Sunday, November 30, 2014

My Team Won the Grey Cup....Yippee!!

Okay, one of the reasons they won was because of a last minute penalty against a Hamilton player, (and I feel SO terrible for that man, as he must be just sick about his error), but they did play extremely well for the most part.  Good for them!

My world stops on Grey Cup Sunday once that game begins each year.  I love Grey Cup games.  I planned my dinner around the game, raced around doing dishes and ironing clothes during half time so I wouldn't miss one moment of the game and just had a great time enjoying the last of this year's football.

Enjoy your trophy Calgary. You fought hard this season to get it.

Pre-Christmas Shopping and Other Extravaganzas

I am laughing at all the special shopping day  names that are popular these days.

This morning I was looking at ads and articles about Red Thursday, Boxing Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  What's next?  Puce Tuesday?  Wicker and Wire Wednesday?  Sippy Cup Saturday?  The retail business is getting crazier all the time in order to remain competitive and, in some cases, simply manage to remain viable. For me they are simply the best days to stay out of the stores and away from the crowds of folk seeking bargains that seem rather elusive even on such highly touted sale days...not quite the effect retailers are looking for.  This time of year I am always grateful that our family ceased the gift giving about a decade ago.  At most we give each other a few dollars for the sake of  putting the money toward some treat each person actually wants to have.  Works for us!

My husband is about half way toward his first destination of the morning.  O my, he had to leave early!!  I was out shovelling snow away from the garage door just after 6:30am so he could get the car out.  My old terrytowel bathrobe...well HIS terrytowel bathrobe that I have on permanent not that warm in -36C temperatures and my fingers were somewhat immobilized after only a minute or so of shovellng with no gloves on.  At least I had socks on with my flip flops...yup, looking elegant first thing in the morning is not my forte!!  At 6:30am I doubt anyone else on our block was up and at it anyway, so no one saw this bizarre apparition.

Yesterday a neighbour with a new snow blower took several inches of fresh snow off our sidewalk, the church sidewalk and wee parking lot and then came right up to our front door.  I gave the young man a fistfull of dollars, swept off the front steps and gave in to the thrill of not having to be out there myself shovelling on a freezing cold morning.  I could have done it, would have done it, but the joyous surprise of not having to do it was a marvellous feeling.  An hour later another enterprising young soul, also with a new snow blower, made the rounds of the neighbourhood seeking a snow choked sidewalk to clean.  This may turn out to be a very good winter....I pride myself on paying more than any of the neighbours to ensure a good winter of many more such "surprises".  It is the same reason I give massive tips to servers in restaurants that I want to return to.  When you are willing to pay for good service, more often than not that is exactly what you receive.  It takes only a few dollars to show respect to that person for their work, to recognize that any kind of service work is difficult and to ensure some quality service for yourself.  Everyone is happy.

In around the movie watching today I am going to do laundry.  It is a great job to do at home on an otherwise lazy day.  A bit of ironing later in the day and the whole job is completed.  

Watched a replay last night of the recent Manny Pacquiao/Chris Algieri fight. What a great match.  It went non-stop for the full 12 rounds.  Algieri is one good fighter and Pacquiao will be one of my all time favourites I think. His mother, sitting ringside, is a show all her own as she stands punching the air and shouting encouragement to her son. hahaha  SO CUTE!!  HBO Friday Night Fights is a fave in this house.  Recorded the next 2 matches so we could get to bed at a decent time.  Will wait for my husband's return tonight to watch those.

The son emailed last night to say the melancholy about leaving Vancouver has hit him pretty hard this weekend, but on the upside he sold 2 paintings yesterday from his Burnaby Art Gallery show.  So happy for him. It will be a huge help on a 6 month, unpaid, Stateside apprenticeship.

It is nearly 8:30am.  Time to change my bedsheets to flannel, sort the laundry and get with the washing and ironing, get my snacks and meals ready for the day, then commence with the movie watching. Sigh....the dreaded flannel I need any more confirmation about the arrival of winter???

It is all good.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

My Movie Day

I am really looking forward to tomorrow.  

My husband has to be away from early morning until very late at night on archeaconry business.  I was going to go with him as I usually do, until we got thinking about how many hours he will have to spend in meetings that do not include me, leaving me alone in rural Saskatchewan...on a Sunday afternoon when there are no stores open, probably not so much as a battered old cafe open where he is going and in -24C degree weather. Brrrr....not my idea of a good time!  

My husband also prefers travelling alone on the rather bad roads in winter without having me there holding onto the door handles for dear life, squirming in my seat every time an icy patch appears on the road, not always being able to discipline myself from crying out in terror when I feel he is going too fast for the road conditions (as in any speed over 60km) or there is a teeny slip of the tires when turning a corner.  I can't understand his attitude can you?? teehee.  There are also potluck meals to deal with in both towns he is going to and I have had too many of those lately. My blood sugar is suffering from being too low this past week after being too afraid to eat enough at a series of potlucks over several days of meetings.

So, since I have no vehicle tomorrow I am going to stay home with the curtains closed, wearing my new wool suit jacket over top of my "jammies", floppy cotton socks on my feet and watching movies I recorded earlier this week: Great Expectations (1984) and August: Osage County.  I will watch the older one first and then try to get a head up for something recent.

I was able to get out long enough yesterday to pick up a few favourite grocery treats in preparation for my lovely day of movies and I have written down my meal and snack times and what I am going to indulge in, when.

It's going to be a great day! 

Update: according to the new weather forecast for tomorrow, my husband is driving off into a windchill of -46C!!! By afternoon the windchill will be a balmy -36C, o joy!!  Anybody else would have the sense to just stay home, but not my adventurer.  We have just packed snow pants, an Arctic parka, felt lined boots, oilfield gloves and 2 toques into the car along with extra first aid equipment, a shovel and a long cord for plugging in the car when he gets to his destinations. He has a piece of cardboard packed in around the radiator to help keep it warm, extra radiator fluid and oil cans. Water bottles and a giant box of food are now packed and waiting in the fridge to be taken along.  He is SO excited about this trip.....aaack!  What is wrong with this man????  Now that he no longer lives in the mountains he is desperate for survival style adventures and will take them wherever he can get them.  I am even more grateful I don't have to accompany him this time. If he can't get out to the mountains for winter survival camping, he can get in a car and drive for hours through the icy freeze.  Blecch! Pooey!! And may he stay safe.

The Wonders of Wool

It is chronically chilly in this rectory, particularly in the living room.  The insulation hasn't been redone in a few decades I am guessing as the last resident here spent most of her time in the kitchen on winter evenings in order to stay warm.  Personally we don't find it that bad as we prefer being a bit cold to being overly warm so it is a good room for us to wrap up in blankets or heavy cotton socks for an hour or 2 of evening television watching.

However, today I put on one of the new suit jackets I purchased recently and wow, it was so nice and cozy even in the living room.  It is 100% wool and I think it is the answer to my constant feeling of chill.  Although I prefer coolness to heat, it seems that as soon as the temperature outside drops lower than about -10C I feel chilled to the bone. The feeling stays with me all winter every year.  Not with this jacket though.

It is a great little coat with a rolled collar that flares into small stand up lapels in the front.  It has variegated shades of thinly striped thread in caramel, deep blue-green, mint green, pumpkin orange, sky blue, dark and light beige, so most of the block print shirts I have will go with it nicely.  It looks super with jeans or dress pants, so is very versatile.

Mostly though it is nice and warm without being stifling.  Again, a huge bargain from our local thrift store.  I am wondering if one of the ladies' clothing stores that recently closed down donated the remaining stock to the thrift store.  This jacket is brand new. In fact it still had the plastic price tag attachment hanging from the sleeve with the remains of the original carboard price tag still hanging on.

I have to learn to stop looking at the items in that store when I take my own castoffs over there to be sold.  I am trying to downsize, not replace every article of clothing I take over there with something else!!  But wow...brand new clothing....five dollars, seven can I say no, right?? 

Of course right!! Nyaaaa haaa haaa......

The Blue Screen of Death

It has been a very long time since my computer has acted badly but this morning I had just completed an email exchange with a friend from BC when the dreaded BSOD popped up telling me there was a serious error in my system.

God bless my technologically minded spouse who spent several hours running diagnostics and making changes and repairs.  He is suspicious that our last 2 power outages added to the problem.  He also discovered some foreign files tucked away in my system that hadn't been there long according to the dates on them, so he deleted those.  

In between scans and defragging and all the repair processes he has been working on his sermon for tomorrow.  He has a long drive early in the morning on bad roads to deliver it at a couple of churches that are part of his archdeaconry but that he hasn't had a chance to visit yet this year.  Better late than not at all, right?  He is excited about the trip.

So, now I will check and see if the email I was working on when the BSOD popped up has been saved or struck from the system.  My latest "history" of sites visited has been removed so will have to start re-entering web addresses that I use a lot for favourite this blog.

So grateful it appears, for now at least, that the machine will last through the rest of the weekend.  If it crashes again I know what I will be purchasing for myself for Christmas!!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

How Do I Know I Have Waited Too Long To Eat Breakfast In The Mornings??

I know it when I get out of bed in the morning and have a nearly overwhelming desire to devour the dust covered pages of the novel I was reading before I fell asleep.

I know it when I want to physically injure anyone who detains me on the way to the kitchen to make breakfast.

I know it when a 1/2 cup of wheat cereal squares with barely enough milk to cover them, 0 fat, 0 sodium, 0 sugar and nearly 0 flavour taste like heaven in a dish.

I know it when 1 tbsp of peanut  butter on a stale slice of cheap, airy, store bought bread tastes like an elegant dessert.

I know it when 3 wizened, dried out prunes taste like rich, sweet, gooey candy.

I know it when the dreaded 1 cup of milk, the most gross "food" to ever cross my lips on a daily basis, tastes like ambrosia. (or maybe it is just fermenting and going sour....eeeeewwww....)

I know it when bottled water chasing down that milk tastes as good as beer chasers used to taste when I could still drink beer.

I know it when finishing my breakfast by downing 4 doses of medication feels like the joy of leaving icing on the cake to enjoy at the end of a delicious meal.

I know it when I am done eating the aforementioned, smack my lips together with satisfaction, pat my tummy with contentment and breathe a sigh of relief that there is fuel in my system once again after a long night, made to seem longer by forgetting to eat my evening snack the evening before.

O yes, I have my ways.......


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sigh of Relief

My son finally called his grandparents today to tell them he is leaving for New York next week and will not be joining us for Christmas after all. Wisely he emphasized the fact that it can't be for longer than 6 months and he has all ready made plans to visit them very first on his way home, whenever exactly that turns out to be.  It means I can call them tonight and let THEM tell ME what my son is up to.  hahaha  Every family has its little coping games I suppose, haha.

Got through all the 6 month blood work at the hospital today.  For the rest of the day I am taking it easy other than a few badly needed stretching exercises. Right after my A1C tests I take the rest of the day to rest, have an extra carbohydrate or 2 for lunch or supper and pretend I don't have diabetes.  It really helps to prevent burn out.  I figure I have 90 days to exercise those carbs out of my system.

I have been catching up for the rest of the morning on an old movie I taped a few days ago and am about to leave for a laser treatment and massage.  My husband is headed to our other town as soon as I return with the car.  It is warm enough to walk this afternoon but I discovered on my drive to the hospital this morning that all the intersections are like glass.  Today I don't feel like risking every bone in my body out there on the ice.  Oooh, can't wait for that facial massage.

Tonight will be an evening on my own so I think I will do silly things like play computer games and read part of a novel that is not exactly gripping, but interesting enough and it shall remain nameless unless I can say really nice things about it in the end.

It has been a great week so far for emails and phone calls from friends and family.

 The birds outside the kitchen window have been arriving en masse each morning and afternoon, fighting with each other over the feeder arms, dousing themselves in the bird bath, hovering at the kitchen and patio door windows as they peer at whatever it is they are seeing through the glass. 

My husband and I are going to have a most hectic time over the next 6 weeks with preparation for Advent, preparing a Christmas week travel schedule to suit both families and making a bunch of decisions about what to do with household "stuff" in our attempt to downsize for our own good.  My husband has a HUGE pile of old papers he is tossing out and is nearly finished that project. One more week should complete it.  Then we will be able to eat at the dining room table again.  I took 4 bags of my own things to the thrift store yesterday afternoon and had the pleasant discovery of some of my huband's older shirts tucked inside the bag. Good for him! He is finally, after 11 years, realizing he is no longer a carpenter and doesn't need a rag bag filled with old workwear!!  Ofcourse, I did end up bringing something home from the thrift store in the form of a brand new and lovely dress jacket that is still casual enough to wear with jeans....hey, it was only five dollars, so...........

It is all good.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Power Problems

Our town has experienced a fair number of power outages of late, often as a result of large vehicles smashing into power poles out on the highway. This afternoon's outage was caused by the dropping of some powerlines that were in the process of being re-situated.

We were at the local mall when the power went out.  We checked the other 2 grocery stores closer to home first but had little success in finding what we wanted today, so ended up at the most miserable, filthy, poorly stocked grocery store there is here.  After some more frustration we did have to congratulate the store on actually having all of the products we couldn't get elsewhere, even if some of them were not easy to locate.  At least they were available, yay!!

We just reached the line up for the cashier when suddenly the entire mall went into blackout mode.  After the first plunge into the darkness a handful of emergency lights came on.  The tills were still working but that would be a temporary situation until the back up power went down.  In the interest of safety and shoplifting prevention we were told rather unceremoniously by the manager to "get out of the store NOW."  From my own previous experience in dealing with the general public in retail situations I can understand her immediate retreat into defensive mode and my husband and I stashed our baskets and cartons on a high shelf, then got the heck out of there into the main mall area.  Lots of people had key ring flashlights, myself included, some had larger flashlights, there were cell phone lights flashing about and it was easy enough to exit the mall.  Most of us who had been in the grocery store opted to just stand outside the now locked doors and wait to see if the power loss was a temporary glitch.  After nearly a half hour of standing about my husband said there was little chance it would come on again any time soon, so we drove home.  The entire town was in darkness.  

Just as we were arriving home I checked the time and realized my quickly developing crabbiness was a result of being late getting my dinner, not just from having to leave my basket of difficult to find grocery items abandoned in the store.  I strapped on my husband's mountain climbing headlamp that was still sitting in my bedroom after the last power outage and made myself a sandwich, sliced up some cucumber and located some stale prunes.  Not quite the home made (thank you sweetie for your great Indian cooking) feast I had been expecting, but still it did the trick in bringing up my blood sugar and making me feel happy again.  About the time I finished eating the power returned.  We waited for 15 minutes to make sure it was likely to stay on and my husband raced back to the grocery store to see if our baskets and cartons were still where he left them earlier.  They were there, the store had just opened again and he was able to purchase our "prizes" with no difficulty.  Whew!

The idea of having to return there tomorrow and relocate all those items after they had been returned to the shelves was not appealing.  I would have had to cram the trip in between my 6 month blood work at the hospital early in the morning and my husband's need of the car to get to our other town to work for the day.  So grateful for his willingness to return to the store tonight instead, thereby making him late for his own dinner.  At least when he finally got home he was able to eat some of the Indian food he'd made earlier on.  It smelled fantastic and I couldn't resist taking a small bite.

Hopefully that will be the end of the power problems for awhile now.  We missed some important phone messages because we had forgotten to plug in the land line this morning and of course the cordless needs electrical power to run.  I am getting pretty good though at making "headlamp" sandwiches!!  There is always a "silver lining", right?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Yay Calgary Stampeders

What a fun afternoon! Football, football, football!!  The CFL conference final games happened today and I had such fun relaxing and watching both games.  Since my home town won the western final it will make the Grey Cup game that much more fun for me.  All the best Calgary. You are playing another great team from Hamilton.  Can't wait to see the game!!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Farewell to The Boy

We crawled along on the ice, slush and drifting snow, through strong winds to and from our other church tonight to participate in the potluck and Reign of Christ service.  It was a great evening and no one was upset that the bishop couldn't make it after all. They are too safety conscious when it comes to winter roads to be anything less than glad he was wise enough to stay home.

We arrived home to a phone call from our son and it is official. He leaves for a job in New York City at the end of this month. He booked his ticket this morning, signed a sublease agreement for home and studio space and has only his health care coverage to finalize on Monday.  

So we will not see him for at least another 6 months.  I am sad about that, BUT I am absolutely stoked that he has this opportunity for work and play in his favourite city on the earth.  He has a great network of friends and co-workers there who have sent him an avalanche of excited emails about his arrival.  He has a place to live for December but will have to seek accommodation for the other 5 months.  

NOW to let the rest of the family know. Telling my elderly parents is going to be the most difficult for him. AND it will be the most difficult thing for me about this too as I will be dealing with the emotional fall out.  At my parents' ages, another 6 months until they see their grandson after not seeing him for a whole year all ready is like a lifetime for them.  

The other GOOD news is that son has all ready sold a major painting from the show that just opened on Thursday at the Burnaby Art Gallery. Way to go Eli!  So proud of you buddy.  See ya' in 6 months...Lord willing....have a safe journey and a fabulous time in a fabulous city.

Bad Weather....No Bishop....Boooooo.....Hooooo.....

We are feeling badly for our parishioners today.  The weather and roads are so bad that our  bishop, who has a 5 hour drive to get out this way, has had to cancel his visit for this weekend. Booo! Hiss! Lousy weather!

The man is exhausted after a busy week at the House of Bishops meetings and for his sake maybe it is actually a good thing he doesn't have to take on another parish visit this weekend.  Hopefully it won't be too many more months before he can get up this way to encourage our church folk.

My husband just talked to one of his wardens and her son is currently on the way here from the same city our bishop would have been coming from.  The young man is crawling along the road on the ice.  He called his mom to let her know he is still coming but he said he might as well be on skates, towing his truck behind him. It is that icy out there.  It is possible my husband won't be able to make it down to our other town tonight for service and that will also be disappointing.  We are so blessed to have parishioners who have a life long familiarity with the winter conditions and are very supportive of their priest staying off the highways on days like this.

The sad part is all the work the people have put into preparing for the Bishop's visit is somewhat wasted.  The potlucks will go on anyway though because is there anything sweeter than food and fellowship on an otherwise miserable day? So many of our parishioners now live in town and the bad roads will seriously effect only a handful of those still living on farms and acreages.

The potluck lunch tomorrow at our local church can go forward as planned.  Even if there are few present because of the elderly folk not feeling safe to drive over to the church, we will have whatever potluck foods show up and instead of celebrating our bishop's visit we will turn it into a birthday party for a parishioner who is turning 85 today.  Her family is bringing over a giant cake for the lunch tomorrow and we will enjoy that treat so much.  I am making a huge batch of fried chicken.  Now that I am not hosting the bishop tonight I will have extra time to cook something a bit special with it.

So, this is the first casualty for our parish with the return of the winter weather.  I am very grateful none of us have to be on the highway after all today. Whew!!  The bad weather arrived in time for these decisions to be made and everyone notified of the changes in lots of time.  Bishop is the sort of fellow who, if he had started out on the highway, would have continued to plough along rather than turn back and we are grateful he didn't make it as far as his own front door today!

 Once again everything has worked out just fine in the end.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Skinny Jeans

The house is vaccumed and dusted, the shopping is done, dinner is cooking and I am now the owner of a pair of skinny jeans.

Yup, skinny first pair since junior high school.  It feels pretty danged peculiar to be wearing such a thing at my age, but the legs fit perfectly inside my wool lined winter boots, keeping me warmer as well as saving my skin from that dreadful allergic itching.

I knew I needed a new pair of jeans because the pair I purchased in May has been drooping unattractively since the end of August.  I have kept them belted up and worn them when jeans were most appropriate for the task or event at hand, but they look all wrong and the pockets have been hanging down below my butt.  Not good....  I needed jeans an inch smaller in the waist. 

So, I am now a member of the old ladies in skinny jeans club.  Yikes....I don't know whether to be thrilled or embarrassed.

All I know is I feel a lot better now in my jeans! My husband says I look a lot better as well than I did in the last pair and his opinion is really the only one I care about.

I can wear the older new pair to cut the lawn next spring so they won't go to waste.  For that chore they are perfect.

Skinny jeans.......dear Lord.......

A Day of Scattered Thoughts

Had a good sleep last night but woke up feeling kind of dibbled in my thoughts.

Today I have to get a move on, or "a wiggle on" as my mom used to say when I was a child, to organize and execute my housekeeping plan for the Bishop's arrival at our home tomorrow evening.  The whole house needs a cleaning and the guest room turned storage room needs a complete dunging out.  My husband has to move his bed in there as our bishop is far too large a person to be able to sleep on the mattresses currently in there, so the whole room has to be de-cluttered and thoroughly cleaned, then my husband's room vaccuumed well where his bed usually sits before moving the old mattresses into that space for him.

I have errands downtown that must be done today as tomorrow I have over 50 chicken legs to bake and a giant bag of popcorn to pop for 2 potluck dinners happening at our churches, one tomorrow night and one the next day after morning service.

I have to try to maintain a close watch on tomorrow's road reports because our first major storm system is to arrive early in the morning and last for about 24 hours.  In fact, it sounds so horrible with freezing rain, wind, blowing snow and drifting that the fear is our bishop won't even be able to get out here and/or my husband and I will not be able to travel to the first evening's event because it will be too dangerous to be out there on the roads.

One thing I have never adjusted to here is how quickly plans made months in advance have to be changed or scrapped all together due to weather issues in the winter.  It plays on my mind all winter. I am forever setting up plans B and even C "just in case".  Rolling with the punches is not something I do very well despite having lived an entire adult life having to do just that.  You would think by now I would be an expert at it, but you would be dead wrong.  Sigh....

So, today is a pivotal day in preparing for any and all possibilities for what was originally a fun weekend visit with our bishop on his annual visit to our parish.  

Stupid weather....

Well, if nothing else, the guest room will get the huge cleaning it has needed for awhile and we will be forced to reorganize our storage and downsizing project that has crept slowly from the garage to the kitchen to the guest room. How does this happen when the point of the whole project was to reduce mess and excess "stuff"???  Aaaargh....

Must go and get my husband up. Someone has just died and he needs to contact the family.  There will be no funeral in this case but he does need to do pastoral visiting and counsel. It is always an honour to do that.

Onward and upward to my somewhat disorganized, scattered and now late starting day!  It's all good though, right?? hahaha

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Light's Out, Everybody's Home

The power went out this evening for several hours. Fortunately it had the good sense to wait until after Big Bang Theory had ended.

Tonight was a lot of fun.  We have candles and flashlights stashed all over the house for emergencies such as this.  After a lovely candlelight visit my husband dug around in his camping gear and pulled out both of his headlamps for us to use.  I can see just as well with that headlamp to wash the makeup off my face and out from around my eyes as I can with the regular lights on.  

When he checked the church to make sure the pipes weren't freezing, my husband brought a couple of tall paschal candles back to the house. Between the bright glow of their wicks and our headlamps we were able to cozy into bed and read for almost an hour before the power came back on.  The power had the decency to return before Parenthood came on tv.

I have a stack of extra blankets beside the bed even though the power is on.  You never know when it could go off again and this house gets cold very quickly when the power to the furnace is cut off.

Not sure if one of the semi's on the highway went off the road and took out a main power line or if snow and ice caused an explosion at the main power box for the town, but the entire town was encased in blackness.  I know this because I took my flashlight outside where I could see if there were any areas of town that still had power.  Nope, not a one.  There were a few of us out there with our flashlights checking on elderly neighbours and making sure everyone was safe.  The cause of the outage will likely be reported online in the morning. What a week: someone lost control of their car yesterday and drove through the Royal Bank here and tonight the blackout was accompanied by the ambulance and police sirens....quite a bit of excitement for our little town.

Nice to have a change of pace for an evening. AND I finally got to wear one of my husband's cool mountain climbing headlamps without actually having to be outside in the dark on the side of a mountain....PERFECT compromise!


As we have been sorting out old papers and junk in an effort to clean out so many things we have carted from place to place for no apparent reason, we continue to find leftovers from other places we have lived and worked and that has brought back many memories.

After reading through various old calendar pages, lists of past social engagements, work requirements, financial statements and other bits of trivia, I have been thinking about the changes in our lives since we moved to the prairies.

I believe the main personal benefit we have received since coming out here has been a move from uncontrolled chaos to a place of recovery and peace.  Life before seminary consisted of over 2 decades of non-stop racing about at top speed, completely out of control at all times; moving here, moving there,working overseas, being homeless, construction project after ministry event after social flapping about, insane health issues...and an endless succession of disasters with nearly unbelievable last minute solutions, thanks be to God.

Thanks to seeing our faith in action we survived it all, emotionally bruised, physically ill and battle weary, but we did survive and we saw God move in mysterious and wonderful ways that brought us joy in the midst of trouble.

Moving to a teeny prairie seminary campus was the start of regaining some feeling of control in life, of beginning the slow down mentally and physically, socially if not ministry-wise, having more time to deal properly with our health issues and generally having time to think ahead rather than being reactionary all the time toward the disasters we used to constantly face.

In other words there has been a personal point to and benefit from this incredible slow down in life.  We have been on the prairies for most of the past 11 years and it has taken us this long to fully make the adjustment. In fact I would say it has only been in the last 3 or 4 months we have realized how truly beneficial our move to the east has been.  Seeing our past life events written down on paper this week has been most eye opening. How quickly we forget the bad times and how soon, fortunately, we forget the mental and physical stresses of the past.

It has taken us 11 years to even start to fit into this chapter in our lives, but it's the right time and we are at the right age to re-evaluate the past and become comfortable with who and where we are right now.

As usual, it is all good.

I Was Wrong About the Freezing Rain Starting on Saturday

It's starting tonight..........sigh...............WAAAAAAHHHH!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

An Entertaining Day

Today has been a good day so far and will probably continue to be so!

As of this week we have 3 male downy woodpeckers and this morning all 3 of them were flapping about between the feeders, gorging on the rich nuts and defending themselves from Madam Hairy Woodpecker who is many times their size and weight and wants to eat her fill ahead of them.

Each of the small males has his own identifying mark and size.  Since 3 of the nicest men I have ever met in my life have been named Robert, I have named these 3 downys accordingly.  The first one who appeared late in the summer is Robert Downy Jr., the second one is so teensy weensy I call him Wee Robbie and the third and largest one has been named Robert the Spruce because he spends most of his day looping around the trunks and branches of 2 spruce trees in the yard, pecking away at the bark to find the insects hibernating there during the winter.  Here on the prairies when it is too cold to go out and do much else, watching the birds all winter is something at least somewhat entertaining and time consuming.

One of our elderly parishioners called me at lunch time to invite me to come with her to the Ladies Auxiliary tea at the nursing home this afternoon. That was more fun than it may sound because I knew so many of the residents and their visitors.  While we were there we visited several residents who are not able to get to the dining room area any more and we visited with them as well.  It was a nice afternoon of chatting and eating a wonderful apple caramel dessert I should  not have eaten so much as a bite of.  I took the whipping cream off of it, but still.....I am going to have to test my blood sugar in a few minutes and not freak out when I see the high number. to say no to a bunch of sweet old ladies insisting I MUST try their wonderful desserts...aiii yiiii...I am going to have to get better at saying no to them. I am such a sucker for seniors.

Tonight my husband and I are heading to another town where his honorary assistant priest and family live.  My husband has been asked to do a house blessing for them, which is always fun.  His wife is going to make some of her native Rwandan food for dinner so I am very excited about that.  Just about any kind of ethnic food makes me happy and if it means another blood sugar spike tonight, well, I will just have to be doubly disciplined over this next week.  I have a quarterly A1C a week from tomorrow so  should take my monthly cheat day immediately AFTER that, not a week before, but....well....old ladies and ethnic foods...2 situations where I have not yet developed sufficient will power.

The sad news today is that our ice free sidewalks and streets may disappear under their annual coat of ice as of Saturday sometime.  Sigh...that is disappointing, but not unexpected of course.  Our local forecasters are pretty accurate, so unless the forecast changes in the next 48 hours we will literally be skating in our vehicle to our other church town Saturday evening for the first of several weekend visits with our diocesan Bishop.  Maybe we will get a nice surprise this time with a change in forecast????  Maybe I am just no longer going to be able to live in the comfy Land of Denial???? 

PS  did my blood test: 5.7!!  YAYAYAYAY! I was sure I would be edging up to 8.0 Dodged a bullet this time but will let the fear keep me more disciplined at supper than I had planned on being.

Monday, November 17, 2014

And Now a Word from Author Neil Postman

Foreward from "Amusing Ourselves To Death" by Neil Postman

"We were keeping our eye on 1984.  When the year came and the prophecy didn't, thoughful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves.  The roots of liberal democracy had held.  Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares.

But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell's dark vision, there was another-sightly older, less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.  Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing.  Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley's vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history.  As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.  Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism.  Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy.  As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny, 'failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions'.  In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain.  In Brave New World they are controlled by inflicting pleasure.  In short. Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us.  Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us."

I was reminded of this piece of writing today when I saw a CNN news story on television: it was about a game show host who walked away for 3 seconds from the contestants because they were giving silly answers to the contest questions.  There was no newsworthy explosion of anger, no near choking to death on his own laughter, no storming off the set and refusing to come back until the contestants gave more well thought out answers, no heart attack requiring an onset ambulance and a shut down of filming.  In other words there was no reason to show this 30 second bit of filming from the game show and report it as something newsworthy. The reporters were overstating the event as if it was an actual story, using exaggerated descriptions and making a fuss over absolutely nothing of interest.  CNN should be embarrassed for acting as if there was something of note going on here.  It was a most ridiculous piece of reporting of a non-story and this sort of thing has become a common, every day occurence.

In my opinion Aldous Huxley's words are most a most prophetic description of our world today.

Today's Helpful Household Hint

When doing laundry and lifting the lid of the washing machine, DO NOT accidentally catch the lid with the heel of your lifting hand and inadvertently slam the lid down upon your own fingers.  If you have to inadvertently slam the lid, at least try to slam it down on someone else's fingers.....or no one's fingers!!!  OOOOWWWWW!!!!! 

Fantastic Ministry Memories

8 years ago this month my husband began a 3 month interim ministry in a large evangelical church nestled in the Alberta foothills.  It was his first post-graduation assignment before returning to Saskatchewan to begin the steps into Anglican priesthood.

Today as we were going through stacks of papers and notes, seminary papers and files, we came across the congregational directory we were given by that wonderful church.  There was our former congregation, my husband's first ever as a full time minister.  We sat for awhile and relived that experience.

My husband poured his heart and soul into that amazing group of people who were so intent on hearing and obeying God for their church and in their community involvements.  They were used to having good teaching from their former pastor and if my husband preached for less than a half hour they were not impressed. They were eager to hear the Word, to pray together at several points during the week and to reach out to their neighbours and friends in helpful ways.  Their board of elders, their board of maintenance, their music ministry and their Sunday school teachers had a level of committment and honesty we had not seen before and it truly spoiled us for any and all future ministries.  Under the full time pastor they hired after we left they have continued to grow in size, in good reputation and in ministry.  We are honoured to have been a part of their group for that brief while.

As we flipped through the pages in the directory and remembered each person, we also remembered how many of them had invited us into their homes in that period of time.  We had been into over 30 homes in 3 months.  Their level of pastoral care, even for a very short term interim pastor, was astounding.  

The day we were packing up the last of our belongings to head back to Saskatchewan, each of 8 board members, all of their own initiative and without the knowledge of the other 7, arrived at our door and begged us to stay with them.  It broke our hearts to have to say no, but we knew my husband had a different calling on his life.  Never have we found it so incredibly difficult to leave a congregation, even though it is always difficult no matter how wonderful the next church and town appear to be.

The pastor they hired a few months after we left is still with them, enjoying them as they also enjoy him and his family.  We pray that group continues to enjoy the blessings of God over the coming years and that their heart for the Lord never wavers.  Being there was a once in a lifetime experience, such a good one despite whatever problems existed in the group and we are blessed to have started full time ministry with their support.

We have been in wonderful churches since then of course, but there was something particularly special about our brief foray into the foothills.

A Reading From the Book of Judges

Yesterday at church our Old Testament reading was from Judges 4: 1-7.

In this passage the people of Israel are in the midst of repeating what has become a typical pattern of behaviour, of cause and effect:
--they follow God in obedience
--God blesses and encourages them
--they relax their vigilance in serving God during the easy times of blessing
--they fall into sin and evil of all kinds
--they suffer the consequences of their own actions, often in the form of being taken over by foreign politcal powers and treated badly
--they begin crying out to God for help
--God hears their prayers but sometimes takes his time in providing assistance in the form of a prophet, a deliverance from bondage through a military leader and what have you
--deliverance from their affliction arrives after they fight it out with God in prayer and repentence
--second verse same as the first and so on and so on and so on

In this particular scripture we read that they have once again been put under the control of a foreign king, Jabin of Canaan and his military commander Sisera.  The Israelites call out to God to save them but they remain under the oppression of the Canaanite king for 20 years.  Finally God raises up the prophetess Deborah, one of the judges of Israel at that time.  She summons Barak, one of Israel's military men and tells him that God has told her he is to take ten thousand of his troops and march up to Mount Tabor where they will be allowed rout Sisera's troops and put him on the run (where he meets a dreadful death at the hands of another very bright woman).  Eventually they destroy Jabin and regain their political autonomy. Then the praising of God and the return to righteous ways begins and then the pattern of falling away repeats itself until they are oppressed once again, this time by the Midianites.

A few things stand out here about the way things go for all God's people in every community:
--when troubles come, whether due to our own disobedience or through other circumstances and people over which we have no control, crying out to the Lord together is the first line of defence, the first step toward deliverance.  Drawing more closely together as a community to seek God and his restoration is a good thing, perhaps even necessary in terms of seeing God move to help us.
--God will choose when the right time is to step in and bring assistance and it may take a lot longer than we think it is going to take, so we should not be discouraged from continuing to call out to him for help.  When we are ready to change our own ways from disobedience to obedience to his will and ways he will move mountains to help us.  He will in some way or other tell us what to do.
--the deliverance doesn't always "just happen".  Sometimes it requires some fighting through the issues and problems.  We have to prove we are serious about wanting change and about wanting God's version of change.

This short passage applies so well to the situation in our present parish. We are fighting the "enemies" of rural depopulation, society's wealth that does not encourage us to draw close to God as we do not see our own needs for spiritual life when we have so much temporal satisfaction, our own bad treatment of others, our own ignorance of the ways of God, the very real need of our children and grandchildren to relocate to to other communities to be employed....o there are many reasons we are among the church congregations who are struggling to survive.

As a parish we are calling out to God for his help.  We are starting this fight for survival together and showing a token of that desire to work together by physically sitting closer for a few weeks in the small chancel space in the one church during service times.  We realize we are fighting a combination of external "foes" and reaping the consequences of some of our own past actions as individuals and as congregations.  We are not alone in this.  It is happening to God's people everywhere.  So many things are working against us and it is God who has to deliver us, but he calls on us to participate in fighting through the problems.  We have begun the battle.

There is a lot to learn in these 7 short verses of Scripture even without going on and reading the rest of that story..

I am newly inspired to hope for God's best for our parish.

From Bill Murray's Twitter

"One day you will die, but every other day you won't. So, that's pretty great, right?"
--Bill Murray

Talk about encouraging words to live by!!  YEAH!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Big Fluffy Snow Flakes and Itty Bitty Worship Space

The wind howled all night last night and I could hear moisture being blown against the siding of the house, so I was expecting a miserably icy drive this morning to our other town for church.  There was a bit of dry snow on the ground but it had blown off the roads, fortunately. The closer we got to the other town the less snow there was.  We had just as safe a drive home again afterward... not an icy patch to be found. YAY!!

Now it is nearly dinner time and the huge fluffy flakes of snow are drifting lazily down without much breeze to disrupt their flight to the ground.  This is my favourite kind of snow: huge individual flakes wafting here and there so slowly.  This is the kind of snowfall I always see depicted on Christmas card scenery.  I love it.  The temperature is about -12C so there is no melting of this snow on contact with the ground and in the morning I will have to shovel it off the sidewalks and out from behind the garage.  I can hardly wait!  I enjoy shovelling.

We held our church service here in this town up in the chancel this morning.  Last night my husband unbolted several long pews from the back of the church and the 2 of us dolly'd them up into the chancel.  We added in a deacon's bench and a few chairs to fill up the rest of the space, I set out all the prayer and hymn books along the pews and we completely rearranged the location of the altar, hymn board, decorations etc.  It took us 2 hours but the reaction this morning was well worth all the work.  Our church here is having some difficult times and has some decisions to sort out over the next few months, so my husband talked to his wardens and they decided it is time to pull together as a community; time to stop spreading ourselves around in the big sanctuary space and get cozy and intimate; to remember how close we can be as we fight the battle to solve our problems.  The singing sounded so much better because of our closeness physically and no one was as afraid to sing out loudly because the sound wasn't echoing off into an empty space.  We were delighted by how little complaining there was about this change.  It may not be for very long, but for now it makes us aware of each other in new ways.  I so enjoyed it.  We will leave the set up this way for our Bishop's visit next week to encourage him that we are thinking creatively about the future and prepared to make some changes to fix our present hassles.

Watched The Lego Movie this afternoon. HOW CUTE IS THIS FLICK??  We really enjoyed it!  Not sure what the creators were "smokin'" when they came up with this one, but it is very funny and very entertaining.

My husband is fighting a serious throat infection so wondering which day this week we will end up at the clinic to get meds.  He gets these occasionally still and they are always a nuisance. Thankfully this is not a busy week compared to what is coming up in Advent and he has enough folk available to take over the Bible studies etc.  It is all working out.

So, off to make dinner.  We are having pork chops in my homemade tomato veggies sauce, some farm fresh potatoes, and green beans.  Yum!
Time to eat and then enjoy a relaxing evening.  Having company yesterday, twice for meals, has got me seeking out more creative cooking ideas again.  My husband may really enjoy this week at home because of what I am thinking of preparing for his meals.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Miserable Mommy Moment Officially Over!

So now that I have had time to think about my son's news I am getting pretty excited for him!!  NOW I am hoping he gets to go to NYC and work hard and enjoy every moment of it!!  

It isn't like some "fly by night" kind of person has invited him to come to work there.  It is a well respected artist and professor from his American university programme, the second prof from there who has come up with a plan to get him Stateside.  Obviously they see something in him they want to continue to mentor.  The first plan fell through so now it seems like this is their Plan B to help him out.  That says a lot about how they feel about his work.  One thing I have always liked about the American college system is the way students and staff are like one giant fraternity in that they seek each other out and help each other for years after their school time together ends. My son has all ready been able to help out a couple of classmates post graduation and others have helped him with some things as well.

Also, in other now good news, my husband has repaired the church furnace.  He installed a new motor for the fan and everything is up and running once again. He saved the church a lot of money that they won't now have to pay out for the time and a half charged for emergency repair services by the furnace company.  I am so proud of him and so delighted at how this has worked out. We are both trusting there will be time later in the weekend to make up for lost administrative time today.

Tomorrow we are now having 2 sets of company!!  A young couple who are lively and fun are coming for morning brunch and then an older Roman Catholic seminary student is coming for supper.  It is always exciting to have company and to be able to share meals together is just icing on the Happy Cake.

So, try as I might, I just can't seem to stay upset for very long any more.  I am glad I had a little session for the shedding of tears so I could express honestly how I was feeling, but now I am just as honestly excited for my son.  NOW I will be disappointed if this opportunity falls through.  

How's that for a more positive Mommy Moment?!!?

A Good Day For a Good Cry!

I am not a crier.  I think one day at some point after I broke my ankle 3 years ago I gave in and had a wee sob fest for myself and that was the last time.  Crying seems like the waste of good times and of a good headache.  If I want to have a headache it should be for a deeply seated, stress related, all absorbing reason, not because of crying.

However, today I had another wee crying jag.  Yesterday my blood sugar was off kilter and that started things off, then the news came that Fred was dying and that my BFF was facing the imminent loss of her father.  Things were okay again by evening and I even had a decent sleep last night.

All was well today until noon when my husband came into the house to announce that the church furnace fan motor has died and now will need parts and repair at a time when both furnace and duct work businesses here are booked to the gills with back orders and customers with no heat awaiting their arrival.  Having been down this road before here, it is another stress my poor husband did not need at a time when he is all ready overloaded with administration and is behind on his parish visits and phone calls.  Now he has to spend a couple of hours getting parts and fixing the furnace. Thank the Lord he likely can do it himself and save a lot of money for the parish.

Some other bits of news came in today that are not positive either and then came the icing on the cake:  a call from our son to say he has a sudden and very unexpected opportunity to go and work in New York City at the gallery of one of his university professors.  It would be for 6 months and if he can make it work for himself it would be a fabulous way to try to discover if NYC is indeed the place he needs to be  living to continue to grow and change in his art.  I am excited for him but what pushed the tears over the edge is that it is likely going to mean he will be gone before Christmas.  It means none of us will see him after all.  It means that just as we were rejoicing that a well prepared plan for the holidays had finally come together so easily, it is probably all going to be scuttled.  AND I am the one who will end up having to tell the grandparents they will not be seeing their grandson after all since their last visit a year ago.  Since they are both nearly 90 years old, this is not great news for them.  We just had the phone call visit yesterday where they were so excited and I was so excited and our son was so excited and now it appears none of it is going to happen.

Is it a huge tragedy? No.  Is it any kind of tragedy? No.  Is it hugely disappointing for this mom out here on the lonely prairies?  Yes.  Is it worth crying over? Probably not.  Did I cry anyway? Yes I did.

I guess all I can do is pray that the prof offering the employment opportunity can wait until the first week of January for my son to come to work, although  I would never pull any kind of stunt to try to keep him from going before Christmas as I am not that kind of mom.  Using guilt to get my way has never appealed to me and I think it is a lousy, vicious form of parenting.

If it works out for my son I will be delighted for him as seeing if he could live and work in NYC would be his dream come true, even if that six months was all it amounted to in the end.  However, I reserve a mother's prerogative to cry at the idea of having to wait a full year between visits.

Crying is my right as a mom when I experience a disappointment that involves my child, no matter how old he may be.  

It is.

Another New Birdie Buddy

We finally  have a black capped chickadee here at the feeders. They are supposedly found everywhere in this province other than the southern wetlands but this is the first time we have seen these beautiful birds here at our place.  All these birds seem rather exotic to us after living in cities for so many years where we saw mostly sparrows in the winters.  Just replaced the water in the bath. So grateful my husband has it set up to keep it warm all winter so there is always fresh water with very little ice in it.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Return of Missy's Mom

Just about the time I was preparing dinner tonight I noticed a new downy woodpecker fly out of the trees and head directly for the bag of mixed nuts hanging just outside the kitchen window. I was a bit surprised at her boldness as I continued to prepare dinner while she sat on the bag and ate her fill. Usually the new arrivals are rather shy until they get used to our movements on the other side of the glass.

I was intrigued enough to stop working on the salad and take a closer look at her.  There on the side of her head was the same odd marking that Missy and her mom had.  Then I noticed the slightly twisted foot and realized I was looking at Missy's mom.  The downy my husband saved 2 winters ago has returned!  I can hardly believe it.  There are 2 physical confirmations that it is her.  My husband came in from work in time to see her before it got dark outside and he is thrilled to see her again.

Elderly and bedraggled Grandpa Finch spent most of the day cozying up to the one feeder, sitting mournfully on one of the "seats" but not eating much.  The arrival of a couple of sparring sparrows wasn't even enough to unseat him as he huddled in the cold.  I expect we may find his little body lying on the deck or in the yard one of these freezing days.  Our two elderly sparrows from last winter, "Scruffy" and "Tuffy" both met their fate in the worst of the cold in early March, before the spring returned.

So now we are "bird people"!  Who knew????  Good grief......

Gone On and Going On To Glory

We received a phone call this morning to inform us of the death of a dear senior who became our friend at the first Anglican church we ever attended.  Fred was 95, had an interesting life, beautiful family and did not linger on suffering as he departed rather quickly from this earth.  For that we are grateful.  We feel deeply for all the family as Fred was such a huge part of their lives always.  Fred was the person who first planted the idea in my husband's head that perhaps he was called to priestly ministry. For that Fred, for your unwavering support and for who you were, we thank you.

In the next few days another dear saint will be leaving us for better things.  He has been ailing for a number of years and it is time for him to be disconnected from life extending medical devices that are causing only pain and suffering and not giving any quality of life, nor hope for the ability to regain it.  Today will be the day the man is moved to palliative care.  He has had horrendous kidney problems and no more dialysis can take place.  His mind has gone awandering in recent years. Making those kinds of decisions are so painful, as we know from personal experience, but with no regrets at having chosen palliative care when we did for my mother-in-law.  

Life extending technology is both a blessing and a curse...a blessing when it extends not only life but adds to quality of life, a curse when it keeps the body of the ailing relative alive but cannot restore the ability to function as a human. 

I feel for all our friends who are facing death and dying, particularly my BFF as she faces the loss of her dad.  You are never ready for it, no matter how long you have known it is coming, no matter the age of the relative.  

Some days are pretty tough to face.  I am so sorry my friends that for all of you related to these 2 dear men today is one of those days.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Christmas Plans are Made YAY!

It is a relief to have the plans made with our families for the Christmas season.  We are joining our son at my husband's sister's home in Edmonton on Christmas Day.  It will be a long drive so we are all ready praying for good weather and roads, as well as a lack of traffic out there. Hopefully most people will be all ready settled in for their family visits before we have to leave here.  We will spend 3 days there and then travel a few more hours to Calgary to spend 3 days with my parents.  I am going to give them that happy news in a couple of hours when I know they are awake and out of bed.  They will be ecstatic that they will be visiting with the beloved and rarely seen grandson.  I am hoping it will encourage them and give them something to be excited about for the next few weeks.

Our son has booked his flights: into Edmonton, out from Calgary and has many friends in both to work into his schedule during his brief time with us all.  He always has a good time wherever he goes.  Hopefully he will better protect his health this year than he did in his busyness at this time last year.  I still shudder to think what a mess he was in a year ago and us feeling so helpless to provide any assistance from so far away.  Pneumonia is a bad, bad thing!!

While I always dread the long drives in winter, at the same time I am delighted that our plans are actually made this far in advance for a change.  Our son was even able to get decent fares for his air flights. Usually it is so last minute he ends up paying full fare.  

Now, to plan what we are going to take to everyone. For me that is the most fun part of all. The son is easy: money, money and money.  The sister and husband....not so easy, but we will come up with something meaningful between then and now. My parents: edibles, edibles, edibles.

Yippee!  Some great church services followed by a trip to see family and eat wonderful food all make for a happy holiday to come.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

PC's....The Beginnings

My husband has set some old "treasures" on my desk in the midst of his sorting through boxes of papers and pamplets, seminary essays and ancient CV's and sermons.

This little "gem" comes from the early days of home PC's.  It was a time when sheets of computer paper came attached to each other at the bottom of each sheet to create a continuous feed into the old printers.  WOW, times have certainly changed.  We remember some friends who got their first computer about a year  before we did and they sent out what I understood later to be an hilarious 4 page printout ode to the wondrous spell checking feature.  The printout was a joke of course, but we didn't have a PC, didn't understand the joke and thought our friends had wasted an awful lot of money on their spell checking feature. haha How ignorant were we??  We were SOOOOOO ignorant. haha

Here is a shorter ode to spell checkers that was forwarded to us by someone in 2002.  Spell checking was a big deal in those days, even more so than now, because it seemed an incredible gift to the world of computer technology even though by 2002 it wasn't all that new any more.  Here it is for those of you who are young enough in years and experienced enough with computer technology to have never had to consider spell checking to be any big deal:

Ode To My Spell Checker
Eye halve a spelling checker.
It came with my pea sea.
It plainly marks four my revue
Miss steaks eye cannot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather I am wrong oar write.
It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long,
And eye can put the error rite.
Its rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it.
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh.
My checker tolled me sew. 


I Gotta Admit......

....that it felt pretty good to be out shovelling a bit of snow this morning when I first woke up.  I discovered it when I was dragging the garbage bin to the curb.  Okay, it was only about 2cm and really, I could have just swept it up quickly with a broom, but there is something satisfying about wielding that old shovel. hahaha  Fortunately, as I was finishing up, I remembered I am diabetic and needed to eat breakfast toute suite before my sugar dropped too low, but wow, it felt wonderful to be outside in the cold doing something useful.  Happy Winter AND with no ice base to worry about for the first time in  5 winters here!!  YIPPEE!!  Without all the ice I actually quite enjoy the winter.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Sublime and the Ridiculous

Most people have a guilty pleasure.  For some people it is soap operas, for others reading trashy romance novels, for others it is sneaking junk food into their mouths when they think no one is looking.

Mine are of the television programme variety.  I have a new favourite comedy.  It is the HBO comedy Getting On, starring Laurie Metcalf.  Its language and adult material warnings are well deserved and the subject matter of some of the episodes makes me squirm uncomfortably, but it is wonderfully well written, droll, understated, has excellent acting and sympathetic, endearing characters that are not quite caricatures.  Set decoration, costuming and make up bolster the image and mood of the programme.  Unlike most of the prime time network comedies there is neither canned nor live audience reaction. The comedy is derived from excellent writing and well delivered comedic timing on the part of all the actors.  While there is a great deal of sexual content in some of the episodes, it is not prime time comedy bathroom humour.  At least it is adult humour and handled in an adult fashion.

From there it is time to move on to the totally ridiculous: CBC's Canada's Smartest Person.  The premise is ridiculous since there is no way of honestly finding the smartest person in the country regardless of definition.  The testing the contestants participate in is ridiculous.  The idea of a Canadian network attempting to do their typical type of Canadian subject matter wedded to American game show attitudes is ridiculous:  the male host is typically Canadian in his understatement and quiet demeanor, while the female host is loud, aggressive, obnoxious and never stops shrieking from start to end, leaving me wondering how the contestants can concetrate sufficiently to complete any of the tasks assigned to them.  The most ridiculous and hilarious segment of each episode is when a so-called expert is called in to rate the contestants on their ability to do tasks that have little empirical evidence on which to base the rating.  Last night's episode was particularly hilarious that way.  Each of the contestants was given the same panel board filled with words, out of which they were to compose a proper haiku poem related to a given subject.  The expert was some rapper dude who may very well be an expert in the composition and understanding of haiku poetry, perhaps even able to successfully judge, based on standard literary criteria, who wrote the best poem, but I could have given him a bit more credibility if he had pronounced "haiku" properly:  high-koo rather than high-Q. hahahaha  The whole show is patently ridiculous and an absolute barrel of laughs.  It is Canada's attempt to emulate an American game show, yet still retain its reputation for producing only educational television fare and the result is entirely embarrassing and absolutely hilarious; a farce of epic proportions and Canadian all the way.