handle the whole idea today.

Fortunately the town is small enough that when the mechanic called to let me know the car was ready, he also told me he would come and pick me up and take me to the shop to get it.  There, one definite bonus to rural prairie living.  I am so grateful for that.  He drove over in his nice big truck and was most solicitous getting me across the ice to the truck and up the shining, sparkling, gleaming icy uphill slope to his garage. He backed my car from the parking lot into an empty work bay so that I wouldn't have to walk on any more ice at his place.  It was wonderful.......but once I drove away and headed downtown I knew it was up to me to get over the ice on my own and not fall down.

First stop:  the hospital to visit a parishioner.  The parking lot is just as icy as the rest of the town and I nearly took a tumble getting out of my car, but got a grip on the top of the car door and my cane and steadied myself.  I need a new spike for the end of my cane and without it I can't put any weight on its slippery rubber end for support, but it is a great boost mentally to have it along.  Having it with me makes me FEEL safer.  Snail's pace, aka The Senior Shuffle, is safest on glare ice so it took me awhile to actually get across the parking lot to the hospital doors, but, huffing and puffing, praying and praising I got inside the doors with no problem.

Got back to the car the same way after my visit. I drove a few extra times around some of the blocks downtown in order to get parking spaces closest to the post office and the bank, but even then crossing mounds of glare ice along the curbs that got pushed up by heavy half ton truck tires and the like was a scary proposition.  Praying and praising I grit my teeth and steeled myself to relax.  A couple of small slips but no disasters and I was on my way back across town to Wally World to get milk.  While I was over at that end of town I checked out the Coop Gas Station for the first time.......a wonderfully efficient place and I will go there again.  Unlike every other retail and government outlet in town, Coop Gas has actually ploughed out their lot and packed the ice up along the outskirts of the lot so we had a fairly dry place around the gas pumps. Way to go Coop Gas!

That was the end of my errands and I was completely elated to have survived my first icy outing on my own, no husband to cling to as I skated my way around town. God was merciful to me today, that is for sure.  

Elation makes me hungry (doesn't everything make me hungry??? Sigh....) and so when I noticed the parking lot at my favourite little Chinese restaurant was ice free, I pulled in there for an early supper!  I deserve it right?  For all the confidence I gained by today's little foray over the icy streets?  Right??

When I got home it was dry enough to be able to access the garage doors with little ice to have to step on.  What a relief to be home, safe, no more broken bones despite the horrendous amount of ice all over town.  The studded tires grip ice very well and I am relieved my husband will be able to drive the 60 km to school next week in less than 90 minutes!  YAY!!

 
So, that is my personal joy for the day!   Tomorrow I think I will be able to settle down and wrap my head around my homily for Sunday.  The research is done, now I just need to get something of what I learned down on paper and make it stretch into 10 minutes of something resembling intelligence to present at church.  I am so grateful for Parishioner Bonnie who will be presiding over the majority of the service.  She is a grand helper and friend.

All my chores are done.  I can probably stay home tomorrow and bask in the rosy confident glow of today.  It is all good.  Perhaps on Sunday I will venture out again for awhile in the afternoon.  

If I get my homily done early enough tomorrow I may spend some time working on a mental puzzle, a real conundrum:  since the street cleaner cleans the street in front of our house at least twice a week all spring and summer, whether it needs it or not, why hasn't the snowplough come anywhere near my street since the ice arrived?  This one will keep me busy for hours and hours working on the solution!

Tomorrow will be another busy day!

A Cute Cartoon...and So Realistic as Well!!

Andy Capp Cartoon for Oct/26/2012
Copyright 2012 Creators Syndicate Inc.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Whatta Way to End the Day!

Today was a good day but it has ended on a yukky note: a mouse in the garage!

I hate mice.......I detest mice....I loathe mice...you get the idea.

After my company left this afternoon I got the not so bright idea that I should fill the hanging feeder as the birds had emptied the entire thing in 2 days flat!  

Problem: my husband hung the feeder. My husband is tall.  I am short.  I managed to get the feeder down from the hanging wire after ripping a hole in my good leather glove and schmearing the other glove with bird poop. I rejoiced that I was successful even though I ruined my good gloves in the process.  I started to rejoice too soon.  With a loud SCHPRUUUUNG, the wire loop that holds the feeder to the cord across the deck flew up into the air and landed in the snow around my feet somewhere.  I thought I could find the little hole it made in the snow where it landed and I was right. But in the process of trying to grab it out of the snow I missed and ended up jamming it through the split wood decking and watched it fall underneath the deck.  No way to crawl under the deck that far to retrieve it. Sigh......so, I just took the feeder down and took it into the house to fill with seeds.

Well, I am a problem solver by nature, so I decided I could get some piano wire and string a new hook for the feeder and reattach it to the cord.  Yeah..........not so much........I got the hook made okay, but of course couldn't reach up high enough to get it over the cord.  Okay, no worries.  I have a great plastic footstool to stand on.  So, I shovelled out a safe place under the cord to put the stool and shoved it up against the picnic table leg for extra safety so it wouldn't slip out from under me. People with broken ankles have to take these safety precautions, ya' know!

I stretched, I strained, I just couldn't quite get my arms up high enough to hook the dumb wire over the cord no matter how far up on  tiptoes I could go.  A vision of the footstool somehow managing to slip out from under my feet and me ending up butt over teakettle with another broken ankle convinced me to get the heck down and not take such a stupid risk.  The frame of the net house is permanently attached to the deck and I could reach up to hang the feeder from the top edge quite easily.  Yes, perfect, since the feeder needs to be filled every couple of days and my husband will be away over the weekend, leaving me to feed the livestock.  Who needs that stupid cord hanging up there too high in the sky anyway?


I looped the wire over the frame and reached out for the bird feeder to attach it.  All I grasped was air.  I searched frantically around the deck for the feeder but there was no sign of it.  As I stood wondering how on earth it could have disappeared so completely in such a short amount of time, a nuthatch swooped right past my face on its way to the other feeder.  He was so close he bumped my glasses and they nearly fell into the snow!!  Then he landed on the nut feeder, where he sat and bawled me out at the top of his lungs. WOW, if you have never been told off by a nuthatch, it is an experience to be missed if at all possible!  I learned a valuable lesson: do not PO a nuthatch!!!!

I recovered my glasses and my equilibrium and spotted the feeder still sitting inside the patio door.  Of course.....  I opened the door, reached in to grab the feeder and missed.  All I managed to do was knock it over. It spilled hundreds of seeds all over the boot mat and the surrounding living room carpet. Sigh..... It took awhile to scoop up as many seeds as I could with my ripped and ragged glove but I got most of them.  I hung the feeder on the net house frame and staggered back inside the house, dragging the snowy footstool behind me.

I jigged around for a few minutes on one foot, trying to avoid the snow falling into the seeds on the mat and carpet as I struggled to pull down the zippers on my boots. There is no chair near the patio door to sit down on and take off boots like a sane person. The first one came off no problem but the second one snagged itself on my sock.  Sigh.......I tugged and pulled and eventually ripped my sock, but the zipper came loose at that point and I knew I would not be wearing that boot forever. I jigged and hopped and stomped snow all over the carpet trying to dislodge the boot from my foot and eventually got free of the blasted thing.  I was so relieved I forgot to look down before my foot hit the carpet.  Of course I stepped right into the pile of wet seeds that had been deposited when I knocked over the feeder and then flung snow from my boots on them.  Sigh.....

The sock was torn anyway so I pulled it off and left it in the seedy pile.  I washed the snow from the bottom of the stepstool and put it away. Then I had to wait for the snow around the rest of the spilled seeds to dry so I could vaccuum them up without electrocuting myself.  

Nearly an hour of time had been spent on this project.  As I stood and stared at the pile of wet seeds and immersed stocking I thought I smelled smoke......not burning pile of leaves smoke, more like something left on a stove burner kind of smoke.  NOOOOOO!!  Into the kitchen I raced to discover my wonderful steak burning away to a crisp, smoke starting to billow out from under the lid of the pan.  I flung the kitchen window open and started fanning the smoke outside. Fortunately I managed to get rid of it in sufficient quantity that the smoke alarm didn't come on. Whew!  BUT no dinner for me....unless you count the half brick of Maple Walnut iced cream I ate instead...and I don't even like iced cream!  Sigh......gotta get some groceries......

Eventually the carpet around the wet seeds dried up.  I was able to vaccuum up the rest of the mess and throw away the sock I destroyed in my boot zipper. And it was one half of a brand new pair too.........Sigh....

I gathered up the seed scoops and bins to return them to the garage.  Just as I put them down on the garage floor I happened to glance over at the mouse traps in the corner....traps we set back in the spring and never caught any mice, nor have we ever seen any evidence of mice in our garage.  It had been a simple precaution just in case, because we live so close to the farmers' fields on the edge of town.

However, what did I spy with my little eye but one of the traps flipped completely over.  There was a long mouse tail hanging out from one end of the trap and a mouse nose from the other end, obviously a very recent kill.  Eeeeewwwww!  NOOOOOO!! Not a mouse invasion!!   Ooooh, I hate mice.  I detest mice. I loathe mice.  You get the idea......

Off to find a glove.  I picked up the trap and deposited it and the mouse and the glove into the garbage can and put the lid on tight.  We got a good deal on traps a couple of years ago:  20 traps for $6.  Looks like I will have to set up another trap in the garage......actually my husband is going to have to do it, if he ever gets home on the terrible winter roads tonight.  That will be his punishment for being so blasted tall and hanging the bird feeders so blasted high!  

 

Brrrrrr and Ice and Snow and Drifts and Slush....and Birdies!

Good morning on a chilly winter day.  The highways are not completely closed but travel is not recommended.  In any other province the roads in this condition WOULD be closed but here in the middle of the prairies these roads are a mere challenge to travel.  Yikes!

If the college doesn't call here in about a half hour looking for my husband then I will know he arrived there okay despite roads that are covered with ice, slush, drifting snow, black ice patches, wet patches subject to freezing and all that good stuff. His 40 minute trip to school took him 90 minutes a couple of days ago on less evil road conditions so I wonder if he will even achieve his top speed, from that day, of 50 km per hour this morning.

Earlier this morning I opened up the patio doors and shovelled a path over to the bird bath.  The snow was nearly a foot deep, wet and heavy. Wow, I barely made it trying to shovel a path about ten feet long.  How on earth did my poor husband manage yesterday to shovel our entire system of walkways ( about the length of one side of a city block) FOUR times???

I refilled the bird bath with room temperature water.  While I was shovelling and watering I was aware of all the birds sitting in the tree branches above and around me.  I could sense their anticipation of my leaving and them returning to bathe and feast.  However the 2 nuthatches and the downy woodpecker decided I wasn't all that scary and didn't bother to await my departure.  Before I was done filling the bird bath they were sitting inches away on the feeders, chowing down without a care in the world.  Even when I spoke to them I elicited no more response than a quick turn of their heads to look in my direction before resuming their munching ways. Very cute!

My lunch date is cancelled today.  My friend has a serious cold and while she was thinking she could attempt the lunch out, I am not willing to be exposed to any more colds than I have all ready been exposed to in the past few days.  It can't be good for her to be out in the cold and icy conditions either when she should be home in bed resting and getting well, right?  We have rescheduled for next week.

Tomorrow morning is studded snow tire installation morning.  The second those tires are on my husband heads off to the big Diocesan seminar weekend.  He is teaching one of the sessions and his "workshop" now has over 40 people registered.  So he has had to revamp (in all his spare time, yeah......so much of that.....) the entire session. BUT what fun he has doing these things. Fortunately he receives great restoration for his soul and mind when he teaches.  If he didn't this would be the worst semester of his life due to the shear amount of committments he took on before knowing his mother was going to pass away only a week before the whole gong show began this fall.  She passed away literally 2 days before he had to return to work after his summer holiday that wasn't.  I pray he can have proper time to grieve while we are back in BC next week for the funeral.

Last night we went to vote in the civic election.  The voter turn out was amazing in this little town for a hard fought election.  At noon today we will find out who our new mayor and council are going to be.  I admit to hoping that we do indeed have a new mayor and some new councillors as it may be good to shake up the long term planning a bit in this town.  We have lost so much of our retail sector, have close to zero percent affordable housing and the attitude around town has become very defeatist.  Maybe some new blood can start us toward a turn around.  At least it would be worth a try.  The old boy network in these rural areas is pretty hard to break out of.

I have a special phone call planned today with an out of town friend and then later this afternoon I will be able to plan the local Sunday service with my friend and cohort from church.  Looking forward to that.  A few dishes to do from pastor's fellowship, a long hot shower and hair treatment and starting on my homily for Sunday will round out a good day at home.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Well Written Article on the Book of Common Prayer and Other Anglican History

Enjoyed reading this interesting account in The NewYorker about our history as Anglicans aka People of the Book.

Click here: http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2012/10/22/121022crat_atlarge_wood?currentPage=all

REAL WInter is Here

Wow, when we wait this long for the arrival of winter we often get our wish and then some.  In the past 36 hours we have had nearly a foot of snow and the ice on the highways is so bad that the out of town school buses are not running as they can't get proper traction on the pavement.  

Yesterday there were some terrible accidents on the highway close to town and at least one person was killed.  My husband took the car in this morning to the tire shop for new winter tires but upon discussion with the shop owner he opted for studded tires instead for all the ice driving we will be doing through the Rocky Mountains next month. He will return the car in a couple of days to the tire shop and limp along for another day or 2 with the summer tires. 

My husband just informed me that I will not be walking uptown for my lunch with a friend tomorrow....not because the ice is so bad on the sidewalks but because we got another 4 inches of snow overnight and there are knee high drifts across most of the sidewalks.  Shovelling is not a huge priority for a fair number of homeowners along my route downtown, so since he has the car tomorrow out of town I am not going anywhere.  I am glad I don't have to be out there slogging through the drifts.

Yesterday was a big enough deal for me just getting out in my winter boots for the length of the walk to the curb and back and the same at my friend's where I had tea. Walking even those few steps on the ice and snow without falling down and re-injuring my ankle is restoring my confidence.  Being able to zip the boot zipper over the deformity in my tibia made me feel more confident because in the previous 2 years that I wore those boots I never once slipped or fell. It is shocking to me how one broken ankle can cause such dread of the winter conditions the next year.  But I feel better now that I have made my first foray outside in the snow.

Maybe I am going to survive this winter business after all.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Our Side Yard is For the Birds

I have never had much fascination with birds.  Never disliked them, just didn't have any interest.  But that has changed over the past few months since my husband installed a couple of bird feeders and a bird bath.

Today was hilarous in our resident bird kingdom.  Today's weather was miserable for every species of the animal kingdom...the plant kingdom smartly gave up some time ago, shed their leaves and went into winter hibernation.  But the birds are just hysterical these days.

Today we realized why the smaller finches and sparrows have been beating their wings against our main kitchen window, chief lookout for bird watching, at various times over the past week or 2. It is a new behaviour for them here.  Their apparent attempts to infiltrate the kitchen have coincided with the feeders being empty.  Once my husband goes out and restores their food source they stay well away from the window.  Somewhere in those little birdie brains a connection has been made that those moving figures on the other side of the window are the source of food supply. A large lapland longspur, easily identified by its dark cap of feathers resembling a mohawk cut, pecked away at the glass, beating its wings and bashing its chubby tummy against the window pane.  2 sparrows and a male finch sat on the narrow window sill, nose to nose with me on the other side of the glass and peeped dismally. My husband finally caved and went to fill the feeders.  The bird kingdom was once again at peace.  No more frantic flapping and pecking at the window.

The small downy woodpecker was quite surprised when she could not dislodge any sort of insect or other food item from the wrought iron frame that was hidden under the net house until we removed the netting yesterday afternoon.  She hung on for dear life and tried her best to find something worthy of ingestion, but no success so she eventually gave up and returned to the tree trunks where she belongs.

My husband put a heating tape around the bird bath so that there is at least a small pool of water in around the ice at all times.  Finches, sparrows, blue jays and junkos all took their turns drinking the melt.  But the most hilarious sight was the huge robin who skidded on the ice and landed bum feathers first into the water, seemed to like the nice heat when he backed his bottom up closest to the side with the warm tape and proceeded to wiggle himself down into the warm water where he sat with his eyes closed, emitting little puffs of air from his beak, for about a half hour.  Guess he thought he had discovered a birdie spa.

I catch myself now, as I stand at the sink washing dishes, looking for little birds who have become favourites, such as the pair of nuthatches who can hang upside down under the feeder and snap up the bits of nuts sticking out the bottom that the other birds can't manoeuver themselves around to eat.

I find myself getting after the finches who fight and beat at each other for no apparent reason other than the fact that they can do so.

Today I ran outside to collect a small ladybug who, in hibernation, had fallen from either a tree branch or a bird beak down onto the snow under the window and was in danger of freezing.  I managed to bury her under some leaves and I think she will be just fine.  Her wee scrawny legs began to wave in the leaves and she crawled deeper into the pile.  I stood up to find the woodpecker staring me right in the face from only a few feet away as if I was an animal in a cage at the zoo, but she didn't fly off when I started to move back toward the house.

Maybe there is something to this bird watching thing after all. 

I have a few pictures of my son at various ages holding various species of birds who have landed on his fingers or atop his head, unbidden and unexpectedly, over the years.  Perhaps this St. Francis of the Birds thing is hereditary but in reverse.

Yes, Patty, I know.......I need to get a life....hahahaha

Requiem For Wally

I have been advised that the disappointment regarding my recent sad experience in attempting to buy sports shoes at WalMart is worthy of a poem and my advisor even supplied the title.  Bullwinkle, this one's for you: (and that'll larn ya' for  ever making such a suggestion! hohoho)

Requiem For Wally

O Wally World, O Wally World
You really let me down.
You wiped the smug smile off my face,
Left in its place a frown.

No sports shoes on your shelves to find.
You surely put me in a bind.
The dusty boxes I did sort,
But in the end I came up short.

Velcro, zippers, 
but no laces.
Wait! There's a pair
And I'm off to the races

In molded white plastic and rubber,
I see those shoes and want to blubber.
There they sit upon my toes
While tears of sorrow drip off my nose.

To the cashier's till I raced
A false smile pasted on my face.
I paid her for the stupid shoes,
Then drove home to cry the blues.

Yes I found some sturdy shoes,
My hatred for them is not news.
No leather, polished and unfurled,
Only plastic and rubber at Wally World.

O Wally World, O Wally World
You really let me down.
Your discount sport shoes really suck!
Now Pay-Less wears the crown. 


Yup, I am Living in a Really Small Town!

I thought that in this shoestore-less town I would have no trouble getting a pair of cheap sports shoes at our local WalMart, even though it is the teeny tiny version outlet.  Last winter I purchased my first sports shoes since the age of 15 in order to assist the healing of my ankle.  They have finally worn out after 10 months of daily wear.  Not bad for molded plastic and rubber that only cost $29.95!

Despite my hatred of sports shoes, but knowing they are still best for supporting my ankle, I headed out to our wee WallyWorld assuming I could locate a cheap pair once again with no trouble. Cheap plastic and rubber sports shoes are the mainstay of their shoe department.

Wrongo!  I cast wildly about the rows and rows of cheap rubber and plastic shoes but none of them were sports shoes.  Where had they all gone??  How could a discount store with family clothing as a mainstay stop selling sports shoes???  I went into shock before discovering a few leftover pair on a shelf along the back wall beside the shoe department.  It took some time and effort to sort through what few big, awkward, dusty shoe boxes remained to locate a pair in my size AND in a style and colour I can live with. (as in NOT velcro fasteners and NOT white)  When I found one I was disappointed all over again.  My size, but the super wide variety as marked by a giant W on the box.  Since I have AAA width feet and find it difficult enough to find footwear of any kind in a discount store, I was very discouraged and wondering where on earth I could get shoes without a trip to the city that there was no time to take.

Digging through the boxes a second time I did find a non-W pair in my size.  They fit well enough and took my orthotics okay so I decided I had better purchase them.  They did have laces rather than velcro but the white plastic nearly knocked my eyes out. Oh well, ya' can't always have everything. I decided beggars can't be choosers and at least they were only $27.50 instead of $45 dollars for the other plastic and rubber disasters.  I was chafing with irritation at this point, but what can you do when you can't stretch the old shoes for one more day of use?

Of course when I got to the tills I discovered there were as many cashiers available as there were boxes of sports shoes...aka NOT ENOUGH!  I waited in one line and then another and then got called to the customer service till just as another woman with a return jumped in ahead of me there. The cashier didn't bother to mention that she had called me over as next in line, so I waited again. The dear lady had no idea how to use the credit card machine to reverse her purchase and the cashier wasn't getting through to her why when you pay with a credit card you have to reverse the transaction with the same card, so I knew it would be another long wait and back to the first till I went....just as 2 young moms with 2 carts filled to the brim with new purchases, old returns and screaming toddlers beat me to it.  Sigh......the other till that was open had a lineup stretching across the aisle and down through Ladies Wear, so I settled in for the duration.  What a hassle for a pair of WHITE plastic and rubber sports shoes I didn't even want. Sigh...

BUT all the hassle was rewarded with a special treat when the cashier rang in my purchase.  Since the store is going out of all the lines of sports shoes they have been carrying, the pair I had was on sale for a clearance price:  $9 (yup, NINE) dollars!!  NINE DOLLARS!!  What a wonderful reward for all the searching through dusty shoe boxes and waiting in lineup after lineup at the tills.

Sometimes you get a little treat for your attempts to be patient, even if they sort of fail.  $9 for the ugly, hated sports shoes was a great treat for not telling off the management of the store, for not cursing out the doddling cashiers nor the rude, pushy people who cut me off at the tills.  It was my reward for having to wear the stupid shoes in the first place.

That Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining, cliched old saw, was never truer than when I bought the shoes I am wearing on my feet today.  YES!! Sometimes pain does result in gain!

Universal Laws of Camping

Yesterday I received mail from a friend who knows how much my husband loves camping and how much I detest it.  The piece she sent is titled Universal Laws of Camping.  It is quite long so I won't reprint it all here, but will select the "laws" that I have found to be the most consistently true.

1.  Any stone in a hiking boot migrates to the point of maximum pressure.

3.  The number of mosquitoes at any given location is inversely proportional to the amount of repellent that remains.

8.  Waterproof clothing isn't. (However it is 100% effective at containing sweat.)

11. Tent stakes come only in the quantity "N - 1" where N is the number of stakes necessary to stake down a tent.

13. Matches will find a way to get wet.

14. Your side of the tent will be the side that leaks.

19.  All tree branches in a forest grow outward from their respective trunks at exactly the height of your nose.

21.  Rain. ('nuff said)

22. Enough dirt will get tracked into the tent on the first day out that you can grow the food you need for the rest of the trip in rows between the sleeping bags.

24.  Bears. (see Rain)

26.  Tents never come apart as easily when you're leaving a site as when you're trying to get them set up in the first place.


Winter Has Finally Arrived!!

See, see, I told ya'!  Wash the car and see what happens:  ice, snow and slush all over the place!

I knew before I got out of bed this morning that the freezing rain and snow had arrived because I slept deeply and well; better than I have slept for the past few weeks.  The aches and pains in my leg muscles and my back disappeared sometime between 2am and 7am when the alarm rang. 

Days like today I am proud of my husband who will be able to drive the 60 km to school on the ice with no snow tires because he knows how to drive in conditions such as these.  He doesn't get rattled if someone comes up behind him wanting to pass him on the ice.  He just plods safely along and tries to work his way over to the side of the road sufficiently to allow such a vehicle to pass him as soon as possible.  He doesn't panic when there is a thick layer of snow covering the highway with hidden black ice underneath.  He just plods along, leaving home extra early to allow enough time to arrive safely at school. I pray the ploughs have been out before he has to come back.

So glad that a week ago we made an appointment to have our snow tires put on....unfortunately tomorrow is the day for that event, but at least he only has today's trip out of town on summer tires.  People in the city will still be waiting 3 to 4 weeks for tire change appointments if they didn't call for one long ago all ready. 

The season of dread has arrived at last.  I will not be attempting to shovel snow just yet. My ankle hasn't healed so completely to date that I can risk another fall on the ice.  Bless my dear husband who has to add shovelling into his roster of busyness, at least for the first part of the winter.  His cheerfulness about making up for my present deficiencies is real and true....one of the things I love about the man.  He never complains at times like this when I have to renege on what has been my area of winter work outdoors.  What would I do without him?  Ummm....fall down a lot is what I would do!

In other news:  I am going to a dear parishioner's for tea this afternoon.  She is a fun lady and I am looking forward to a good visit.

Tomorrow is snow tire application and also voting day for electing the local mayor and town council. This year I feel prepared to vote, more familiar with the issues and candidates.

The following day I am supposed to be going out for lunch with another parishioner...assuming I can walk to the restaurant safely by then. Lunch out? Someone to visit with?  I WILL find a way!

Our Diocesan event out at Caronport campus starts this Friday.  I can't go as I need to stay here to assist with the local church service, but my husband has found someone to carpool with and so I will have the car for the weekend.  In this weather that is quite a relief.  The fellow my husband is going with is from this area and knows how to drive on these roads in winter.

I am going to start this morning preparing my homily for Sunday, as well as pick the hymns and get a head start on the bulletin.  

I am grateful that I remembered to take the garbage to the curb last night for today's pick up as I can't skate out there this morning.

So, winter has arrived and the change in barometric pressure has relieved me of aches and pains, my husband is cheery and accepting of his winter driving today sans snow tires, I have plans for the rest of the week and life is generally looking up.  Once I have taken my first icy walk without falling down my confidence will be restored to some extent.  Now, if I can just get my safe crepe soled winter boot zippered up over my now slightly deformed tibia bone all will be well.  If not I am up the creek with no proper local shoe store to buy new ones.  I suppose there is always the good old Sears Catalogue.......o wow, I haven't had to use that for a few decades!

It's going to be an interesting winter around here this year I suspect.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Best Email Forward Ever

I love the following because I can see myself doing this very thing some day!


Harold was an old man. He was sick
and in the hospital.There was one nurse
that just drove him crazy.
Every time she came in, she would talk
to him like he was a little child. She
would say in a patronizing tone of voice,
'And how are we doing this morning',

17grinzold-man-hosp-nurse
or 'Are we ready for a bath', or 'Are we hungry?'
Old Harold had had enough of this
particular nurse. One day, at breakfast,
Old Harold took the apple juice off the
tray and put it in his bed side stand.
Next, he was given a urine bottle
to fill for testing.
So you know where the juice went!
17grinzUrine
The nurse came in a little later, pickedup the urine bottle and looked at it.
'My, it seems we are a little cloudy today. '
At this, Old Harold snatched the bottle
out of her hand, popped off the top,
and drank it down, saying,
'Well, I'll run it through again.
Maybe I can filter it better this time.'
The nurse fainted!
Old Harold just smiled!
17grinzzfunny-old-man
DON'T MESS WITH 'OLD' PEOPLE!





My Final Wish On the List

...is that some of my friends and family who read my Wish List in the previous post would understand I was not revealing the poignant yearnings of a wistful soul.

The personal items on the list were merely a few things that could be fun to experience or to return to.  The serious items, like world peace and cures for diseases are of course things I cannot achieve on my own and would be on most of your wish lists as well with no accompanying angst, plus to me it seemed fairly obvious that some of the items listed are a total joke!

Thank you for your emails and phone calls but I hadn't intended to set off such a firestorm of unneeded emotional support.  Bless you all for your concern.  

I continue to forget that tone of voice is missing from the written word and that I need to make the emotions I am feeling at the time of writing more clear. Even my supposedly obvious bits of sarcasm in the previous post went unheeded by a few of you....yikes, and I thought I was so good at that.

And so dear friends and family, here is my response to you and I think my tone of voice this time WILL be clear:  

LIGHTEN UP!  (Pretend there is a smiley faced emoticon right here.)

You are a very cute bunch of friends and family but please relax. Go back over my Wish list and do a lot of giggling okay?

I love and appreciate you all but....sheesh....family members, get a grip!!  (Pretend there is a cute eye rolling emoticon right here.)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

I Wish.............

- I wasn't so tired

- I lived in a warmer climate sans ice and snow

- I was younger, thinner, taller, prettier, more talented

- My son lived closer to his parents

- I wasn't an only child

- My husband wasn't so tired and overly busy

- I had never broken my ankle, hip and kneecap

- I was more logical and less emotional

- I was more able academically

- I could still play the piano as well as I could 20 years ago

- More of my good friends lived closer to where I live

- I could summon the energy to finish washing the windows and taking down the net house on the deck before the snow comes....as in getting it all done this afternoon!

- I could force myself to clean out the refrigerator freezer to make room for 3 gallons of spaghetti sauce

- I had thought about the fact that I have no room left in my refrigerator freezer before making 3 gallons of spaghetti sauce

- Church folk could get as excited about Jesus as they do about fundraisers

-  That we could raise as many new disciples as we do dollars for church building upkeep

- That we would all know when to speak and when to remain silent

- That we could all heal our family dysfunctions quickly and completely

-  That the farmers could get high enough prices for their grain and livestock

- That local retailers could compete with big box discount stores

- That our food processing plants could be reliably safe for workers and for us as consumers

- For world peace (well, hey, I won't ever get to be Miss Canada if I don't wish for that, right?)

- For loving homes for every unplanned or unwanted child

- For cures for cancer and AIDS

- For we Christians to return to our "first love", Jesus

- For people of all political and pseudo religious persuasions to realize that violence only begets more violence rather than true solutions


- For healthy food that tastes like cheeseburgers and pizza and chocolate chip cookies

- For a big house of our own and an assortment of employees to do all the yard work and cleaning and cooking and building maintenance

- For the ants to stop taking the good soil away from my summer flowers in the hanging baskets

- For a "green thumb" so I can stop blaming the ants for my dead summer flowers each year

- For better ways to assist my aging parents across the miles

- For a thankful heart for all that is good in life

- For a more listening ear and willingness to obey all that I know God is asking of me

- For the ability to comfort those who are hurting

- For more compassion than I currently possess

- That I would waste less time worrying about things and more time applying solutions

- To be a better wife

- To be able to show genuine interest in things that do not interest me at all, for the sake of others and to learn to relate better to people I have nothing in common with

- To just relax and enjoy life

- To sleep more than 3 or 4 hours each night


- To be able to quickly get ready for church now because I have frittered away my time writing this wish list. AAAAACK!!  I am going to be late........

-  For time travel to be real so that I could rewind this morning and not be late for church!!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Who Decided That Spinach Flavoured Tortilla Wraps Are A Good Idea?

I have never enjoyed eating the now popular tortilla shaped wraps.  I find them gummy and tasteless even when properly browned and warmed. I have never tasted sawdust but my suspicion is that were I to do so the flavour would be comparable.

Tonight for dinner I endured the worst tasting wrap ever made.  The packaging claims that these particular wraps include spinach, healthy innocuous spinach and they are bright green in colour.

These wraps have stolen the innocence of spinach stalks far and wide.  They are filled with spinach powder (POWDER?? How do you powder a spinach??) and they taste the way  my husband's carpentry shop used to smell:  dry and woody with a slight hint of something undetectable that probably shouldn't be ingested by living beings and is in all likelihood stuck permanently to the bottom of your shoe.

The concept of spinach powder leads my stream of consciousness next to talcum powder which leads to the idea of soggy baby bottoms.......well, no wonder these spinach wraps are so gag-a-licious!  Blecch! Pooey!  Yuckko!!

And so for my dinner I ruined 2 perfectly decent slices of chicken, a lovely fresh leaf of romaine lettuce and the last teaspoon of my favourite mustard by wrapping them up in this spinach powder infested round of green chewiness.

So much for healthy eating for the rest of the evening.  It is going to take a lot of soda and peanut butter to get the taste of that wrap out of my mouth.  

If someone ever asks you if you would like a spinach flavoured wrap around your favourite meat and veggies, do yourself a favour and run screaming from the room! Do not under any circumstance short of starvation convince yourself that eating it will be a good idea.

On the Outside Looking In

I have decided that no matter how much excellent counselling a person receives as an adult when trying to come to terms with past events, no matter how well it helps a person to move on and enjoy life, there are some feelings that simply refuse to leave, perhaps a touch of wounding that never competely heals.  I experienced one of those feelings last evening and have been ruminating on it for the past hour or so.

One of our church congregations put on a wonderful fundraiser last night.  There was fabulous shepherd's pie and salads and buns, a live band, dancing and singing along, a couple of wee cutie patooties to watch enjoying themselves on the dance floor, new friends to sit with for the evening, a great spirit of cameraderie between the folk of that church, visitors from the other church and community people my husband and I have never seen before.  My husband and I, two non-dancers if ever there were such a twosome, even danced a dance together much to the roaring, clapping delight of our parishioners...and the punch wasn't even spiked!!!  Our new friends brought their 3 month old baby along so he and I did a few turns around the dance floor....him with his teeny earplugs to protect his hearing from such loud instruments in the tiny hall. It was so much fun. It seems that on the prairies even entertainment is simple and plain and enjoyed heartily but with no big fuss.

And yet.......under all the fun and food and friends, was a pervading sense of being on the outside looking in.  I wasn't conscious of it every minute and it didn't ruin my evening, but it was there.  It is a lurking feeling that haunts me at some point during every group event I attend, any event, anywhere, any time.  I can be with the best friends I have ever had in my life, doing the most fun things I can imagine and suddenly that little niggling suspicion that I am not really part of the group will rear its ugly head.  Sometimes it is fleeting and gone within seconds and other times the suspicion stays with me and brings me to tears if I am tired enough.  Fortunately that is a rare occurrence.

I am thinking about it this morning and wondering if I will ever get over these feelings.  At what point will they go away?  Will they ever go away while I am still young enough to care about fun and friendship?  Will I just reach a point where I am so old and incompetent I don't have the ability to care any more about being an accepted part of a group?  Worse to contemplate: as I enter old age will these feelings be exacerbated instead of fading away??

It is rare that I spend much time analyzing myself or my own feelings. Usually it seems a self-indulgent luxury I can't afford the time or energy for and it drives me nuts when other people go on ad nauseum about their own self-analysis, but today I am indulging myself.  

It is most interesting to me that even during a time of attempting to analyze my own feelings I still feel like that outsider looking in on someone else's emotions.

Wierd......but interesting........veeeeeeery interesting.....okay, well, it is to me.......because it is all about me.  teehee

In other news:  I sat up into the early hours of this morning to watch the movie "Albert Nobbs"  I thoroughly enjoyed Glenn Close's performance. It is a strange little show but so incredibly well acted and filmed.  Janet McTeer's performance is also quite fabulous. Some people will not appreciate the subject matter I suppose, but I thought it was wonderfully done. I don't watch many movies but what fun to lose yourself in someone else's story for a couple of hours.  No, I don't merely watch a movie.  I am IN the movie!  As a result, watching a movie exhausts me. If I watch a movie in the evening I am guaranteed to sleep well.

My parents have decided they are ready after all for Meals on Wheels.  My innundation of their freezer with my own pre-prepared frozen meals has convinced them it is time.  The stress of having to plan and execute dinner every evening has lifted from them. A friend of theirs who delivers Meals on Wheels brought them a couple of meals to try and they were very pleased with those, so....another huge weight off my mind.  Now my parents will eat properly and sufficiently.  What a relief....no more sharing an apple for dinner because they are too tired to cook.

A parishioner survived well his open heart surgery yesterday....triple bypass and the man is only in his 50's.  FIVE major blockages around his heart.  Aiiii......yiiii.....we are so grateful he is doing well thus far.  Hopefully we can go to visit him next week and encourage him on his way to living on salads and chicken for the rest of his life.

In my frantic need suddenly to downsize I am delighted that my son is taking a set of dishes and silver off my hands and the daughter of a friend is taking another set.  YAY!!!  My husband has made a valiant start on cleaning out some of his own "stuff" from the garage and has given up a large box of books........willingly!!!!  It's a miracle.......

Downsizing has reminded me of the old saying, "Junk is the stuff you throw out and stuff is the junk you keep."

We are getting excited about December's episcopal election.  Candidates are coming forward and it is good.

Only 2 weeks until we are reunited with family in Kelowna for my husband's mother's funeral.

Still no snow.