Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Thanks from Mary and Pete

As of last night, Mary is still with us.  She has been able to see her son who arrived  just after the weekend.  She survived being transported from her local hospital to a large city hospital and they were impressed by the way her lungs have cleared regularly throughout this ordeal.  They were not as full of fluid when she arrived as they had been over the weekend.

Have not heard anything yet today, but they are so grateful for prayers that sustained them through a horrible weekend and that helped keep Mary going until her son could see her.  There is still not high expectation that she will live through this serious bout of respiratory illness, but her son is there and that is what she was staying strong for.

Continuing to pray for them and all the family.......

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Happy For Mom and Dad

I had a nice chat with  my parents yesterday.  The had great news about their meals, after a most disappointing try with a new company that pre-cooks and delivers meals to seniors.  We all hoped it would be the answer they were looking for as far as not having to make arrangements to pick up food from a depot several kilometers away from their house, as they have had to do once a month over the past year.  We have a dear family friend who has been driving mom and her food cooler to the depot each time an order of food arrives.

After the disappointment with the food from this new company, dad thought they were facing an even bigger upset when he called in for the May menu from the first company and was told they are moving and shutting down all the neighbourhood collection depots.  Mom's friend would have to drive her far across the city to pick up meals. However, another change being made is that for seniors the food will now be delivered to their door.  Dad and Mom are thrilled about this and no doubt their long suffering friend will be as well. He no longer has to drive around the city late in the evening to pick up all that food.  I am so relieved about this new development.  Mom has a fair amount of cooking to do with this first company who prepares all the meals and gives cooking instructions, but she truly enjoys the fact that she still can do the actual cooking.  She and Dad can choose their own vegetables or salads to go with all these uncooked but seasoned and prepared entree dishes and Mom can retain the independence she craves.

I can relax now about their food situation.   They are happy and so am I.  The food from the second company has been so terrible that I thought I would be preparing a couple of months worth of meals to take with me when I go to visit my parents later in May.  I used to do that and really enjoyed doing it, but living a full day's drive away from them makes it a rather impractical solution.  The way things have worked out is truly an answer to prayer.

Monday, April 27, 2015

A Murmuring Heart

Mary continues to hang on to life on this earth.  Her son is due to arrive today from the USA to see her and to finalize funeral arrangements.  She is a determined woman at the best of times and no more so than now as she struggles to breathe until she has seen him.  There is no time to sleep as she continues the effort to keep her ever filling lungs clear of fluid so that she doesn't sink into a coma before he arrives.  I can't even imagine what Pete is going through right now watching his wife caught in the limbo struggle between fighting to live and fighting to die both at the same time.  He has had to pass off his church duties, funerals etc. to other clergy so that he is able to be with Mary every minute to assist her in any way he can.  May her dream of seeing her son be realized before she allows her body to be set free of the pain and of the fight to remain here. Thank you so much for your prayers for these dear people.

My own heart murmur is giving me trouble these days.  I can tell by the lack of energy.....the complete and total lack of energy....and yesterday's struggle with feeling depressed for no apparent reason.  My level of daily activity has increased sharply since we arrived here and my level of health has not risen to the occasion in some ways.  Other than a couple of attempts to have some company in for dinners this week I think I will take it relatively easy.  In fact maybe I will slow down for a couple of weeks and regroup.  I need to be more careful with this murmur than I have been.  The past 5 years were very good for my heart what with the low level of physical activity and a slower social life, but now I have to readjust.  The spirit is willing but the body is a bit weak.  I just need to be more careful and I will be...will pace myself better and pay better attention to my own body's reactions. Emotions are a great indicator for me of when it is time to slow down or speed up life's pace.

My husband, tired as he was yesterday after pub church, decided to take me out for dinner.  We went to a favourite little Indian restaurant that has large portions of good food for a reasonable price.  There are leftovers for dinner tonight. YAY!  It isn't gourmet quality but it is hearty and tasty.

I am resting this morning and then this afternoon a friend is coming from out of town to spend some time just hanging out together.  It will be fun and not overly strenuous.  The most energy consuming thing we will likely do is go out for tea, if we leave the suite at all before she goes home again.

Am thinking of doing some volunteering this fall.  I would like to go to one of the hospitals and hold babies who need some attention and care while they recover from illnesses or preemies who need to gain weight and strength before they can go home with their parents.  Barring that, there are any number of other volunteer services in this little city that I could participate in.

If the other singers in our new parish are not too professional, I may have an opportunity to sing in the small church choir.  I would really enjoy that if it is possible.

One of our parishioners is in a drum circle and that really appeals to me, if I can afford a drum to practise on.  I need to be doing something musical even though I can't really play my keyboard very well any more.

So for the rest of the spring and summer leading up to our annual holidays I will take lots of time to spec out volunteer and entertainment possibilities around here.  Perhaps season tickets to the philharmonic or theatres would be in order.  No point living here if we don't take advantage of what Regina has to offer.  Looking forward to the next show at the MacKenzie art gallery, whatever it may turn out to be.  It is a nice little walk to the gift shop in the provincial museum as well.

Life is good!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Torn...

My husband is speaking at our local pub church gathering this afternoon.  It is a cold, dreary, wet, depressing day and I probably should have gone with him to keep depression at bay, but I just couldn't do it.

I really wanted to go with him.  I really wanted to see and talk to the other people there.  They were expecting me.  I was so torn about what to do just before he drove away.

The pub owners have so graciously welcomed the group into their establishment once a month under the condition that everyone purchase beer and nachos or some kind of food and that is only to be expected.  They are a pub, not a free public meeting ground.  However, I can't drink beer and I can't eat a meal at 2pm, particularly when I awoke at 6am feeling ravenous and just had to eat breakfast before 7am.  There is no way I could last until 2pm or later to eat lunch and a snack between meals in the morning throws my blood sugar into chaos.  I am not one of those people who feels they have some sort of inherent right to be somewhere to enjoy an activity but not obey the rules established in advance.

I remember many years ago when I first started attending church as a young adult and going along with the crowd for coffee or snacks at various restaurants in the area after services.  We would fill entire restaurants with our young, boisterous and generally financially depleted selves, order tea or coffee with little or no food and proceed to pontificate for hours while customers who could have come in and ordered large meals for the restaurant owners' profit were unable to even get in the door.  It always bothered me.  We were so full of ourselves and our newly discovered spirituality that we gave nary a thought to how much money we were losing for the restaurant.  As each place, after enduring several months of our inconsiderate behaviour, began to bar us from sitting down unless we ordered full meals and agreed to leave after an hour or two, it seemed to only anger my friends. They seemed to feel persecuted or hard done by.  I never understood it. The businesses we were treating in such a cavalier manner deserved better from us who claimed (and claimed loudly enough for half the city to hear) to be so "christian". They had to protect their own profits and their reputations among the clientele they actually wanted to serve.

So, despite feeling kind of lonely and depressed today, I didn't go to pub church.  Maybe it was wrong of me to stay home and miss out on the good friends and fellowship and my husband's good message, but all morning I couldn't help envisioning those old times, old friends, old inconsiderate behaviours.  Maybe next time I will work out my schedule so that I can go too, but today, torn as I was inside about what to do, I think it is best that I just stayed here at home.  

Veggie Chopping and an Excellent Movie

I was bored yesterday afternoon so decided to make a great huge dinner so my husband could eat heartily after a long day of working at home and in the office.  I decided on a stir fry, but wasn't looking forward to all the time it takes cleaning and chopping up vegetables.

So, I put my tv onto the Rock Anthem station and as the tunes played on I chopped the veggies in time to Run DMC, Stone Temple Pilots, Kiss, Aerosmith and Def Leppard.  O wow, it's been awhile since I blasted my ears out with any of those groups. haha  Never have vegetables been chopped with such frenzy as I chopped them yesterday.  The time certainly flew by.  Once again I am grateful for the somewhat decent soundproofing between our unit and the one next to us!! No doubt our neighbours are as well!!!

I also put together a side dish for my husband of various types of mushrooms, including his favourite enoki 'shrooms.  He was delighted and I felt good for taking the extra time to do it.

In the evening we rented "The Imitation Game".  I didn't know if we would enjoy it or not as we had originally gone looking for a comedy on our Maxtv rental station.  So happy we picked this movie as, although it is a serious drama, there is a lot of good British wit in the script.  We enjoyed the performances by Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley very much.  It has been awhile since we have seen a movie we could wholeheartedly recommend to others.

Of course it would not be a proper Saturday evening without watching a boxing match or two on HBO.  Last night we really enjoyed watching Sadam Ali vs Francisco Santana.  It was a most interesting match in that Ali was obviously the better technical boxer, but spent all 10 rounds backing up and backing up and backing up as Santana continued to advance, stay up close and move Ali into the ropes time and time again.  We were too tired to stay awake for the main event, but have it recorded to see today.  Last night's undercard was one of the most interesting we have seen in awhile.  It is going to be hard to discipline myself to refrain from watching the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight live on PPV.  hahaha My dear husband would flip out if I spent that kind of money on a televised fight.  Manny's my favourite boxer but a couple of Russians are right on his rear bumper as second and third choices for faves.

Awaiting an email update from Pete on Mary's condition but we are not certain she has lived through a second night of being unable to breathe and unable to clear the congestion in her throat.  What hell ALS is for the sufferer and the long suffering family as well.  O Lord, may it all end soon if it hasn't all ready.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

PLEASE pray!!

We received word today that my husband's predecessor at his job who has ALS and has done very well so far, all things considered, has developed a serious respiratory illness.  Of course it could be deadly as she has no strength in her chest muscles to cough and fight through this.  

Our Bishop drove all the hours necessary to get to her home last night and prayed Last Rites over her....it is very serious indeed.

Please pray for Mary and Pete...please.....may the Lord deal gently with them both at such a horrendous time in their lives.  May he release her from this suffering and bring grace to her dear husband who has stood beside her through this awful ordeal, suffering in a different but equally heart breaking way.

Thank you......will update when I hear news.

Cold and Wet

The word "yucky" was coined for a day such as this.

The weather is yucky: instead of the warm spring rains usually associated at this time of year in places like the west coast, we have a prairie rain, which is cold drizzle, driven by winds and creating a sheen of light coloured dirt on the outside of vehicles that isn't quite dark or thick enough to constitute mud and a visit to the car wash, yet keeps the vehicles looking scuzzy.  (There's another great word to describe this day!)

The grocery stores are yucky:  it is Saturday morning and no deliveries have occurred for produce departments for the past couple of days.  The fresh carrots are soft and soggy, the broccoli heads are mashed and yellowing, the unbagged celery is browning and mushy and the cauliflower is developing small patches of black mold.

Our property is yucky: trying to walk from the back porch to the car results in bits of muddy glop and dried dead grass stuck to the bottom of shoes and overly long pant leg hems because of the number of times the lawns have been aerated but never swept up afterward.

Our suite is yucky: we are trying to get the last of our junk sorted out, labelled and put away out of sight in the remaining cupboard spaces and on basement shelving. Once again the kitchen and a couple of the upstairs bedroom are in an uproar as my husband begins to realize he absolutely HAS to get rid of more of us unnecessary items.  Some more of my own "iffy" items have shown up in my bedroom....a box of little useless "thingys" that seem to be so easy to toss into a garbage bag now, but weren't so easy to dispose of when I was packing up for this move.  Who knows why???

I am yucky: the cold pouring rain did not inspire me to have my shower and style my hair or put on any make up before heading out for my discouraging grocery shopping trip.  There would have been no point.  My make up would have been running down my face, any hair styling would have ended up in a huge ball of frizz framing my face by the time I got home and clean clothes would no longer be that way after trekking through the puddles in the shopping center parking lots.  As it is, even pulled back in a pony tail and covered in a helmet of spray, my hair is escaping its rubber band and looks like a bad attempt at a retro '70's afro....and anyway, afros never looked good on white people, even in the '70's.

My husband is yucky:  he feels drained and exhausted and slightly nauseous after his innoculations the other day.  It isn't a horrible reaction, but it has slowed him down.  That on top of a scare he gave himself yesterday after making a mistake on his income tax preparation that left him thinking he owed Revenue Canada over three thousand dollars, (and thank you Jesus, he found his error and corrected it), and a meal last night that wasn't healthy for him, has left him looking and feeling kind of grey and fuzzy....oh, wait a minute....that fuzzy look is because he is in bad need of a haircut that he feels too gross to even tackle this morning.  This afternoon and evening he is working over at the office to get caught up on a backlog of emails and paper work he had to leave off because of other meetings.

Well, time to go and make lunch.  Hopefully when I start seeking out something to munch on I will find some good food, somethat that does not fall into the category of yucky!  

If we can get our act together before he goes to work later today, I think we will have some success at reorganizing our kitchen and that alone will be encouraging enough to remove the "Yucky Factor" from this day.


That and remembering the really fun time we had last night meeting the vestry members and their spouses from my husband's new parish.  What a great time and what lovely people.  I have been worried about our new church assignment, naturally it is always a stress until you meet the people, but last night put any fears or questions to rest.  They are a great bunch!!

Good memory: I am feeling less yucky all ready.  Once I have my shower and do my hair I will feel just great!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tired But Happy

My husband is so happy with his new position.  It is incredibly exhausting and some nights after work it is all he can do to stay awake until bedtime, but the variety is very enjoyable.

Yesterday he was able to organize some willing volunteers to come and do some clean up and other chores around the synod office after the construction company finished up a project of shoring up the elderly building's foundation. He went to work in his construction clothes, proudly bearing his tool boxes and big lunch box.  He spent about 12 hours on the project and the volunteers had a lot of fun working together.  It was also a pleasure for him to work with a construction company that has the kind of professional attitudes and work ethic he is used to, unlike the lazy, provincially minded rotters he had to deal with on his last renovation effort.  He was dreading dealing with more local construction companies but it turned out so very well. They actually realized the fact that taking instructions from the project manager is how it works in the real world and were more than happy to do the job expertly and properly even though my husband was not born and raised here.  A miracle!!!! hahaha 

Today there is a bit more to do on that project, some office work, an evening synod planning meeting, the day ending with the monthly staff and spouses prayer meeting at the office.  I think I will wander over there for that.  It is a good group of people with expectant hearts, just waiting eagerly to see how God answers our prayers. What a treat!! I have missed those times of deep prayer for others and the sharing of hearts' needs. 

Tomorrow is innoculation day for the upcoming African trip.  Hopefully neither he nor the Bishop will react negatively to their shots.  The Bishop has not had a yellow fever shot before and my husband isn't sure if the one he had forty years ago is still applicable or if the idea of it being a life long innoculation has changed.  Malaria pills also have to be chosen.  Fortunately my husband has all ready had everything else he needs due to past travels.

Friday IS income tax day!! It IS, it IS, it IS!!!!!!  The nice treat for the day will be getting together with the members of our new congregation for a "meet 'n' greet" where we can all get to know each other a little better before my husband starts working with them.

Saturday we are going to make the 3 hour trip together to the provincial ACW meeting.  Usually he would go with the Bishop, but our Bishop must travel on afterward to our former parish to do a confirmation service and work with them on hiring a new priest.

Not sure where we will attend church on Sunday.  It is our last Sunday to "freelance" before my husband begins his new incumbency here in Regina.

And then a new week will be upon us!! Where does the time go??

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Secrets For Cleaning the Entire Townhouse in a Morning

I have a few things I just have to do if I am going to get this place cleaned properly and completely all in one morning each week.

First of all I have to finish eating my breakfast before my husband is ready to go to work.

Second, I have to clean on a day when my husband is going to work at his usual time of 7:30am.  I have to start cleaning the moment the door closes behind him as he leaves for the office.

Third, I have to choose if I am going to start upstairs or down and immediately gather whatever tools and cleansers I need for that floor.

Fourth, I cannot distract myself by washing my face, brushing my teeth or getting dressed before I start cleaning the house.

Fifth, I cannot look at the clock even once while I am working.  It is best if I just keep going with no clue as to how long it is taking me to complete the task.

Sixth, I cannot answer the phone, or drop into my desk chair long enough to look at emails, or take any other kind of break that could distract me or slow me down for more than a minute in the middle of the job. eg drinking a glass of water when one floor is completed and before I move on to the next one is acceptable and fits into the allowed time frame.

Seven, I must resign myself to the fact that the work will take the entire morning, so no point in stressing about meeting any sort of self-imposed deadline. Slowly and steadily is the best way for me to work.

This morning I stuck to my seven points.  I started cleaning at 7:30am and was completely done just before 11:30am.  Now I am going to shower and do my hair, get dressed, have lunch and head out for my afternoon walk so I can do several errands.  My husband has the car today at work and it is good for me to have to get some good exercise on a sunny day with only a bit of a breeze instead of our usual gale force winds. I have no planned people distractions today either, no social niceties, no interruptions to my day, so I can stay focused and enjoy my tasks.

Today is another good day!
 

Monday, April 20, 2015

O Yeah.....Income Tax Deadlines......o yeah......

We enjoyed a wonderful Sunday this past weekend: a drive 2 hours to Assiniboia in a spring rain storm, followed by a church service with some of the warmest, friendliest small town folk we have ever met in our lives.  If you are ever out that way of a Sunday morning and want to meet up with some amazing people who are the epitome of every GOOD cliche ever written or spoken about small town communities, spend a couple of hours at service and coffee time with the Anglican parish in Assiniboia.  We had such a good time there it was difficult to leave and return home!

Assiniboia is also home to a little gem of an art gallery, the Shurniak Art Gallery.  It has been in Assiniboia for the past 10 years, celebrating its anniversary just now, and it is one of those hidden, off the beaten path treasures that Saskatchewan is becoming known for.  The gallery houses everything from 16th century oriental statues to Group of Seven paintings,  to abstracts by young SK emerging artists to glassworks to pottery to representational paintings to bird carvings to.....the list goes on.  One of the Anglican parishioners who volunteers her time there told us it was open and where it is located. She even met us there to show us around,  explain its history, its ownership and to invite us to stick around for the full experience.  The gallery houses a small cafe as well.  What a treat and we will definitely go there again very soon.

After a delicious lunch at the church and a great visit with the parishioners, we did a bit of bargain shopping while waiting for the gallery to open for the afternoon.  My husband, since moving to the city, has become quite the intense shopper.  Mr. Skinflint, as I used to call him, has been spending money like water for the past couple of months and I am so enjoying watching his face light up when he finds things he has been wanting for years, but had so little access to stores on any sort of regular basis. We are now going to have to drive to the bargain store in Assiniboia a few times a year to purchase socks for him, as they are the only store he has found in a year that carry the brand he is comfortable wearing!!

Coming home we stopped in for a drink and good visit with dear friends in Moose Jaw.  It is time now to start inviting our friends there to make the trek to Regina occasionally to see us.  There are many people there we need and want to invite here now that we are more or less settled in.

I suppose we can blame being tired and giddy today after such a great weekend.  I suppose we can blame it on my husband's needing, unexpectedly, to spend his morning visiting an amazing friend today.  I suppose we can blame my need to do a ton of errands this morning outside the house. I suppose can blame the arrival in the mail today of my son's information and invites to his commencement in New York next month as he receives his Master of Fine Arts and the tears that flowed when we realized his dad will be in Africa and I will be on the road elsewhere, so we can't attend.  (Actually, apart from the actual ceremony where he will receive his actual diploma, my son isn't putting in much of an appearance either so I am not missing anything by not going...he is not one for pomp and ceremony...and really, neither am I, but sobbing about not being able to go to the commencement seemed like the right sort of "mommy" thing to do. Ya' know?).

Suffice to say there were any number of reasons today as to why we completely forgot, COMPLETELY forgot, that today was set aside to file our income taxes!!  We COMPLETELY, TOTALLY, ABSOLUTELY FORGOT!!

How do two adults in their 60's forget to do their income taxes???  We are going to have to cancel our plans for my husband's next day off on Friday and get them done.  It is the last chance we will have to complete them and file them prior to the deadline.  Good grief, that is one embarrassing exclusion from our mental files!

Time to set the good times aside and do the necessary drudgeries!!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Happy Do Nothing Day!

My husband spent the day at an exhausting round of meetings...all good, just very tiring.  I however, spent my day doing absolutely nothing at all for the first time since our move. Yes, the house needs cleaning and there are always "must do's" around the place, but I was tired today and for once obeyed the urge to relax.

I spent the entire morning watching tv movies.  Other than eating my meals and a bit of thumb action on the tv remote buttons, I didn't "do a tap" as my mom used to say.  I didn't even get dressed until 3pm when I had my shower.  It was "LOVERLY"!!

Then we ended our day with a spendid dinner out at the home of  friends.  The oven baked salmon had a wonderful crusty rub of maple syrup and crushed pistachios.  There were scalloped potatoes with fresh chives, all ready growing in our friends' garden, (mom eat your heart out, haha), broccoli and an amazing salad with fresh mandarin orange sections in it, not those metallic flavoured tinned oranges.  A glass of white wine with the meal and some chocolate, hazelnut, coconut tea with the iced cream and strawberries ended the feast.

After dinner as we visited, I found myself sitting on their sofa surrounded by, snuggled into by, licked by and covered in drooly playtoys by their 2 Cairn terriors and 2 elderly cats, all in need of constant cuddling. hahaha  How animals seem to know about my asthma and decide to rebel against it by crushing me with their physical presence is beyond my ability to comprehend, but I was ready for them tonight.  My body was full of Claritin and I did very well: nary a sneeze nor a wheeze...not even rash on my hands from petting them and giving out a full evening's worth of tummy rubs.  Since I love animals and have felt devastated my entire life that I cannot be around them, tonight was a thrilling treat.

Off to Assiniboia in the morning so my husband can do their church service.  It will be a fun drive as he has never been there before.  I was there once a few years ago, but can't remember much about the drive.  Always fun to go to a new place and meet new people.  I enjoy the invisibility of being the executive archdeacon's wife as I am a real nobody when someone in his position from the Diocesan office is visiting.  I will get a cursory inspection, no doubt be found wanting in either appearance or personality and then I will be off the hook to say or do anything in particular other than staying out of the way so they can talk to my husband.  It is so great to be "just the wife" for a change until he starts his new parish position next month and being the minister's wife will be more important again.  It will be time to learn the expectations of a new parish and try not to embarrass them and myself.

So, a good weekend thus far.  I am basking in joy and happiness these days and for once do not have the constant feeling in the back of my mind that I am waiting for "the other shoe to drop".  The lack of paranoia here is quite a wonderful experience.  There will no doubt be some bad times on the horizon, as there always are in everyone's lives, but for now I have decided to just relax and enjoy all the good things that are currently happening in my life.   Thank you Lord, it feels so good to be happy!

Friday, April 17, 2015

When a Moment Becomes a Millenium

My husband is known among his climbing buddies as "The Pathfinder!!" (and yes, the exclamation marks are part of that most honorable title)

This afternoon however, his path finding skills degenerated into utter  disaster when we finished several hours of successful mall crawling, only to lose our car in the attached parkade.

Maybe we were too stuffed from our delicious halal lunch to think clearly, or maybe we were flying too high from our successful shopping trip, or maybe...dang it...we really are just OLD and forgetful, but we had a terrifying half hour tramping around the parkade in search of our vehicle and coming up with nada!!

When we entered the parkade on our way home, we took a few steps from the doorway and realized that nothing looked famliar, but there was an easy explanation for that we assumed: when we originally parked our car and went into the mall, we had simply entered through a different entrance door.  If we walked around the entire 4th level of the parkade, our car would jump out at us, no problem, easy peasy.

HAH!  We walked around the entire 4th level.  We walked around the entire 4th level twice.  No car....whaaa??  So, we walked up to the 5th level and found ourselves on the top, out of doors section of the lot that turned out to be employee parking only.  We knew we weren't so confused as to think we had parked out of doors with the employees, so back down to the 4th level we went again.  Again we walked around the entire level and no success at spotting our car.  Hmmmm.....we had to pay for the parking at a machine prior to leaving the mall and we had only 20 minutes to exit before we would be charged for more parking time. By now half those minutes had elapsed.  O well, how much longer could it take, right?

Well, my husband thought perhaps we had screwed up our original premise that we had actually parked on the 4th level.  After all, the highlighting colour on the walls of the level we had been around twice was purple, but he was certain the colour on our parking level had been yellow.  Since I hadn't noticed either way, I was no help to him on that. HOWEVER, I did remember that as we were driving around initially looking for a parking stall, we passed a row of handicapped parking spots on the level underneath the level we ended up putting the car on, just a few stalls away from the handicapped stalls on our floor.  So, off we went AGAIN around the 4th level seeking those spots because our car would have to be there, right?  

We did find them on level 4.  We didn't find our car parked anywhere near them.

What to do....????

This time we tried going down a level, to level 3 and made the circuit down there.  We found the handicapped stalls on the first loop, but we didn't find our car...not anywhere near the handicapped stalls....not anywhere at all.  By this time our 20 minutes had elapsed and I wondered what the penalty was going to be for breaking the time limit for leaving the parkade.  Around we went again, just in case......

We decided to go back to level 5 and work our way systematically down, level by level, to the bottom of the structure in case we really messed ourselves up and were actually parked on level 2...although how we could have left our car for the nearest stairwell and walked UP to level 3 when we were both certain we had walked DOWN to level 3 from our car was anyone's guess.  

So, back for tour two of level 5, tour four of level 4, tour three of level 3 and our first of two tours around level 2.  STILL NO CAR!!!  We knew that we knew that we knew we had not parked on the entry level, BUT we still made two tours around it anyway.  Still no car anywhere in sight.

We looked until our eyes were bleary at the ticket the machine had dispensed upon entrance to the parkade,  but there was nothing written on there to indicate anything at all about levels or stalls...well of course there wasn't. When the ticket was dispensed the machine had no way of knowing where we were going to end up parking, but after a 35 minute search without locating our vehicle we were getting a little slap happy with panic.

About this time we decided it must have been stolen.  Yes, we know no one would really want a car as old as ours, not the cleanest inside and with a few exterior blemishes developing, BUT also it would be one of the easiest cars to break into and jack start as it is so old.  How could we possibly call the police and report our vehicle missing when, at this point, we had lost all confidence in ourselves as far as being able to report where exactly it had been stolen from!!???!

Then my husband had his first brilliant, pathfinding idea: we would go outside, locate the entrance where we had driven in and retrace our path from the start in hopes something visual would trigger our failing memories.  Off we went and o my, the entrance seemed to be incredibly far away from where we walked out of the building.  

Finally we found it.  Fortunately a parking attendant was sitting in the exit booth.  We walked up to him and shamefacedly admitted we could not find our car and were wondering if we should call the police.  He asked to see our entrance ticket, took a very quick look at it and a great big grin spread over his face.  He asked us if we realized there were actually two sections to the parking lot.  We were very surprised to hear this and as he explained the situation we were also rather humiliated.

Turns out the lot is divided in two sections, with the mall being in the centre between them.  When we left the mall we exited through the wrong door into the lot...it wasn't the one we had entered from after we parked the car, but we were so busy laughing and giggling about our shopping successes we weren't paying sufficient attention, just walked through the one exit door we noticed at the time.  Sigh...who knew??  Obviously not us. Sigh.....

The attendant told us where to go outside again to find a door that would get us safely into the right half of the lot.  We climbed the stairs there to the 4th level, walked into the lot, glanced across from where we came out the door and there was our car, parked just down from the handicapped spots. There was the yellow highlight colour for our floor, the very one my husband remembered during our panicked race around the other half of the parkade.

Less than a minute after we got the information from the attendant we were back again, inside our car on the way out of the stupid, "@*#%^'ing" (insert bad word of your own choice) parking lot!!  The fellow was so incredibly nice about it. He didn't even charge us for the extra 45 minutes we spent hiking and climbing around the place.

We were so embarrassed we hardly said a word to each other all the way home.  When we pulled up to our own door my husband said, "I don't know how I am going to live this down when I tell the guys what happened today."  I responded with, "Why tell them??  Don't you think it's  horrible enough that the parking attendant knows??"

Once we were back inside our home and our purchases unloaded and put away we had a nap.

That IS what old people do when they exhaust themselves unnecessarily, isn't it?  ISN'T IT???  Sigh.....apparently we will be doing a lot of daytime napping if this trend keeps up....sigh.....

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Our Parking Lot is Clean, Two Movies Have Been Seen

We had our morning's entertainment watching the maintenance crew clean our section of the parking lot. As we suspected it was just as hilarious as what we saw yesterday when they were cleaning another lot.  Now there is dirt everywhere, not just in the lot!  Equal opportunity filth is what we have around here, haha!

This afternoon we toddled over to the IMAX to see two films.  Both, for reasons we didn't figure out were in 3D, which added nothing to either presentation.
  
"DDay" was somewhat informative and was a good introduction to the invasion of Normandy for people who maybe didn't know much about it before seeing the film.

"Jerusalem" was a huge disappointment.  It was narrated by 3 young 20 somethings, one representing each of the 3 major religions of the city....Islam, Judaism and Christianity.  The film contains very little actual history or information about life there in this day and age. It is a strung together piece meal conglomeration of bits and pieces from all 3 religions' rites and rituals and the thrust of the narration is that none of the 3 girls have had a chance to spend time with people from the other 2 religious communities and wish that would happen some dreamy, far in the future day.  It was a warm and fuzzy, non-informative piece of horse pucky in my opinion.  Since Jerusalem is about one mile square in area and all the girls grew up there, it seemed completely ridiculous to be asking why they didn't know much about each others' social and religious communities...gee ladies, do you listen to the news on a regular basis?  Could your lack of contact with people outside your own communities be because you are terrified to death of each other, because you are afraid of being bombed or otherwise persecuted by one of the other groups as you go about your daily life?  The 40 agonizing minutes of warm and ignorant fuzziness finally ended, leaving us with only mild headaches and sore eyes from the poor quality 3D glasses to remember them by.

There are a couple of other films coming in the next few weeks and we will bravely open our wallets and fork out more senior citizen rate costs to see them, as we do enjoy IMAX and the next few films will surely be better than what we saw today.  SURELY!!

The rest of the day went well.  My husband spent part of the day making bookcase shelves for his office books which can now be unpacked and put away.  We had a great walk to and from the IMAX on a warm and NOT windy day.  We had fun talking to the young people who work at the IMAX and didn't have many paying customers to keep them busy this afternoon.  What nice kids!  The 4 month old next door finally smiled for me this afternoon when I clapped my hands in rythmic patterns for his amusement.  Declan, your smile lights up the room!

Here's to another good day tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Apparently There Will Be No Sleeping In Around Our Complex

It has become apparent over the past few weeks that now that all the ice and snow are melted and "spring", as this weather is called around here, is underway, the maintenance crews are going to be busy every morning of the week...starting between 6am and 7am each and every day!!  hahaha

This morning they were out diligently driving about on their little machines aerating the lawns for the third time in as many days.  Unfortunately those machines are just as oversized as the snow blowers and small bobcat blades and buckets and, like those other machines, not only scrape off ice, snow, doggie do and what have you, they scrape off any actual lawn that sits on top of little bumps or rises in the landscaping, leaving vast tracts of mud throughout the entire complex.  The postal delivery folk must have to wear gum rubber boots from March through to October to deliver mail to the nearly 300 units here.

My husband also discovered why our basement experiences "seepage" in one corner and it is likely the same reason most of the other basements in our complex have trouble with water when the snow melts, when it rains, when the sprinkler system is running....most of the year round actually.  He brought in some clay late the other night to build up the soil at the corner where there has been the most water coming in and discovered that when the flower beds were removed from under the windows a few years ago and pea gravel put down instead, the plastic under the pea gravel has been sloped downward, right against the foundation at that same corner.  Every time water gets into that gravel, the plastic diligently funnels it right into our basement! Tonight after dark he is bringing in another pail of clay and, under cover of that darkness, will dig up that side of the gravel bed and rearrange the plastic so that the water drains away from the wall instead of right into it.  It is really sad that his repairs here have to be done clandestinely, but if he gets caught in broad daylight working on this place then the regular maintenance crew will insist on doing the job themselves...as they should, BUT they don't know what they are doing.  hahaha Oh, this is one hilarious place to live. Yesterday morning when the lawn was undergoing yet another aeration process, there was so much dead grass on my front stoop I had to push the broom out the front door ahead of myself to clear it so I could check the mail box that is right beside the door without bringing inside a ton of dead grass on the bottom of my shoes.

When the lawn isn't being aerated at 6am, the parking lot, still filled with cars before folk leave for work, is under siege from various bobcats and small Ride 'Em tractors, bashing their buckets about on the asphalt for no apparent purpose.  The fellows here do enjoy their rides on the machinery and when they have no actual work to do, seem to go riding for the sheer fun of it.  Once the rest of the management staff arrive at 9am for the day and the maintenance crew have been seen to be at work early and suitably busy, the noise abates and the maintenance crew finds more quiet work to do.

Tonight we have to find somewhere else to park our cars until late tomorrow afternoon. Our section of the parking lot is going to be "cleaned".  From what I can gather, watching with interest this morning as another section received its annual cleaning (or whatever they were doing out there), the process consisted of blockading the entrance with a large tractor, a conglomeration of bobcats and men riding around and around the lot blowing dirt and garbage, gravel and dead foliage up onto the back porches of all the residences. They rode around in a circle one way, then all the fellows got out of their machinery and stood around chatting and smoking for a couple of hours, then they got into their various machines and rode around again in the opposite direction, blowing more crap all over the tenants' living quarters, before departing with great pomp and ceremony, leaving a bigger, dirtier mess behind than when they started.  BUT the smiling and laughing and back slapping that goes on with these guys is worth what I am paying for rent just to watch them.  Always a great show with lots of laughs, day after day, around here. I want to move to these particular fellows' country of origin...it has to be a great place with no one ever experiencing anything but laughter and joy day after day after day, whether anyone knows what they are doing or not!!

Perhaps it is the lack of sleeping in, EVER, that makes it all so hilarious to me.....but I am looking forward to their next performance tomorrow, when our own back porch will be receiving its baptism of dirt, sand, gravel, garbage and dead grass that will, by evening, have blown back into the parking lot from whence it all came.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I HAVE to Stop Eating Out!!!!

BUT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO TURN DOWN INVITATIONS TO RESTAURANTS HERE!!!!

Seriously, we have had only a few dud experiences eating out here and so when I had a chance to eat another of those fantastic pecan chicken rocket salads at Earls for lunch and fish tacos at The Lobby for dinner...well, how on earth could I say no to a best friend and a husband when they invited me to go out for these delicious meals today???  Aiiii yiiiii......

I used a few dollars of the remaining amount on our Earls gift card from one of our former church congregations to eat lunch today so didn't mind paying the whopping bill for our dinner tonight.  Oooh, those fish tacos were perfectly seasoned and the meal had the right amount of carbs for me.  Included in my husband's order was a plate of delicious, made on site samosas with a carrot chutney and a mint chutney made by one of the owner's mothers.  O my goodness, they were fantastic and had no corn starch in them, so my husband was free to indulge his taste buds as well.

One thing I was not impressed with at lunchtime was my friend's pasta meal.  She ordered chicken fettucine and that is exactly what she received....a rather small bowl of chicken fettucine...not one thing extra.  Not so much as a sprig of parsley to add some colour to the whiteness of the pasta and sauce, not so much as even a half slice of garlic toast, not even an offer of added ground pepper or a touch of parmesan or red pepper did she receive.  For this minute and ungarnished portion she was charged nearly seventeen dollars!  Thankfully I could use our gift card to pay for it. One thing I have learned at Earls is that you have to be savvy about their menu so that you don't get ripped off on price per portion.

My husband and I are looking forward to our next visit to The Lobby.  Tuesday evening specials include 25% off their snack foods and wines...the wine selection is rather dismal, but the snack foods, if the samosas are anything to go by, are delicious.  He also wants to take in their Monday evening special sometime: once ounce each of three different varieties of scotch for about twenty dollars.  He is making a list of friends he could invite to go with him for the evening.  hahaha  I don't think you are allowed to be an Anglican priest if you don't care for scotch. hahaha

Really enjoyed walking around shopping after lunch with my friend and my second walk to and from the restaurant with my husband tonight.  I cheated a bit on my evening exercises this past weekend when we had company so I need to get a move on.  It felt good to get stretching my legs again and working off the calories and sugars.

Monday, April 13, 2015

A Great Visit to the Art Gallery First Nations Exhibit

I hoisted my tired self off the couch at 10am today and hied away to the MacKenzie Art Gallery to see a group show of First Nations artists.  The theme of the show was the residential school debacle.  The artists, of various tribes and provinces, are extremely talented and they told the story well in minimalistic displays of photos, audio exhibits, residual items from the schools themselves and sculptures.  I truly enjoyed reading their personal stories and why they chose to honour the suffering of their ancestors in this way...passing on the stories of what happened then and how it continues to effect their families now.

I am not sure what to think of what is going on right now in regard to that whole residential school situation and the cultural genocide it fostered.  So much destruction to lifestyle, language and families occured in so many cases.  Such a misguided attempt to assimilate those we conquored into our own European culture was doomed to failure from the start. Terrible things happened to many of those people.

I do have one problem that I am struggling with though in the midst of all the heartache and that is the fear experienced by those in the residential schools who feel they benefited greatly from the experience, believe that their lives were saved from carrying on certain family dysfunctions. They fear that they will be persecuted by their own people if they admit how happy they are that they were actually rescued from ongoing tragedy and despair that began back on the reserves where they were born, long before the creation of the residential school policies.  The people I have talked to are incredibly grateful they were rescued from the dysfunction, provided with educations that stood them in good stead for life employment, who had toys and good clothes and enough food to eat and loving group home "parents"...all things they would not have had access to had they stayed in their particular homes on the reserve.  

I feel very sad that their stories are not also allowed to be heard.   I feel sorry that they are so afraid to speak out and show another side of  story, some of the positive life transformations that also took place in the midst of a government created situation that should never have taken place.  Why can they not be allowed to rejoice that in the midst of a catastrophic situation, at least a few experienced redemption from sure disaster and transformation of their lives in a very postive way?

I am sorrowful for all who were so hurt by the residential school experience and I am sorrowful for those who have been bullied and terrorized into being unable to publicly express the good things that happened during their own experiences there.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Family Fun

We are half way into a visit from my husband's sister and we are having a lot of fun.  A cousin joined us for dinner here last evening and we chatted long into the night about family and fun times.  My husband is feeling much more connected to his family in recent years.  It is all good.

We had such fun yesterday afternoon wandering through the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, just a short walk around Wascana pond from our place.  Today we headed up to Bushwakker's for brunch and I enjoyed the most wonderful taco salad: instead of the usual ground beef sprinkled over the top, it came with 2 skewers of medium rare beef roast.  O my it was delicious!!  The other joy is that it had just the correct number of corn chips to give me about 1 carb unit in the nutrition count.  There were hot peppers and greens and tomato and avocado, black beans and corn and the usual salsa and chipotle crema.  YUM!!

Then we drove over to the flower conservatory to see some lovely bougainvillia, hydrangea and cacti, green ferns, kinnikinnick, aeonium, tulips, lilies, orchids and other beautiful plants that I am going to spend a fair amount of time taking a look at over the winter when it is as cold as a meat locker outside!  The conservatory is very tiny, only the size of a large greenhouse, BUT such a pretty treat out here in the brown, dreary prairies.  People from places like British Columbia who are surrounded with ferns, cherry blossoms, big trees and other lovely plant life year round would giggle at our small attempts at greenhouse loveliness here, but for us it is a true oasis in the midst of a rather barren natural landscape.

Right now the other two oldies are having naps to get up enough energy to eat dinner tonight. hahahaha  They are both going to get a good teasing from me.  

We need to decide where to go to church tomorrow, one of the last Sundays free before my husband begins his new priestly duties in his new parish church, then go to Mackenzie Art Gallery tomorrow afternoon to see the First Nations art exhibit.  Then it will be off for our final dinner...at one of our favourite Indian buffets.  

We have so enjoyed this and realized how starved we have been for family visits at our own home.  I so wish Mom and Dad were capable of travelling out here to see us, but will take a bunch of photos on the ipad before my next trip to their place so they can see where we are and what our place looks like. 

Well, sounds like the rest of the household is starting to stir so will go see what they want to do about our evening meal.  The weather has cooperated so beautifully for the past 2 days that we have been able to do a lot of walking out of doors and work up healthy appetites.  Is it really.....SPRING at last????  (I think there is going to be one more humungous storm before that sweet spring odor hits the air...that lovely smell has not yet arrived out here.)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Sorry Local Sears Store, But Today Was the Last Straw!

Today as I was shopping in my local Sears outlet I found the exact purse I have been looking for over the past several weeks.  It was proper leather, not overpriced pleather and it was on sale.  YIPPEE is what I thought.

It continued to be my thought while I stood in line for over ten minutes at the first Customer Service counter closest to the accessories department.

It continued to be my main thought while I waited for another ten minutes at a second Customer Service counter that the ladies at the first counter sent me to when they realized that both their customers were going to be time consuming with bill paying, sorting out incorrect information on their bills and the like.

It began to dim slightly when the clerk at the second counter got tangled up with the woman who butted in ahead of me as she raced me there from where she had been standing behind me at counter number one.  The clerk there had seen what happened and still took her ahead of me but o well, it happens.  When counter clerk number two rang up the woman's purchases and told her the amount due, the woman nearly had a fit as she thought the items were on sale, but she was charged full price. As usual, Sears not being known EVER for being overstaffed at any time, the counter clerk had to leave the cash register to go tramp around the store with the buttinski woman so they could check the prices together.  The items had come from the farthest point in the store away from the cash register, so counter clerk number two sent me on to Customer Service counter number three over in mens' wear.

By this time my YIPPEE had turned into more of a yippee???  Sigh.  There was no clerk at the third counter, no clerk visible in the aisles anywhere near me.  I waited nearly five minutes standing belly up to the counter, looking about, eventually taking change out of my wallet and dropping it onto the counter in hopes that the noise would attrack attention from some clerk, somewhere in the store.  When that netted me nothing I tried the same thing with my key chain full of keys...guaranteed to wake the dead as there are so many on there and they make quite a racket when dropped on a hard surface from two feet up.  Still no one came to the cash register.  I waited for another minute then looked behind me and noticed a clerk folding shirts only a few feet away.  It looked like she had been there for some time.  She looked up and saw me, so I waved at her and she smiled and waved back.  Then she turned back to the shirts she was folding and continued her task.

At that point all the YIPPEE and even the yippee? drained right out of me and I gave up.  I tossed the purse onto Customer Service Counter number three and stalked out of the store.....never to return I'm afraid.  

This sort of thing happens all the time to me at Sears....not usually to this extreme, but always the long lineups at the customer service desks where there are never enough staff available to separate the people with billing problems and returns from those of us who simply want to pay for something and leave within a few seconds.

I am furious about not buying that purse, but there is a principle here called CUSTOMER SERVICE and it has been violated in my direction one too many times at Sears both here in Regina and in Calgary over the past couple of years.  

I don't blame the clerks as they are dealing with problem after problem and have enough stress from knowing they have insufficient assistance to deal with all the customers.  I don't blame the management who need to make enough money to keep the chain from following other chain stores of long standing down the bankruptcy trail.  It is just the way it is and it is getting to be that way in many retail stores these days.

Today I just didn't have the patience required to deal with it.  That is my problem, not Sears' problem, but I think I am going to do my shopping elsewhere, in stores where I have not had such a history of having problems just trying to pay for a purchase.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

You Don't Say......

People are funny.  We delude ourselves into thinking that if we don't actually verbalize our rejection of someone and tell them in spoken words that we have rejected them, they won't know they are being rejected.

We don't realize how often our actions send a message just as easy to understand as any verbalization of our feelings.

Ask anyone who has been rejected by a person or group of people.  They will be able to explain the subtleties, or not such subtleties, of body language and attitude that led them to draw the usually correct conclusion that they themselves have been found wanting in a particular social situation or in a specific group.

When we are obviously excluded from a group project, when people all around us are talking to each other but never directly addressing us, when someone we are talking to appears uncomfortable, doesn't want to look us in the eye and makes a rather quick escape based on the flimsiest of excuses, it isn't that difficult to conclude we are not welcome, not accepted.

So let's not fool ourselves into thinking that just because we deem someone else as being unworthy of our wonderful selves that they are also too stupid to understand what we are telling them by our actions and attitudes, even when we try to be subtle in our conversation.

Remember what condition we ourselves are considered to be in by our Lord and how he has redeemed us and made us worthy of his glorious Kingdom.  If we realize we are forgiven from our own sorry state, how can we hold ourselves above another human being in no more sorry state than we ourselves have been?  

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Duck, Duck, Goose....and Swan!

This past Sunday morning, driving between the churches in our former parish, we were excited to witness some of the returning bird migration as ducks, geese and swans headed north for the spring and summer.

We are estimating that we saw somewhere between 50,000 and 70,000 birds between the thousands on the ground in the farmers' fields and the great clouds of them flying across the sky.

There were a couple of types of ducks, two types of geese, including huge Canada geese and also sprinkled throughout the flocks were small numbers of huge white swans.  

We also spotted a few meadowlarks, with their distinctive yellow markings, sitting on fence posts here and there along the route. They weren't singing at the time, but no doubt the glorious weather of that afternoon brought out their best trills.

Today our present area of residence has several inches of fresh wet snow, but it isn't very cold, so hopefully the parts of Wascana Lake across the street from us that had melted off will remain open and flowing so that the geese don't feel compelled to return to our complex and leave massive trails of goose poop on top of the fresh white snow on our lawns. We had sufficient last week, thank you very much goosies!!

Fortunately this is to be short lived spring storm.  By tomorrow afternoon we will be well above zero and by Thursday it will be even warmer. So happy about that because my husband's sister is making a long drive here that day to spend the weekend with us.

Our next door neighbours arrived home last night after being away for several days.  It is nice to have them back on the other side of our shared wall.  Kind of nice to know we are not alone here on the end of the building.  Really looking forward to their little guy learning to walk this summer and seeing him being able to play outside for the his first summer of life.  So many wonders to behold.  My son turns 35 years old tomorrow and seeing the baby next door brings back so many memories of him at that age.  

This morning I got working on some of the stains in the carpets that didn't come out with the management company's steam cleaner.  The downstairs marks in the dining room came out very well, thank goodness. Some car upholstery cleaner and brushes are lifting out the grease.  The ones in my husband's room are in the midst of a second attempt, but at least they faded considerably after the first one.  It is nice to have something specific to do inside on a day when the idea of driving out for anything is less than appealing.

A friend from Moose Jaw is coming out for a visit later this week so I am really looking forward to that.  We will walk the aisles at the new Jysk store and see what kind of bargains we can find.  I have appointments on Thursday afternoon, so it will be great to return home to find my sister-in-law arriving shortly thereafter.  Lots of fun on the horizon this week!

 

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Pretty Good Easter Weekend

Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed.
HALLELUJAH!!

What a nice weekend we had.  Good friends, YOUNG friends, over here for dinner Friday night for good food, laughs and some serious conversation.

The weather cleared up nicely for the rest of the weekend and away we went on Saturday to our former parish.  My husband worked in their office for a few hours clearing off the computer of old files and personal emails that he had no time to deal with before we left.  We had a lovely home made dinner at the home of the dear folks we spent our overnight with.  As usual they spoiled us rotten, fed us to the bursting point and provided a warm, comfy big bed to sleep in. They are in their 90's but so thrilled to be able to do something for "the minister and his wife".  It was a privilege to be there.

Lots of "welcome home" 's ensued the next morning at both church services and it was grand to see so many folk out to celebrate the Resurrection with us.  One of our musicians invited us to lunch at a restaurant since all 3 of us were going to be alone on Easter Sunday at meal time.  O what fun we had!!  We talked and giggled and told stories and generally had the best time, but we had to leave in a big hurry when we realized it was all ready 3pm and we were an hour later than scheduled in leaving. She is the best lady!!

Great friends gave us a packet of Greek dessert "cookies", more like little melt-in-your-mouth cakes....o wow, they were fantastic!!  What a treat to have to eat at our snacktime on the road home.  They brought some visiting relatives to church with them as well and since they are from Calgary we had some good stories to share about our mutually beloved city.

My husband was able to surprise a few of our parishioners who now live in the seniors' manor. He took time to take communion to them and they had such a good time together.  Hopefully a new priest is going to be appointed soon in that parish and there won't be much lag time before a good seniors' communion time will happen once again, regularly.

The drive home was uneventful, except for our delicious Greek cookie break and we were so tired we just kind of threw together a light supper from leftovers we found in the fridge.  

Today the office is closed so my husband has the day off.  He slept in until just a couple of minutes ago...nearly 10am....and wow, he needed it.  Today will be a good day, once he is awake, to put up the spice racks and some basement shelving, since our neighbours on the other side of the wall have not yet returned from their weekend away. They will get to miss the pounding hammer. 

I am going to do some grocery shopping with my enjoyable new PC points card. haha  That card is helping me keep more organized with my weekly shopping as it notes what I purchase each time and sends me point specials on many of those items for later purchase. Aiii yiiii....I am addicted to a points card....me, who never ever participates in shopper loyalty programmes. What a hoot.  I will have to bear in mind my husband's sermon admonition to allow Jesus to be the Lord of ALL in my life...even my shopping habits!!

Have a blessed and happy Easter Monday family and friends. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Chilly Bear

In a few minutes we will leave for the trip to our former parish.  The forecast has changed 3 times since I first looked at it yesterday afternoon and saw snow predicted.  By last night it had changed to far less snow, early this morning it was changed to freezing drizzle, now it is cloudy and cold with a 20% chance of some kind of precipitation.

In other words, no one has any idea what we are driving into today and what condition the highways will be in by the time we get there.....assuming we get there.  

From the present temperature of -9C up there, it MAY reach the glorious spring high of +1C by this afternoon....or it may not.  

In other words be prepared for any and all possibilities!  The amount of "stuff" we have to drag along with us is ridiculous, since about 26 hours from now we will be on our way home again.  We have 3 different kinds of coat each, 2 kinds of footwear, a double change of clothes, a collapsible snow shovel, Arctic wear in case the first prediction for snow turns out to be true and my husband has to dig a path for our car along the highway like he has had to do in spring storms in the past, a large tote bag of food in case of being stranded, OR in case there are no restaurants open in our former town on Easter Sunday after church when we are seeking lunch, my diabetic equipment and breakfast foods....all for a trip that will last about 27 hours in total, 10 of which we will be sleeping! 

Spring on the prairies....completely ridiculous...and yet, there is a certain appeal to a person's sense of adventure that cannot be scoffed at.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Good Friday

My husband is preaching at the Cathedral today for their Good Friday service.  Unfortunately I won't be able to go along to hear him.  Good Friday is a day of fasting traditionally in our church, but as a diabetic I can't do it.  The service is at noon and even if by some miracle it is over by 1pm I won't be able to wait long enough to have my lunch afterward...despite eating a later breakfast, in hopes it might work for me to attend the service.  Days like this are among the rare occasions I find this disease to truly be a nuisance.

Friends from the east were laughing when they called yesterday.  One of the Orthodox churches in their town is shrouded in protective 6ml poly...not exactly the Turin Shroud! hahaha  

A young couple is coming for dinner tonight.  We are supposing they are planning to announce their recent engagement and we are going to have to act very surprised...or not...we are deciding what is the best way to react.  Not unexpectedly, her excited mom spilled the beans a couple of weeks ago, just like I would do if my son ever got engaged. haha  Better to be honest I guess and admit we knew all ready. Or do we protect Mom??  Such a conundrum on a day when I am very tired from yesterday's cleaning marathon. haha

The upstairs of this townhouse is absolutely freezing due to the lack of insulation in the walls.  Downstairs is just the right degree of warmth.  Although we both definitely sleep better on this cold upper floor, I am guessing next winter I will be sleeping on the living room floor or sofa to stave off bronchitis.  I haven't felt this cold since...since....well, since the last time we lived in a military housing complex that was built in the 1940's!!  That was in Didsbury Alberta in about 1977!  Great soundproofing between units, but I guess the families of the military men were supposed to develop their own brand of toughness!Brrrrr!!

So, enough time wasting and on to the task of cleaning the bathroom fixtures.  I just couldn't get to it yesterday.  I waited too long into the day to get started, then spent too much time yapping on the phone to various friends and family when I should have been working...but my thought is that the work will always be there to be done and the friends and family may not be around forever.  People are more important to me than how clean my house is at any given time.

Tally ho....off to complete yesterday's task before it is time to start cooking up a storm for this evening's meal.

As I work I will have time to contemplate the seriousness of today's signifcant time in the Christian calendar of events.  Jesus dying on the cross...tortured and suffering so that I and all who turn to him can spend their eternity with Father God and can count on his assistance to deal with life on this earth while we live out our human experience.  The idea is almost too large to grasp and too humbling to even want to think about.  On Good Friday, what Jesus did for his followers and for all the world is too disturbing to want to remember, yet remembering is how I will spend most of the day...in gratitude and in awe of his sacrifice...in a sort of shock that I am deemed worthy of it when I know myself for who I really am...worthy because I am trying to honestly love and follow Jesus and for no other reason.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Spring It Ain't!!

The wind began to howl during the night, ushering in a drop in temperature, a snow storm and icy streets.  Aww, c'mon!!  It is SPRING, remember????  I suppose we are stuck with a typical prairie spring once again...drat!  I got used to the warm sunny days rather quickly.

The highways are blocked by jack knifed semi trucks, a city bus spun out across one of the main streets and completely blocied oncoming traffic, the roads are so slick even the pedestrians are having trouble standing up in the blowing snow today.

Getting my husband ready for his walk to work was like a live action sitcom! hahaha  He ended up in the basement unpacking his snow climbing pants, fiddling about in the coat closet to locate his winter parka, heading out to the car to find his YakTraks for his footwear, trying on one toque after another to decide what would work best for his long walk in the bad weather, getting his heavier canvas pack out of storage, dressing, undressing, redressing until he was all ready to go...so far he has taken the better part of a half hour to be ready.  Finally he got the front door open, put his pack on the step and tried to put on his footwear. hahaha  One of the YakTrak attachments stuck to his sock and he was hopping about on the narrow step on one foot, trying not to tip over while he removed his sock from the ice apparatus. hahaha  Then he couldn't get the second strap of his pack over his shoulder, so we were both balancing on the narrow step, him looking like a professional ice climber and me in my old housecoat and flip flops, freezing in the blowing snow while I got his straps straightened out.  He must have made it to work eventually because no one has called looking for him.  Good grief....worse than getting a 5 year old ready to go to kindergarten!

After he left I collapsed on the couch and watched news tv.  Yesterday I did 4 hours of  ironing in around a long trip for grocery and hardware store shopping, making meals and other daily chores.  I finished ironing just before 11:30pm and today I am completely exhausted.  So this morning I will watch tv and do blogging and emails, then hit the housecleaning this afternoon.  We are having company tomorrow night for dinner so it has to be done today, since tomorrow morning we are tied up with Good Friday services and then an afternoon of cooking.  Not sure where the energy will come from this afternoon, but I know I will find it.

Concerned today about the granddaughter of a good friend.  The preteen gal was in her local hospital yesterday morning for a routine procedure, but ended up in a Code Blue situation and was rushed into the city hospital where she spent last night.  Apparently she was okay by bedtime but terrified to go to sleep in case she didn't wake up again.  If you are a praying sort, please ask for mercy for Mal and her family. Thanks.

Well, I do need to shower and get some housework done so I can enjoy tomorrow night's company and not feel too tired to enjoy them after doing too much during the day that I should have done today.

Lots of good things to look forward to over the next week.  Hopefully the weather will clear up for our weekend on the road to our former parish.

Onward and upward.........