Friday, July 31, 2015

Something Must Be Wrong, Because.....

....I couldn't possibly REALLY be all packed up and ready to go a whole 4 hours in advance...that never happens. My husband is also packed up and ready to toss everything into the car when he gets home.  Cue theme music from "Jaws"!! Something very different is happening this holiday time!

Wow, I have a whole hour free now to make lunch for my visiting friend, time to wash the dishes afterward without being in a total panic...what the heck...????  

This is quite a delightful feeling.  Sure do hope this could become the norm for our travelling at any time of the year.  Perhaps it is because no clergy gear of any weight or significance has to go this time, no special folders or boxes of papers.  Other than a cell phone, lap top and clipboard for my husband's meeting this evening before our holidays become official, there is no special equipment nor clothing required for this trip, beyond a 5 inch long clergy collar insert.

This is amazing...it is SO not like us. For once we are taking our holiday time as holidays....no job interviews to go to like there have been in other years, nothing to do but attend a wedding where my husband's only responsibility in the ceremony is to give a prayer of blessing to the young couple.  Everything else that we are doing requires only the clothes on our backs.  Yikes....we don't even have to drag any bedding along this time. Once the giant wedding gift bag is out of the car trunk there will even be extra space in there.  My husband doesn't have to spend time doing his packing mania frenzy before we go.

I like this!  I like it a lot!!   

Oopsy, My Bad!

Do you ever wonder, as I sometimes do, if the good Lord got distracted when he was handing out brains and missed giving you a few of the ones that should have been yours?  I certainly have wondered that about myself....more than a few times.

Last night as I was trying to explain to my husband the location of the hotel I booked for us in Calgary for next week, I realized I made a ghastly mistake in our booking.  The hotel I thought I booked near the Olympic Park was actually a complete dump up in Motel Village.  How I missed that fact, how I missed the online reviews that included words like "dreadful", "travesty", "disgusting", "blight"  and "eeeewwww", I have no idea.  Sigh....but miss them I did.

That the low price distracted me from reality is the only reason I can come up with.  The only lower price was at the Motel Village Super 8...a place we once stayed in not so many years ago and spent the next month expecting to find ourselves the subjects of some kind of police investigation as we witnessed so many drug deals ETC. going down over night in the pot holey parking lot, as we peered, frightened, out of our grubby window from a filthy and not at all sound proof room. *

*(Hint for travellers: if you are planning to stay in a Calgary hotel and find anything at all under $110 per night, FLEE, FLEE, FLEE to the safety and cleanliness of another, much pricier accommodation!!  We have found over the years that in Calgary you get what you pay for...or even less.)

I decided this wouldn't do.  For one night we could suck it up and live with the consequences, but for two nights with a possible afternoon nap each day...naaaaahhh....not going to happen according to my husband.  

Since there was time to cancel the reservation I got on the phone and I THINK I accomplished it.  A very dear woman of oriental ethnicity and first language answered the phone at the hotel and tried to assist me.  Between her struggles with the English language, my faulty hearing and the phone cutting in and out, I can only HOPE she actually cancelled the reservation...well, she DID cancel A reservation, but was it MY reservation???  This afternoon, once the busy check out time is over, I am going to call back to the hotel and make sure. Sigh....  

So now we are biting the bullet financially to stay in a very nice room at the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino.  Our total cost has gone up about a hundred dollars, BUT the safety, comfort and cleanliness quotients have also risen proportionately!  I am trying to look at it that since we are staying there on week nights we are actually saving the hundred and twenty dollars more per night that we would have to pay if we stayed on a weekend.  That is a good way to look at it, right????  Just nod, smile and placate me, okay?

My husband is happy because the hotel is so close to my parents' home, the rooms really are quite lovely and the included breakfast is very nice indeed.  He can usually sneak a snack out of the breakfast buffet for later on and some days that is all it takes to make him happy. I wish I was so easily satisfied with life.  

Okay, off and running for the rest of the day.  Those of you who pray, please send up a quick word for my husband who faces a very difficult meeting this evening after a very busy and tiring week.  Thank you!!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Rethinking the Work Schedule

It has been a good morning of making email connections with friends who want us to stop in for an hour's visit on our way to the old workshop.  Other emails requiring immediate answering have come in this morning, I spent a long time searching for my husband's missing reading glasses, (they were found, hallelujah!), and generally losing a lot of time out of my own schedule for the day.

I was starting to fret when I had a sudden revelation while washing the floors.  Other than cleaning the bathroom, why on earth am I planning to vacuum the carpets and dust the furniture and blinds today?  I have been watching the cement dust and blowing dirt, from the city street repair project outside, sifting slowly in through the closed windows that don't seal properly at the best of times.  I have been realizing that since we will only be home for a day and a half in the next 2 weeks and that the dust and grime will continue to infiltrate the place in our absence, why on earth was I planning to nearly make myself ill trying to fit a complete house clean into an all ready overburdened day?  The other factor is that I just found out Sasktel will be coming into the complex tomorrow and digging up half the back yard to begin the install for fibre optics in our neighbourhood.  There will be dirt, dried goose poop and old grass flying everywhere around here.

So, the bathroom will get a good scrubbing down this afternoon and the lino floors have been washed, but that is all I am going to do.  When we are hauling suitcases out and back in and back out and back in again over the next couple of weeks, we will be dragging grass and dirt into the house on the bottom of our shoes and what could be more discouraging than to come back when we are all done travelling about, only to find the things I cleaned before we left are all dirty and needing to be done right away again anyway?? 

My day just became even sunnier and happier and I dare say, somewhat more relaxed!  YAY!!!  Now I can concentrate on what clothes to pack for the journey: way more fun than cleaning house! hohohohoho

Sunny Day Sunny Spirit

Waking up to the sunshine again this morning makes me feel cheery despite all the work I have to do over the next day and a half to get ready for a short trip away.  There was a slight rain overnight that left no moisture in our basement, but I have wicked the cracks in the walls and retowelled the floor in case there is an unpredicted downpour in our absence over the next few days.  According to the local Water Authority, the storms this week were a once in one hundred years event and I sure hope they are correct!  A hundred years from now I will be long dead and won't need to worry about a leaking basement!!

I need to get myself showered and dressed, the laundry washed, dried and ironed, my overnight bag packed, the lunch fixings purchased for my guest tomorrow and my husband's personal gear organized to be packed up tonight since he has to work in the morning at the office before we leave in the afternoon.

Yesterday was a flurry of online activity booking hotels at the last minute for tomorrow night, for next week when we visit my parents, plus trying to imagine what we are going to need for accommodation the following weekend after the ordination we are attending.

Considering we are not going anywhere remotely exciting, or (if I am being totally honest) very interesting, for our so called "summer vacation" this year, we are certainly going to be covering a goodly number of kilometers and spending a small fortune on accommodation. Wow....it is incredibly depressing from a financial point of view!  Glad the sunshine is keeping me cheery today.  My hope is that along the way we will discover some hidden treasures...sights or sites we have never heard of before that are beautiful, or even fascinating.  Saskatchewan is really rather blessed with such places, but you have to take the time to snoop around on some side roads and go to remote areas to find them.  Here's hoping.....

Having only such a short visit with our son and not having the best feeling about our visit with my parents this summer due to the legal issues we have to deal with there have both left me feeling a tad "pessy" and stressed, so I think that has effected my ability to be more positive about the holiday time.  Not knowing yet where my husband and his annual canoeing/hiking buddies are going 3 weeks from now, or even IF they are going at all is not helping me relax.  Things are very up in the air this year for them all, so I am finding it impossible to make any plans for myself for that week.  Beside not knowing if I will have my own transportation for the week, I also have my quartely lab work here in Regina right smack in the middle of it and that is not something I have the liberty of changing dates for.  

Anyway, blah, blah, blah...all about me and how I feel.  I find that writing it all out helps me organize my own thoughts and emotions, so sorry about that, but I need the assistance at the moment.

In the meantime, I need to get going about my day and get going rather quickly.  The sun gives me energy and motivation...and so does the fact that I am leaving on the first leg of holidays a day sooner than I had planned on!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Rain on the Plain

Wow....today we experienced the full force of the storm system of the past 48 hours...well the full force sans an actual tornado like Manitoba experienced yesterday.

We had to make a 5 hour round trip west and south of here, to Hodgeville, in order to deconsecrate the old church there.  Although it was a sad time for the people there, saying goodbye to an old building that had so many memories of their family worship times over the past few decades, we also had the joy of meeting these welcoming, friendly, happy folk and sharing this very personal time with them.  I am glad we had the opportunity to connect with their community.

What was less wonderful was making the entire trip in a storm with teeming, pounding rain and winds gusting between 60 and 80km per hour.  Yikes!  We drove into the worst of it only 50km from here and remained in that kind of rain and wind until we were 20km from being home again.  It was horrendous. 

My husband's eyes were done in by the time we got back and his arms were exhausted from gripping the steering wheel to keep the truck on the road.  Twice we attempted to stop so he could rest his eyes, but the wind was so strong the truck was rocking dangerously both times, so we quickly gave up on the idea and continued to drive.

I felt so badly that he had to do all the driving himself.  We were driving a borrowed 3/4 ton truck so that we could bring back some of the old furnishings from the church that belong to the diocese and I am not insured to drive it.  My husband also didn't want me to have to struggle to keep the truck stable on the highway.  So, he bravely did all the driving.  It was a crazy jaunt and we were both still buzzing a couple of hours after getting home again.  He had to drop me off and head to a meeting at the office, I came home to a series of phone calls that were stress inducing to say the least, so by the time I went over to the office with our car and we returned the truck to its owner we were both physically vibrating!  We had to force ourselves to relax for the evening here at home.

We are both most grateful to have survived the trip with few problems, grateful to have met the lovely people from Hodgeville and also grateful to discover that after all the flooding in our basement yesterday and my husband's frustrating attempts to set up a wicking system with some fabric wrapped nails stuck into the leaking walls to direct more of the water into a pail below, there was very little water on the floor when we arrived home this afternoon. YIPPEE!

Today was a day when there have been many things to be grateful for, including safe travel.  On the way home we saw several cars blown over into the ditches alongside the highway, a few that had gone off the road and were stuck in mud patches at the edges of the fields, and one semi rig hauling 2 long trailer boxes that had jacknifed into the median and rolled one of the trailers completely onto its roof.  Why we didn't join them I will never know, but wow, I am completely grateful.

The storm is to pass overnight and we are supposedly going to be drying out with some good mid 20's temperatures for the rest of the week.  Hope that is true.

Monday, July 27, 2015

About Darned Time Someone Figured This One Out!

I just read an article in the National Post, an online headline article as it happens, citing a new study or two that suggest that many bullies are actually people with the highest self esteem, socially up in rank and have the lowest rates of depression.  

Well, gee whiz, I could have told them that myself! haha  As a victim of bullying from the age of six until my move to Saskatchewan at the age of 49, I have no trouble believing there is a strong element of truth to that particular study.  I am just sorry it has taken so long for this information to be discovered by psychologists and social scientists.  Of course not every bully falls into these categories, but a substantially high percentage of them have been discovered in recent years.

 The worst bullying I have received in my life has occured at the hands of wealthy, socially secure, confident, aggressive members of adult society.  As a kid there was a more mixed bag of bullies in school.  My son was badly bullied for the first ten years of his school life as well, again by the most popular, well to do, socially prominent kids in the community.  The kids bullied him and their parents bullied me.

While we have both recovered from such negative experiences in life and felt the joy of being able to forgive them, thanks to Jesus' teaching and presence in our lives, we will never forget the types of people who tormented us for years.  They all fall into the categories outlined in the most recent studies.

If you have been bullied in your life, check out the National Post today and find the story.  Read it for yourselves and think about the alternative options being considered for dealing with bullying in schools.  The proponents of these new ideas may just be onto something of merit.    

The Son is Safely Home and the Rain Hath Descended Here

Apparently, after yet another flight fiasco that involved our son being given the incorrect flight time from Calgary, he is safely at home in his own Vancouver bachelor suite....I call it a "onesie"!!  If you are familiar with the old houses close to downtown Vancouver and the way they have been more or less, (mostly less), turned into scandalously overpriced bachelor suites, you will understand that moniker.  Sigh....

At least he is home.  He was met by his best friend at the airport, she took him out for a vegetarian Thai stir fry and then dropped him off at home.  He was delighted by the condition he found his suite in after the subletter moved out, so that is always a bonus.  Now, if none of his mail has been stolen in the past 2 weeks all will be well.  I am hoping his area will soon be blessed with community mail boxes so that worry will be one less for him.

We mailed off his inks and art supplies yesterday at the bus depot.  Hopefully the box will be there by tomorrow.  It only cost us five dollars more to send it by bus than it would have cost him to put it under the plane from Regina to Calgary and it saved him another slug of money he would have had to pay to get it from Calgary to Vancouver.  Love being able to do those little but very helpful things for him occasionally.

Sometime overnight it began to rain here.  It has rained and rained and rained some more.  In fact we are under a heavy rainfall warning until tomorrow evening because between fifty and eighty millimeters of moisture is expected.  Wow....I have to admit that despite the inconvenience of so much rain falling while I was driving around the city this morning doing errands, I do still love the rain.  Knowing it is helping the gardeners and farmers is the icing on the cake for me.  There has been a bit of lightning and thunder, but nothing serious yet.  So far it is all good, other than the lake that has formed on the street in front of us.  Our front door is twenty or thirty yards away from it though, with a broad expanse of lawn and trees between us and the water, so I doubt we will be flooded out personally.  My husband took extra measures this morning before work to ensure our basement stays as dry as possible.

Well, time to haul the water bottles I purchased this morning down to the basement shelves.  I also need to plan out what I am going to serve my lunch guest tomorrow.  That is always fun. I so enjoy planning lunches.  

Last night we were out for dinner and had some Trinidadian style food.  Our hostess has lived in Canada for some years now, but has continued to cook her traditional foods as best as she is able with the ingredients available here.  It was fabulous, from the spicy casava chips to the milky peas and rice to the perfectly cooked and spiced chicken to the curried cous cous salad....now I am almost too intimidated to have her back here for a meal! haha  

Onward and upward....just hoping we are not going to regret having left our canoe in Alberta by the time the rain stops tomorrow evening! 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Yay Canada: Keep Up the Great Work at the Pan Am Games!

In around visiting our son, I managed to watch a few of the Pan Am Games events this past couple of weeks.  Wow, I can't believe such an amazing international competition is getting so "stiffed" in some ways by the general public.  The coverage has been excellent in the media, Canada is outdoing itself in the medal count, the events themselves are truly exciting and yet most of the people I talk to have a response of "meh...".  How discouraging for the athletes if they too are finding this type of apathy among the people whose support they need if our country is going to continue to host world class events.  Toronto has put together some wonderful sports venues.  The quality of the international athletes is stellar.  I am enjoying this event even more than the Olympics.  It seems far more centered on the sporting events and less on the accessory hoopla.  Keep up the great work Canada.

So today is laundry day while my husband is at work.  We have a wedding to go to next weekend in our former parish and I want to be prepared well in advance of this bit of holiday time.  Visiting extended family will take up most of our time away this summer, but it is all good visiting.  Just this morning I received an email from friends in the Maritimes who will be in Calgary the same week we will be there, so our visiting has just expanded to include some very dear friends.  I can't wait!!!  It is my high school friend and her minister husband who we reconnected with last summer, so it has been a long year since we saw each other, but really ONLY a year after not being in touch for several decades.

It is probably just as well I have a quiet day here at home today after all the racing about I did with my son over the past week.  Being here on my own is helping me adjust to his absence once again.  We talked about how easily we can still talk and do things together even when we have been apart for so long....one of the joys of parenting that crops up with an adult child.  His interest in us and our rather mundane lifestyle is very touching.

Church tomorrow....it feels funny to have missed it last week after the son's flight fiasco.  It seems we have not been there for a long time for some reason.  Tomorrow's service will be my husband's last for a month.  What a treasure to have a congregation so able to do their own services in his absence, a deacon who is so capable.  Each congregation has their own strengths and this one has strengths that allow my husband to also do his Executive Archdeacon role well, without a lot of extra worry about the Sunday service and other events. Tomorrow my husband is hoping his cousin, the United Church minister, will read some of the Scriptures etc. so they can truly work together in the service.

Well, off to change the load of laundry over to the dryer and start on the next batch of clothes.  It is a hot day today and as much as I need exercise I admit I am kind of glad I can get that indoors today, running up and down the stairs to the basement and to my office, instead of having to go out walking in the heat.

  

 

Friday, July 24, 2015

And Just Like That He's Gone Again

After a hearty breakfast and a final visit this morning we deposited The Boy back at the airport for the next phase of his journey home.  Of course this flight also did not go smoothly.  After carrying his box of art inks and other art supplies onto the planes from the USA into Canada and from Toronto to Regina with no problem at all, today he was not allowed to carry them onto the plane from Regina to Calgary.  He was told that even though the inks were the regulation size of under 100ml, they were not considered personal products like liquid soaps and shaving creams and so we watched as he was escorted out of security and downstairs back to the boarding pass and baggage handling area.  The idea was that he would now pay over twenty dollars for a second under the plane luggage box.  My husband decided his own idea was better:  he took the box away from our son before our son reached the clerk at the baggage desk and told him we will ship it to him in Vancouver ourselves at far less cost!  The supplies are in a relatively thin cardboard box and after seeing how baggage is treated by those in charge of loading suitcases and boxes onto airplanes, we decided there was a good chance for breakage.  We can rebox it and make it far more travel secure before sending it on to him over the weekend.  By the time we sorted out what we would do with it the security guard had disappeared again, so my son had to get back in the security entrance line and go through the entire process all over again. Fortunately his remaining carry on baggage was rechecked by the same fellow that wouldn't let him take his art supplies on board, so it went far more quickly the second time around.  We are not complaining, despite the inconvenience for our son.  We are just grateful that security was doing a good job.  He should be landing in Calgary after a jaunt through Edmonton along the way....actually he should be landing in Calgary in about ten minutes, all being well this time around.  I guess I will find out in a couple of hours when I call there to see if he made it.

It was so fantastic having him here and the suite seems awfully empty now that he is gone again.  Sigh.....I will be fine.  I didn't cry this time when he left, although I came very close to tears when I realized there was a problem with his carry on bag.  At least if we are mailing it to him he won't have to go through this again at the Calgary airport, nor pay for a second piece of under the plane luggage when he goes home to Vancouver.  Now I have to start praying about that flight.  It leaves after dinner Sunday evening, the usual time that flights are delayed.  The later the departure time each day, the more likely the flight will not be on time.  The last time he flew out of Calgary at that time of the evening he ended up being rerouted to Seattle, then from there to Victoria and finally got into Vancouver EIGHT HOURS late! His one hour flight took nine hours.  What I remember is that there was not one opportunity to access any food or drink that entire time and he was ill from dehydration by the time he got back to his apt.  It was a fiasco that I pray he can avoid this time around.

After  he left, my husband and I felt rather deflated, so we went out and gorged ourselves at a delicious Indian buffet at the Bombay India Bistro.  O my, their little luncheon buffet is so very yummy!  Then I dropped my husband off at work for the afternoon and I went grocery shopping.

I have to say I am very glad I was able to take advantage of so many of my PC point card savings at Superstore today.  I cashed in a bunch of my points and paid ten dollars for a seventy dollar order.  PC points are actually a very good deal for me.  When we have months like this, with a 5 week pay period instead of the usual 4, plus extra expenses like we had this month, it is great to be able to pick up a load of necessary groceries a week before pay day and be able to use those points to save some money.  What a relief!!

So it has been a super duper party pooper week around here.  Our son seemed to enjoy himself immensely.  We certainly enjoyed ourselves.  My parents will be delighted to have him all to themselves and he is going to pick up some steaks to BBQ for them tomorrow night....a tradition he started with them when he was still working as a cook in a Greek restaurant many years ago.

We pray he will find everything in order when he gets home, that his subletters left his place in decent shape, that his studio space will be cleaned up and ready for him next week and that he can spend some serious time at the beach with his friends before returning to his job. 

Thank you son for a great visit!! Thank you God that everything worked out so well despite the rather stressful start and end to the visit.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Quieter Day Today

Happily the guys both slept in a bit this morning before a marathon session of pancake creation, followed by a trip to several book stores and a late lunch out.  Now they are reading and dozing before my husband leaves for his meeting and Eli and I head out for dinner.  Once he is gone I will be back to my regular cooking routine, but this week has been a lot of fun with a number of meals out and so no dishes to wash afterward.

I felt so lazy today.  I didn't do much beyond washing some dishes and making my own meals.  Several recorded tv shows were watched while I lay around on the couch and I didn't even get dressed until after 2pm.  Made it over to the grocery store in a teeming rainfall for a few groceries and scooted right back again, drenched, but happy to be out and about after such a lazy beginning to my day.

I am feeling very badly for friends and former parishioners in Kerrobert SK.  They had golf ball sized hail stones come down last night, along with gusting winds.  Today the town powers that be declared a state of emergency as a result of the damage to trees and buildings.  The photos of the damage shocked me: terrible...just terrible.  I hope the people are able to access insurance assistance for the broken house siding, destroyed wooden rooves, pock marked vehicles with cracked windshields and smashed fencing.  The big, beautiful town trees are twisted, broken and laying in pieces all over the streets and back yards.  What a terrible mess for them all to have to clean up. To be hailed out so completely after a couple of months of drought is like adding insult to injury.

Calgary  narrowly missed similar damage yesterday, as well as a touchdown in the city of a large funnel cloud that hovered over the city for some time.  What a crazy spring and summer we have had in this country this year.  It seems we are gearing up for something truly terrible at some point and I can only pray that nothing any worse happens anywhere than what happened in Kerrobert.  Our friends in the USA have experienced some devastating storms and tornados all ready this summer and I hope there are no more of those twisters for a good long time.

Well, off to search out some kind of new and interesting restaurant for dinner tonight.  Then my son and I will get some of his laundry done for the next leg of his journey home.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Joy Continues

The heat today was made more bearable by my son's continued presence in our home.  For the past few years I just seem to be the most relaxed and have the best sleeps and the best attitude toward the world when the 3 of us are together.  When our son comes to visit it is like the completion of a circle.

My husband had to work today so The Boy and I went for a long walk around the lake, walking sometimes on the paths and sometimes through the long grass and the trees.  We had a good long look at the First Nations bead work from the nineteeth and early twentieth centuries over at the museum.  We went out for a delicious lunch and then enjoyed an alternate route back through the park on our way home.

After a bit of a rest late in the afternoon after cooling refreshments at home, my husband arrived from work and we drove to a favourite restaurant to meet friends from out of town.  This couple is nearly our age, but so gifted in spending time with younger folk like our son.  Their interest in him and in what he is doing with his works of art is so deep and so sincere that he is always able to open up and share his heart with them.  They purchased a catalogue from his last art show. They asked intelligent questions about his life.  Their family truly is responsible for removing a chip he had on his shoulder against prairie people, one he had for a couple of decades.  We are so grateful to them for utilizing their gifts with young people in his direction.

A good shower of rain around dinner time cooled everything down for the evening and I think we will all sleep well tonight.  My husband has the daytime hours off work tomorrow so I am hoping he can sleep in.  Only one day at the office this week and he came home dragging his tailfeathers with exhaustion after it was over.  He is SO ready for holidays!  Unfortunately he has a dinner/evening meeting tomorrow with one of the many committees he is automatically on by virtue of his present position at work.

So, he and our son will head off to another second hand book store tomorrow for some "guy time" and I will clean up all the dishes and mess from having had our friends back here for dessert after dinner.  It is rare I leave dishes soaking overnight in the sink, but I am tired tonight from the heat.  It will give me something to do in the morning once the men have gone out for their day together.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Whirlwind Day

The weather was perfect yesterday for gadding about town and we took full advantage of it.  After a late breakfast we headed out for a tour of my husband's workplace so our son could meet the wonderful folk he works with, we did a bit of specialty grocery shopping, had lunch at Leopolds and then spent the afternoon at MacKenzie Art Gallery, before coming home so the guys could nap and I could change our supper out plans to a fun meal of leftovers and snack type foods.  I knew we were all too tired to handle another restaurant venture.

The MacKenzie Art Gallery has a marvellous exhibition of David Thauberger's works.  He is a wonderful "architectural" artist, one of Saskatchewan's Big Artistic Guns and brings all his skills to his paintings of prairie and other buildings.  His panel works of New York City's most famous buildings are so precise.  My husband and I particularly enjoyed his paintings of particular buildings we recognized, such as the Zion United Church in Moose Jaw with its unique roof dome and the dance hall in Watrous Saskatchewan.  There was a wonderful painting of the old Masonic Hall in Craik and a couple of lovely renderings of house designs I remember being built in the late 1960's.  The one that caught my eye and brought up memories is of a typical 3 bedroom split level with white siding.  My parents had a chance to move into one of those houses when I was 9 years old and at that time I thought it was the most upper class, gorgeous house I had ever seen. I actually cried when they chose a different house. haha Thauberger's colours are bold, he uses sparkles as a medium and he is incredibly precise in his drawings.  My son could relate to the painstaking use of masking tape to seal off his colours from each other and we enjoyed watching a video of him removing tape from a finished work.  I didn't expect to enjoy the show as much as I did, but I came away wishing I had the appropriately large amount of wall space to show one of his glorious works in my home.  There were several ceramic pieces as well from his collection...hmmm...great sense of humour and ability to make a social point, but I am afraid the works themselves left me kind of cold...just not my sort of sculpture, but lots of fun in them.

We had a quiet evening watching tv and visiting, staying up too late of course, so today we are getting a late start on our jaunt over to the Italian and Indian grocery stores, a couple of small galleries and a terrific new second hand book store.  It is going to be rather hot for the next couple of days, so I assume more napping is going to be in order for my tired guys.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

He Is Definitely a Member of Our Family.....

.....as his latest travel experiences will attest. haha  Apparently, had he been give the correct baggage handling information, Eli would have arrived on time last night.  The folk at La Guardia assured him that his under the plane luggage would automatically be sent on to Regina, but when he landed in Toronto he discovered that was not the case.  By the time he reached the baggage carousel at Pearson, his luggage had all ready been snapped up by the baggage handlers and he was advised to go and stand in a certain spot with at least a dozen other people in the same position while they awaited the arrival of Air Canada staff.  They waited for nearly an hour and were sending out various members of their party as scouts to see if anyone was coming, when a staffer finally arrived.  They filled out forms for getting their luggage back once they arrived at their destination, but by then their flight was long gone.  In fact, it took so long for this entire process that Eli nearly missed the last flight out of Toronto that Air Canada had rebooked him on so that he wouldn't have to get a hotel there overnight and fly in today.

The biggest frustration though was after he managed to actually board his replacement flight.  The fuel truck drivers at Pearson are in the middle of a dispute with the airport management apparently and refused to fuel the flight in time for take off.  So, not only did he lose the 2 hours he was all ready late by having to miss his original connection, he ended up being another hour and a half late because of the fuelling problems.  By the time he arrived at 1:30am he had been up over 20 hours and was completely exhausted.  As were we......

At least he made it and his luggage should have arrived about a half hour ago on the first morning flight in from Toronto.  We will drive over once he wakes up and pick it up at the airport.....we hope.......  O my....nothing goes smoothly any more for so many air passengers.

It was a most joyous reunion....15 months or more since our last visit in person.  It seems a lot longer than that.  Eli took advantage of the duty free before he left the States and purchased for his father a huge bottle of his favourite whiskey...seventeen US dollars for what would be about sixty CAD.  Even with the exchange on the dollar right now that is still a steal of a deal.  Of course they had to have a wee nip before heading off to bed.  I wish I could drink it as I may have slept in longer if I had some as well.

So, assuming our son wakes up today sometime it is going to be a wonderful visit.  The weather is about perfect for the next few days, not unbearably hot...at least not until his final day here if the forecast is remotely accurate....hahahahahahahahahahaahahahaha

My husband did not make it to church this morning, but was able to contact the United Church minister in time to let him know and to make the necessary adjustments.  I have a feeling our deacon wasn't able to make it to church today either so hope it didn't leave the minister in charge completely in the lurch.  Well, our people are most capable and there will have been someone able to help out I am sure.

Okay son, join the rest of us and wake up so we can get this show on the road...haha.  I suspect the next 5 days are going to fly by far too quickly, but we will pack in as much fun as possible.

Safe Arrival

The boy is finally here.  His luggage is not.  It should arrive tomorrow morning on the next flight from Toronto and we are going to pick it up rather than wait for the airport to deliver it.
We have all been fed and watered and now it is 2:45 am.  Time for this old woman to get to bed....I should sleep well just from the relief that my son was actually on that plane after many trials at La Guardia and a fuel truck driver strike at Pearson...aiii yiiii....
Zzzzzzzzz...........

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Maybe It's Just As Well??

I just realized the Caribbean Festival that has been going on all day in the park across the street is still on and it is nearly midnight.  The drums are pounding so loudly there is no way any of us would be able to sleep anyway, so we might as well be up and preparing for a second trip to the airport.  

Thump thump bam bam bam....is there no noise bylaw here that makes certain the live late night music stops before the next morning arrives?  I don't begrudge people their fun though and I hope everyone is having a great time.  Once we actually get to bed I will put the fans on for white noise and all will be well.

And yes, I am posting useless blog entries to keep myself awake for another hour and a half!!

Yup, Just as We Suspected....sigh.....

We arrived in plenty of time to meet our son's flight and of course he wasn't on it.  Rats!  Thankfully though there is one more flight coming in 2 hours from now from Toronto that he may be on.  If he isn't and we haven't heard anything I will not know what to do.  He has no active cell phone until he returns to Vancouver to reactivate his and from what we learned from the airline employees at the airport, there would have been no chance for him to locate a telephone or computer at the Toronto airport to get in touch with us.  We asked about the possibility of him being on the next flight, which arrives at about 1:30am.  Of course the counter staff are not allowed to give out passenger information, but she checked his name and told us she would suggest we return at 1:30am, so I do hope that was her way of confirming he is on the flight in a way that wouldn't violate her contract to privacy.

My poor dear husband has to be at church before 9:30am for the service.  While he is grateful that the United minister is preaching, he still is supposed to be there to take other parts of the service.  He will be so tired by the time he gets back here he will lose half his first day with our son because he will need a LONG nap in the afternoon....sigh....so much for the 2 of them going to the cheese specialty store to pick up the treats for our daily wine and cheese event.  We always enjoy a late afternoon snack when we are together.  Kind of like a British "Fourses" except that we limit the intake and still have a late dinner.

Well, our visit is all ready off to a start that is typical for our family! hohoho!!

Dang Those Late Flight Departures!!!

Well, we may NOT be picking our son up at the airport tonight after all.  Unfortuately he cut his time to catch a  flight out of Toronto a bit close to his arrival from La Guardia in New York.  That flight is now 20 minutes delayed, so unless they leave in the next 10 minutes and end up with a HUGE tail wind, he is likely to miss his connection in Toronto and end up staying overnight there, hoping for a flight out tomorrow morning. That will be interesting if it happens because we will not be around to pick him up until after lunch some time. Sigh.....

O how I detest these nail biting travel situations....DETEST I say!!!!

I have come to dread flying, not because of the actual trip itself, but because of all the hassles of making connections these days.  We have had our own problems in the past, my husband and I. Fortunately for us, things have always worked out fine in the end, but the amount of stress nearly does me in when connecting times get close to the wire like our son's tonight.

So, as the rain pours down and the lightning flashes a lot closer to where I live than I am comfortable with, I pray for my son and his flight connections.  I don't know who will be the most disappointed if things go wrong this evening, him or us.

Yeeouch....another nearly simultaneous flash of lightning and the accompanying thunder roll.  Time to shut down this machine and close the rest of the windows!

Friday, July 17, 2015

On My Own, YAY!

So much cooler today....hallelujah!  I feel like I have had a bit of a reprieve before the next heat wave hits us.  The day was overcast and we got just a bit of rain in the late afternoon....doesn't rain smell amazing?  I love the earthy smell after a light rain that lingers in the air afterward.  There is something so cheering to me about that smell.  O how I love rain.

One more sleep until The Son arrives...actually he arrives about the time I am going to want to be going to sleep again.  My husband is going to be a wreck at church the next morning after such a late night pick up at the airport.  I will have The Son's snack all ready for him so he can eat as soon as we get him back here and not waste time creating something edible when I will be so tired.  

Today I got a major burst of energy in the coolness of the day, so I did all the cleaning, laundry and grocery shopping along with paying a late arriving utility bill and heading out to the thrift store with some donations.  It was a bit much and I am tired now that dinner is over.  BUT I need to do the ironing so that I can stay on my feet for an hour or two and keep that blood sugar in line.  I think I will sleep well tonight despite my excitement over seeing my son for the first time in over a year.

I did a lot today, BUT what I am the most proud of is that I overcame some of my technological challenges this afternoon and actually downloaded an update to a computer programme all by myself!!  hahaha  My husband always does those things for me because usually I am in a hurry to get whatever it is updated and want to use it immediately.  Also, because the updates for this particular programme don't happen very often, I can't seem to remember the steps to make it happen.  I can't find where I have stored things and even if I make it to the right place I can never find quite the right file, or push just the right instructive key or understand the instructions should I actually stumble across them in my frustrated key pushing.  Today I decided it is time to start becoming more independent and do some of these things that are so simple IF you know what to do. And now I DO know!  I am proud of me.  The downloads and updates were installed just fine despite a few of my blunders along the way.  Yay me!

It has been a busy, good day and now I must get on my feet and get the ironing on the go.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone.  

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Bit of Rain At Last

Just after dinner tonight a few clouds rolled in, a bit of lightning and thunder woke us out of our heat induced stupor and some hail began pounding down.  There wasn't much hail here in the city thank goodness and it was followed by a half hour of pounding rain.  

It came down with such a fierce wind that even though we raced upstairs to shut the windows, both our desks and computers and chairs and carpets were covered in rain drops. 

The lake that runs down the main street in front of our place every time there is a quick accumulation of rainwater has all the vehicles slowing to a near crawl to get through it without stalling out their motors.  Over the past hour the water level has finally started to go down...nearly 3 hours after the rain stopped.

The cooler air tonight is a wonderful treat!!  When the temperature gets over +30C like it did today, the loss of even 5 degrees makes quite a difference to my comfort level.  My husband just came out of the shower and didn't bother to towel dry so he would have the benefit of the cooling power of evaporation.

O how I hope and pray this little rain storm is not the end of the rain over the next few days.  The farmers need a good 3 days of continuous and slightly more gentle downpour.  Here in the city we need a good washing off from all the accumulated dust of the past 4 months.

Double Duh!!

I am old and losing my mind!  Today it is official! Aaaaargh!

I had a lovely walk downtown, in my cool 'n' breezy new sun dress early this morning, to have my hair cut.  Afterward I had a super yummy salad for lunch and a happy hour or so of window shopping and banking.  Walking home was cool and beautiful under the big old trees and through pretty parks.

I noticed when I arrived home that most all of our parking lot was empty; worthy of notice only because it is rather unusual.  The phone was blinking that I had a message and I was delighted to discover my friend with the back yard pool wanted me to drive over and have a good swim before she had to go to an appointment mid-afternoon.  No need to return her call, just come on over.  O YIPPEEEEE!!!!  I raced to my room tossed on my swimsuit and cover up, packed my towel and flip flops and sunscreen and headed out the back door, locked it, turned around and realized our car was gone.

Of course it was gone.  My husband needed it to drive out to the monastery to teach his classes today.  Duh and double duh!!  Had I not just minutes before walked through our parking lot, noticed the lack of vehicles including our own and even walked right through our own open parking space on my way into the house?  Yes I had!!  Duh and double duh!!

I think the unrelenting heat is making me even stupider than usual.  (and yes, it IS possible for me to be even stupider than usual, so no comment required from the family peanut gallery)

I got myself all happy thinking I was going swimming and then deflated myself when I realized I wasn't.  hahahaha  Had she not been going to an appt. this afternoon my friend would have come to pick me up, but there simply wasn't time by the time I called her and told her what had happened.  haha  Aiii yiiiii.....I need rain, cooler temps...and a new brain.  Order in: a new brain aged about 35 to 40 years!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Thai Dinner

Bless my husband for deciding it was too hot for me to cook dinner tonight.....out for Thai food for the first time in a long time.

I admit that Thai is not my favourite cuisine...rice noodles are not something I enjoy, sweet/sour dipping sauces with rice vinegar and peanuts do not appeal to me and the amount of carbohydrates makes a lot of Thai restaurant food a nightmare fora diabetic.

However, tonight's fare at Viet-Thai Restaurant was quite good and the portions were HUGE for the price.  We ended up sharing some rice wraps stuffed with salad, rice vermicelli and chicken, 2 crunchy spring rolls stuffed with pork and veggies, far too much rice and vermicelli noodles that we brought home, rolled pork, sliced spicy beef and grilled chicken, grated carrots and lettuce and the usual sweet and sour sauce with grated carrot bits in it.  There was nothing unusual about the food or the variety.  All of those things seem to be the norm in any Thai restaurant, along with the 3 usual curries: yellow, red and green.  We didn't have any curry tonight, maybe next time.

I was exceedingly careful to monitor my carb intake, hence the entire take out box filled with rice vermicelli now cooling in my refrigerator for my husband's lunch tomorrow, however I indulged in the protein...leaving only the smallest bits of beef and pork for the take out box.  I'm sure it was sodium filled beyond all belief, but so be it.  The pork was the only thing on my plate that was remotely fatty.  Everything was tasty and each individual flavour stood out nicely.  I am not certain I am as hyped about the quality as the newpaper reviewer whose review we read was, but it was filling and tasty.

I could wait a couple of years now to have Thai food again, but it was nice for a change of pace from the Indian cuisine we have been stuffing ourselves with of late.  Our son will likely enjoy some Thai food while he is here next week, so glad we found a decent place for it. Another good thing is that my sugars only went up about one point after dinner, even without extra exercise after my meal!  Perhaps I need to make a more concerted effort to enjoy that particular style of oriental cooking.

Hot Hot Hot!!!!!

We started off our day way too warm when we woke up.  We accidentally left the basement door open overnight and so the kitchen was all ready like an oven before we got into it to make breakfast.  Whew!  That is not a mistake we will make again any time soon!!

My husband left for work an hour early as he had an out of town work trip today and I retreated to a large mall the minute the doors opened, so I could relax in the air conditioning.  I got there quite some time before the stores actually opened and got some good exercise wandering about while I waited.  Spent a couple of happy hours window shopping and trying on clothes just for the fun of it.  A few stores had the remains of their stock from last winter on discount racks and that was so much fun to sort through.  It is really nice to not need any clothes.

Got home just before noon to a message that the finance officer from my husband's office wanted to bring her lunch over and eat it with me here at home.  We had the nicest visit.  Her youngest son is in the process of leaving home for university and she is in the throes of Empty Nest Syndrome.  I feel for her.

My husband was home a few hours early from work after a gruelling day of hauling ancient artifacts out of a decommissioned church that is several hours from here.  He and the Bishop had to unload everything in the boiling sun at the office parking lot. Then my husband walked home in the hottest part of the afternoon.  His clothes were so drenched there were beads of sweat dripping off them and onto the living room carpet when he arrived.  Into the shower went my dear husband, followed by a bit of tv watching before embarking on the final preparation for a course he is teaching tomorrow.

A few minutes ago we received an unexpected email from an old friend of my son's, a young man we have not seen in several years.  When our boys were about sixteen the young fellow and his family moved away from our town and over the following fifteen years or more he got himself into a pile of trouble, nearly destroying his entire family as well as himself.  At present he is working for his father and he found our email address on his dad's work computer.  So, he sent us a long and detailed email of how, in the past year, he and his wife have turned their lives over to Jesus and are reaping all the blessings and benefits of those who are delivered from lives of utter desperation and brought into amazing transformation.  Their marriage and their three children have been saved from hell on earth and they are very involved in church. The drugs and alcohol and raging fights have dissipated and they are living lives that are safe, happy and fulfilling.

It has been many years since I have seen that kind of turn around in the lives of young people.  I know it happens all the time, but it hasn't happened often in recent years to people I actually know.  My husband and I are delighted and we know this young family is getting a ton of support from their extended family and their church family.  If you feel so inclined, please send up a prayer for Matty and his family.

The cold chills I got while reading his email nicely counteracted the boiling heat of my office and I feel better than I have felt in a couple of days.  

Another good day today and the heat is somewhat less intense since we got the fans set up properly this afternoon.  It appears we will see a bit of a cooling trend for the first few days our son is here and we are looking forward to that...the visit and the cooler weather.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Sweet Day Off

Yesterday my husband had (most of) the day off work.  It was one of the better days off we have shared in awhile.

After a good long sleep in and a lazy earlier part of the morning, we did go into the office but it was to look at his big wall calendar and plan our holidays a bit for August.  We can't afford to go far away but we have some plans in place now that should see a good balance between home and away.  Yesterday only the financial manager was working, but while we were planning our vacation the bishop showed up to wait while his bicycle was being repaired, the office manager who lent my husband her truck for the camp came to pick it up again, another priest dropped in to do a bit of work, a lady involved in our diocesan fundraising campaign also came in to work for awhile and then the Bishop's chaplain, who had been driving by and seen all the cars in the parking lot, also dropped in to see what was going on. hahaha  We shared a cup of tea and some conversation together and it was an unexpectedly lovely time.

After a light lunch at home my husband had an afternoon nap that was most refreshing for him, while I did some reading and emailing.  We contacted some colleague friends we are still getting to know here and met them for dinner at our favourite pub.  What fun we had!  They are so interesting to talk to, so committed to the same spiritual causes we are...it was such a joyous time!  It capped off nicely my husband's day off.  I am so glad I got to participate in his activities this time, as he often has to use his day off to do computer updates and other things pertinent to his own interests, or sleeps most of the day, or ends up working at home instead of in the office.  

We almost had a good rain last night, but not quite.  While surrounding towns and cities received a solid amount of useful rainfall, we received about 2 to 5 minutes worth of light sprinkles and that was the end of it.  Drought conditions around the province are finally being declared.  The heat and humidity got to me today despite a few degrees drop in temperature.  I have accomplished almost nothing since I got home from grocery shopping before lunch.  

Tomorrow my husband has a trip out of town with the Bishop to pick up some artifacts from a deconsecrated church and they will have a chance to get caught up on work plans that had to be left while my husband was at camp and the Bishop had a week of holidays.  It will be almost a day off in terms of being able to talk together without all the interruptions that accompany a day in the office.  Hope it isn't too hot for them.

I will spend the day trying to make some plans for our son's visit that starts this weekend.  In my head is a long list of activities and places he may enjoy, but I need to write them down so I don't confuse my forgetful self in the excitement of his arrival.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Awesome Places To Be

Got a brief email from our son this afternoon.  He has had a wonderful time taking care of his boss's loft apartment in Manhattan for the past couple of weeks.  This coming week he has only 3 days remaining in his apprenticeship and then his boss and family are taking him to their place in the Hamptons before he flies here on his way home.  How exciting and how beautiful.  I am delighted with some of the friends and mentors he has been able to spend time with in the past few years: people who have practically adopted him as one of their own and who include him in their elite lifestyles so often.  He has been able to have all of the joys of the lifestyle with none of the stresses that go with having to manage so many financial blessings properly. Way to go son...you have met the best of the best, people of strong character and who would be fantastic friends to have even if they were as financially inconsequential as yourself.

Received an email from other good friends who are on vacation and find themselves stranded for a few days while their vehicle is being repaired: stranded in beautiful Revelstoke.  Wow, that is a wonderful place to be stranded.  There are so many  home style restaurants with gourmet touches, art stores, craft venues etc. etc. etc., surrounded by majestic mountains with bike trails and places to hike and climb.  I am excited for them to be able to spend a couple of bonus days there on their vacation even though I am sorry that a vehicle breakdown is the reason for it.

A friend from church is off to one of the more beautiful lakes in our province.  Like myself, she finds nothing so relaxing as taking her morning coffee and sipping the morning away by the shores of a body of water.  I tried filling the bathtub once, in desperation after a fabulous week at the beach in Vancouver, dragging a chair into the bathroom and having my cup of tea in there but it wasn't quite the same and didn't have the same effect....yes, I really did do that.  Sigh.....I LOVE the water.

Another friend is at her church family camp this week and staying in a dilapidated old building that was dragged in there years ago.  The camp is very pretty but the building she is in is what makes it an interesting place to be. The floor is sagging and slanted, the whole building is drooping...I am thinking it is likely not that safe to be in any more and should torn down, but it makes for fun accommodation in the meantime.

Some friends are leaving on extended cruises to Alaska, other friends have just returned from cruises to Alaska and around the the Horn in South America, trips to Africa and Europe.  I am so happy for them all to be able to see places I will likely never see.  The memories will be amazing, the photos fun reminders of good times.  

Happy summer to all my friends and family.  Aren't we all incredibly blessed to be able to travel around the world and to have experiences that people from less abundant countries can only dream of??!  It is most humbling.  We need to enjoy it while it is still possible.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Update on Mary and Pete...kind of a shocker

My husband returned this evening from his wonderful week of teen camp/canoeing extravaganza.  Of course the first thing we had to do once we unloaded what seemed like enough gear for an entire family from the truck and hauled it all back into our basement, was contact the family of one of the campers who lives in our city and return her medications and her brother's hat and glasses they had left behind at the camp earlier today. hahaha  Young teens are like that: forgetful and these two were really amped up today after such a great week in the canoes. haha

On his way home my husband stopped to check on Mary and Pete and got quite a surprise:  they are working on a new angle about Mary's illness.  It is possible, QUITE possible, that she doesn't have ALS at all.  It is just as possible that she actually is suffering the devastating long term effects of Lyme disease!!!!  

There are a couple of clues that have come up recently.  Mary had to take some antibiotics for a week and the phlegm in her throat and lungs responded to them and lessened significantly.  ALS doesn't respond to antibiotics.  The other clue is that her eyes are starting to be effected and ALS doesn't effect the eyes that way, but Lyme disease definitely does.  

Unfortunately, here in Canada, doctors are for some reason loathe to seriously consider Lyme disease as a possibility.  They are a few decades behind their American colleagues as far as researching and diagnosing it, in fact seem quite opposed to any consideration apparently that Lyme disease is any sort of culprit in Canada.  Don't know the reasons but it is causing problems for more people I personally know than just Mary.  Her doctor, when asked for 2 more weeks of the antibiotics that the Lyme disease responds well to if administered for a 3 week period, refused point blank to give them to her, to even consider the possibility that Lyme disease is involved in her illness.

We have advised them to flee to the USA as quickly as possible to be tested.  She may not have Lyme disease at all, but too many of her other symptoms that I won't go into here, also correlate to Lyme disease symptoms.  

Please pray she and Pete can come up with the money to make a trek and try to get some answers about these symptoms.  If nothing else, at least it could be ruled out. At best, if it was discovered she does indeed have it, she could get help south of the border.  Please please keep praying. I thank you on their behalf.

Scared Stupid

About 10:30pm last night I was getting ready to shut off the tv and go to bed when the back doorbell rang.  It was so unexpected I nearly jumped right up to the ceiling.  The back door is right beside the large kitchen window that I left open for the evening trying to get some cooler air to flow through after a hot day.

Before I could get off the couch the bell rang again.  Who on earth would be ringing my doorbell at that time of night??  Automatically my mind goes to the darkest scenario, so I called out through the window, "Who's there??"  Not receiving an answer did nothing to reassure me that all was well.  I peered through the minute peep hole in the door and could see no one.  "Who's there??", I called out again but, just like the first time, only silence answered me.

The bell rang again, so I whipped open the knife drawer, slipped a carving knife behind my back (as you may have read in one of my blog entries from long ago, I know how to use a knife against unexpected nighttime intruders) and flung the door open just as the bell rang a third time.  

No one was out there as the bell began to ring once again.  I slammed the door shut and in confusion headed back to the living room to check out the front door as the bell continued to ring, the rings coming closer and closer together.  No one was at the front door either, not surprising since the front door has a different series of bells than what I was hearing.

The bell kept ringing and suddenly it hit me: the constant ringing for no reason means the batteries are dying and it is time to replace them.  hahahahahahaha  I yanked the indoor bell box out of the wall plug in the living room to get it to stop ringing.

I felt pretty stupid....at least I did once I managed to bring my pulse back to normal range and got my blood pressure lowered.   Then I got a serious case of the giggles, you know the hysterical kind that just won't stop until they are good and ready. hahaha

A few minutes later I plugged the box back into the wall and sure enough, the bells began again.  Aiii yiiii....thanking God this didn't happen in the middle of the night.  I would have been sound asleep and either not heard them until our next door neighbours started pounding on the walls in hopes the bells would stop, or have been jerked awake and instantly terrified and immobilized by fear.

O there is no end of excitement in my life, that is for sure! hahaha

 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Nothing LIke Waiting Until the Last Minute

So after all the ironing this morning I had a surge of energy and by supper time had cleaned the entire place from top to bottom...DONE!  I was encouraged when I received an email from my husband that he  made it back safely to camp after the canoe trip, weary but happy.  Just knowing he was safe spurred my energy and the place got a decent cleaning. Since the hoses outside here on the lawns were left on both front and back for the entire afternoon, I couldn't leave my home without getting soaked anyway, so it was the perfect time to work hard.
Now I am exhausted, but it sure feels good to have cleanliness and order restored in my living space.  Tomorrow I can sleep in if I want to and enjoy the neatness and lack of dirt for a few hours before my husband drags his filthy camp gear through the place tomorrow night and no one will never know it was cleaned so well today! haha I know the drill.....

More Good Shopping News

This morning Save On Foods announced their plan to open one of their grocery stores in our fair city, sometime next year.  I am very excited as it is one of my favourite grocery stores.  Although it will likely be one of their smaller stores, I am glad they are going to give it a try in Saskatchewan. They source products from local growers and that is good news around here. Their low carb pretzel buns are my absolute favourite!  YIPPEE!!  Welcome Save On Foods!

Got all that ironing done this morning.  What a relief!

Although it is another very hot day with the lifting of the smoke from the sky for the second day in a row, I am feeling the pressure of my husband's return tomorrow and want to get started on the cleaning. I have been treating this place more like a hotel with complimentary breakfast than like my residence over the past week.  Once winter returns I will be far more housebound again, so I have been taking advantage of every warm and wonderful day to be on the highway or driving about the city visiting and feasting with friends. 

For the most part is has been a very fulfilling week spiritually, emotionally and mentally.  I got a good physical work out in the pool yesterday that felt just great and I can't wait to go swimming again.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Crazy Lady is Very Happy

I am not sorry now that I went bathing suit shopping....after 27 years I was able to find a suit that fits and even looks decent on me.  Wow, what a huge surprise.  My friend and I were done our shopping in record time. She needed a new suit as well but of course is much thinner than myself so she had even more choice than I did.  I was delighted to fit well into a medium size that keeps me in place all over!! haha

I am happy that she introduced me to the little Marshall's outlet.  What a nice store.  Reasonable prices, decent quality products.  I will definitely start searching there the next time I need clothing or something interesting for my home.  It is smaller, less crowded and quite a bit classier for decor than the huge Winners stores are/were.

After our fast shopping trip we headed over to my friend's house and spent a delightful couple of hours lazing in and around her back yard pool.  What fun!  A break from the water for a drink and some snacks and it all translated into a perfect afternoon in the +34C temperatures.

And I was worried that I should stay home and iron clergy gear instead??  Now that really IS crazy!  Maybe I have a vestige of sanity left after all, haha.

It's Official: I've Lost My Mind!

After a good morning of shopping for healthy foods at the grocery store, I came home all primed to lock into an afternoon of ironing as per my schedule today.

I should be setting up the ironing board at this very moment, but what am I doing instead?  I am writing this short blog entry to fill the next 10 minutes of time before I leave to go shopping again....for a bathing suit!  A BATHING SUIT FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE!!

It has been 27 years since I last purchased and wore a bathing suit.  It has been 26 years since I have been in any sort of water for anything other than a shower or bath...except for my son's baptism in a BC lake where I had to jump in fully clothed because I no longer owned a bathing suit.

O my....why did I let my friend talk me into this, just half an hour ago??  She is so persuasive...she has a pool in her back yard and is looking for a friend who is free during the day a couple of times a week to come over and visit in the pool.  She picked me.  I fell for it.  Eek!!

The good thing is that at my age, NO ONE looks that great in a swim suit anyway, AND no one pays any attention.  I am just one more elderly, slightly tubby lady floudering about in the water.  

So, off to the swimsuit specialty shop...in other words I am going to pay the small fortune I do not have for a suit I will only wear in the privacy of my friend's back yard...occasionally....only in the summer.

I am completely nuts....COMPLETELY!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A Gratitude Filled Day

If I wasn't grateful for days like today I would be the world's worst ingrate!  (even though I still have not located my cell phone charger and am thinking I never will)

I woke up this morning with no symptoms related to the smoke outside!!  I was concerned last night so I wrapped my neck up with a dew rag and some mentholated ointment, poked a menthol stick up my nose before going to bed and had a huge drink of water.  Those things combined with the dissipation of so much of the smoke overnight left me feeling quite good this morning upon rising.  Thank you K&P for your prayers for me as well...very positive answers!

Breakfast tasted particularly good this morning for some reason, perhaps just because I felt so cheery.  It was so good to have a reason to get going early for my trip to Moose Jaw.  Stopped on the way at the Bulk Barn to pick up a couple of things for the friend I was meeting, things she wanted but can't buy in her town.  I got to Moose Jaw sufficiently early to do a bit of searching about on my own for a tasty treat for my husband in their Bulk Barn and had good success.

Off to the restaurant where I was to meet my friend.  We had the sweetest visit over our extended lunch.  O my it was good to see her. Bless you Kay for asking me to come to meet you.  Sharing about church and God and friends and family....it was really refreshing and wonderful to get caught up.  I hope we can do it again soon.

I was no sooner in the door when I got home this afternoon than I received a call from another friend, just in town for the day.  Fifteen minutes later I was in her car and we were off to do some shopping for her craft projects, followed by a delicious and nutritious dinner out.  Two meals out in one day.....so bad for my diet and so good for my frame of mind! teehee  She was looking for a cow bell for a play she is involved in so I had my first glimpse at a local western goods store called, appropriately, Cow Town.  haha  They actually had just the sort of bell she wanted, so next time we are looking for such things we will know where to start the search!

Unfortunately Cow Town is in the north end light industrial section of the city and the traffic tie ups during rush hour there rival Vancouver and Toronto for slow moving traffic due to road overload.  Coupled with some major road construction projects in the area it would have been a nightmare had we not decided to just go with the flow and spend the hour singing silly songs at the top of our lungs.  haha  The meandering route we were forced to take to get out of the area did land us at a great little restaurant though, so supper was like a reward for the long sit in the traffic.

Once I got home I had a chance to finally sit down and rest, so enjoyed watching a couple of tv shows.  Tomorrow is a huge day of ironing and Friday I will spend the day cleaning, as far as I know...that was to be this afternoon's job after my trip out of town, but you know how it goes...friends trump housework every time, particularly when I know there are going to be some deep spiritual conversations in amongst the fun events.  Friday night I may have a dinner and movie "date", but even if that doesn't happen it has been a very fulfilling week so far...only the one really bad day.

I am grateful for today.  I am grateful for this week.  I am grateful that for once, very unusually, I broke my pattern of working on the housework like a mad fool for the first couple of days of my husband's absence.  Now I am so far behind on that I will really be scrambling to get everything done before he gets back, but I have discovered this week that if there is a laundry basket full of clean clothes sitting about overnight, ironing spilling out of my closet onto the floor for a day and dust bunnies enjoying the sunshine on the coffee table for the better part of a week, lightning will not strike me dead. I am thinking how especially wonderful everything will look when all is dusted, vaccumed and washed down once again. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Restoration Of Pollyanna Days

Today beat yesterday by a long shot! Thank goodness...although I still can't find my cell phone charger.

Slept in this morning after a fairly decent sleep due to a distinct lessening of the forest fire smoke throughout the night.  Yay!  Got the baby clothes ready for posting, along with a couple of other bits and pieces of mail and had a really nice walk to the post office outlet.  There are so many trees here lining the streets in our area.  I find walking beneath the big trees cathartic, so healing emotionally and spiritually, making me feel more connected to Creator God.

Kept my meals on track all day and my blood sugar tests were all excellent! Again, the lack of smoke today, at least comparatively speaking, kept my system from overreacting and jacking up my sugars.  Since I haven't had my usual respiratory reactions to the smoke yet, it has been those blood tests where the physical reaction hs occasionally shown up.

Got all the laundry done this afteroon and, o my, I have not had this much ironing to do in a long time.  I think my husband must have had nearly every clergy shirt he owns in the laundry basket today.  Wow........  Since he started having to wear them most days for work at the office and not mostly just on Sundays the laundry load has increased each week since we moved here.

Had a nice chat with a friend in Ontario.

In the process of growing desperation to locate my cell phone charger I cleaned out every drawer and cabinet in my office and got rid of a bunch of paperwork I don't need.  The drawers in the desks and the shelves in the big cabinet are all organized properly, the way they should have been a couple of months ago all ready.  A large box of "I don't know what to do with these in this smaller space" items that were on my bedroom closet shelf were taken out and either distributed around the house or bagged for the thrift store. The box is just the right size for a gift to take to the wedding we are going to in August and I even got that all packed up and wrapped. 

So, finally had a day where I had the energy to accomplish a fair amount of things around here.  Putting the towels away in the bathroom cupboard, an intense and time consuming task at the best of times, can wait until the morning.  I did my dinner dishes at 11pm and decided that would be sufficient work for today.

Tomorrow I am meeting one of our visiting pianists from our former parish who is down this way.  We are going to have lunch and a good chat.  It will be a lot of fun. She is the most incredible woman: in her early 80's and just a ton of fun. She will make the 8 hour round trip all in the same day, for appointments down this way and lunch with me.  I am so looking forward to it.  I pray for a safe trip for her; that she will not exhaust herself completely, because she has to be home in time to go and play music at the seniors' manor in her town in the early evening.  I don't have half her energy even though I am 20 years younger.  Whew...she exhausts me just telling me what she does every day. haha

And so to bed to read the last chapter of my Mo Yan novel.  I am sorry to have it coming to an end and hope the new Jodi Picoult book I will read next is even half as interesting...."Lone Wolf".  I hope the story line isn't completely far fetched.

I am having a grand time watching The Rangeland Derby from Calgary each evening during Stampede.  I grew up watching the chuckwagon races from the grandstand with my parents every year and really miss the noise of the crowd and the ground shaking of the thundering hooves that don't come across on a tv broadcast.  Go Jason......

The smoke returned with a vengeance after dinner tonight. Great swirls of it were drifting down the street outside and were so thick it was difficult to see the building on the other side. The smell was so vile it was nauseating.  I am having my first bit of throat and gland reaction and hope it isn't signalling that my system can't take it any more, because there will be many more days of this coming, I am certain.  Other than that small concern, today has been a real treat after yesterday....now, if I could PLEASE PLEASE find my cell phone charger...PLEASE!