Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Thinner Summer

I made a wonderful discovery earlier this week while out walking in the heat:  I have lost sufficient weight that when  I walk down the street the insides of my thighs no longer rub together!!  Only a person who has weighed enough to struggle with sweaty, chafed inner thighs on a miserably hot day will understand why such a thing is worth a blog post of its very own!!!!

An Intense Day

It was an intense day yesterday in every possible way.  My husband had an intense 7 hour round trip drive to assist at a funeral filled with intense emotion, held in intense heat.

The funeral was held in a giant grain storage quonset with seats for 750 folk but nearly 1000 people came to pay their respects to the 2 boys who died and their remaining family. Although the funeral was held in the late morning, by the time it ended my husband could feel the heat attracted by the metal building radiating off the walls and into space occupied by so many.  The local Huttarian Brethren created and built a rather unique coffin that held the bodies of both boys.  Apparently they had been best friends all their young lives and so it seemed fitting to bury them together.  The intensity of the grief really hit my husband.  As an assistant, not in charge of the entire funeral and of comforting the family, he was unable to be distracted by leading the event.  As he sat and looked out over the congregants he said their grief was palpable and left him with an extremely heavy heart.  Our entire diocese was effected by these deaths.  

Today has been a bit less intense.  The temperature this afternoon is only +27C in comparison with yesteday's +33C.  That few degrees cooler makes a big difference in being able to cope with the warmth of the summer.  My husband spent the morning getting caught up on paper work, completing his blog entry for our national church blog and getting ready to travel to our other town for a day of pastoral visits and mentoring.  

I started my day off very actively. By 8:30am I was out in my incredibly ugly but functional yard work wear, hacking at the tall weeds in the property along the alleyway behind the garage. All the rain last week gave those weeds super powers in the area of growth!  It is wonderful to have a very large and powerful weed whacker as I had the entire job completed in about an hour.  Getting active so early in the day keeps me geared up for my afternoon and evening walks.  Really enjoyed this afternoon's foray downtown as the things I needed to purchase were all in stock and at least somewhat reasonably priced.  It was sufficiently cooler than yesterday's sweat inducing wander about town that I was able to pick up the pace a bit.  I am finding that although I am getting my daily exercise done, I simply lack the same nervous energy that happens when it is cooler outside.  I haven't accomplished much power walking the past week.

Well, enough of a break....time to go and fill our water jugs with RO water, clean out the bird bath, mend a pair of pants and then see what I feel like cooking for dinner.  I am on my own tonight as my husband has a dinner meeting out of town.  Some chicken is looking rather appealing and I think I will stir fry it with some Korean brown rice, corn and leftover spaghetti squash.  It sounds like an odd combination, BUT a tablespoon of salsa over the top of it all and it will be delicious.

Hope you are all enjoying your day today, wherever you may be.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Bit of Everything

The temperature is finally starting to rise into the +30's.  At last it is truly summer on the prairies.  I was able to mow the front grass this morning before it got too hot.  I can't believe it takes me over 2hours, including the weed whipping.  Guess I am just not so speedy.

My husband had planned to go out tonight and set up the tall ladder so he could trim our overgrown hedge.  It is over 6 feet tall, nearly 10 feet at the corner.  However, he got a nice surprise today.  Later this month some men from the local church are going to cut the whole thing down to a more reasonable height. YIPPEE! He is very busy right now in his last week of work before holidays, so is very relieved he doesn't have to tackle that hedge. Tomorrow I will go out and take off the limbs that are starting to hang out and over the sidewalk so people can walk by without getting tangled up.

Some men from the church are coming over in a couple of weeks to lay laminate wood flooring in the rectory living room and take out the badly stained carpet.  What a lovely treat for me...less allergens and a floor that will be so easy to keep clean and fresh looking.

The lady who found my lost ring delivered it to my front door this afternoon.  It is really comforting to have it back again.  She had another parishioner with her and they came in for a cup of tea and a short visit.  What fun to have company in the middle of a week day afternoon. My husband was able to take a few minutes out of his day to join in....and to make the tea.  Have I all ready mentioned I make the worst tea on the planet?

We received some pay today, unexpectedly, for an event at the church last month.  What a nice treat that will help with holiday expenses.

My husband is heading out very early in the morning so that he can drive nearly 3 hours to assist at the funeral for the 2 boys killed in a farming accident earlier this week.  It is going to be a huge funeral.  Chairs for 750 people are being set up in a large grain storage quonset building, but we suspect that won't be nearly enough seating.  The parents of the boys are from a founding family of the town. They are well known by many generations of people from miles around.  Unfortunately, due to the grain dust and the incredible heat predicted for tomorrow, I can't go with my husband.  I can't risk a severe asthma attack from the grain dust after a 3 hour drive when he is needed at the funeral and can't just take me home at the drop of a hat...or an atomizer.  I will have to be there in spirit and in prayer.

I am getting my hair cut this week.  I am so happy to be able to get it done prior to holidays.

We got looking at our September schedule today and discovered that the way the dates fall for clergy conference and a couple of diocesan committees my husband is on means we get to be out of town and in a motel for 8 (EIGHT) nights in a row so that he can attend all these mandatory events.  I will be able to stay in my favourite prairie town and see lots of friends while he is otherwise engaged.  YIPPEE!  YES!!!  It makes up for the disappointment of my spring and summer plans falling through.

If all goes well, we are going to take our final week of holidays sometime in October.  Our plan is to do a repeat of our spring trip if we can get into our usual hotel.  Our son will have come back to earth by then, regrouped, and have his exhibition at the Burnaby Art Gallery well under way.  We may actually be able to be there in time to see it.  So far we are batting a big fat zero for being able to make it to any of his art shows.  His present show at Ottawa Art Gallery was impossible for us to get to and of course we couldn't afford the time or money to fly to New York for the final school exhibition last weekend.  I love Vancouver and hope we can indeed return there for our last holiday of the year.

On this past Sunday some former members of one of our congregations were visiting in the area and able to attend the church service.  It was wonderful to see them again.  The kids have grown so tall and matured a lot since I last saw them.

Later this week we are going to the next town north to visit our 100 year old parishioner.  I want to get her a very special card.

On our very first day of holidays next week some Alberta friends are stopping in for breakfast as they pass through the area.  We are so looking forward to seeing them.

Things have been going well this past week.  There are many things coming up in the near future that I am looking forward to.  Road trips always make me happy and the thought of all the ones coming up is filling me with joy.  Although my husband will be travelling to do a lot of work at the other end of the road, a change is always restful for him no matter how much work he has to do when he gets there.  

Well, time for sleep.  We have to get up at a ridiculously early hour in the morning so my husband can get to that funeral on time.  He is looking forward to being able to express his sympathy in person to the family. 

Oh, wait.....there is boxing on tv. Maybe I can just stay up a little longer to watch it and just enjoy being tired tomorrow?? 

 

The Return of the Ring

I received an email yesterday from one of the parishioners in our other church and it contained happy news for me.

I have been so disappointed since losing a very special ring several months ago somewhere in the vicinity of that church.  It just fell off my finger and while it wasn't the end of the world, it was very annoying as I like that ring so much and it wasn't inexpensive to purchase.  I announced the loss at church the week after I realized it was missing and one of the ladies told me she would petition St. Anthony, patron saint of lost articles, on my behalf.

Yesterday that same lady was cleaning the church and hall.  She moved a heavy potted plant toward the end of her vaccuming and there was my ring hiding under it.  She took a photo of the ring to send me to confirm it as my missing item and was thrilled that her petitions in prayer had resulted in finding it.  Me too!!

Thank you Heather, thank you St. Anthony, thank you Lord for a prayer answered.  Just one of those little answers that make a person feel loved by God because, while not a life and death necessity, it is a tremendous encouragement (for her and for me) to continue to pray and to seek that which is lost...on so many levels, not just missing items.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

And Now a Word From Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 
From ‘Aurora Leigh’  By Elizabeth Barrett Browning  (1806–1861)
The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.  Nicholson & Lee, eds. 

TRUTH, so far, in my book;—the truth which draws          
Through all things upwards,—that a twofold world
Must go to a perfect cosmos. Natural things
And spiritual,—who separates those two     
In art, in morals, or the social drift            5
Tears up the bond of nature and brings death,          
Paints futile pictures, writes unreal verse,   
Leads vulgar days, deals ignorantly with men,        
Is wrong, in short, at all points. We divide   
This apple of life, and cut it through the pips,—             10
The perfect round which fitted Venus’ hand
Has perished as utterly as if we ate  
Both halves. Without the spiritual, observe,
The natural’s impossible,—no form,
No motion: without sensuous, spiritual                15
Is inappreciable,—no beauty or power:        
And in this twofold sphere the twofold man
(For still the artist is intensely a man)         
Holds firmly by the natural, to reach
The spiritual beyond it,—fixes still          20
The type with mortal vision, to pierce through,       
With eyes immortal, to the antetype
Some call the ideal,—better call the real,    
And certain to be called so presently
When things shall have their names. Look long enough              25
On any peasant’s face here, coarse and lined,          
You’ll catch Antinous somewhere in that clay,       
As perfect featured as he yearns at Rome    
From marble pale with beauty; then persist,
And, if your apprehension’s competent,               30
You’ll find some fairer angel at his back,    
As much exceeding him as he the boor,       
And pushing him with empyreal disdain      
For ever out of sight. Aye, Carrington          
Is glad of such a creed: an artist must,                 35
Who paints a tree, a leaf, a common stone   
With just his hand, and finds it suddenly     
A-piece with and conterminous to his soul. 
Why else do these things move him, leaf, or stone?
The bird’s not moved, that pecks at a spring-shoot;        40
Nor yet the horse, before a quarry, a-graze: 
But man, the twofold creature, apprehends  
The twofold manner, in and outwardly,        
And nothing in the world comes single to him,       
A mere itself,—cup, column, or candlestick,                   45
All patterns of what shall be in the Mount;  
The whole temporal show related royally,   
And built up to eterne significance   
Through the open arms of God. ‘There’s nothing great       
Nor small’, has said a poet of our day,                 50
Whose voice will ring beyond the curfew of eve     
And not be thrown out by the matin’s bell:  
And truly, I reiterate, nothing’s small!         
No lily-muffled hum of a summer-bee,        
But finds some coupling with the spinning stars;            55
No pebble at your foot, but proves a sphere;
No chaffinch, but implies the cherubim;      
And (glancing on my own thin, vein├Ęd wrist),         
In such a little tremor of the blood   
The whole strong clamour of a vehement soul                 60
Doth utter itself distinct. Earth’s crammed with heaven,    
And every common bush afire with God;     
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,    
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries,
And daub their natural faces unaware                  65
More and more from the first similitude.

Will I NEVER Learn????

I did something very stupid last night at dinner time.  I was lonely and decided to take myself out for dinner at a downtown restaurant that serves a delicious smaller portion of a chicken caesar salad, with one small slice of garlic toast and not an over abundance of dressing.  There are enough carbs without being too many.  

Without thinking, I ordered a diet cola as my drink.  One of the first things you learn in diabetes class about eating out is that you don't order any sort of soda unless it comes in an unopened can so you can verify that it is indeed a diet drink.  Why did I not think last night to ask if the drinks came in a can or from a soda fountain??  DUH!!

When my drink came, directly from the fountain, instead of tasting it first to ensure it was not sugared soda, I squeezed the lemon juice from the salad's accompanying lemon wedge into the glass and drank it down!  About 2o minutes later, as I was finishing up my salad, my waitress appeared to inform me she had accidentally given me regular soda instead of diet and hoped that was okay, giggle giggle, con, con, con with cuteness.

Alas, I had to inform her in no uncertain terms that it most certainly was not okay, that I had diabetes and had just consumed enough sugar to put me into a coma.  Of course I was wasting my breath and my anger because why would she care about my health issues, right?  Her response was a cheery, "Oh, okay.  Your bill comes to......"  Sigh.....really the main fault was my own for not thinking about what I was ordering and ensuring my own safety.  Double DUH!!

So, live and learn.  I exercised for a full hour between my 20 minute walk home from downtown and the stretching exercises and then doing power laps around the house for another half hour or more.  Fortunately for me, all the exercise kept my sugar at a reasonable number and it only climbed 2.6 points out of a possible "still kinda safe" 3 points.  

I scared myself so badly it is unlikely I will ever forget again about restaurant soda problems.  Maybe that is not such a bad thing.  The scare lasted into today, so when I had to make an almond cake for a potluck lunch we will be at tomorrow, I was happy to just eat my allowed 1.5 inch un-iced square of it to test it out before wrapping it up.  It made for a nice snack at snack time and I require no more of it now that I know it turned out well.  (I am not a baker, so even the most simple cakes and cookies need a test taste before I dare give them to anyone else.)

If a person's blood sugar drops much under 4.0, a quarter cup of sugared soda is usually all that is required to raise the blood sugar back to normal range.  I consumed about that much plus another full cup!  Aiii yiiii....I am so grateful to God that I didn't spiral out of control and that I at least had sufficient grasp on reality to understand it was time to exercise like a maniac for a good long time.  His grace truly was sufficient for me last night!  WHEW!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Congratulations Son!!

I am delighted to report that my son was able to successfully defend his Masters thesis yesterday.  Apparently it was a brutal panel and even though he was informed at that time of his passing grade, the chair of the committee called him again this morning to talk some more.  His world view, coupled with his resulting philosophies, is beyond their comprehension apparently and his success thus far in his field, even with those ideologies  has astounded them.  

What it really is, is that he is just like his father in the wonderful world of logical argument.  They both have the ability to take anyone's apparently logical ideas, stretch out the logic to its ultimate conclusion and then slap the other person in the face with his or her own world view and its ultimate illogic. I wish I had been secretly there to listen to the heated discussion that ensued yesterday. According to my son it was rather intense.

What matters to his parents and the rest of the family is that ultimately he passed and will how have his Master of Fine Arts degree.  We have all sacrificed to make this happen for him and he has achieved his goal. 

HUGE CONGRATULATIONS SON!!!  WE ARE VERY PROUD OF YOU!! 

You have worked like a mad fool to make this degree happen.  You have defended your ideas with your usual precision and dogged determination and you have not backed down from your personal beliefs about art and life.

When you get home we are going to find a way to come and visit and hear the rest of the story of your final summer at university. We look forward with great excitement to what happens next.

Pressing Questions!!

I've been pondering some deep questions of late.

1.  How does a person convince crows that cawing at or before 5am is the most inconsiderate behaviour imagineable and must be changed immediately...or at least before 5am tomorrow?

2.  Why do adult children spend time assisting elderly parents by doing things like spending hours washing down outdoor patio furniture they know the parents are no longer capable of or interested in using?

3.  Why do people wake up every half hour on the quarter hour when they know their alarm is set to ring an hour earlier than usual? Why do we assume this is the one morning in fifteen years of use that the alarm will refuse to ring at all?

4.  What is the best way to respond to a situation that is socially uncomfortable or even daunting....for example: getting invited to an event that you thought was open to the public and yet turns out to be something strictly for a particular "in" group and you realize you are not at all "in"?

5.  Why do we assume that if we just keep doing the same things over and over and over again we will eventually, through sheer stubborness and refusal to change our habits, achieve good results instead of disastrous ones?  Or fun ones instead of boring ones?  Or happy ones instead of sad ones?  

6.  Why do neat freaks so often end up being married to slobs?  And vice versa?

7.  When is it going to stop raining?

8.  Where is that loving, protective older brother you never had when you need him?

9.  Why is David Letterman still on tv?

10.  How now brown cow?

11.  What has happened to the friends you had in highschool?  University?  At your 5th birthday party?  That stood up with you at your wedding and were not seen nor heard from since?

12.  Where in the world is Carmen Santiago?

13.  Did anyone ever find Waldo?

14.  Why do you lose friends of many years standing if you refuse to participate in FaceBook, Twitter or other social media?  Were the friendships really that shallow?  Is it really better to know that now??

15.  How many pickled peppers DID Peter Piper pick?     

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Oops, Shouldn't Have Opened Any More Emails Just Yet!

I thought the unhappy news from friends was over for today, but just now I got an email that showed photos of a huge tree branch that came down this afternoon in gale force winds in a town south of here.  The tree is in the back yard of good friends and the good news is that it somehow missed their roof and patio windows.  Unfortunately, the way it landed is going to take some creative thought on the part of my friends the home owners, so that they can remove it without damaging the deck railing and back area of the house where it has draped itself rather handily.  Insurance deductibles are so high that unless my friends manage to do several thousand dollars worth of extra damage in the process of removal they will be stuck paying any costs incurred.  

So, not a tragedy, thank the Lord, but a very inconvenient and rather scary situation developed from those strong winds.  The town where my friends live has been enveloped with bad storms for several days and there are more on the way overnight tonight.  I hope our town is fortunate enough to once again miss the brunt of the bad weather but I also hope that my friends' town is spared this time around.  It is one town (among several in the southern part of our province) that has seen more than its share of rotten weather this summer.

Yup, Workin' Helps the Blues to Dissipate Every Time

Had a great walk this afternoon to clear my mind of all the sorrow.  All day the rain has been threatening to return and as I arrived at the post office a few drops came down, but no real rain ruined the rest of my downtown shopping.  On the way home the lightning and thunder started and was rather close to town so I walked a little faster, praying I could get home before any more rain fell.  Perfect timing: I walked into the house, closed the front door behind me just as a downpour of rain began.  It has been raining heavily and steadily for the past nearly 3 hours. 

After I got home I tackled the dusting and vaccuming.  It is done and done properly!  I think I should always be upset when I clean house because that is when I do the most thorough job of it. Praying seems to take on a better format when I am walking about town and cleaning house.  It becomes more of a conversation with God, less formal, less rigid on my side: less talking and more listening. 

Tomorrow I can wash floors and clean the bathrooms while my husband is away saskatoon berry picking with some congregants from our other church family.  It will be a nice long day on my own as he has pastoral visits to do as well in our other town before he returns home.  

Come to think of it, he is doing local hospital visitation this evening after dinner......hmmmm......could be a wonderful time to wash the floors and then I could take an hour tomorrow to walk to Wally World and Stupid Store!!  

I love it when a plan comes together.

After so much prayer today for all those I am aware of who are in trouble right now I am feeling more peaceful.  We have heard now from others who are helping greatly with the tragedy in the satellite parish by their prayerful and caring presence.  We have heard from our friend who fell last night and learning more about her situation, some of the things that will be done to fix and heal her broken bones.

Now if we hear from our son that his thesis defense went well today, the day will end much more happily than it began.

Hmmm...Do I Want To Answer Any More Emails or Phone Calls Today??

Today is one of those days where each new email and phone call brings more news of problems and tragedies other people are experiencing.  My heart is so sad for them.

A good friend who is badly needed to deal with the health issues of other family members took a fall last evening and is incapacitated while awaiting casts and possible surgery.

A couple from one of our satellite parishes suffered a horrible loss last night when a farm accident took the lives of their two youngest sons.  A few years ago another of their boys died and in between these horrendous losses, their house burned to the ground. Their faith is being sorely tested in the most painful of ways.

Other friends have having bad issues with children and adult children and those issues are wreaking havoc in the parents' lives.

Parishioners who are ill are not recovering nor improving, at least not right now.

I think I am going to take a walk and then come home and vacuum. Maybe some intense physical activity will work off the stress.  Praying and physical work will calm me and maybe the prayers will have some effectiveness in the lives of suffering friends.  Some times in life are so difficult.  My own trials have been so small and insignificant in comparison.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Family Nail Biting Time

In a few hours my son will be defending his Masters thesis.  Although I am certain he will handle the situation with aplomb, it will still be a nerve wracking time.  The panel is not there to pat him on the head and tell him what a great proposal he has submitted. They are there to question his ideas in every detail and that is very stressful to contemplate and to experience.  I hope he is asleep at the moment and feeling relaxed, at least to some extent.  It has been an excellent last school term for him this summer, probably the best of the 3 years he has been there.  Bard has been good to him. He has learned so much and grown in his art.  Right now his paintings are so off the wall that even many other artists cannot understand what he is doing, but he is passionate about continuing to explore the outer limits of his imagination and artistic resources.  It is an exciting time and I hope his last 2 weeks at school leave him happy and excited about discovering what is going to happen next in his life.

Too Close to Home!!

I received some shocking news yesterday that left me shaking.  

On the plane that recently crashed in the Ukraine were a number of important medical researchers from Amsterdam on their way to a conference in Australia.  A gal I know from my church growing up now lives in Amsterdam as well, is a colleague of theirs and was scheduled for the same flight to attend the conference with them.

At nearly the last minute before she boarded that plane she received word of a medical emergency in her family back in Canada that required her immediate travel home. She quickly cancelled her flight and headed to Canada instead.  She came within 8 minutes of boarding the plane that would have taken her to her death.

I can still hardly believe what happened.  Had she received that text message only a few mintues later she would never have lived long enough to see her ailing family member again.

It is probable that because of my own experience of narrowly avoiding being in an accident that would have killed me, I get more emotional about situations such as hers than I would normally.  Just writing about it makes me shaky and nauseous.

I am so grateful that she was spared and so sad for all of those other people who were not delivered from that flight before they boarded. My prayer is that she will also be spared "survivor's guilt".

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Lazy Gratitude

I admit that laziness makes up a great deal of my present gratitude for all the rain we had a couple of evenings ago.

The ground underneath the grass in our yard is, due to all the trees that block the sunshine and heat, still too muddy to risk running the lawnmower over.  While the greenery on the front street boulevard is getting  a bit too long, the intense heat for 2 weeks prior to the rain has kept the rectory grass short and stilted in growth.

There are to be more showers at some point over the next 3 days, but even if they don't materialize it will be at least 2 days before I will be able to mow.  In 2 days I will be in the city.  I won't be here and able to mow until at least 2 days after that.  At that point it will be nearly 3 weeks since I have had to mow the front lawn.

Aaaaaahhhh, such blessed timing for the heat and rain in combination with my overwhelming summer laziness.  For the past 2 weeks I have had no battles with mosquitoes or wasps while running the mower around the yard.  It has been a nearly perfect 2 weeks!!!

If the rain and heat continue to work together in my favour, I am figuring that I could get away with mowing the lawn only 4 or 5 more times between now and the first of October when it will be past time for yard work.  

There are some pipe dreams* that are particularly pleasant on a warm summer's day when laziness is peaking and the thought of battling bugs out of doors is more than I want to be bothered with.

*If you are too young to know what a pipe dream is, check it out and remember that such things started LONG before the '60's okay?

Summer Visiting Begins

I am getting excited about the rest of this weekend.  Tomorrow after church services we are driving to the city to meet with our very first priest and his wife who we have not seen in several years now.  We just live too far away from each other to get together any more.  However, the city is a central point where we all have elderly parents in need of some attention right now, so the 4 of us can meet up there tomorrow evening.  I do hope it works out okay.  There hasn't been time yet this summer for any non-work/ministry related trips away and July is nearly over!  We may be driving in the rain the entire trip, but better than too much heat.  

Hopefully my parents will be well enough for us to take them out for dinner the next evening for their 61st anniversary.  I have their favourite Greek restaurant in mind.

My husband is perking up as holiday trips begin to happen.  It is always interesting to me how most people are re-energized by the mere thought of a trip, a temporary change of scenery, a visit with old friends. 

I have to be honest and admit my own suitcase for this short trip has been packed since yesterday afternoon!!  Blush......

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Huge Deluge

For the past few hours we have been experiencing some rather stunning lightning and rolling thunder that make up a typical prairie summer storm.  Here in our town we just caught the edge of it, but towns to the north and east of us were not so fortunate.

In a town only 50km away from us the streets are flooded, basements are filled with water and there has been no power for several hours.  From what we have been reading online, it is not the only town in the area to be experiencing flooding and power outages.  Once again we are living in the sweet spot with storms all around us while we only get the shorter, less extensive version.  

We have had two major downpours in the past 4 hours and we so need that moisture. While lightning doesn't excite me, I can't help hoping the rain will continue overnight.  Our lawn is so dry it makes a crispy crunching sound when we walk on the grass.

So far no tornadoes have been spawned by this storm.  For someone as nervous about tornadoes as I am, it is not relaxing to be living smack dab in the middle of Canada's Tornado Alley!

So far so good.....hopefully I have not been premature in my blogging that we are unlikely to have a tornado tonight....hopefully.....

A Bit of a Nasty Surprise

I was speaking to my mother on the phone yesterday and found out she has just been diagnosed with an hereditary corneal disease.  She is following the specialist's orders to eat salads every day, twice a day if possible and to fill her tummy with fruit between meals, in an attempt to slow the progress of the disease and hopefully avoid a corneal transplant.  Apparently it is a nasty surgery, particularly for a woman turning 88 years old later this year.

I am very sorry for my mom as she has enough to deal with in caring for my dad, without having a major problem of her own to contend with.  Dad, as usual, is not completely on planet reality about how this will affect her ability to care for him, because he doesn't want to face his own medical problems if it means going to a nursing home.  I feel so sorry for them both as their future living arrangements are now in even more jeopardy.

The other half of the nastiness in this sorry surprise is that my own chances of developing the same degenerative corneal disease is nearly 100% and I may pass it on to my son.  I felt sick to my stomach when I hung up the phone.

On the good side, as a diabetic I have to have eye tests every year, so if I develop any pain or soreness or other unusual symptoms it will be discovered fairly early on.  My optometrist is very good and will send me to a specialist if there is any question about the condition of my eyes at any time.

Another good thing is that my son is very unlikely to ever have children,  so any hereditary health issues like the diabetes, heart and now eye problems from my side of the family, along with the Parkinsons and heart issues from his dad's side of the family will all be halted for our family at the end of my son's generation.

I am praying for mercy for my son to be able to avoid these things for as long as possible if he has to have them at all in the future.  I am asking for protection for my own eyes and especially right now for help for my mother.

News like this reminds me of why I am able to face life's little issues:  I have a heavenly father whose presence transcends every road block in life and gives grace to deal with all of them when they arise.  Life would be frightening for me without knowing him and seeing how he cares for me and for my family in the midst of the bad times as well as the good.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Good Canadian Attitude To Foster

Last night I watched an episode of The Amazing Race Canada and was impressed by a contestant couple who had to leave the race due to an injury sustained during one of the contests.  

Their response to being eliminated from the competition was, to me, so uniquely and deliciously Canadian.  There was no bluster, no fussing, no whining or complaining or overblown angry posturing in the face of their disappointment.  The fellow said, during his post-elimination interview, words to the effect that in order to hear the words, "I am sorry to tell you that you have been eliminated from the race.", a person actually had to have been fortunate enough to have been in the race to start with, and wasn't it great that he had been in that position. I was so proud of his attitude and proud that such a response was, at least until very recently, typical of the Canadian response to not winning competitions:  "HEY, we got to play!!! Isn't that wonderful?"

I hope we never completely lose this somewhat humble attitude, but I see it changing, unfortunately.  Winning doesn't have to be everything and it bothers me intensely that to not win in this day and age, particularly in competitions where there is only one ultimate "winner", we are not more encouraged to also enjoy simply being able to participate at all.

Church Bloopers

In my husband's present position in our church denomination, we get to travel around to many different churches during the year.  It is a lot of fun, but sometimes we learn things we never knew before!!  Some of those things are unwittingly hilarious.

I have a few favourites from the past year:

--"A reading from the Book of Ephoosians" instead of "Ephesians"

--"Be careful to show hostility to each other".  Um, I believe that should be "hospitality", although the other rendition can be tempting at times.

--"We will now read the story of Jacob and Eeshew".  Must be Esau's big footed brother.

--And from a recent service in our own church:  "Let us turn to the Nicene Creed".  So of course, instead we said the Apostles Creed.  As well, my husband had posted our Eucharistic prayer as Prayer number 3 but he actually led us through Prayer number 2.  He announced an incorrect hymn number and then when we finally found it, he accidentally renamed the hymn because it was one he wasn't familiar with and he didn't have his glasses on so he misread the title.  Our seniors found this to be a most confusing service. 

--Then there was the time that the Book of First Corinthians became the Book of First Coronations.  Funny, I don't recall anyone being crowned king or queen anywhere in that particular book.

--The Book of Job, long "o", became The Book of Job, short "o" and during the rather extensive reading I nearly convulsed with giggles because it just sounded so darned cute.  I wondered if Job had started a new job no one told us about previously.

--One poor lady ended up doing an Old Testament reading she had not been able to read and prepare for ahead of time and it contained a geneology filled with long, tongue twisting names. When she reached that part of the reading, she stopped for a moment, wide eyed, then threw up her hands and said, "Well....he was descended from a big long line up of folks back in the day." You know, I would actually prefer that happening than having to sit in an agony of embarrassment for someone verbally stumbling and falling over the unfamiliar names of that time in history.

You never know what is going to happen with volunteer readers and I find the mistakes endearing.  It takes courage for someone to get up in front of other people and display their reading skills, or lack thereof.  i enjoy being in churches where no one freaks out when a reading or a prayer or a sermon is not "practically perfect in every way".  (thank you Mary Poppins)  I eagerly await more bloopers from the pulpit.

 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Happy Happy Joy Joy....A Good Friend on the Horizon

I am pretty excited today.  Recently my best friend from high school, who I have not seen in nearly 30 years, found me through this little blog.  We are back in touch and it is delightful.

Now, we are going to have a chance to meet this summer.  She and her husband will be visiting relatives in the city where my parents live and we are going to be able to drive out and meet them there for a visit.  That will be the first little trip out of here at the start of our holidays and it is awesome!!  I am just delighted that we can get together.

My friend is the person from my Grade 12 class who really rekindled my interest in Jesus and in learning more about God after I lost interest in the whole thing as a child.  She met him first, then generously and gently introduced me to him as well.  She changed my life by doing that, set me free from so many problems and fears.

So, 2 little "out trips" to look forward to in the coming weeks as we reconnect with our first priest and my best friend from high school.  GREAT STUFF!!  Happy summer to US!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Roadside Adventures....If I Could Talk to the Animals.....

As we drove along the back roads yesterday to get to the church service my husband was doing in another parish, I was able to distract my attention from the sameness of the landscape by focusing on the beautiful bright yellow daisies with large brown centres growing all along each side of the road.  I suppose my mother would have called them Brown Eyed Susans.  They added such a bright and cheery feeling to the vast fields of greening crops that extended for miles and miles in every direction.  Other than the occasional yellow flower of blooming canola, there was little else to relieve the monotony during all those hours of driving.  I am not a farmer and I am not a prairie person. My eyes just don't see the subtleties that long time residents so enjoy when they survey the land here.  I've tried over the past 10 years and have failed miserably.  I admit it.  Those daisies saved me yesterday from feeling like the round trip was never going to end. I think I must have some kind of geographical ADHD!

There was a plethora of meadow larks along our route.  My husband was afraid of hitting them with the car as they liked sitting right in our path until we were nearly on top of them, then they would soar upward in a big arc in front of the windshield, terrify the beejeepers out of us both, before sailing off out of the way.  I think they were laughing at us, I really do. haha  The larks sitting on the fence posts were singing their beautiful song and once again I thought of my mother who has had a life long love of meadow larks, herself a prairie gal.

On the way home we had an interesting experience with the antelope population...well, actually what we have here are not really antelope but some kind of prong horned goat.  Anyway, as I drove along toward home after supper, we noticed 2 moms and 4 young animals racing at breakneck speed through  the back yard of a farm home and we realized they were going to leap out onto the highway in front of us.  I hit the brakes to ensure there wouldn't be a collision and the 6 animals jumped onto the road JUST ahead of us.  They proceeded to run down the middle of the road in front of our car, so I kept my speed way down.  After about a half mile the one mom slowed until she was behind the 2 young un's and she prodded them from the rear until she got them turned around and running down into a thickly bushed area in the ditch.  The other mom kept up the original faster pace, still directly in front of us, for about another half mile.  Then she looked back in the direction the others  had gone when they entered the ditch, before gracefully leaping off the road and across the opposite ditch, checking to see if we were following.  As we continued down the road away from her she stopped, watched us for awhile and then cantered back toward the others.  We know nothing about the behaviour of these animals but it seemed as though the second mom was luring us "predators" away from the young ones until they could get farther away with the first mom.  It was a really interesting experience.  We have so little interaction with the few types of local wildlife and it was really fun to see these moms at work protecting the babies.

We have a new batch of baby sparrows hanging around our back deck.  They are only recently out of the nest and their parents are still feeding them seeds from the back deck and helping them figure out that they can get their own seeds if mom and dad fly off for awhile.  They are so cute.  They are terrified to get into the bird bath, so they sit on the edge and put in one foot, pull it out immediately and shake it wildly, try the same performance with the other foot and then give up before taking a drink and looking around helplessly. hahaha

This afternoon when we went for a walk we discovered a VERY new sparrow sitting at the bottom of the church steps.  Our presence had just frightened off a large crow from the church steeple and we wonder if it had this wee one in its sights.  Perhaps little dude fell out of a nest?  He couldn't even fly yet.  He wasn't afraid of us at first but when we were within a foot of him, he ran madly into some tall hollyhocks to get away from us, his stubby little wings flapping madly but not giving him any lift. There was no sign of him when we arrived home so we hope and pray he didn't fall victim to the predatory crow.  Poor wee thing.  Oh, he was so tiny, so VERY tiny.  I am not sure I can put the bird feeders and bird bath up next summer.  I worry too much about every bird in the place.  How did I ever manage to raise a child when I worry this much about mere birds?  I was in a tizzy of stress for the 19 years my child was at home, that is how!

So, another lovely day on the wane.  Super hot temperatures are expected later in the week so I will do my walking in the mornings before it is too warm to be any fun.  Convinced my husband to walk with me to the bank and post office today, about 10 blocks and he enjoyed getting away from his desk on his so called Day Off for a half hour of exercise and home chores.

Tomorrow I will experience the joy of grocery shopping..same old stores, same old stock of same old brand names.  Not much ever changes around here, that is for sure. For people who like feeling secure it really is a great place to live.

Rediscovering Motivation to Just Live Life

Looking back to where I was a year ago, I am amazed at the difference in my motivations and attitudes about even simple every day events.

Last year at this time I was feeling so miserable all the time that it would have been beyond me to even drive over to WalMart like I did this past weekend and exchange a couple of items.  Instead of exchanging the net  catcher for the sink drain, I would have put the new one of the wrong size into the garage storage and hope some use would be found for it eventually.  At some point I would have dragged myself back to the store to seek one of the proper size, but likely not until I managed to clog the drain with bits of food, hair or lint.  In other words it wouldn't have happened until absolutely necessary due to some problem caused by my neglect of the situation.

Instead of returning the teeshirt that was too large and exchanging it for a smaller size, I would have washed the oversized shirt in hot water and dried it in a hot dryer and hoped there was sufficient cotton in the material to shrink it a bit.  OR I would simply have worn it under a jacket in hopes that it wouldn't be apparent that the shirt was too big.  

To become motivated in the first place I needed a good scare about my overall health.  To remain motivated I needed to see some sign of progress brought about by  my lifestyle change.

To see progress I had to set reasonable, reachable goals each day and not look too far into the future with goal setting.  The tendency is to set lofty goals, knowing they are going to become necessary, but thinking that it is easier to just do it all at once instead of changing lifestyle in manageable, less painful increments.  For me, the "cold turkey" approach to setting new lifestyle goals worked on some levels but not on others.  Getting control of the dietary issues was nearly instant due to the fear I had and the immediate need my body required, but getting geared up for proper exercise took much longer and I am glad I didn't start trying to do everything at top speed and time frame all at once.

So I am finally learning what probably seems obvious to most of the rest of the world:

--Change lifestyle in manageable ways if at all possible, setting realistic, attainable goals.

--Unless a medical condition demands immediate change in some area, make the changes at a pace that requires only a bit of pain or sacrifice and slowly work up to where more change is welcome and not so emotionally painful, making the change seemingly impossible to achieve.

--If your body and/or mind are telling you something is not right, go for medical help.  If your doctor or other medical practitioner won't take your symptoms seriously, get looking for one who will and don't stop until you find one.

--Don't let one day where you  fail to fulfill all your goals, or even 2 days in a row, discourage you to the point where you give up.  If you fall down, pick yourself up and start again. 

--Take encouragement from every possible source and don't let friends and family who don't understand your need to be disciplined in helping your body or mind heal discourage you or sway you from your course of action. They are not  you. You are you and only you can stay the course in the face of opposition or lack of understanding on the part of others.  Your body, your mind, your life.  

--If you have a source of spiritual encouragement, make use of it regularly and often.  The mere feeling of being less alone when a lifestyle change has to happen for the sake of health is a great motivator.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

And So Today.......

....hahaha I DROVE to Walmart to make some exchanges on what I purchased yesterday.  It is warmer today, I am tired from not sleeping as well last night and and and and and and I could come up with a whole post consisting of excuses to not make that long walk again today. haha

My husband arrived home for a late dinner last night.  It is so good to see him, to see how refreshed he is after a week at camp and to hear his hilarious tales of the teens he was responsible to for teaching the spiritual education classes.  He said he has never had a group as eager to learn about God as this year's group.  The cohesion in teaching and direction between the rest of the staff was the best he has ever seen at this particular camp and he wishes every year could be this good.  How marvellous to receive such a good report about his week.

Tonight we have our local church service, then 2 services in 2 different towns tomorrow.  I think by tomorrow night I will be "churched out" for this week.  Pastoral ministry is the sort of position that includes the spouse on many levels, much more so than most other types of work.  I enjoy it.  The expectations of a spouse in our denomination are much lower than in some I have been involved in previously.  It leaves me free to be as involved as I want to be in some areas and as uninvolved as I want to be in other areas.  In other words I can visit my beloved seniors as much as I like but I am able to not touch the church finances.  It is not a given that I must be the "piano player" for services and oh how I am enjoying being free of that. For me it was always a burden rather than a joy.

All in all, summer is shaping up well this year.  Life is generally pretty good.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Week Continues To Get Better Every Day

The warm weather is continuing, although it won't be quite as hot today.  The grass normally would be cut today but because of the heat and the lack of moisture since a week ago, it isn't long enough. Whew!  Nice to be able to wait a few extra days and pride myself as well on not killing what remains of the eternally sparse grass in the front yard.

Yesterday was such a good day.  All my housework and other yard work was completed, no major cooking needing to be accomplished, so I spent 2 happy hours mindlessly playing a computer game.  It was a fun way to spend a morning with no pressing committments.

In the afternoon our deacon's wife arrived, 2 year old in tow, for an afternoon of visits at the seniors' manor.  It went well. The 2 year old is always a delight for the elderly folk and now that he is talking more he is quite hilarious.  The one parishioner who is suffering from dementia recognized all of us and we had a grand visit.  Her husband was also there and he is looking so much healthier himself since the stress of care giving at home has been removed from his shoulders.  A chance to pray together was so appreciated by all of us.

After the visiting I was able to walk downtown for the mail and do a couple of other errands, so made up for some of the missing exercise time during my brain dead activities of the morning.

This morning I called the local medical clinic and was able to secure an appointment with one of the better doctors on staff since my own is on holidays.  From there I think I will walk to a restaurant for lunch and then on to Wal Mart to search for a tub drain strainer.  I have looked everywhere else in town and had no success.  A couple of years ago I found one in the dollar store, a little plastic one that has lasted me all this time before finally tearing last week.  Not bad for a poor quality strainer.  

The highlight of the day will be closer to the dinner hour when my husband returns from summer camp.  I am eager to hear of his adventures with the teens.  There are always many things to chuckle about.  I have spent many weeks alone and without a vehicle since we moved here and it has always gone pretty well, just like it has this week, but for some reason the loneliness really hit me this time.  Perhaps it was because I was also supposed to be away this week and my plans fell through.  No big tragedy, but I will be very happy to have my husband home again so we can go places together.  On Sunday we are heading out of town after morning service.   My husband will do a service in a parish a couple of hours from here and we can take our time driving back and enjoying the late evening summer sunlight.  It will be nice to return to our regular routine next week.

In just over 3 weeks my husband will be on holidays for a few weeks.  We can't afford to go anywhere far away this summer, but it will just be nice to hang around tidying up things at home and taking day trips to the city to check on my parents, maybe take a couple of days to visit friends and relatives in other places that are only a few hours away.

This has been a good summer thus far and only seeming to improve as the weeks go by.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Small Accomplishments, BIG Joy!

Today was a lovely and hot summer day.  At last we have broken the +30C mark.  The warmth feels so good on my skin.  

Apart from basking in the sun I also got a fair amount of work done today.  It is now 10:30pm and I just completed vaccuming the house and washing the floors.  It is still pretty warm in the house, but not as hot as this afternoon.  The rest of the house was cleaned by noon and I was able to doff my sunhat and get in a walk downtown after lunch.  (AND I routed out 8 more spiders from their stronghold in my kitchen!  Eeeeww, I detest spiders and this rectory is crawling with them!)

What is there about vaccuming so late at night that makes me feel so exhilarated; like I have really gotten away with something?  haha

I think it is because when I wake up in the morning I will realize that I have completed my entire week's worth of chores 2 days early and can spend the day visiting some of our senior parishioners over in the Manor where they reside.  Some of them will remember who I am and some will not, but they all love a visitor.  Our deacon's wife is coming with me and that will make it even more enjoyable.

The day my husband comes home from camp I will have time to make him a really good dinner to celebrate his successful week with the teens.  The house is cleaned, the yardwork is done for the week. Cooking something really spectacular is all that is left to do this week for home chores.  I all ready have 2 tins of his favourite beer chilling in the fridge.

In between today's chores and walking there were some good phone conversations with friends from all over Canada.  

It was a great day again today.  Summer is such a cheery season of the year.

Conscious Of My Blessings Today

I woke up this morning literally counting my blessings.  All around me various friends and relatives and parishioners are suffering with ill health, botched surgeries, dementia, some are near death, some are experiencing turmoil in career and finances.

Today my biggest problem in life is the air quality advisory for our town due to forest fire smoke blowing down from the North West Territories.  All it means is that I can't walk downtown this morning to do errands and have instead a time limit free day to clean the inside of the rectory.  That is all that is "wrong" in my world today.  A stress free chance to do work that needs to be done...hardly a problem, but a joy instead.

My husband was able to get to a phone and call me from camp last night and he is having one of the best times there he has ever had with the teenagers in his group.  The weather is good there.  The diocesan youth worker is helping him out for a couple of sessions so that he has less to plan for and can spend some time doing mainenance on the camp buildings.

My son is having the time of his life during his last term of university in the States.  He has big plans that may even come to fruition over the next few months.

I was able to walk all over town yesterday before and after my laser appointment. I took myself out for dinner to have a change of scene and had sufficient funds to pay for it without any worry about feeding myself today.  There are fewer people all the time in the world who can say that.

My parents are currently managing in their own home with help from home care and other services for seniors.  Despite their many old age related problems they are coping fairly well as they both turn 88 this year.  We are going to visit them soon to celebrate their 61st anniversary.

I am feeling better than I have in a long time despite the allergy situation. Underlying that problem is a source of physical and mental strength that I am newly conscious of since I changed my diet and exercise programme.

In 3 weeks time my husband will have his month of summer holidays and we can clean out the garage, downsize some more house items and take day trips here and there each week in between chores.  I am so excited about it all.

May I always be as conscious of my blessings as I am today.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Giving Me the Treatment

Today I had my first cold laser treatment for hair removal.  It was an interesting experience but I suspect that it is simply an uber expensive way to get my chin waxed once a month until such time as the hair throws up its hands in defeat and simply refuses to grow any more.

Actually the session was rather fun, despite having to lay out another ten dollars at the end of the treatment for some skin gel that comes in a vial smaller than the end of my thumb!  It has the consistency and smell of some hair gel I all ready have in my bathroom cabinet, so I don't think I will bother to buy any more when this vial is empty.  The hair gel is only $3.95!

The lady doing the treatments has opened up in an ancient downtown building.  She has done an excellent job in covering the elderly walls with skin products, jewellery, scarves, purses and new-agy, Buddhist and Hindu knick-knacks.  In the back rooms where manicures, pedicures and laser treatments are done, she has decorated each room with brown and beige curtains, dark brown paint, exceptionally dim lights and generally has given the place the air of a 19th century opium den!

As a client I was allowed special access into this land of awe that caters to the vanities of middle aged women like myself.  I removed my shoes by request as I was about to be led into the interior of the building....the inner sanctum....the holy of holies near the back of the building.  My purse was whisked out of my hands by another employee and she and it disappeared into a completely different area of the building.  As she shut the door behind her, my purse over her shoulder, I experienced just the slightest twinge of paranoia.  (and yes, when I got home later I went through every inch of that purse because I am one of those vain middle aged women who is also paranoid about theft) 

Next I was led into a nearly pitch black side room decorated with 3 overstuffed off white chairs. They were a nice contrast to the general gloomy atmosphere spawned by all the brown and beige.  I had my choice of seats while I filled out a medical release form assuring the operator I was neither pregnant nor in possession of any type of heart disease.  My choice of seating depended on whether I wanted to rest my feet on a heater that looked like a bloodshot eyeball or on a foot massage unit.  I chose the heater for some odd reason on this afternoon of +27C temperatures and after a 6 block walk to this place....possibly because the foot massager looked like too much effort would be required to make it work.

Peering at the forms in the near darkness and trying to write on the difficult to see lines was an exercise in frustration, made worse by my own glasses whose frames are in bad need of tightening to line up my progressive lenses properly and the sweat pouring into my eyes because I was stupid enough to be sitting with my feet on a heater. 

After filling out the forms I sat and waited for the technician to return....and waited and waited and waited. About the time I decided I should go and find my purse, retrieve my shoes and get out of there, she returned and led me into the laser chamber.  Seriously? Laser CHAMBER??  Who calls it that?? Before I could decide if laser chamber was a nice way of saying torture chamber, I found myself flat on my back on a cushy bench, a pillow under my knees and my head tilted back. My glasses went sliding onto my eyelashes and that was most uncomfortable but there was nowhere to put them and I had all ready lost my purse to a complete stranger, so I just suffered in silence.

The waxing session was surprisingly painless and quick after a pre-application of the same gel I was ripped off for......er, I mean, that I purchased on the way out of the session.  Once that was over I was handed a metal "conductor" attached to the machine the tech was using.  I gripped that conductor as if my life depended on it and tried to relax.  The tech moved the wand over and under my chin, around and around and around and around until I felt quite dizzy from trying to follow its progress around and around and around and around.  After a few minutes of that I relaxed and felt like having a wee nap but I managed to stay awake for the full 15 minutes.  

Suddenly the tech stopped using the wand.  I thought that was probably wise as, unlike hot laser treatment, the cold wand is like rubbing any piece of metal tubing on my chin and I suspect probably has about the same effect on hair growth......zero, in other words.  

I was told the treatment was over, so I got up and retrieved my shoes, located my purse now at the front of the store by the cash register, paid the clerk a whopping amount of cash and away I went, the last vestiges of gel still hanging from my lower lip, as the cashier at the grocery store I stopped in on the way home was quick to point out to me.  I felt like opening my purse, removing the vial of gel and wiping what was still on my chin into the vial for later use, but I refrained.  I'm not THAT chintzy.......well, I am if I don't have a grocery store clerk looking at me, but today I had one so............

So that was my first experience with cold laser hair removal.  Hmmmm....not sure if I have been royally ripped off or not, but it may be worth the money to just go in there once a month for some heat on my feet and a 15 or 20 minute afternoon nap away from the home phone.  According to what bit of "research" I was able to do online, the purpose of the cold laser is to stimulate the hair growth and make it easier to wax off a month later.  Hmmmmm....does it not return on its own with or without the laser?  Could I not just wax my own chin right here at home for far less cost?

Probably I could...BUT then I would miss the opium den experience in that laser CHAMBER and my one guilt free nap each month.  Not sure I want to give up these new experiences here in our little town.  There isn't a lot to do here that interests me so maybe this treatment will give me something to do outside the home on a regular basis that is NOT grocery shopping, banking or mail pickup!  

Mind you....at my age the excitement could turn out to be too much for me........

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Nearly Perfect Summer Day

Today was a wonderful day!  I woke up to a nice cool breeze coming in through the bedroom window.  The sun was all ready high in the sky but it didn't get so hot in the house as to be unbearable by mid morning.  Today I got the right sequence for opening and shutting the windows as the sun orbited around in the sky.  

I had a half hour to read in bed before I had to get up and eat breakfast.

Got my bedding changed and a load of laundry done before heading out for a good long session of weed whipping in the back and side yards.  There wasn't a wasp anywhere in sight and the mosquitoes were minimal in number.  The ground cover out behind the house, along the alleyway, has come in thick enough this year that it covers the sharp rocks and gravel bits, so I was able to use the mower on about half of it and save some wear and tear on the weed whipper motor.  It is amazing how the lack of visible insects made the entire experience a good deal of fun.  If it wasn't for bugs I could quite conceivably become a far bigger fan of outdoor camping and hiking.

Came in to a phone call from a good friend....in fact, one of the joys of today was receiving phone calls and emails from some of my "really truly" friends....as opposed to some of my more "tick on a dog" aquaintances where I am definitely the dog....figure it out!  Having some wonderful friends where there is such complete give and take in the relationships gives me the strength to be available for others who are more interested in talking about themselves and barely tolerate anything I have to say as they wait for me to stop talking so they can begin again. hahaha  I like to be there for people, to listen to their woes and be as supportive as possible, but right now, with certain things that are going on in my own life, it is especially sweet to have friends who want to listen to me as well as share their own lives.  Today I just felt cared for and it was a delightful feeling.

Meals were good today.  I enjoyed my turkey burger with red pepper and lettuce.  A new bag of prunes produced large plump juicy fruit, rather than the usual dried up little brown wrinkly lumps that seem to be the usual standard around here.  I made myself a small pita pizza for supper and enjoyed it so much.  Finally I have a low milk fat cheese (19%) that melts nicely and doesn't look like glazed milk on the pizza.  I topped it off with a huge plate of green beans....delish!!

The continuing breeze throughout the afternoon made it possible to walk downtown comfortably in the heat.  All my errands were successful today.  I came home with some unexpected groceries due to a good sale at the store.

It was a golden summer day today and I look forward to another such day tomorrow. Right now I am all showered and am looking forward to crawling into bed on fresh, clean navy blue sheets! 

Goodnight!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Blessed With Safety Thus Far

Tornadoes are becoming more of a problem in our general area and today there was a huge funnel cloud just outside a town that is only a 2 hour drive from here.  It took out several farm buildings, including a 100 year old barn that was in the process of being restored.  Quilts were sucked off beds and out the windows in one home.  A series of smaller tornadoes in that same area have taken out the power to several small towns that we travel through on a regular basis. Fortunately other damage was minimal.

It is going to take all my nerve and trust in the Lord to relax here while my husband is at camp next week. At least I will not be here alone. I will have someone to be scared witless with.

We came pretty close to having a serious tornado here last summer and with the super hot temperatures predicted for all of next week we could finally be in line for a much larger one than we have had in recent years.  There aren't many sorts of weather that frighten me, but tornadoes terrify me.

So, I am off to discuss with my husband the safest place for me to try to get to if we have a tornado next week.  It is difficult in a home with no basement and I may not have time to get into the church basement next door.  

Nothing like a good dose of weather terror to keep a person alert! 

Mowin' In The Wind

We survived the interment and the family dinner yesterday.  It actually went very well.  When a child has passed before the mother, all that mother wants to do is talk about the child, even to a stranger like myself and I am keen to listen and look at all the photos, so my place is easy enough to find and enjoy in such a situation.  Although it wasn't an easy time,  family gatherings based around funerals never are, the family seems to be at peace about their loss and there was great unity in working together despite geographical distances, to prepare the interment service, the gravestone and share the meal together. What an honour to be included.

I woke up this morning feeling like I really didn't want to mow the lawn as rain was predicted, possible thunder showers all morning and the wind was howling.  However, I forced myself into my outdoor work clothes and got the mower going.  It went very well. Although I could hear the boom of thunder in the distance, no moisture fell then or at any other time throughout the day.  I even had the energy to weed whip afterward so that is always a nice feeling to get all the details completed. Monday I will do the back area along the alleyway and the side yard.  

The severe allergies that began last year have lessened significantly as my liver continues to heal.  While I had some body rash today after brushing against the trees, it wasn't at all itchy and was gone in less than an hour after a nice hot shower and washing my hair with some good new product.  If I hadn't seen the rash on my neck and face in the mirror I wouldn't have known it as there.  The tops of my feet itched a bit where the bits of grass got inside my boot laces, but even that itch was gone in a few minutes after my shower.  Healing is a wonderful thing.

Now if the neighbours will just forgive me for starting a 2 hour mowing job at 8:30am on a Saturday, all will be well.........