Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wait For It.......

     HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!!!

It's Almost Like Home

I have just returned from a walk to the mail box several blocks away and wish I could be out there for another hour or more, but alas, I must now remain at home for my appointment with SaskTel.

It is so beautiful out there.  The rain is gentle and warm as the usual prairie breeze is absent this morning. The smoke is hanging down just the way it does on the place I wish I could again call home: Vancouver Island.  The absence of mosquitos due to the dry spring is just like icing on a cake, the final touch of excellence.

When I got back here I couldn't force myself to immediately open the door and step inside.  Just had to stand out in the rain for a couple of minutes until I noticed some neighbours peering out their windows at me and probably thinking I am a complete loony.  Guess I need to have a cigarette in the house to stand out there holding in this weather and then no one would think anything of me getting soaked in the rain on my own porch. haha

It is probably a good thing I no longer live on the Island....or in Ireland....or in any part of the world that tends to be rainy, foggy, green and warm for great periods of time.  Such beauty brings me to tears almost every time I see and experience it.  The Celtic aspect of my geneology seems to have worked overtime all my life: this kind of weather, medieval weapons displays, Celtic pipes and drums, all bring me to tears.  It is kind of embarrassing actually, but it seems to be just the way it is for me.

When I go for walks on the Island, through the lacy ferns and huge cedars, I am always a blubbering mess by the time my walk is ended.  My husband thinks it is hysterically funny but restrains his responses admirably and lets me go to it for as long as it takes to get over it.  Such a sweet man, no matter how confusing he finds me to be.  I am indeed blessed.

Wet Smoke

Overnight we had a bit of drizzly rain.  Mixed with the thick smoke in the air it makes the entire city smell like a campsight smells right after the first attempts to dowse the campfire at the end of a week in the Great Outdoors.  YEEEUCK!!  The smoke is to remain with us for at least today before the winds change direction and give us a break.  I just wish this moisture, scant as it is, would occur up north in the fire zone and give the firefighters and residents up there a break as well.

For me it is next to a miracle that I do not have clogged sinuses, swollen glands and an impossibly sore throat to deal with.  Those are the usual smoke exposure symptoms, but all I am suffering is a bad case of groggy tiredness...feeling a bit more stupid than usual.  

I DID have a great sleep last night though.  The new fan in my room provided just the right amount of white noise without being so loud that the fan itself kept me awake. Another sleep like last night's and I will be feeling great.

Off tomorrow to Art in the Park.  Picking up some friends to go with us and then lunch together before we come home again.  It is going to be a really fun time!  YAY, something social AND artsy....with food afterward...the perfect event! haha

Today I await a SaskTel installer to come and straighten out the glitches from our last phone bill.  Then all will be well in the bill paying department of my life.

Later in the week comes the dreaded underwear shopping.....boo hoo!  I detest trying to find what I want and what fits and and and...it is going to take hours and I am going to be near tears before I am done.  Based on past experience it is a day to be dreaded, BUT I have a wedding shower to go to on the weekend that will be  ton of fun so will focus on that! haha

It is all good.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Gag-alicious!

Today we are being slammed by northern forest fires' smoke.  The slightly sweet smell has invaded every corner of our home, yard, car....it is absolutely everywhere, turning the sun into a bright orange ball in the sky and creating a thick "fog" on the ground that makes it somewhat difficult to see clearly for more than a block in any direction. The city is filled up with it.  YUCKO!!  How I would love to shut the windows here against it and keep it out, but it is still too hot to do that.

Fortunately for me, the smoke is burning from "dry" fires.  There has been too little moisture in the north country this year so all the burning trees are pretty dry and being completely consumed by the flames. There is very little floating organic matter in the air as a result, so my asthma is not a problem and my throat isn't even sore today.  My eyes aren't itching and burning, so although it is rather unpleasant around here today, there is not presently a big health problem for myself.  I am grateful and I am praying for people who ARE being badly effected.

My husband and I purchased 2 fans at the hardware store today.  I have one going in my office and one downstairs.  My husband is so skilled at orienting them with the opened windows and the airless, closed window rooms so that we get maximum production from the fans.

I am not looking forward to dusting this townhouse once the temperatures drop in a few days time.  With the windows open so much and now the fans blowing everything about, a layer of dust is forming on absolutely everything in here. It can't be helped, it is just how it is during hot summers.  The forest fire smoke also deposits the teensiest bit of ash as well into the air, so the dust contains some larger particles than usual.  So very grateful for the dry fire and the resulting lack of organic matter as that is helping keep the dust particles fairly easy to remove later on this week.

My husband was craving sushi for lunch, so we went to a decent Korean/Japanese fusion restaurant.  My tempura was excellent but unfortunately the chicken karaage was badly done...tasty, but mostly batter, deep fried and similar to that horrible batter that is served in Canadian style chinese food restaurants around chicken balls and bits of shrimp. The batter was not correct for karaage and I think they forgot to put the chicken in!! But that is okay....live and learn what to order and what not to order in restaurants.  I bought some fresh chicken at the grocery later on and we will have an excellent home made chicken dish for dinner tonight.

Found the home goods store a young friend has registered her wedding gift list at, so purchased a couple of things there for her.  The prices are most reasonable there and I was pleased to know I have something she actually wants to have.  I love gift registries as they are so helpful.  There is nothing worse than discovering your thoughtfully chosen and usually expensive wedding gift has been regifted to someone else later on.

So, another good day...a smoky, stinky sort of day, but good nonetheless.   

Pub Crawlin' Research

My husband and son, following in the tradition of my husband's mother, enjoy eating in pubs...not lounges and bars, but as close to true pubs as we can get out here on the prairies.

Since son is coming to visit in about 3 weeks time, my husband has felt honour bound to locate some decent local pubs for the 2 of them to enjoy some feasting and some craft brews.  I am indifferent because I can't drink beer anyway, but in the course of our "research" have discovered some of the nicest salads and burgers in the city.

To date we have enjoyed in particular: Bushwakkers, Leopold's and The Lobby.  The noise levels vary, with The Lobby having the loudest music thus far, but their small menu has some very tasty items.  The last 2 on the list have the outdoor patio option as well, so if you don't mind sharing your meal with wasps and spiders that is an option...I suppose.....

That should be enough pub crawling for the duration of his short visit and there is also Bombay House for a nice Indian meal.  I will force myself to cook the rest of the time, teehee.  Since the boy used to be one of the best restaurant meat/fish grillers in the city of Edmonton we are going to have one good meal of decent steak courtesy of his skills.

So, off to face another beastly hot day.  My husband is going to help me find a couple of floor fans today.  If they don't help the heat situation, they will at least provide me with some white noise at night.  Between the yapping dog 2 doors down and the start this morning of 6 weeks of road and curb repair on the main street outside our house, I am needing a bit of help to get enough sleep.  The dog yaps consistently between 2am and 6am and the road crews are on the job by, or even before, 5:30am.  As usual my inability to lock out noise when I need to sleep is threatening to ruin my wonderful summer, but the fans will help a lot.  Apparently I am the only person in the entire complex that is awakened by the dog in the night and I am tired of being the whinger and complainer, so trust the fans will help enough to mitigate my complaints. I want to be awake and cheery enough to enjoy all the good things summer has to offer.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

So How Do I Know It Is Finally Summer Around Here?

I know it because it is 11pm and it is still +32C outside with not so much as a light breeze to accompany the heat that has risen quickly to my second storey bedroom.

It know it because the kids in our complex are out of school now and one of them is outside in the parking lot screaming her lungs out and running just out of her furious father's reach as he tries to grab her and wrestle her into the house.

I know it because the screaming girl's dog is also out running around and barking as loudly as the girl is screaming and the father is yelling...at both of them....to be quiet.  hahaha

I know it because the noise of the traffic on the road outside my bedroom window is magnified so much due to the weather conditions.

I know it because the smoke from forest fires up north is drifting down here and filling my home with the most dreadful, allergy inducing odors.

I know it because after a cold miserable spring the summer crept up on me before I had time to purchase a fan to not only attempt to cool down the house, but also to create some white noise to dull the sounds from outside so I can try to get some sleep at nights.

I know it because I don't have to worry about plugging in the car to keep it warm enough to start on a cold morning.

I know it because the prospect of highway drives to anywhere at all inspire feelings of adventure rather than the dread the icy winter highways instill in my mind.

I know it because the flowers are blooming and the trees are beautifully leafed out.

I know it because the woodpeckers that I FINALLY spotted in the trees this morning are peeping and eating bugs and providing no end of entertainment for me now that I have located them outside the living room windows.

I know it because the sky is deep summer blue and what few clouds have appeared lately are absolutely starchy bright white against that pretty sky.

I know it because I can go for a walk outside anytime I want, in sandals, without any concern about vibram soles and yak-traks on the bottom of my boots to prevent me from falling down.

I know it because I am happy despite being rather Sleepless in Regina over this past week.

I know it because when upsets occur or the old depression threatens I am able to get over it in a matter of hours or a day at most and get on with the joy of living.

Summer....what a great season, but short as it is, it gets me through the rest of the year rather nicely.

Happy Clappy Day...Fa La La La Etctera!

Today's beautifully hot, breezeless, summer day reminds me of a somewhat inane but relentlessly cheery ditty I used to sing at a teen church group many years ago:

It's a happy day and I thank God for the weather.
It's a happy day and I'm livin' it for my Lord.
It's a happy day and things are gonna get better,
'Cause I'm livin' each day by the promises in God's word.

haha Good memories of younger days!

Church was so much fun this morning.  My husband ended up coming home early yesterday due to heat stroke, so he rearranged a few computer cables down to the cool of the basement and set up a little old machine we still have.  He sat down there and got his sermon set up for today after a bit of rest, but this morning something went haywire when he went to wire it into the printer on the second floor and he lost the whole sermon.  Thankfully he is excellent at saying a prayer as he goes to the pulpit to preach and then "winging" it, hopefully under the direction of the Holy Spirit! haha  It went well today.  The Gospel reading was about Jesus healing the woman in a crowd who had been chronically ill for 12 years, because she reached out and touched his clothes, believing even that would heal her.  The passage about the healing of Jairus' young daughter was also included. (Mark 5: 21-43) In both cases the people were healed through touching or being touched by Jesus. My husband is attempting to encourage our somewhat discouraged church and our diocese that new growth, revitalization and the restoration of personal spiritual strength will only come from that direct relationship with Jesus and that even good things like trying harder and thinking positively are not the bottom line answer to revival in our lives or in our churches. It was well received.

At coffee the women surrounded me and told me that now that my husband has been inducted and declared his intention publicly to be their priest, they feel free to just be themselves with me and wow, they were VERY MUCH themselves and VERY REAL in their conversation. hahaha  However, it was a breath of fresh air to see who they honestly are as individuals and as a group.  I am going to be very happy in this group.

We had one little glitch during the announcement time:  my husband presented the church with the gift he was given by our British friends, the knit nativity scene.  As he pulled the figures out of a tote bag, one by one, to be admired by the congregation, he came to the end of what was in there and realized Baby Jesus had gone missing.  I raced out to the car to see if I had dropped him on the floor in there, but there was no Baby Jesus to be found.

Do you know how embarrassing it can be to LOSE Baby Jesus, even in 3 inch knit form?? hahaha Talk about being teased!  I am never going to live that one down.  As soon as we got home we started searching for him and it wasn't long before we "found the babe, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a".....pile of old leaves and spider webs down below our deck where I had apparently spilled him rather unceremoniously out of Mother Mary's arms as we left for church in our usual "WE ARE LATE AGAIN" hurry.  hahaha

I am grateful he was found so easily as I had diverted my husband from his dash to a favourite restaurant for lunch in order to come back home first for the search.  Despite my need to find Jesus before I could relax enough to eat, we managed to get to the restaurant right before the main after church crowd arrived, so my husband quickly forgave me for my carelessness earlier in the morning.  Not that he was upset, just kind of chuckling at my utter predictablilty in losing the central figure of the creche display. haha

So, pastoral phone calls have been made this afternoon, waiting emails answered, the cycle of window opening and shutting in order to cope with the "+33C and no air conditioning in here" weather has been taken care of and now we are going to just relax and watch some boxing on tv.  Poor old Saskatchewan Rough Riders lost yet another pre-season game yesterday, this time to Winnipeg, as well as losing a star player to a season ending injury.  The Canadian women's FIFA team was trounced by the English team and are now out of contention for the Cup, so it wasn't a happy bunch of sports talk around the post-church coffee table today.  The golfers in the crowd changed the subject to their favourite sport and that was much less depressing.

We discovered last night that there is a new Battlebots series on tv, so my husband was in his glory watching that and talking about how HE would have been able to make this bot or that bot so much better. hahahaha  Battlebots?? Are you kidding me? Have we come to this kind of mindless stress relieving tv content???  YUP!!  hahaha  Such is life.

It IS a happy day and I DO thank God for the weather AND for his promises to love and care for us no matter what!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Hey La Hey La My Boyfriend's Back

Even though he was gone only 3 days, it was great to have my husband arrive home safely yesterday evening.  Of course he is on his way out the door again at this moment to participate in a funeral for a former bishop, but at least there was time to visit for an hour last night before he had to get some sleep for today's activities.  This afternoon is an abbrieviated Diocesan Council meeting and then it will be sermon tweaking time for tomorrow's church service.  Church tomorrow and then, hopefully but I am not holding my breath, he will have an actual day off on Monday....it has been at least a couple of weeks since he has had one of those, other than a couple of supposedly days off where he was actually answering his work emails and writing sermons, newspaper articles and work related blog posts from here at home. 

So I am here once again "picking up the pieces" from Cyclone Dell's latest trip through the house. haha  

Bless him, last night he found a board in the basement that is perfect for holding up the kitchen window screen in the evenings to cool this place down before bedtime during these rather hot days.  The window, like most everything else around here, doesn't work just quite right, but the board will do to keep it propped open.  It would be easier to just open the front and back inside doors and open the screens in the storm doors, but neither of those doors seal properly so when we have tried that we have found the townhouse filled up with spiders and other bugs in record time as they stream in through the cracks in the seal.  The doors have been painted over so any times they just don't close properly any more, so even attempting to rehang them has met with little success. haha  Aaaah, the joys of rental properties....it has been a long time since we last rented a place from a big management company and we had kind of forgotten..... (but we are very happy here despite the foibles of the building, so don't get me wrong)....

My husband had a wonderful couple of days away.  He took our British visitors to a pub luncheon in one of our former parishes, then on to visit Mary and Pete and their parish congregation.  While he was staying at our Diocesan camp, the Brits were billeted out to a couple in a lovely cabin down on the river south of Maple Creek.  The next day they toured an amazing cattle ranch and the following day Dell took them on their first ever canoe trip.  They had a wonderful time and my husband had a few hours to answer work emails, trek through the beautiful trees in Cypress Hills park and get some decent sleep in the quiet of the presently deserted camp.  He is still exhausted, but feeling generally better after a kind of a break away.

So, another hot day but we did get 10 minutes worth of rain last night.  It all helps and the temperatures are supposed to drop back to the mid +20's by Tuesday.  Yay! Life is good.

Friday, June 26, 2015

If You Are Consdering Self-Employment

I overheard a not so young fellow in the shopping mall the other day, discussing with his friend the pros and cons of leaving his present employer and striking out on his own, starting his own small business.

I don't know the fellow at all, but the things he was saying made me want to go up to him and talk a bit more about his plans.  Of course I didn't do that, but I hope he has considered the following:
1.  if he is self-employed in Canada he will have no company pension plan to fall back on when he is retired.  He will be dependent upon his 2 small government pensions and whatever savings and investments he is able to have success with on his own between now and then.
2.  there is no unemployment insurance for him.  He will not be allowed to pay into EI as a self-employed person.  If he finds himself unable to work prior to retirement he will have to utilize Social Services as his EI replacement and some people find that too humbling to have to consider even when they are unemployed and desperate.  It is often even more difficult to receive than EI.
3.  records of every single financial transaction must be scrupulously recorded and backed up with all available paperwork as government audits of the self-employed are extremely detailed and can be extremely painful emotionally and financially.  Contracts with clients must be gone over by lawyers with a fine toothed comb to protect both the clients and the self-employed.  The days of a simple handshake between contractor and client to secure the details of a contract are long over and in our litigation happy society it is costly but necessary to have contracts that are complete to the most tiny, seemingly least important clause.

Why what some complete stranger I merely overheard in the mall does with his employment situation has any interest for me I have no idea, but for some reason I felt led to pray for the man that all will go well for him and that he will do his research before he takes such a big step.  Self-employment is far more difficult to maintain than it was when my husband and I were running a business.  We were in the process of closing down and going on to other things when the rules and contracts for self-employment began to tighten up, but it was difficult enough even in the "old days".

I wish the man, whoever he is, all the best should he venture out in that direction.

Cute Kid

I just read the most hilarious tweet!  A Muslim woman tweeted about her mom's recent trip to the grocery store, dressed in her full Muslim garb, hijab and jilbab.  Apparently a small boy saw her and stared at her, continued to stare at her as he and his mom were also shopping. She wasn't thrown by the stares from a small boy as she has endured worse from adults.  However, in the check out line he finally screwed up his courage and spoke to her.  He said, "I love you Batman."
hahahahaha  HOW CUTE IS THAT???

It reminds me of when my son was about 3 and waiting in our local hospital's emergency clinic to see a doctor.  One of the doctors came out of surgery while we were waiting, still wearing his surgical blues: cap, gown and paper pointy toed booties.  My son stared at him, wide eyed and completely awestricken, pulled on my arm and in his best stage whisper he said, "Ooooh, look mommy...a giant Smurf!!"

Update On Mary and Pete

For those of you praying for Mary and Pete here is the latest news and prayer update:
My husband had opportunity to visit them 2 days ago and found that in the past couple of weeks Mary has weakened considerably.  She can no longer climb stairs and can only sit up for short periods of time, so Pete has moved a bed into the living room.  Despite considerable weight loss and ongoing struggles with dehydration, Mary is still feisty and determined to stay at home, hopefully breathing her last, when the time comes, right in her own bed.  Publicly, Pete is able to maintain an attitude of calm acceptance but we can't imagine the hell he is going through inside as he watches his wife dying a bit each day.  He continues full time care for her on top of his continuing full time ministry at the church and in the community.
Please continue to pray for God's peace and comfort to accompany this dear couple daily as they toil on through the stresses of devastating illness and keeping up a work schedule as well.  Not sure Pete has a lot of help in the home at this point in time or if he wants more help. Mary continues to have an incredible spirit despite the horrors of her situation.
My husband was honoured to be able to bring Mary a beautiful wooden, hand held, comfort cross that was designed and crafted by friend Chris in Moose Jaw.  She is delighted with it and with the representation of God being with her in the midst of her devastating trial.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Aaaaah....Yeeeeesssss!!

What a great day today is!  Last night I slept for nearly 8 full hours.  Woke up this morning feeling like "the world is my oyster" and other cliches of happiness.  What a difference even one good night's sleep makes.  While I am not a big ball of energy today I certainly feel well enough to tidy up for some company that is coming for tea this afternoon.

My husband called from the camp last night.  He was nicely set up for a good night of sleep as well and a quieter day to do his work emails and take a few walks in the trees.  He will be back tomorrow to prepare for a funeral on Saturday he is participating in and a diocesan committee meeting in the afternoon.  In the past 3 weeks he has only 1 full day off and that is going to have to change. So glad for the July 1 holiday as that will guarantee at least one full day off next week.

Sunny day, some heat happening, a bit of a walk scheduled for after my company leaves today, some housework tonight and a good long walk for errands tomorrow...it is all good!  Always is when decent sleep has been attained!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Hummus Yes, Chipotle Humus No!!

I had a terrible sleep last night.  My tummy was rumbling and I just felt rather "off" for most of the night.  Usually it means I have eaten something I shouldn't have but I couldn't figure out what I had eaten during the day to bring on such annoying symptoms.

Today at lunch time for a treat I had a handful of low sodium corn chips and a couple of tablespoons of spicy hummus, the same hummus I had eaten the day before the bad sleep.  Sure enough, within an hour of consuming the hummus for the second time the same rumblings began in my tummy and I have been rather ill for the rest of the day.  I couldn't figure out why because I have eaten various kinds of peppered hummus in the past with no negative side effects.

By mid afternoon I decided it was time to have a look at the ingredients list on the hummus.  There was the culprit, stamped not only in the ingredients list but right on the top of the container: chipotle peppers. Why didn't I notice something so obvious when I picked it up at the deli?  I am rather allergic to chipotle and know better than to ever eat it.  The memory of the first time I consumed a great deal of it in a restaurant is still a vivid and embarrassing one that I would love to just forget about.

So, a light supper, lots of salad and a bit of protein to go with and now I am drinking as much water as I can hold so I can hopefully get rid of the rest of the chipotle from my system before going to bed tonight.  Still feeling quite dreadful and accomplished not one lick of housework today. Thankfully I did get my walk in to the post box and grocery store between bouts of nausea so that is wonderful.  

The yippee little dog 2 doors down is out and yipping his fool head off, just a puppy but obviously not going to receive any training from his people.  It isn't that annoying when I feel well, but if he is out again at 4am yipping away until after 5am as he has been several mornings this past week I am going to have to break my self-imposed rule not to register complaints against neighbours with the management.  There are very few tenants in this part of the complex that do not have dogs, but this very cute little yippster is the only one that is so often heard, and certainly the only one heard at 4am! The other tenants have great control of their pets and no one else is bothered by them.  Monte next door is a well trained gem. The yip of the other puppy is so high pitched I feel like someone is jamming a nail file into my ears. Yikes!  The less ill I feel the less it will bother me....another reason I detest feeling ill. It makes me very crabby and petulant when annoyed by other peoples' noise.  

Duly Inducted

The colour was red!

And what a lot of red there was in the stoles and copes and banners the clergy and church walls were sporting for my husband's induction service last night.  It was also the eve of St. John the Baptist and the scripture readings for the occasion were so appropriate for use in a sermon of induction.  The songs were peppy, the singing even more so.  There was a good turnout of diocesan clergy, members of our new parish and members of the Lutheran and United church who share the worship space with us.  The wine and cheese party afterward was held in the narthex and what a goodly number of folk stayed to enjoy the food and fellowship.  Truly a good night was had by all.

It was tremendously encouraging to have so many of our own parish telling us afterward that, "you belong to us now", "you are ours now", "you are really part of us after this" and other comments that made us feel very welcomed and connected to the group.  Services of induction really do create that connection between priest and parish, a way of identifying each other as being part of the same group.  

God is good.  We are happy.  

The upset of the day was news of the death of a most beloved parishioner from our former parish as well as the death of a former diocesan colleague.  We are unable to attend the parish funeral but my husband will be participating in the funeral for the colleague on the weekend.  So many are ill and dying in our diocese, particularly among our clergy and their spouses...an unprecedented number at present.  At the last bishop's prayer meeting we prayed for about 40 people that we know of who are very ill and those are only the ones we have been made aware of.  In a diocese as small as ours it is a horrendous amount of illness.

Today my husband will begin a 3 day trip, driving our visiting British clergy to several other towns in our diocese where they will be wined and dined and entertained by various parishes.  Once he has dropped them off at their evening billet my husband will carry on to our diocesan camp to check out the supply situation for the canoe camp he is sponsoring in July.  

I have some visits of my own set up for while he is away and I want to do a lot of housework in preparation for a heat wave we are to be hit with next week, when I will not feel like doing one bit of work.  Heat saps my energy. In fact right now it is 3:30am and there is not so much as a hint of a breeze outside on a very warm night, so I am not sleeping....at all....other than the first hour after I shut out the light at 11:30pm.  I won't sleep any more, I know that from past experience.  So, it will take me the entire time my husband is gone to get the housework accomplished in between daytime naps.  I think I will force myself to get out in the mornings before it gets too hot and do some long walks before afternoon housework and visits so that I am sufficiently tired by evening to stay sleeping for a few consecutive hours.

Time to go and read the novel I am presently engrossed in, 2012 winner of the Nobel Prize in literature: "Life and Death are Wearing Me Out" by the prolific Chinese author Mo Yan.  (translated from the Chinese by Howard Goldblatt; Arcade Publishing, New York)  It is a story told through the eyes of a Chinese fellow as he experiences a series of reincarnations as various animals and people during the years preceding and during the rule of Mao Zedong, from the beginning of the Four Corners Clean Up through the years of the Cultural Revolution.  It is a fascinating read.  When I can't sleep at night I rejoice in the plethora of excellent books available to read...whatever I want to read....whenever I want to read.  What a blessing to be here in Canada and still have that freedom.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Have A Happy Day All You Fathers Out There

Just had a lovely chat with my dad for Fathers' Day.  My husband has a cheery email from his son, with an invitation for a phone chat later today awaiting his return from Synod.  I am feeling badly for a friend who lost her own father a few months ago and is finding today rather difficult to cope with.

What a wonder of social pressure and stress, along with the joy, these "special" days of celebration create.  My own parents are going to dinner tonight at the home of a friend who has invited all manner of friends over who are rather elderly and no longer have fathers of their own left on this earth.  She is calling it "Dinner for the Fatherless Child".  

My husband and I are going out with friends as well for dinner this evening.  We are going with another couple whose children also live outside of Canada and with a couple who married very late in life and have no children at all.

While it is really great for all of us to have a fun social occasion to enjoy later today, the reason behind our gatherings seems rather odd...clinging together over people we are missing for one reason or another and licking our emotional wounds that pop up when we see others able to truly and fully celebrate what this day is supposed to be about....good grief! What is wrong with this picture??

Il Pleut!

At last it is raining gently but steadily outside.  While I do hope fervently that it doesn't leak into the basement, I am so very glad to hear the plop, plop, plop as the water hits the outside pavement, the roof and my kitchen windows.  Long may it last......

It's Too Late Now

I went to sleep last night with a small dilemma on my mind: whether to attend our new parish this morning in my husband's absence, or to take up an invitation to go back to Moose Jaw for the third time in as many days and sing in their service choir.  Both were equally appealing so I decided I would just see how I felt when I woke up this morning and choose then.

As it turns out there was no choice to make.  Finally, after a couple of weeks of hoping, I SLEPT IN!!  I woke up, sorta kinda, at 8:30am and our new parish service starts at 9:30am.  Less than 45 minutes to make my complicated breakfast and get ready to go is not enough time for me.  I would have to leave my house at the same time to fill the car with gasoline and get to MJ in time to robe up for their choir, so same problem.

So, this morning I am doing laundry!  
Wash and pray...wash and pray!!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Why Are There No Paid Positions For My Best Skill Set??

I spent the day today in Moose Jaw with my good friend there.  O what fun we had!  After a wonderful salad for lunch we headed out to shop until we dropped!

It was a short trip, surprisingly!  We had a list of retailers to see about getting some bookcases for my friend's home office but found exactly what she wanted at the very first store we went to!  Awwwww....

BUT then, we decided to start her search for a new vehicle.  Her cute little VW bug is starting to crater at the age of 16 years and it is simply time to move on to another car. 

My friend had 3 simple criteria for her new set of wheels.  It had to be:
1. cute
2. cheap
3. colourful
I call it The 3 C's of Auto Purchase!

The second lot we drove onto was the jackpot lot.  Within seconds we spotted a car that fit all 3 of those very important rules of purchase. Just for fun we went in to enquire about pricing and all the pertinent details.  An hour later, after a good long test drive, some wheeling and dealing on the price and some shouts of joy, my friend became the proud owner of her new car.

Now, this kind of day suits my skill set perfectly:  wheeling and dealing and chauffering someone around whilst I cheerlead them into spending their own money!!  What is more fun than that, I ask you? AND I am darned good at it to boot!!  

Here's to me and my financially unappreciated skillset.  Cheers to me!  Surely this wonderful talent is worth something in cold hard cash.  I could get rich pretty quickly if someone was willing to mine this gift seriously and come up with a pay scale I could climb.

Right?  Of course right!!  

Taking One For "THE CURE"

Attempting to sleep past 6am on days when there is no reason to wake up to a pre-set alarm has reached "ludicrous speed".  (thank you "Spaceballs").  hahaha

This morning I was awakened by raucous country music over a sound system somewhere in Wascana Park across the street, followed by a most excited sounding announcer calling competitors with last names starting with A through F to come to the registration booth....a quick check online for Regina events on this date revealed that it is the annual sports competition raising money for breast cancer research.

Funny how a person's anger at being awakened so dreadfully early on a Saturday morning can dissipate rather quickly when the reason for the ruckus is an event like that.  I can ignore the nausea brought on by lack of sleep and pray for people known and unknown who are suffering because of that dreaded "C-word".  

My husband's sister had breast cancer and what she went through was hell on earth, not only physically but emotionally as well.  It hurt badly to see her going through such a time in her life.  Thankfully she has been cancer free now for a number of years, but I am sure the concern of recurrence is always tucked away in the back of her mind, as it is for most cancer survivors.

I pray for all the competitors today, that each of their sponsors will be generous in their contributions.  My husband and I have a few medical research charities we donate to each year and cancer research is one of them.  We have lost so many friends and family members to one form or another of that dreadful disease.  So many people we know are suffering at present, their futures uncertain and their present days revolving around treatments and the subsequent side effects.

So play that country music, call the registrants to attention and do it all at the top of your lungs.  Today is an important day for cancer research funding here in The Queen City.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Oooh My Phone Bill.....Waaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!

I've been waiting for the phone bill to arrive so I can do my bill paying at the bank next week in one fell swoop, so to speak.

Well....today it arrived and wow, if there were any more errors on that bill....wow...wowowow!!

When I saw the total owing on the first page I nearly had a heart attack: one hundred and seventy-three dollars and change. Waaaaa?????  I was certain I owed just under sixty dollars this month.

I went through the details of the charges and discovered I am being charged nearly fifty-five dollars for a second HD outlet box I do not have.  The amount of money showed owing at the bottom of the details page is exactly what I do owe...and although the extra HD outlet box showed up in that list, it was not added into the total. Huh???

Even adding that extra phantom box into the total I actually owe is still about fifty dollars short of the total amount showed owing on the front page of the bill.

So, on Monday my husband will have to take time off work to go to the main office of Sasktel here and straighten it out. The bill is in his name so I am not able to go and deal with it, they will only deal with him.  That is fine with me, it is a good if inconvenient security measure, but I will be going with him to add my two cents to the conversation, should words and phrases less gentle and priest-like become necessary.  I can lose my temper when necessary with the best of them.

Yup, if the peaceable, laid back Saskatchewan attitude, filled with politeness and calm, fails to work it will be up to me to switch into Alberta mode and see if I can embarrass all of us into getting the necessary changes made in the bill.

Sigh....oh how I hope (and pray even) that it doesn't have to come to that....blecch pooey......I hate how much of an Albertan I still am inside.....

LIghtning and Thunder and Thunder and Lightning!!

As I drove back to Regina late this afternoon after a wonderful visit with a dear dear friend, I watched the thunderhead clouds building in the sky and the arrival of blindingly bright forks of lightning gashing the sky from the heavens to the ground.  Sounds like we are in for a good old prairie storm and so far we have it all.....except for RAIN!

Hail we have in abundance just at the moment, whitening the lawns and beating the leaves off the trees just outside my bedroom window.  I am fearing for the windows in my car at the moment!  O Lord, please protect the glass.

Cars on the boulevard outside are stopped, pulled over to the sides of the road as there is too much hail accummulating on the surface for it to be safe to drive.  A half ton truck that drove past everyone, attempting to go the usual 50km speed limit just slid on the hail stones (large marble sized) and nearly went right across the front lawn.  He is now sitting primly beside the curb with everyone else out there, probably very grateful he didn't end up spending his evening entombed in his truck as it embedded itself in my living room wall.

Now the hail is starting to ease up and a heavy rain has taken its place.  The problem with these storms is that they blow past so very quickly and despite the present deluge of water, it is unlikely we will receive sufficient moisture to do the surrounding crops and our local gardens much good.

Hopefully it will rain and rain more easily, throughout the night and into tomorrow.  I will be on my way to Moose Jaw in the morning to see another friend and am very glad any hail in this system will probably have finished plummeting to earth long before then.

O my....I just remembered our leaky basement!  Better go and check it out tout suite!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thought I Had It Made, But Not So Much

Two nights ago my husband and I were both having trouble getting to sleep due to some late night outdoor partiers across the parking lot.  It is only the second time these gals have made so much noise since the spring arrived and we were pretty certain we would be able to make up the lost sleep last night.

So close....SOOO close....

After a refreshing 7 hours of sleep I was rudely awakened at 6:15am by the sound of a road crew outside as they sliced and diced the concrete on the road outside my bedroom window, finally initiating a repair that has been in need of doing since before we moved here in February.  hahahaha Almost got enough sleep....

I am grateful the repair is being done today.  I am grateful they didn't start any earlier than 6:15am.  I am just a wee tad disappointed that they picked the one morning this week when we were able to set our alarm clock for 7am instead of the usual 6:30am. haha

I think I will focus on the gratitude aspect of being awakened too early today and forget about that half hour of lost sleep.  I will also concentrate on the joy of having some good plans made for Saturday with a friend out of town.

I will focus on the gratitude I feel that I have the car while my husband is gone.  I am glad to know there are bus routes I can discover when there is no car available, but for some reason I really wanted to be able to drive myself about this weekend and travel to see friends in a few other places.

I am grateful that everything is working out.  Thank you Lord for that!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Invitation That Wasn't

Have you ever experienced disappointment over a social invitation you had to turn down, but then upon afterthought realized it was probably best you couldn't go?

This evening I had to turn down a weekend invitation to a birthday party because of my husband being away at Provincial Synod and it got me remembering another invitation from years ago, one that I also had to turn down due to my absent husband and I remember the relief I felt when I realized what I was REALLY going to miss if I had been able to go: the men heading out to do separate "guy" activity in the afternoon and then the women coming to join them in the evening for dinner and drinks.

I remember feeling like I had actually dodged a bullet socially that day by being unable to attend.  My husband would have done just fine with the group of men gathering together, but I would have found myself on the outside of that particular group of women.  Each individual woman carried with her a strong sense of her own self-worth, of her own importance to the world in general.  A couple of the women were just insecure enough, despite their high opinions of themselves (and those opinions were not actually undeserved) that they would cling together and exclude everyone else. (I knew this because I had seen them in action on other occasions at various parties in our town.) The third one, usually the attachment for one of the aforementioned women, had a slightly lower status and would have been left out of her usual best friend's conversation, so she would have attached herself to what I call the "floater" in the group, someone who was seen as another good friend, to that woman and also to the other woman who would be attached to the higher status woman for the night.  I would end up on my own outside both groups, because odd numbers in a group of women rarely works, women being built socially the way we are.  "Floater woman" was a very nice gal, actually quite insecure herself but more emotionally mature as far as being able to incorporate more than one woman at a time into her conversations, but she would find herself stymied to know how to make me feel included because her new "best friend" would want no part in my integration.  That would make "floater woman" stressed and upset for me, but would also render her even more ineffective in achieving my integration into any of the groups of two.  I would end up stressed out for HER as she tried so hard to do what I could not do for myself.

As I pondered that old invitation I had been so relieved to turn down I began to realize I would have been facing a similar situation this weekend.  I never used to care much about that sort of thing, but I am feeling old and tired and vulnerable and kind of "between friends" right now as I am only starting to meet and get to know the people in our new city.  I am not certain I would have the maturity myself to deal with a similar situation just at this time. 

Funny the things a person remembers sometimes isn't it?  The emotions old memories can trigger can serve as a good warning on occasion; a warning to be careful not to set myself up for social situations I prefer to avoid.  It is interesting how an initial feeling of disappointment can turn so rapidly to one of relief and gratitude that a bullet has actually been dodged.  When I am in a more secure social position myself I will not have any qualms about joining into such groups, the old secure me will reassert herself, but for now I want to protect myself for awhile yet.  

A Delightful Evening Was Had By All

Last night's visit with our new British friends was great fun!  Mark and Gillian are a very sensitive pastoral couple and I think they will end up ministering as much to the rest of us as we will be able to minister to them during their 2 week stay.  What fun we had together, talking and eating and praying.  It was very refreshing for my husband and I to spend an entire evening with them.

In the afternoon my husband took them to the provincial museum while I made a salmon dinner with a chef's style salad.  Torreon de Parades 2010 merlot paired very well with the dilled salmon.  Over dinner we laughed and talked and shared our ministry experiences.  After dinner we had a prayer time where God spoke of his interest in taking care of us and our parishes during times of the priest's absence.  As it turns out, Mark is going to be able to be the preacher for my husband's induction into our parish next week.  

Gill brought a gift for our new parish: a nativity scene knit by the women of her parish in the Diocese of Litchfield.  The human figures are just under a foot each in height and they are so detailed in their garments and faces.  Each of the 3 magi are carring the appropriately decorated boxes for their gifts.  There are lambs and donkeys and an angel.  It is just lovely and will be so easy for the kids to carry the figures to the manger scene over the Advent and Christmas seasons.  I am very impressed with the whole set.  How kind to bring all that over to us here.

My husband leaves tomorrow for Provincial Synod.  I still don't know if he has to take our car or not.  If not I have a ton of plans for the next 5 days; if so, well, I am going to have to do some improvising on the transportation....OR MAYBE, just MAYBE, I should do a lot more staying home and resting....eeek, what fun is that, right???

I began upping my intake of protein at dinner last night and have added a scrambled egg into my breakfast fare as of this morning.  We will see what happens with all these symptoms over the next 3 to 5 months.  5 months from now will be my next detailed lab work and I am hoping for a change in the numbers that is positive and encouraging.  If I could at least eliminate the muscle and joint pain that would be amazing enough!!  No, it isn't arthritis pain...that I am familiar with and it is nothing like what I have been experiencing in recent months.  So, I am hopeful!

Off to tackle all those dishes I was too tired to face last night after driving our company back to the Bishop's house where they spent the night.  There is ironing to be done so that my husband has enough proper clergy gear to take to Synod tomorrow.  It will be a fairly busy day just at home, but I will take time this afternoon to take a letter to the post box and pick up some fresh raspberries from the store...maybe some blackberries as well.  I have discovered a huge liking for both this summer, for the first time in my life. Perhaps it is because the berries are big and juicy this time of year, not the mushy wee bits of things that will come in later in the summer. The berries currently available are a fabulous addition to the kind of rice pudding it is safe for me to eat.  YUMMY!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

It's Starting To Add Up

Last night I had a good look over my test results from my last 18 months of lab work.  I have been tracking a list of symptoms I have struggled with on and off for a number of years, symptoms that come and go but have worsened since my diabetes diagnosis, worsened steadily over the past 2 years.

I talked to the pharmacist, I got some pamphlets and even took a quick peek at a recommended website...something I have made a habit of NOT doing as there is so much opportunity to misuse even the good and true medical information that is online.

Looking at my test results and tracking my symptoms, I have discovered I have almost every symptom there is for a slight protein deficiency!  My test results from a month ago seem to confirm that possibility.  My doctors have never really picked up on it and when I have described my symptoms they have recommended a few things here and there that didn't seem to help. So for once in my life I am going to "self-medicate" and up my protein intake substantially over the next couple of months and see if anything changes for the better.  Unstable blood sugar is one of the symptoms as it turns out, as are my aching muscles and otherwise unexplained hair loss, low creatinine levels....the increase in exercise over the past 2 years should have alerted me to the fact that I would need more protein but I have, if anything, reduced protein intake for a variety of reasons over the past year.

So, will see what happens with yet another change in diet.  If nothing has changed in two or three months' time then I will talk to the doctor again and be a lot more forceful about getting concrete assistance!

Got the house cleaned yesterday, just the bathroom fixtures to do after my shower this morning.  Decided to serve a nice salmon dish tonight for our visiting British guests.  If they are up to it my husband will take them to the provincial museum this afternoon while I stay home and get supper ready.  If I hadn't just been there myself I would go along, but I am so sore today it isn't worth it if I have to cook dinner too.  Will pick up some protein rich vegetables at the store this afternoon to add into the meal.  It is going to be fun meeting new people yet again and be able to thank them in person for hosting my husband at their home in Litchfield UK last month.

Monday, June 15, 2015

A Perfect Spring Day Today

Today is my idea of the perfect spring day.  The temperature is not to rise above +20C, the sun is out and some small clouds are scudding across the sky, there is a mild breeze instead of gale force winds and last night there were sufficient raindrops around midnight or so to dampen down the dust.  I went shopping with no jacket and a short sleeved blouse without being too chilly or too hot.  I wish all spring and summer days could be like this one.

Yesterday afternoon I braved stiff winds to go outside our front door and start wiping up the many caterpillar cocoons attached to the wooden railings.  O my, what a mess of bugs!!  I did my best, knowing that by this afternoon there will likely be more to remove.  About the time I thought I was finished I happened to look over at the drain pipe coming down from the second story of the building and realized that tucked in against it, where it meets every siding board and on both sides of the pipe, there are more cocoons.  Yikes!  I can't reach more than those between the bottom and the first 5 feet up, so how I am going to get rid of those I have no idea.  Our building happens to be closest to a group of large trees that, although they have been banded, are showing some signs of caterpillar infestation, likely from the moths that flew over there this spring from our very building! YUCK!  I detest caterpillars, particularly in such vast numbers.  They are all over my mailbox and front step, so getting the mail is quite a performance as I jig about trying to keep them from falling on me from the overhang above the front step and keep myself from stepping on them.  The door opens the wrong way for me to just open it briefly and reach into the mail box.  I have to step right outside.  EEK!!  In Kindersley rectory I battled myriad breeds of spiders. Here in Regina it is a battle with the blessed caterpillars.  I think they are known commonly as tent caterpillars and our complex seems to have one of the worst outbreaks in the city.  I haven't been able to discover yet if the maintenance crew here comes to wash the cocoons off the buildings or if I am on my own.  Somehow, looking over the places in general, I suspect I am on my own, but I will try to get some assistance.

At least now that water rationing is over and the hoses can run again the lawns are starting to green up and it is really quite pretty...other than the miserable cocoons and their inhabitants.  Again, EEK!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Happy Happy Exhaustion

I am skipping out from our outdoor church service and picnic this morning.  It is windy as usual, the goose poop and mushed caterpillars rampant on the sidewalks, (and yes, "rampant" is the proper word when the wind is strong enough to actually lift up those 2 ugly items and blow them around), my allergies are on the rise and I am completely, happily exhausted.  

Our convoluted journey to and from our former parish this weekend went very well.  All the time frames worked out perfectly and we even had time for a quick tour of the provincial park north of Swift Current along the way, as well as a drive by of the  Bible College in Eston before we arrived at the church for a wonderful ham and potato salad dinner.  As usual the Eston ladies outdid themselves with wonderful salads, desserts and welcoming good cheer.

The induction service went so well.  There were 12 clergy present, in fact every priest from the archdeaconry was there to welcome the fellow and cheer him on.  It was nice to see the little church completely packed with people and hear the marvellous singing.  The service was just the right length to allow us to stay for coffee, cookies and fellowship afterward and still get to our hotel back in Swift Current by 10pm.  

It was also a joy to see the wonderful welcome he received, to hear about repairs and cleaning in the rectory to receive him and his soon to be new wife, how the 2 congregations in the parish have worked together.  When we arrived they were still reeling from some horrendous, recent past events and while they were very welcoming, there was a lot of suspicion, mitigated by the fact that it was only originally a 2 year appointment, so we all spent 5 years together wondering when the day to leave would come and expecting it constantly....not a relationship builder.  The congregations though have healed so wonderfully from past hurts, are getting positive again about their ministries and about their churches.  They have, we think, the perfect priest to lead them now into growth and discipleship once again.  It is an exciting time for them and for us to see how they have moved on from the past.  They are a great bunch of people up there in Kindersley and Eston.  If you are ever visiting in that area, drop in for a Sunday service and enjoy the welcome you will receive.

Saturday the guys met with the local priest and I enjoyed some unexpected computer time in our hotel room after a perfect breakfast in the lobby...even plain, unsugared oatmeal was available.  Delightful!

My husband did the driving back to Moose Jaw so that the Bishop could tweak his talk for the noon time youth leader lunch meeting.  While the men were busy there I had lunch with my good friend and then she and I went on a fast thrift store shopping spree for a summer childrens' project she is working on.  The time flew by too quickly and then it was time to pick my husband up and go home.

Fortunately we were home in time for my husband to have a nap before we changed our clothes and headed over to St. James Anglican church for the most fabulous refugee fund raising dinner ever.  It was wonderful Iraqi food and the eggplant dip was particularly amazing.  What an abundance of food: pitas with ground lamb inside, salads, hummus, lentil/chickpea soup, grilled chicken kabobs...on and on it went.  The table was heavily laden with good things all prepared by one of the relatives of the family we are bringing into Canada.  He is a top notch chef and we certainly enjoyed the benefits of his skills.  We met some new people and had some great fun chatting with them.

Unfortunately the Bishop wasn't able to attend as he had an horrendous headache...likely the result of overwork and a ridiculously busy schedule.  I am not sure he got any sleep the night before.  I know my husband has been sleeping fitfully for the past couple of weeks from the work stresses and busyness, even though he is more strict with himself about taking days off than the Bishop is.  

We were both somewhat startled when our alarms went off this morning to get my husband ready for the outdoor service that starts in a couple of hours.  In fact I didn't hear my  own yappy doodle radio station until it had been on for nearly 5 minutes.  I woke up to find my husband sitting on the edge of the bed, grinning sleepily at me and giggling that I, always awake just before the alarm goes off, was so tired that I didn't even hear it!  That never happens.

Yes, life is good here.  It is too busy and hectic some days, but I am finding now that if I have more than a day here and there with no specific plans to see anyone or get out of the house for something more interesting than grocery shopping, I am tempted to panic.  How quickly things change......

This morning while my husband is at church I am going to take a long hot shower and do a hair treatment, watch a short movie I recorded while we were away and generally calm down and relax, maybe even fall asleep again on the couch while the movie is playing.  It isn't too hot today and MAYBE we will get a smattering of raindrops tonight.  During the induction service the rain began to pour there, at long last, only to stop a very short time later.  There was just enough moisture to tantalize the first few inches of crop that it might get fed, but not enough to actually assist it in growing.

We are off water rationing now and that is a good thing.  Hopefully the city crews will be allowed to get back into the parks and clean things up.  Here at the complex the water has been spraying in 20 minute increments around the properties to try to green things up.  It doesn't take that much water for lawns to grow and start taking back ground from the drought-thriving weeds.

As we drove on Friday and Saturday we were reminded that June is indeed the prettiest month on the prairies. The greens are still new and fresh, not enough dust yet to dull the colours. That is what happens in July.  In August the brown begins to return as a result of the fields of waving wheat (rather like watching tiny ocean waves undulating in the wind) and then comes the harvest dust of September and all the green begins to die off in preparation for the fall and winter snows.  The lack of rain hasn't yet effected the lovely array of green foliage but I fear for the crops if we don't get at least 2 consecutive days of rain very soon.

This week my husband won't get his days off as he has to be in the office to stay caught up the first part of the week. By Thursday he will be at an important Provincial Synod and then the following week may be squiring some visitors from England around the diocese. They are people he recently stayed with there so is truly looking forward to seeing them again.  Not long after that he is off to the adventure canoe camp at Camp Harding, our diocesan camp.  Usually he is the chaplain and participates in camp activities, but this year he and another priest will be teaching canoeing, assessing the kids' strengths and then taking them on a 3 day trip down the South Saskatchewan River.  What an exciting time for them all.  It will be good training for him for the annual clergy and friends trip the end of August, back on the Churchill River System.

Life is good.

Friday, June 12, 2015

More Onscreen Woes

There is a small something not working correctly with my computer this past few days, but my husband has been too busy and frazzled for me to want to bother him with it.  Maybe on Sunday afternoon he will have time to suss it out.  I suspect it may just be a loose connection between the monitor and the main system as the symptoms are similar to the ones that occurred last time there was a loose connection.  O please let that be the only problem.  
Beside not being able to afford a whole new system just at the moment if we are going to take holidays in the summer, I nearly  lose my mind waiting for everything to be transferred over from one hard drive to another, setting up back up drives, moving files and the entire day it generally takes us to get new computers up and running properly.  My husband is a good techie but a slow, self-taught one.  And I...I...am totally useless.  If I was dependent upon my own abilities with computers I wouldn't have owned one for the past 14 years....about the time the first one I ever had finally cratered.
So....here's to Sunday afternoon....hopefully....I will shut down until then.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Aging Parents: Living Crisis to Crisis

I had a nice conversation with my parents on the telephone.  As usual they are full of news, mostly in regard to their present medical conditions.

Mom had her 18th annual visit to the surgeon who did her hip replacement all those years ago.  Other than a small cyst, likely due to detritus from the replacement part, she is doing so well that he doesn't want to see her again for two years!!  She giggled when she told me that in 2 years she will be 90 so it is highly likely she will never have to see the man again and she apparently bade him a very effusive farewell. hahaha

Dad had his struggles this week.  Monday night as he was getting ready for bed he began having severe chest pain and assumed he was having yet another heart attack.  When it didn't ease up after following the doctor's instructions as to how many nitro tablets to take and how long to wait after each one, he called the ambulance.  Fortunately the paramedics were directed to take him to the same hospital that has handled his other emergency cardiac admissions, heart tests and surgeries.  He was taken care of immediately and we are so grateful for that, knowing how long even heart attack sufferers can be made to wait in emergency at that particular hospital.  He was tested and retested to the point where my mother finally went home at 4am by taxi.  She shouldn't have bothered because she didn't sleep anyway and by 8am Dad too was in a taxi home.  The cause of his pain was one of his bedtime pills.  It was stuck in his esophagus.  Once it was cleared away he was just fine.  Fortunately he had recently set up an appointment with his cardiologist for his annual appointment and it is next week.  Other than having to postpone her follow up appointment for her snazzy new hearing aids the following day, mom too survived Dad's crisis.

So, I am at the stage now of catching my breath each time my parents telephone here.  That is partly because unless there has been some kind of crisis for them to tell me well after the fact, they are at the point where they don't usually think to call me any more.  I am doing most of the initiating of calls and visits nowadays.  When the phone rang yesterday I was almost afraid to answer it as it has been so long since the last crisis precipitated them picking up the phone first.

My father has more lives than a cat!  It is quite incredible.  Both his parents were dead before the age of 65.  He has incredible longevity and is the last of his generation in both his families, at the age of 88.

I only want to live that long if I can be in reasonably good health and mentally sound. Otherwise, I would prefer to be long gone by then.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

One Prayer Answered About This Week's Activities

In what is for us a typically convoluted fashion, plans have come together for my participation in returning to our former parish for the installation of their new priest. I am grateful and relieved to have it sorted out...and in my favour too! haha  Due to the location of the Diocesan youth worker who also wants to come to the installation, it is all working out just the way I was hoping.

The trip in a couple of days' time will require driving our car to one town to stash it there, then a trip to town number 2 with the youth worker where she will stash  her car and then we will all ride with our bishop to the installation service....or something like that anyway!  Coming back we will drive with the bishop to town number 2 where the youth worker will pick up her car and return to town number 1 so she can go home for the night.  The bishop and ourselves will stay in a hotel in town number 2, have breakfast the next morning with the local priest and then return to town number 1 to retrieve our own car.  From there we will proceed to town number 3, where the men will meet up with the youth worker once again and they will have a day of youth leader meetings there while I go to see friends and hopefully get some delicious "somethings" at their local farmers' market.  Then a fast return home to be ready to go to the fundraising dinner for sponsoring an Iraqi family we are bringing to Canada later this summer.  


What an hilarious scheme, but it should work out well!  haha I am all ready tired just reading about what we have to do to accommodate all the people and all the meetings.  Really looking forward to our crazy weekend.

Skype-in' The Night Away

Oh how I enjoy using Skype!!  Last night we were able to video chat with our son in New York City and it was just wonderful!!  Each time we are able to do that I thank God for this amazing invention...one of many incredible uses for technology and definitely one of my favourites.

Eli is doing well there...so well in fact that he just got another pay raise in hopes he will stay on yet another "couple a weeks" to complete the artist's project that was originally to be finished by the end of May.  If his accommodation there is still available he will likely do that.  The ability to earn a lot more money over the next month is a powerful incentive for an artist that is not in the million dollar sales club! (At least not yet, says the proud mama!!)

Speaking of those amazing people, my son was privileged to sit with world renowned artist Peter Doig at an opening night dinner last week.  They explored the man's Canadian connections and talked about politics and, of course, art.  My son was rather star struck and will remember this event for many years to come. He has met many such people over the past few years and is not one to name drop, but this was an amazing aquaintanceship to make and he is very excited to have met Mr. Doig, so he couldn't resist. haha

Hair cut today...the sky is very overcast and it is less warm than it has been the past few days, but there is still no forecast for rain.  I am guessing that the more work the stylist puts into conditioning, straightening, re-curling, de-frizzing my poor overworked hair, the greater chance there will be for a style destroying downpour as I walk home again. Hey, I am not superstitious, just very experienced in such matters. Hopefully she will do her best "magic" and the rain will teem down in the torrents we are so badly in need of!  What's one more bad hair day, right?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

To Be (Disappointed) Or Not To Be (Disappointed)! That is the Conundrum....

Later this week my husband and the bishop and possibly some other clergy are heading to our former parish for the evening installation service of their new priest.  I suppose when the date was announced I just assumed my husband and I would be going up together, maybe with the bishop and his wife again...I don't know what I was thinking actually, but the idea that I wouldn't be able to be there never entered my mind until I found out I won't be there.

Maybe it is better that way for some reason I don't yet know about, but I am feeling very sad to be missing a chance to see the people there again.  It could be my last opportunity for a very very long time.  Maybe it is just childish annoyance that the decision turned out to not be mine to make?

My husband and the bishop are not returning home late that night afterward. Instead they are likely travelling on to the city where they have meetings all the next day and spending what will be left of the night there.  That is one of the reasons I was not invited to go along, extra sleeping space required to accommodate me.  Another reason is that there are other clergy who have been invited to go as well and that will fill the vehicle pretty full, along with overnight bags, albs, stoles and all the specifically Anglican accoutrements required for the installation and the next day's meetings.

I suspect it didn't occur to either my husband or the bishop that I would want to go along.  Not that they would think I wouldn't want to go, they simply wouldn't have thought about it at all.  They are men after all and that is how it goes with men, right? haha Of course right...

Anyway, for some reason it is kind of bothering me that I can't go.  Not sure of all the reasons or how reasonable or irrational any of them are, just know I feel rather unsettled about the whole thing.  I don't like this little niggling feeling of discontent that has been hassling me since the probable details of this trip came up.

So, I will just pray and see how things work out.  For my husband and the bishop this is a work related excursion, not a pleasure trip, although it will be pleasurable to see our former parish with a new rector so incredibly quickly.  I am very excited for all of the people.

I just need some peace about the outworking of this trip and my part, or lack thereof, in it.