Monday, November 30, 2015

One Answered Question Regarding Choir

I went to choir practise yesterday determined to try to discover a place for myself to fit into the group and I think I got one answer right away.

The church where we rehearse is in the middle of the scuzzy downtown area, so the doors into the building are always kept locked.  Every time choir members arrive for the rehearsals they have to buzz in.  Every time that buzzer rings downstairs in the rehearsal hall, either the director or the nearest available choir member has to rush up a flight of stairs and down a hallway to let the person in. Yes, we could just buzz everyone in from downstairs, but because of the area of town we are in it is safer to actually get a visual on who is ringing the buzzer first.  For the second time this season, I opted to remain upstairs for the half hour before rehearsal and be the door person.  It is a great little job for me.  It prevents the director and executive members from having to excuse themselves from their pre-rehearsal meeting to run around to the doors and it gives me a perfect opportunity to visit for a minute with each choir member as that person arrives.  Coffee break is far more fun now and more filled with fellowship and conversation for myself because of the opportunity to chat as people arrive. They are more comfortable with the newbie because of that.  I feel far more a part of the group now.  At this point in my life I am not interested or even that capable of being on executive committees and boards, but I can visit with the best of them, so that is where I am going to see if I can fit with this group. One answer, at least for the moment.  If nothing else I can be more relaxed between now and January's concert and subsequent reassessment of my committment.

Church was so enjoyable yesterday, the first Sunday of Advent.  We had sufficient clergy and even an efficient young acolyte to lead a decent procession at the start of the service, a former parish family has decided to return so that their teenaged daughter can become better associated with their family's system of beliefs and can participate in the new youth group that is getting going in the city for our Anglican teens.  The daughter did the readings for us and did a marvellous job.  The family of the acolyte attended and her mom ran the Powerpoint for us while Dad beamed proudly throughout the service.  We had a particularly large attendance yesterday and that brought out a lot of enthusiasm from our regulars.  The sermon from Rev. Dan was simple and true: it is not up to us to force change to come, evil to flee, wars to end and people to transform. It is up to God. (from Jeremiah 33: 14-16) Our responsibility is to do what we know is right every day, small as that may seem in relationship to the horrendous events going on in the world: acts of kindness, prayers for the sick and dying, worship, assistance to those in need as we have opportunity, being cheerful, sharing Jesus with whoever is willing to listen; welcoming the strangers; allowing God to do the eventual world wide fixing and healing in accordance to his promise to bring about an end, at the right time of his own choosing, to the evil that seems to control so much of our world.  It was a good reminder to us all.

We enjoyed watching the Grey Cup game last night.  For once it wasn't a one sided rout!  Either team could have won the game, right up into the final 3 minutes.  Congratulations Edmonton for winning and to Ottawa for getting to the Grey Cup in only your second season!!

Also this weekend we watched more boxing matches than we have seen in one weekend, EVER!!  We are so enjoying the undercard boxers on NBC.  These fellows often have not been in professional bouts for very many years and wow, there is a tremendous amount of action in almost every round of every fight!  No one is playing it safe on their hopeful journey to the top of the rankings!  Unfortunately the very professional Klitchko-Fury match on HBO was absolutely dreadful! We deliberately did not look for the results the weekend the match actually took place because we wanted to enjoy it from start to finish with the end result unknown to us. Blecch! Pooey!!  Klitchko just stood around doing nothing for 12 rounds while Fury got in a few good body shots and jabs in between the rabbit punches that cost him one point, but had no negative effect on the end result.  Did Klitchko give up his title on purpose?  Hey guys, even if a fight is rigged it isn't a good idea to give it away that easily!  Fury won the belt, but shouldn't be that proud of winning because he didn't do much...didn't HAVE to do much....to get it. Sigh...after all the pre-fight hype...what a disappointment.

So, off now for a jolly day of laundry and getting the Christmas cards and letters into the mail.  My husband added the graphic last night, we printed the letters and I got them stuffed into the cards. Done for another year and it turned out to be far more fun than I was anticipating.  I think this broken hip recovery just turned me into an old grump for a few weeks. As my hip is healing I am getting a lot cheerier....AND as this amazing weather continues my mental state is far clearer and happier.  YAY no snow nor ice with just above 0 high temperatures! YAY! 

Drat...figures...I just wrote about being more cheery and the clinic just called that the doctor wants to see me about my test results from last week...that means there is a problem. DRAT!  Okay, I need to calm down, I was expecting it anyway....waaaaaahhhh...I hate being right about such things....waaaaaahhhhh.....BUT it is still a great day outside! 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Heart Warming...Gut Wrenching....

It is another glorious snow and ice free day here in Regina and area. The sun is shining, it is -10C at noon and there is no snow or storming forecast for the near future.  Oooh, la la....what a great winter thus far!

Thursday evening I drove to the airport to collect my husband from his trip to what was a magnificent conference of Canadian Anglican Executive Archdeacons.  The folk involved got so much from the conference and from the general fellowship they are keen to get together again next year and St. Johns Newfoundland may be chosen as the place to meet.  If that turns out to be the case I will be paying my own way to accompany my husband there!  He has been there, worked there, made friends there at various times in his life, but I have never had the opportunity to see Newfoundland.  At this past week's conference in Ottawa there were a number of spouses who came along for the trip and spent their days sightseeing and shopping as they had never been to Ottawa before. I have been there, but never to St. Johns...here's hoping!!

It happened that my husband's flight from Toronto also held the latest Iraqui family our diocese has sponsored to come to Canada.  Over the past 2 years, with the help of their relatives, (the first family we sponsored to come here to escape extremist persecution), we have spent thousands of dollars, written many letters, had monthly fund raising events and what have you to clear the way for this new family to come.  We have dealt with corrupt politicians, various fears of the families, those among our own who didn't want to participate in the whole process, but on Thursday night the new people arrived.  Their family members all ready here, our bishop and his wife, some of the main sponsoring church members and, as it turned out, myself
 and my husband, were all on hand to welcome them when they arrived.  O the joy and the tears and the hugs and the bodily shaking with relief that they had actually survived long enough to get here.  Not long before they left an extremist group had come through their village and beheaded, in front of their very eyes, most of the babies there.  The ages of the two children we were greeting are 2 and 4 and for some reason they were spared the sword, much to their horrified and terrified parents' relief and joy.  I cannot imagine the horrors they have witnessed over the past 2 years in particular.  It is beyond my ken.

So, the children in the first family we sponsored were meeting their uncle and aunt and 2 cousins for the first time.  Within seconds they had surrounded the new little ones, hugged them, pulled them over to particiate in a game they had been playing while they waited for the plane...it was grand to see how easily they all melded together in play and joy.  Kids...wish we adults could still be so easily accepting and inclusive of each other!  A couple of Syrian folk in the airport came over to see what all the fuss was about and were overjoyed that another Iraqui family had been sponsored.  However we felt they gave words of wisdom when they said that unfortunately all this proposed instant immigration Canadians have had foisted upon them by the government is going to be create certain danger of importing all the same factions and ongoing fighting that is happening in the middle East.  Sad as that is to consider I believe it likely to be true.  We have had no time to prepare properly, to be taught how to integrate such different cultures into our own within such a short time frame, to know how to deal properly with these dear and endangered folk who have seen so much of what is the worst of human behaviour.

Seeing the family renunited was most heart warming. Knowing they have been saved, at least for the time being, from certain death in their homeland because of their refusal to take on the world view of the groups terrorizing them, is indeed a heart warming experience.  However it is equally gut wrenching to know their safety and ours could be short lived.  I wonder how many people realize we are actually in the beginnings of another world war.  I wonder how many Canadians realize that at some point we could be in danger of seeing that war fought right here on our own soil.  As the world leaders continue to respond to terrorist violence by reacting with more violence...and it is likely far beyond the point where there is much in the way of a peaceful alternative that would be remotely effective....we cannot escape the inevitable that Canada will have to become militarily even more involved than we currently are in the practises of war.

Every day when I watch the news I wonder how differently things may have been had the response to 911 been different than the response that happened...it seems that so many extremest terrorist factions were spawned in the wake of our western response to that dreadful incident.  While the response is understandable and retaliation a common response to such ugliness, could there not have been any attempt made to deal with it differently?  Well, I have shared my opinion on that in a previous post so won't bother doing it again.

Touring the federal parliament buildings was one of the experiences the people at my husband's conference had. What he heard from some of the politicians he talked to about upcoming moral policies that will be promoted/enforced by the new government, was not encouraging.

O Canada: HOW do we properly stand on guard for thee?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Done For Another Six Months!

So happy to be home again this morning after an early, chilly, start to the day. Yes, today was a six month lab work check up; a good old needle in the arm, peein' in a cup kind of time. Now it is over, I am back home, breakfast eaten and all is right with the world! Soon the sun will rise and I will be able to gaze at this morning's unpredicted snowfall.

Once the car started without any problem, despite the nearly -20C temperature, the windows scraped and the heater working, it was a lovely drive through the lightly falling snow. Without wind to make visibility poor, the snow drifting down through the dark and under the streetlights was ethereal. It made the 6:30am cruise to the lab and back like a little winter holiday.

I find people so fascinating. I often wonder what they are thinking. What motivates people to say the things they say?? Yesterday I went to a postal outlet and before I even had a chance to request stamps, the postal clerk took a long look at my cane and asked me if I had had a stroke.

This was before I had any chance to struggle to open my purse, mix up my words, drop my cane on the floor, mix up my request, misunderstand the cost of the stamps, drop my change all over the counter, or exhibit any other sort of behaviour that could indicate cognitive or physical impairment beyond needing a cane. I don't even put any weight on the cane any more, I walk completely erect now, I only take it with me because of possible icy patches outside.

I didn't take time to ask the woman the basis of her question because there was someone in line behind me, but I admit to being curious as to the reason for that particular question. What sorts of things do I myself say to other people that leave them perplexed? Why is there so rarely time or opportunity to take people aside and discuss such things? Why do I care anyway? Motivation really interests me.

People: the most fascinating of creatures!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Snow Glorious Snow!

It is beautiful outside this morning.  The snow is falling in big fluffy flakes that pile up on the sidewalks and lawns in small puffy cloud formations.  It is incredibly lovely to watch.

I just returned from some shopping as the largest flakes began falling to the accompaniment of a strong north west wind.  Driving north homebound on one main thoroughfare was like driving into a whiteout, but when I headed east a few blocks before going north again there was barely any snow coming down along that route.  Within the five remaining minutes it took me to get home, the heavier snow reached my neighbourhood.  Since the warm tires on the vehicles are melting the puffs of snow on the roads, I am glad to be home before the temperature drops another degree or two and turns that bit of melt into icy patches.

The geese knew yesterday this cold and snow was coming. They were grouped by the hundreds on the lawns of our complex, gobbling up every bit of food they could find. Just as darkness was descending they rose en masse and flapped away to the south.

It is going to be interesting at 6:30am tomorrow when I am warming the car and scraping the windshield to go for my 6 months lab tests...brrrr....and skiiiiiiidd, I suspect.  The worst part is having to line up outside the door of the lab waiting for its 7am opening.  I will have to wear warm socks inside my 4 year old winter boots.  The pure wool liner in the foot is pretty much thinned out to the point of being far less warm than it used to be.  If I get a chance to return this winter to the shoe store in Moose Jaw that carries the particular brand of winter boot that has the same perfect, non-slip soles, I will purchase another pair, but the uppers on my present pair still look nearly new and the calf liner is still nice and warm.

For now, rather than projecting into tomorrow morning's possible ice festival out in our parking lot, I am just going to sit back and enjoy seeing the beautiful snow drifting to the ground while I put stamps on the Christmas cards.

A Small Conundrum

I have found myself lately wondering about my choir committment once our concert in January is over.  Since it is 3am and I am fully awake due to some hip discomfort, I have been mulling it over in my mind.

I so enjoy singing.  I enjoy the people there who are very friendly and easy to talk to during the breaks.  Our director is wonderful and the songs for the most part are appealing and fun to sing.

But I admit I am not content with it.  What is missing from the experience?  My heart is not in it the way it was for the first month or so and I don't know why for sure.

Is it because I had hopes that choir could be a place to meet some more retired women who would be interested in getting together for coffee occasionally, away from choir, thereby making some friends from this experience, but am realizing it isn't likely to happen?

Is it because my attention span has become so short that I am all ready bored with the steady committment of a choir?

Is it because the struggle of recovering from the hip surgery is wearing me out and I feel like I couldn't be bothered doing much of anything consistently until the pain and discomfort are over with?

Is it because God is preparing me all ready to move on to something else after the new year so there is no point in becoming too attached to the choir folk...either because I will be leaving or there is something negative about to occur with the choir itself?

Whenever I feel this kind of sinking feeling, a feeling that I am simply no longer attached to whatever group or activity I am participating in, almost a sorrowing inside for no obvious reason, it usually means my time of participation is coming to an end. It is the same feeling I have had in times past, previous to either having to unwillingly leave a job or a church for some unhappy reason, or when an unexpected move is about to happen, or else when someone we love is about to surprise us with news of their own departure.

O my...what next??  I hope I am wrong about my time with the choir ending on the one hand, but on the other hand, maybe something a bit more fulfilling is on the horizon.

I appreciate the way God seems to prepare me for changes, but while I am waiting to see what happens I would like to feel less sad and detached.

Just want to talk the situation over with myself here and see if writing down what I am feeling will bring any answers to my questions.

Time to go back to bed and see if a few more hours of sleep will refresh my mind sufficiently to make some sort of sense of these unexpected feelings that actually have been responsible for keeping me from a good sleep twice in the past week.  I would find this waking up in the night and obsessing about a community choir committment downright wierd if I hadn't gone through other times of struggle that seemed to be for no reason, only to have a reason appear at some point that made sense of my negative feelings.  

One thing I do know for certain is that whenever this sort of thing happens internally, it is a call to prayer. So, I will be praying about the choir as a whole, for the director and all the other singers, as well as for direction about my own place in the group.  Intercessory prayer callings are sometimes difficult to deal with, but actually praying is what lifts the burden.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

iPad Chuckles

I am discovering some of the fun of using our iPad for emails! This little machine has a few foibles to deal with, particularly its nasty habit of changing words and phrases without my permission!

Last night I had to send an email without proof reading it first and the recipient had a couple of questions after she read it. No wonder she was confused: "exercise" became "e revise" and spoiling" became "spooling", haha!

What a hoot! I am enjoying some new technology to screw up, haha!

Almost Done!

This morning I got serious about doing the Christmas cards, located the darned things in a drawer, got them all signed, the envelopes addressed, cheery stickers and return address labels applied and the letter written. Yay me!!

Now I just have to print off the letters, stuff them into the envelopes and go to the post office for stamps before popping everything into the post box. Again I say: Yay me!

I may even take advantage of the change of forecast from snow to no snow to become sufficiently motivated to put on clothes and drive over to the post office for those stamps....

....or not....teehee.....

Monday, November 23, 2015

And The Nicest Thing Of All.....

.....was the surprise phone call tonight from my son!

Got other calls today as well from friends across the country...another good day.

Wellll....Maybe There Is One Thing Almost As Nice....

......and that would be the amazing Indian food I ordered in for dinner tonight...a massive amount of food that I will get at least 4 meals from in total....ooooo, vindaloo....yummmmm.....

Good on you, Bombay Indian Bistro!

Is Anything Nicer.....

....than getting a message from a spouse who is half way across the country letting me know he is safe and full up with delicious miso soup and overpriced airport sushi?

Nope...it doesn't get any nicer than that.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Beautiful Day

Wow! We lucked out today here in the middle of the prairies!

By mid morning we were heading above zero, topping out at +5C!  What a great day for melting ice, catching some warmer, sunnier rays than we have had since our first winter storm and being encouraged that we will all survive another winter.

It was even difficult to force myself to go to choir practise when all I truly wanted was to stand outside without a coat!

Back to the colder air tomorrow, followed by two days of snow. Well, if we can't enjoy Alberta chinooks here, we do get occasional days like today to help keep the winter gloom away.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Update from Nancy About the Accident

Here's an update just received, giving more detail directly from Nancy...

Thursday morning:
Paul & I are in Atlanta for meetings where I presented Wednesday morning. Then, in the afternoon, as we were walking on the sidewalk downtown, a car turned sharply in front us then braked when she saw us. This caused the driver behind her to brake suddenly, slipping on the wet pavement and plowing right into us! I was pushed forward by the car, fracturing 2 vertebrae and banging me up pretty badly. Paul was hit in the knee which propelled him up in the air where he hit the windshield with his head, splintering the windshield and cracking his head open. He is still in ICU since he has 2 spots where there is bleeding on the brain. They sewed up his head laceration (8 stitches!) and put a knee brace on his knee (sadly, it is the same knee he messed up about 2 years ago). 

I was released from the hospital yesterday, with a back brace and pain pills. Still in extreme pain, but thankful we weren't hurt any worse than we were.  We are flying Naomi down to be with us and help us get home whenever we are cleared to fly. 

Resting as comfortably as possible. (at the home of friends)

Friday afternoon:
I'm doing better...when the pain killers are doing their job. The back brace helps a lot. I'm headed to the airport now (my hosts are driving) to pick up Naomi. Then we will go to the hospital to celebrate LIFE and her 18th birthday (today) with Paul 🎉 He might be out of ICU by then and on a regular ward.

Friday evening:
So happy to be together again! Celebrating Naomi's 18th birthday with cupcakes.

Saturday morning:
Paul is being discharged today! Still in a huge knee brace and on crutches, but his head is healing well.

Thank you for praying!
Nancy
My husband and I are not enjoying all the news of so many friends and colleagues being injured in car accidents...we are praying more than ever for the protection of all the folk we know. Thank you for praying for our growing list of friends in need of healing.

Another Accident...More Prayer Please

I have just received word that another friend has been in a serious accident and has been rushed to ICU.  Please pray for Paul's recovery and for his wife Nancy and daughter Naomi.  I worked for them when we lived in Tokyo.  I have no other details at the moment, don't even know if the accident happened in Japan or in America, but am expecting some more news over the next 24 hours. Thank you SO MUCH for your prayers!

A Restful Day Today

My husband and I woke up rather late this morning and we have both felt every minute of our ages all day today.  The onset of winter is partially responsible.  We go through this every year at this time.

I am relieved that after 2 days now of simply resting on his days off my husband seems to have managed to evade a true CFS crash.  My nerves have been a little frayed over the past month watching him teetering on the edge of an episode, but this morning he had good colour in his face, a bit more energy, was thinking more clearly and the dizzness he has suffered with for the past week or more was gone.  His upset stomach didn't bother him at all today and once the swollen glands in his neck are reduced in size I will know for certain this near episode is at an end.  I am so delighted he does not have to preach in the morning since our diocesan youth leader is our guest speaker.  For the past 2 days my husband has not had more than a couple of small work related chores to do and other than that he watched tv, read books, slept at odd times, drank a few gallons of good hot tea and wrapped himself up in old woollen sweaters and heavy socks to fight off the chilliness of this townhouse. Tomorrow he has a meeting with one of the church groups after the service but then he can come home and relax again.  I have been blessed once again with a ride to and from choir practise and he can stay home resting until a friend from out of town comes to see him in the later afternoon.  I had some lazy time of my own today and feel so good about not having to rush around battling the cold out of doors.  We had planned to go to a sale sponsored by Ten Thousand Villages this afternoon, but decided that rebuilding my husband's energy reserves was more important.  For now he is coping well again but there are no reserves in his system to back up his energy.  Once he has a chance to rest more and rebuild his reserves we can both relax for awhile again.

Last evening was fun for us both. A friend from church came over for dinner. She brought some home made wine that was actually quite good and the lack of preservatives in it meant we could both have a glass with no headaches or tummy aches afterward.  Our friend had requested chicken for dinner but I was feeling incredibly uncreative yesterday, so just fried it on the stop top in a wash of soy sauce and hot mustard.  It was surprisingly tasty.  We had mashed potatoes, (the last garden fresh bag from a friend here in town), salad, home made garlic dill pickles and a mixture of brussel sprouts and green beans.  For dessert I was able to serve a delicious peach pie from our church pie sale...the fresh peaches in the filling made it incredibly good.  We had a lovely visit with our friend and I hope she will come over again soon.

We both slept for over 9 hours last night...I can't remember the last time I slept so well for quite that long.  I doubled up the quilt for winter and the bed is so cozy and warm while the bedroom itself is freezing cold.  It seems to be a good combination for us both as we have been sleeping better than we have in weeks.  That is the other reason I know my husband is pulling back from his recent CFS problems: he is starting to sleep better again. Last night he slept from before midnight until 5:30am before waking up and starting to toss and turn. He only had to read for a half hour before he was asleep again for another more than three hours.  YES!!

Tomorrow night we will get him all packed up for his course in Ottawa next week.  Of course he has to stop at the office on the way to the airport...sigh...BUT it is to deal with releasing some diocesan funds to our Companion Diocese of Muyinga in Burundi, Africa.  The civil war there is expanding its area and refugees are fleeing into Muyinga, homeless, possession free and starving.  We hope to be able to send three thousand Canadian dollars to the Bishop in that diocese so that he can get food to the refugees in his area as quickly as possible this week. Since we all ready have an account set up there for putting in funds toward building a medical centre there it is easy to get the money transferred and into his hands very quickly, no third party agencies having to handle funds before he can receive them.  What a disaster there!

Our housing complex management is also seeking ideas on how our rental community can assist with the Syrian refugees that will be flooding our city before too many more weeks have passed.  They are also setting up donation centres to collect food for the local food bank over the next three weeks.  The hook is that everyone who contributes three items will have their name put into a draw for a month's free rent next year.  I hope someone who really needs that will have their name drawn.

So, it is a busy time for deciding where best to put our energies and tithes and offerings and financial sacrifices...so many needs that my husband and I feel helpless to assist with in any substantial way.  Well, we will do what we can.

I had a phone call today from a cousin I have only been getting to know over the few years and another call from my one remaining maternal auntie.  I so enjoyed chatting with them both.  They are both concerned about my parents' stress level over their move, particularly mom's, but there is nothing any of us can do about it. Even when I was there a couple of weeks ago, right there in person, I had no success in calming her unsubstantiated fears.  I can only pray she doesn't end up in hospital very ill once the move has happened.

Well, it feels like it is about 11pm but it is only 8:30pm.  I think I am going to get ready for bed anyway and put these old bones into bed for a good long (??) reading time before sleep comes again.  Winter has hit us like a baseball bat this year, but once we get used to the seaonal change and my husband is feeling better I am sure we will get our energies back.

Friday, November 20, 2015

AND.....

....Christmas card number 2 arrived today....hohoho!  Maybe I should take the hint? hohoho!

Never Send A Man To do A Woman's Job

Sigh....I really should have made my own search for the corn broom and snow shovel before writing the previous blog post, rather than naively taking my husband's word that he could not find them, ergo: they had been stolen.....sigh....

A few minutes ago I moved my summer coats out of the front closet and in the process located the corn broom standing smartly at attention against the wall, behind the coat rack, hidden from sight by all my husband's albs.  I called my husband to show him my find. He stood there gaping like a fish and assured me he had looked there earlier today, but had not seen it. I asked some questions about his search in our teeny tiny closet and as I had begun to suspect, he had not actually LOOKED. He had reached through the tightly packed coats and felt around with his fingers, somewhere in the general vicinity of the back of the closet, but his "blind" finger search somehow managed to miss the broom entirely. haha

As the lights began to brighten in my foggy brain, I remembered at last a comment my husband made the day before we left on holidays in August about how we shouldn't leave our snow clearing equipment outside while we were away so they would not get stolen in our absence. Of course! HE had moved them himself! Duh....

I asked him where he had looked for the shovel this morning and he told me he would have put it beside the furnace, but he had looked there to no avail. The shovel MUST have been stolen on its own!

Yeah...right....off I scurried to the basement, to the furnace room to see for myself. Sure enough, the first thing I saw was the handle of the shovel standing up as smartly as the corn broom had been upstairs. haha The shovel had been pushed behind our moving trolley, but it wasn't exactly difficult to spot! hahaha

I called my husband to come check out my latest find, then came down with a severe attack of the giggles. tee hee hohoho hahaha tee hee hee

Although the idea of finding something positive when dealing with disappointment that I blogged about is still true, although this incident did convince us we need to come up with a better plan for dealing with stress, the downside is that we are now stuck using a frayed corn broom and a shovel with a chipped edge for the rest of the winter....drat! Well, I guess this an opportunity to deal with another disappointment...teeheehee.....

Crap Happens...O Well.....

I am disappointed today...disappointed in myself and in whoever stole the shovel and corn broom off our back deck.

It is always disappointing to have someone take something of mine and I am grateful it has happened so rarely, but I am more disappointed in myself.  The broom and shovel had been leaning against the wall between ourselves and the next door neighbours ever since last winter's move in.  I remember thinking in May and again in July that we should move both of them inside. Not only did they look ridiculous sitting out there in the summer sunshine, but they would be easy to steal should someone take a notion to do so.  However, neither my husband nor myself bothered to follow through on our good idea to put them in the basement.  

As near as we can remember, both items must have disappeared while we were on holidays in August.  We brought back a large wooden rooftop box, set it on the porch, where it resides permanently and I know the shovel and broom were not there when we put the box down.  We both knew something out there looked different, but didn't bother to consider why that would be.  Out of the memory banks for both of us were the shovel and broom....o dear Lord...how old are we getting to be?????  

Actually, looking back we can see how stress has played a big part in our distraction during the summer and autumn months...job stress, health stress, family stress, the list goes on and on and on.  The fact that two of our own things could be stolen right out from under our noses and it took us three months to figure it out tells me we need to sit down and discuss what we are going to do to handle our life stresses better than we have been. Not the sort of catalyst for such a discussion that we would hope for, but better than no catalyst at all, right?

Well, a new shovel and corn broom will not be expensive purchases and to be honest, the old broom was looking a bit frayed out and the edge of the old shovel had chips out of it that made shovelling properly more difficult, so maybe the thief(ves) did us a huge favour in the end, right?

Of course right!

Some kind of "silver lining" can be found in most of the disappointing circumstances of life if you take time to look for it.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Another Very Positive Update on Sandy From Her Son

"Update on mom: she passed her swallow test, and is now able to drink fluids and puréed food. This is the first thing she has ingested since the accident August 5th.
She continues to make slow, steady progress. For the most part, she remembers long term memories: family, birthdays, her address, etc. It is often fragmented and sometimes incorrect, but as she continues to heal, so does her focus.
Physically she is improving as well. She can walk down the hall with her walking board, needs only one assistant to get out of bed now, and is starting to get some function back into her right arm.
Thank you all so much for the continued love & support."

This is fantastic news...I am so grateful for these updates. Thanks to all of you who are praying. The family really, REALLY, appreciates it!!  I am very encouraged by this evidence of the power of prayer for my friend.

So...in the Mail Today.....

....came our first Christmas card...aargh....the pressure......

Sunny Days

What is it about the merest hint of sunshine on an otherwise frosty winter day that lifts the spirits and makes winter seem more tolerable?

The sun is blazing this afternoon and even though there is very little heat in it, I feel twice as cheery as I did this morning.

In my mind I am humming The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" and feeling quite pleased with life in general.

Maybe those Christmas letters and cards will be doable after all?

Christmas Card Bogeyman

Generally by this time in November I have our annual Christmas letter written, cards purchased, signed, addressed, stamped and ready to be mailed out at the end of the month. This year...nada!

I can't seem to get into the spirit of the upcoming season for some reason.  The broken hip and subsequent recovery is not to blame.  Actually the inactivity time should have been perfect for the composition of a decent letter for friends and family. I have sufficient cards left over from last year that could so easily have been addressed by now..why o why can't I get with the programme this year?

Would it be possible for this to be the last year we send out cards at Christmas?  Do I feel unmotivated because the project doesn't seem like as much fun as it used to?  Is it that the cost of mailing all those cards (just under 100 each year) is becoming prohibitive?  If I decide this is the final year for mailouts do I mention that in our Christmas letter or just say nothing in case I change my mind next year?

I guess my heart simply isn't in the process any more.  Life has been so topsy turvy over the past year and I am not positive I feel up to reliving it all in a letter.  Our lives are interesting to ourselves, but not that interesting to anyone else, not really.

My husband is on a course in Ottawa for several days next week.  The first day he is away I will haul out the accummulated cards and take a gander at them.  Perhaps the bright colours and encouraging messages inside them will inspire me to get a letter written and mail off some cards, at least to the seniors and the friends out of town.  I love receiving cards, that is for sure. Maybe other people enjoy receiving mine as well...I will see how I feel about it next week.

It is just rather unusual that a favourite annual project has taken on all the excitement of being overrun by spiders.  Sigh..........what is wrong with me??





 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

IT IS DANGEROUS OUT THERE!!!

Well, dumb bunny here decided to open the front door and retrieve the mail from the mailbox. Aiiii yiii....the wind was so strong I was unable to pull the door shut again after emptying the mailbox! As I tried to back into the house, pulling on the doorknob, mail between my teeth to free both hands, a huge wind gust forced me back outside. I had to let go of the handle and let the door slam against the side of the townhouse in order to avoid being dragged out onto the ice rippling over the front step. As it was, one shoe did hit the corner of the icy patch and I nearly fell down! Thanking God that I was able to regain my balance, spin around and tumble face first into the coat rack in the entryway. Fortunately the entryway is so tiny I was able to grab the coats with one hand and flatten the palm of my other hand against the wall beside the rack and remain more or less upright. Right about then there was a brief lull in the wind, so I was able to reach outside, grab the edge of the door and haul it shut.

I am still shaking and my heart is pounding, hence the overly detailed blog entry about such a non-event. Whew!!

I am fine, other than a slightly pulled thigh muscle, and the door survived its collision with the mailbox, with only a nearly unnoticeable dent as evidence.

O dear Lord, all this drama....and it is only the first day of another long winter!

So the Answer Was"No!" O Well...

I should be either in the kitchen washing dishes or in the basement sorting laundry right now, but instead I am blogging in the living room, staring with horrified fascination at our changing weather!

A friend from out of town surprised me yesterday with an unexpected and much appreciated visit and we talked about our hope that the forecast for today would turn out to be incorrect...it wasn't...sigh...

I awoke at 3am because of the complete absence of street noise...not a vehicle moving anywhere. At 5am I woke up again for the same reason: eerie silence! I got out of bed, pulled back the curtains and gazed upon frozen streets outside. Yuck! The highway just south of us was either closed for part of the night, or else the truckers were experienced enough to know to pull off the road until the above zero temperatures made their brief return between 7am and 9am, melting the ice temporarily. As I write this, mid morning, the temperature is on its way back down from +4C to an afternoon high of -3C. When my husband left for work this morning the teeming rain was just starting to make the back  porch and steps slippery and the car's windshield wipers didn't quite take the wet film off the windows without some assistance from the heater.  The rain has turned from sleet to wet snow. By tonight the dreaded winter-long under coating of ice will be all over every road and sidewalk and step, every tree branch, roof and hand railing.

Well, that is okay..I am a grown woman who can handle receiving "no" as an answer to my prayer for no ice base this winter. This is Saskatchewan after all and prairie winters are part and parcel of living here.

Is it too selfish to pray for a transfer to the west coast? By next week? Sigh......

Let There Be Meat!

And there WAS meat....and sodium!

Last evening we had a feast at the home of Serbian friends. I was in protein heaven by the time we were able to force ourselves to stop eating. We began with appetizers: cold slices of ham and pork sausage with a spicy goat cheese, red wine and, for those brave enough to tackle it, home made plum "hootch" that left my husband red faced and attempting to unobtrusively gasp for air just from the wee sip he tried. haha

Home made bread abounded throughout the main courses of salty pork soup with a few bits of vegetable for colour, oven roasted pork atop a plate of "REAL perogies"' stuffed with a bit of rice and a ton of ground pork, phyllo pastry stuffed with bits of soft potato and more ground pork in a light, sweet sauce, green salad, quinoa salad with red pepper chunks and chopped green onions, Russian salad, which turned out to be a delightfully sloppy potato salad with teensy green peas added to it, followed by heaping plates of stuffed, rolled chicken and rolled pork. Dessert was equally amazing: we started with a large slice of spice cake with a layer of custard on top and a thin druzzle of fudge-like chocolate poured on top of the custard. I loved it because despite its rich appearance it is not a sweet dessert. When we finished the cake, out came plates of tiny cookies our hostess must have spent hours preparing! There were wee round double layered chocolate cookies, vanilla based cookies with ground nuts and melted caramel, almond cookies with other ground nuts inside, coconut moons and itsy bitsy squares of the most delicious brownies I have ever cheated on my diet with in the past 2 years!

We stuffed ourselves nearly senseless with food for two hours! I came home and downed nearly 800 ml of sparkling water to try to rid my body of all the sodium that made everything so delicious.

In between mouthsful we chattered away with the other guests, friends and coworkers of our hosts. Our hosts are moving out of the province and although we were supposedly celebrating the day of their family Saint, it actually was THEIR farewell party for US!

What a delightful evening, with guests from both Serbia and Canada, including a young fellow from Serbia who just that afternoon received his Canadian citizenship! The more hooch he drank the funnier and more animated his stories of citizenship test preparation became. haha

Bless you Biljana and Darko for providing such a feast for us and for your friendship. God be with you as you leave us and travel on to your next destination.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Young Man Most Fortunate!

I am rejoicing in my son's good fortune this week. He is in Vancouver as a panelist for this year's RBC painting competition, the winners of which will be announced later in the week.  

He is enjoying the other panelists, particularly those from the East Coast.  Their sense of humour resonates with him ("resonates"?? Did I actually say that, one of my least favourite buzz words???) and he appreciates their point of view, which tends to be less stuffy than some of the panelists from other parts of the country.

He is also enjoying being put up at the Four Seasons Hotel.  What a wonderful and luxurious break for him at a time when he needs it so badly.  Life is stressful right now, he is standing at a crossroads in his career once again and wondering which path is best to take.  He emailed the other night to say he was feeling relaxed for a change, sitting in his hotel room after dinner, sipping on a Manhattan while filling out a grant application, just chillin' for once!

I am so grateful for this few days where he has a chance to think about something completely unrelated to his daily life. Even for this few days it is a mental break.  He enjoys being on the panel and takes it quite seriously.  He is enjoying eating well and sleeping in a well appointed room for a change of pace.  

Way to go son. So grateful to RBC, not only for honouring you with a place on the judging panel, but for the way they treat their panelists.  At this time in particular, it is a good experience for you all the way around.

So Much For That!

My deliverance from the Land of Denial is at hand!  

Our warm weather, so unseasonal, is about to return to seasonal temperatures, starting tomorrow.  Low temperatures will be in the minus mid teens and day time highs will not get above zero again for probably 4 or 5 months.  The drop in temperature will be accompanied by high winds and probably some blowing snow.  Brrrrr....well, here we go again for another winter.

Is it wrong to actually pray for deliverance from an initial wet snow that freezes and leaves us with an undercoating of ice for the whole winter?  Is that too incredibly selfish a prayer for someone recovering from a broken hip? The worst that could happen would be an answer of "NO!", right?
Brrrrr......

A friend just sent me the link below.  It is a link to a contemporary Christian song about being delivered from all fear...my main fear this winter is of falling down again.  I think I will be singing this little song quite often as I skate, slither and slide my way around the city this winter:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=f8TkUMJtK5k%3Frel%3D0
 


 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Some Easy Lessons Take a Lifetime To Learn!

This week I finally decided to listen to reason and mete out my housecleaning into more reasonable chunks of time.

Today I settled on cleaning only the upstairs. I didn't feel pressured as a result, so I took my time and did a really good job. In the middle of the task I took my lunch break, then went over to the nearest supermarket for a handful of groceries to make life and meal planning easier should our foggy drizzle today turn into our annual winter ice cover by tomorrow. I rested after that by watching an hour of tv and replying to a couple of emails. Only then did I go back upstairs and complete the cleaning jobs.

Now I am going to check on the pork tenderloin roast I actually remembered to put into the oven because I am not too exhausted to think clearly! Housecleaning sans subsequent exhaustion that sets my recovery back by a full week...now there is a novel concept for me!

Tomorrow I will clean the main floor, leaving the laundry until the day after that and the ironing until the day after that! I know I have promised myself to have this sort of schedule in times past, BUT I am finally getting the idea through my thick skull that better organization and refusal to do more in one day than I am physically capable of is the way to keep my recovery progressing more consistently.

Well, duh.......

Sunday, November 15, 2015

A Good And ........ Weekend

Another sunny and warm day before the change to colder, more normal for this time of year, temperatures happens early this week; I am so thrilled for each day like today we have had the joy of experiencing.  Thank you Lord for this particular blessing, during  this particular year of healing for my broken bones.  I located the ice pick for my cane yesterday and so it is firmly in place for my safety.

Yesterday was also a beautiful day.  My husband woke up filled with energy and we were on the shopping trail well before 10am.  Good thing as we spent hours purchasing all manner of items that have been on hold until he felt well enough to seek them out, including probably the last goose down parka he will need in his liftime.  Now he will be able to walk to work all winter and once I get over the shock of the purchase price, I will be even happier for him than I am all ready. He so rarely buys anything for himself.  It was a lot of fun going together on a shopping expedition. I was sad to see the time come to an end, despite being so tired from all the walking I was ready to collapse by the time we got home.  Lunch out was a total Festival of Sodium, but it was of course very tasty as a result...sigh.... My dear husband was nearly comatose from exhaustion but at least he started out strong!

We finally had time to discuss his few days off after the Christmas services and he decided we are going to skip the whole travelling/having family come here to visit scenario.  As disappointed as I am on one hand, on the other I would rather have that scant few days to restore his health than to drag him out on icy highways, or put him in a position of having to entertain here when he should be resting.  My parents will not mind as they will still be recovering from their move two weeks previously and will be just as glad to see us later in the winter.  We have invited my husband's sister and her husband to come and visit us here at any time after the holiday season, so we are hoping they will be able to do that.  

Wonderful friends stopped in after dinner last evening for a visit, some white tea and baklava.  It hasn't been that long since one or both of us last had company over, but it seems like way TOO long, so their visit was even more appreciated.  I am finding I don't like too many days all alone when I know how many awesome people are out there to enjoy.  Our friends were filled with joy over some events in their own lives so we were able to rejoice together.

We phoned my newly 90 year old aunt yesterday. She lives 9 hours drive away so we were not able to go to her party, but we had a lovely chat on the phone and it was fun to hear the excitement in her voice over reaching that milestone age and having a family party to celebrate it.

This morning my husband awoke to severe dizziness that accompanies the downward spiral into a CFS episode, so, since he had no responsibilities in a special joint church service with 2 other congregations this morning, he let his wardens know he would have to stay home instead.  He is resting. Some colour has returned to his grey, pasty face.  I am glad he was wise enough to book off for this one service.  He will more than make it up during the Advent season.

I am taking a couple of hours this morning to work on memorizing my choir songs before our practise this afternoon.  The notes are no problem, but for some reason I have the lyrics on two of the songs all balled up!  Wierd...aging, I suppose. I used to be so good at memorizing lyrics, so quick. Now....  Guess I am a bit stressed over my husband's health and that is not helping either.

Lots going on today...resting for my husband, singing for me...so happy I made such a huge pot of spaghetti sauce the other day and that we both enjoy eating it so much for lunch and for dinner until it is gone. hahaha  O happy (lazy) day......

 

Friday, November 13, 2015

And Now good News From the Son!

Our son just called to say his application to teach a course at his local university has been accepted! He has a combined second/third year painting course to teach for the new year semester. He will teach two mornings a week. Just this morning his dad and I were praying for something new to keep his active mind busy and boost his income a bit while he works through his visa application for the USA over the coming months. This is a delightful answer to prayer.

GIANT WHEW!! And a big thank you to the Lord! Another boost to his visa application is always a good thing!

Now we do the Dance of Joy!!

So Happy For Mom and Dad

My parents telephoned last night with good news and joy!  Yesterday afternoon the events planner for the seniors' facility they are moving into sent over a taxi to collect them and bring them to the facility's once a week Happy Hour.  Mom and Dad enjoyed a free glass of wine each as the honoured guests of the afternoon.  They met so many of the other residents they will never keep all the names and faces straight, but what struck them the hardest is how happy everybody there is with the living arrangements.  There have been no "red flags" about this facility and according to my parents the other residents are lovely folk.  They have set their moving date for early December and so by the time the worst winter storms arrive in the new year they will be all settled in and safe, no longer dependent on rides for prepared meals and groceries, no longer alone and lonely.  This is the most wonderful thing that has happened for them in a long time.  I was delighted to find out that younger cousins of dad's were over to visit him earlier this week and were able to take some of the family heirlooms, crystal etc., that I couldn't possibly find room for in my own home.  They are a very close group within the family and share a great appreciation for all things related to their family connections.  Dad is relieved not to have to send such beautiful pieces to either the auction at best or the thrift store at worst. Another dear friend is relieving mom of her beautiful Swarovski crystal figurines. She has done so much for them over the past few years and we are all glad she will receive something nice to say thank you for her friendship and many, many rides around the city.  Mom and Dad are busy picking out lovely pieces of this and that to give to the various friends who have been so wonderful to them over the past few years when they have been unable to look after their own driving needs.

Today it is overcast, but nice and warm here...heading up to +9 at least for the next 3 or 4 days.  Even when the cold temperatures descend next week there is little, if any, snow predicted at this time.  Our son is getting wind blown and rained out in Vancouver but we are doing very well here still...O how I am loving this elongated autumn season!  I have decided to joyously continue to reside in the Land of Denial until I am forced by the outdoor weather to accept winter for another season.

My husband has today and tomorrow off work. He made a few work related calls this morning before turning into a zombie for the rest of the day.  He did assist me in repairing my clothes rack which was tilting very unsteadily to one side and blocking access to my bedroom closet and he has eaten well today.  Now he is online researching down filled winter parkas so that he can continue to walk to work for most of the winter.  The man is incredibly tired and uncommunicative as a result of it.  If he can just continue doing nothing until he has to prepare for the pipe ceremony and stew/bannock dinner at the church tonight I think he will be in shape to run errands with me tomorrow...hopefully.  Just when he thought things were going to return to "normal" at his office job, things heated up again, but it seems he will be able to return to being only the usual two weeks behind starting next week.

 I made some spaghetti sauce this morning...the house smells so good.  The odors of chili and tomato and Italian seasoning, mixed with the peppers and celery and onions and turkey, keep the house smelling "restaurant quality" for hours after cooking.  If I don't go to the church supper tonight I am certainly going to enjoy having spaghetti here at home.

Tomorrow we have to discuss our Christmas plans, or lack thereof, so that we can let the rest of the family know what we are doing next month.  I suspect we will be doing nothing but catching my husband up on some badly needed rest and mindless relaxation.  However, I am leaving it up to him this year.  Every year I end up finalizing plans that he often is not that thrilled about and often entail his driving us through unexpected snow and ice storms before we get back home. He has all ready told me he is not up for that again this year.  Since our son is having Christmas with us earlier in December we may end up just staying here after Christmas church duties are completed and vegging out for my husband's 5 days off work.  Guess I will find out tomorrow........

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Pondering Present Joys and Possibilities

I am grateful for today's activities....lunch out, great visiting, a grocery run for some PC points and all accompanied by glorious sunshine that took us more then 3 degrees higher this afternoon than what was forecast.  By the time we get to the double digit temperatures on the weekend I will be thoroughly spoiled and even more in denial about the following week's winter temperatures than I all ready am. haha

My husband was on the road very early this morning with another colleague so he could get to a town more than 4 hours from here.  The meeting there had to do with another rural church closure possibility.  We are discovering lately just how many teeny tiny and formerly very active churches our denomination had in past decades before rural depopulation stripped them of their congregations.  The upcoming closures, sales of other diocesan properties and the focus on changing directions over the next decade may bring some badly needed and ultimately positive changes. Even as some of the churches are closing and being decommissioned, other possibilities for church planting are beginning to arise.  Our Bishop has some interesting ideas to bring to us and I am eager to see how they pan out over the next five to ten years.

The situation with our churches has reminded me once again that often it is best to let go of what is good in order to prepare the way for something even better...I need that reminder right now.

Best Cartoon I saw This Week

'Due to our failure to secure a holiday-relief organisty, the next hymn will also be sung to the tune of Chopsticks.'

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Returning to Normal Life

Today is the first day since I fell and broke my hip that I felt real life starting to return, REALLY return.  It has been a great day.

I admit that, despite yesterday's rant about wanting to get over denial about the onset of winter, I was quite relieved to wake up this morning and see only the teensiest skiff of the white stuff laying in patches here and there on the ground.  I admit that when the sun came out around noon and the temperature rose to at least +6C by mid afternoon, I was rather delighted.  Why give up denial until forced to, right??

I got dressed right after breakfast and felt so cheery because I knew my friend from out of town would be able to make our lunch date.  We ate a marvellous meal of shrimp and chicken and pasta and salad and biscuits and green beans at a favourite chain restaurant despite the atrociously high prices.  We drove around the city and shopped in all manner of different stores.  I wanted to purchase a black pullover sweater and actually found one I like. The price was so spectacularly low that I bought another one in purple.  What a great find.  My friend bought two tickets to my choir concert in January.  THAT is a good friend!!!!

After the shopping extravaganza, which included a most encouraging comment by my friend that she is impressed to see my energy and mobility returning so quickly and completely, I was able to come home and have a bit of a rest before my husband and I headed out to the annual catered church fowl supper.  I have to say that Saskatchewan folk do a fowl supper incredibly well. The food was delicious....very plain, no nonsense turkey with mashed potatoes, turnip, niblets corn, dressing, gravy, cranberries, bread and butter, cole slaw and stuffing. The desserts were apple pie and apple crisp.  There was nothing gourmet about the meal, but it was absolutely delicious.  It was a good old fashioned church fowl supper and I enjoyed every bite!

We came home early and watched a bit of tv together, chatted with our son and I made plans to have lunch tomorrow with my husband's cousin.  While I am tired, it isn't the complete body and mind exhaustion I have been fighting with since the fracture.  The energy is coming back, the pain is greatly subsiding, the mobility is almost complete.  I can even roll over in bed on my good side without a pillow between my knees and sleep for awhile.  Last night I managed at last to roll over onto those pin heads under the incision and stay there for nearly 5 minutes before the discomfort forced me onto my back.  Physio each day is going well and I have rarely missed my exercise times.

So, LIFE, I am back...happy, clear headed and raring to go again!  

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

So Snow All Ready!

I have been waiting for the freezing rain and snow to arrive since I woke up at 6:30am. It is now nearly 3pm and nary a flake nor even a drop has fallen from the sky. Damn and blast!! So let's get it over with. Let's see that moisture all ready! Again I say, LET'S JUST GET IT OVER WITH!!!! AAARRRGGHH!!!

Today's forecast has been on my side....how dare it pick today to be so incorrect?  Oh, I can tell by the sky it is likely still going to turn into winter today at some point, but what an anticlimactic let down when winter at last arrives.

The southwestern corner of our province received nearly 15 centimetres of snow overnight. So, why is the snow taking so long to reach US? Why are all of us who dread winter being tormented like this? This is so unfair, teasing and taunting us with the promise of a first big snow and then leaving us once again in the hope that the snow won't actually materialize....allowing us to remain in deluded denial, shocking us and producing tears in our eyes when at last we cannot deny winter's onset any longer.

So come on then snow and ice...just get here. If you wait until tomorrow to show up then the highways will be too icy for my friend to come into town to have lunch with me. If that happens, stupid snow and ice, I will NOT be happy!!

So there!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Oooooh Brrrrrrrr..........

So glad I was able to take the car today to do my shopping and run my errands for the week. My husband had a pleasant walk to work, but I hope he is dressed warmly enough for his return trip!

Once again the prairies have proven how quickly the weather can change! In the hour or so it took me to do my errands the temperature took a nasty drop. The air turned to chilling mist and I expect it will be freezing onto car windshields and sidewalks by supper time.

Drat! Pollyanna here lives in a perpetual state of denial when it comes to the arrival of winter each year. Sigh.... I never expect it to actually show up, even after experiencing it every year for my entire life.

Ooooooh brrrrrr......sigh......winter....yucch!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Staring Fear In The Face!

All my life I have had an incredible fear, to the point of having nightmares when I was younger, about being locked in a cubicle in a public washroom and not being able to get out.  haha  Wierd, I know, but then most such fears are kind of odd.

BUT, today I faced that fear full in the face and WON!

After our church potluck I headed into the washroom, locked myself in the cubicle to do my business and then tried to unlatch the cubicle door...it wiggled and jiggled up and down but the latch refused to move to the side to release the bar from the locking mechanism.  First it was kind of funny...as the minutes ticked by while I continued to wiggle, jiggle, wrestle, push, pull and bash about to no avail, the humour began to dissolve.

So, I did what any red blooded, middle aged, now TERRIFIED woman would do in my situation: I pounded on the cubicle door and on the wall beside me as hard as I could and screamed for help at the top of my lungs.  Of course no one heard me.  The sound proofing between the washroom and the main hall in our church basement must have been installed by the FBI or the CIA or some such organization because not one single soul sitting only a few feet from the washroom door heard me utter a sound!!  After nearly 15 minutes in there I was starting to freak out.  I started thinking about how rarely that washroom is actually used after the service. I started thinking about how, even though I walked into the washroom in full view of my husband, he has no concept of the passing of time and eventually wouldn't even remember seeing me go in there.

I pounded and hollered for another few minutes before realizing help was not on the way. The Cavalry was not going to come riding to my rescue. Sigh....what to do but to take a closer look at the size of the gap between the bottom of the cubicle door and the floor....the filthy, dusty, dead bug as it happened covered floor immediately outside my cubicle....and decide if I could lay on my back and squeeze through that gap.

Eyeballing it from above was not telling me much, so, THANK YOU JESUS MY HIP HAS HEALED SO MUCH, I squished myself down between the toilet bowl and the door in a semi-squatting position and took a better look. I decided if I was really careful and was able to force myself to lie as flat as possible against the floor, I could JUST make it underneath.  I pushed my cane out, along with my black suit jacket, which I rolled inside out to prevent it from picking up all the dirt I could see waving at me from the linoleum, hoped like heck there were no bodily fluids on the floor at the base of the toilet, sat with my back against the bowl and  stuck my legs out under the door.  As soon as my hips cleared the bottom of the door there was enough space to lay the top half of me down and I was able to squirm out of there.  Whew.....when my nose touched the bottom of the door and then cleared it without pulling off any skin I knew I would be okay!

I was still laying sprawled on the floor wondering the best way to haul myself upright again when the main door opened and a parishioner came in. She took one look at me laying there, assumed I had fallen down from a standing position, let a mighty shriek out of her and grabbed for her cell phone to call an ambulance.  It took me a few seconds to convince her I had not fallen and no ambulance would be necessary.  hahahaha  The look on her face was priceless and I wish I had a picture of that as much as she now wishes she had a picture of her minister's wife flat out on the floor of a public bathroom.  O how we laughed once I figured out how to sit up and grasp the edge of the sink to raise myself back to a standing position.  

As she jiggled the lock mechanism from the outside of the cubicle door it popped open.  O how I wish she had arrived about 30 seconds before she actually did. I could have avoided the whole laying on the filthy dirty floor in my good clothes thing. At least I had the presence of mind to use the end of my cane to push the dead insects out of the way before beginning my slide to freedom!

My husband didn't seem the least bit surprised when he heard what happened.  He knows me so well and the stupid things that frequently happen to me.  This is the woman who tripped over her own two feet and broke a hip only recently!

We hurried home so I had time to change my clothes before heading off to choir practise where I did NOT get locked in the bathroom!!!  

One fear down...a few more to go I suppose...the one where I am holding a large tarantula while sweat pours down my face and trickles down my  back can wait for a few more years!!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Done Deal for Mom and Dad and Son

It has been a productive day for the family.  Mom and Dad signed the final papers for their condo sale and are looking forward to a move in a few weeks' time.  Whew....it was the typical "fraught with problems" sale event, but everything has now been worked out satisfactorily.  Whew again!

This afternoon our son contacted us about a visit and my husband has just completed working out the flight plan to get him here next month.  Now I have a wonderful visit to look forward to in December.  YIPPEE!!!  It is always a lot of fun when our son comes to see us.  We will be able to view some of the winter art gallery displays and have an early Christmas celebration together.  My husband is so thrilled that our son is staying over an extra day so he can come to church with us and hear his dad preach before the flight home.

How lovely to be able to enjoy a full day of good news from the family.  My husband has had a productive AND restful day off today as his sermon for tomorrow was all ready completed earlier in the week.  He is working on sorting out more of our left over Junk and Stuff in the basement and playing old top ten tunes from the 60's and 70's on his even older radio unit.  haha

I have accomplished some tidying and some reorganizing in the kitchen so that the phone book and loose scrap papers and pens are no longer sitting on the the island countertop.  I have prepared some mailouts, written some cheques, created a new bankbook for my wallet, prepared choir snack for tomorrow's rehearsal and a potluck dish for after church, ordered a 2016 calendar and generally caught up on a myriad of little home tasks I didn't have the mental fortitude to face yesterday.

So happy for this good day...the sun even came out for a few hours!  

A Good Quote For a Pollyanna LIke Me


"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."

 --Carl Sagan

Yeah....it really is!!!

Favourite Comedies This TV Season

This season I am enjoying watching The Goldbergs and The Grinder.  Yes, the premises, characters and scripting are as silly as any these days, but there is one notable difference between these two programmes and their sit-com counterparts: the humour is not bound to making sex, the most joyful and intimate contact two people can share, into either a montonous, boring, banal activity at best, or a humiliating, grotesque, disgusting event at worst. In fact there are so few jokes about sex in both these comedies that they have not limited themselves to becoming caricatures of the other comedies on tv.  

As silly as both shows are in their own right, it is completely refreshing to hear jokes and see situations portrayed that have zero to do with sexual activity and bathroom humour.  I get to enjoy the silliness and still come away feeling like an adult.

I hope both these comedies are able to survive on television for a good long time.   I hope the writing continues to improve so that they can stay on the air based on their actual humour and that neither show's writers feel forced to sink down into the morass of the rest of the miserable excuses for sit-coms that exist at present.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Ahhhhhh.....

Is there anything more comforting than sleeping in your own bed again after even a few nights away?   I think not!
What a grand sleep I had last night...ooooh, so refreshing.....yeah.....
Not that I slept poorly in the hotel, because despite the problem on the last night with neighbour noise, I was sufficiently exhausted by my parents' stress alone to crash into a deep sleep. Now, if the phone call will just come to tell me the final sale papers have been signed, I will have the best sleep of my life tonight! Their new place is so perfect for them, their name plate is all ready on the door in hope.....please Lord let it be.

Just after we arrived home a cousin called to invite us to the 90th birthday of my remaining auntie. The party is next weekend. So many cousins will be there and I wish so much I could go. If we still lived in our former parish it would be possible, but with my husband needing to be home on the Sunday morning to preach I doubt he would be willing to undertake a ten hour trip home that wouldn't begin until after 4pm Saturday.....sigh.....this is one of the very rare occasions that I am tempted to resent having to "take one for the team". I have had so few chances to get to know my family that it is incredibly difficult to have to pass up this rare opportunity. I am going to investigate other options for travelling there before I give up on the idea completely. The dratted winter weather problems will also come into play unfortunately. Well, at least I was invited! That in itself is awesome!

We expected to arrive home to find several centimetres of snow on the ground, but all we found were some deep puddles and damp, yellowing grass. Perhaps there was some snow that melted in the +3C high temperature of the afternoon, or maybe there was only a substantial rainfall, but either way, it was wonderful to view nary a flake of the white stuff here. We had great road conditions the entire trip and for that I am beyond grateful.

This morning I need to grocery shop and the complex staff will be taking the Sasktel techs down into our basement to complete the installation of fibre optic cable. They will be here today and tomorrow. These are the days I so wish our basement was cleaned up and tidied, but we are still in the midst of a massive sorting project we should have undertaken years ago...a true search and destroy mission amongst all our stuff and junk. We are the poster pair fir the old adage, "junk is the stuff you throw away and stuff is the junk you keep." Unfortunately we have kept too many items of both categories.....sigh.....

So, back to the usual life on the prairies in autumn as we await the snow. With the changes in the office as a new financial officer is being hired, my husband will be back at work today all ready so he can participate in the interview process that starts this morning. He is wrung out from all the work he did for my parents, so I hope he is able to manage today at work. He is pretty amazing! Have no idea when his next day off will be, but he loves both his jobs so is coping well with the time frames and stresses.

Happy to be home after travelling....a real first for me, so I must be happy here! Yay!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Long 3 Days...But Good

It has been a very busy few days since leaving Regina on Sunday.  What a good day to travel...the weather was chilly but the roads were clear and dry.  We woke up rather early and got on the road before 7am so we arrived in Calgary in the middle of the afternoon to check into our hotel and get ourselves rested and unpacked before heading over to my parents' place.  They were so delighted to see us...that in itself made the long long drive worthwhile.  We had dinner together and organized the rest of our time with them.

The next morning we woke up to the beautiful sight of giant, fluffy snowflakes absolutely teeming down from the sky.  The ground wasn't cold enough for the snow to stick to the roads, so we could enjoy our first big, gorgeous snowfall of the season.  We had a great day running errands for Mom and Dad, taking them around the city with us and then had a tour of what SHOULD be their new home by December.  We are so happy to see what a good place they are going to be living. What a relief to meet the other residents and the staff and to feel the good vibes all around.

Yesterday my husband and I spent the morning doing some shopping and ethnic restaurant meal eating on our own, until the afternoon when we took Dad to a medical appointment and took Mom to run some more errands.  It was a very cold day, so rather than go out for dinner we ordered in and just relaxed in their cozy condo.

Today was a big work day, getting the storage area cleared out and delivering clothes and house hold items to various thrift stores and recycling venues.   We looked at old photos together for one last time before choosing a precious few to take home ourselves and getting the rest ready for the shredder. Our car is filled with our son's cartoons and paintings my parents had.  It is nice for us to have some of his older works, but where on earth am I going to put them in our little townhouse????  Guess some other beloved wall art and photos are either going to have to come down or else I am going to have to completely reorganize the visuals to include every piece of art we now have! haha  Just what we need: more "stuff" to deal with.  There are a few things though that need to be kept in the family until our son is ready to take them and I am the only other family there is!

Tonight we cleaned up after our day of work at the condo and took Mom out for an early birthday dinner.  That was fun.  They have a favourite place they like to go but that they get to very rarely.  What fun to take them there and enjoy some new menu items.

We arrived back at the condo to a phone message from their realtor that all the conditions on their sale were lifted today.  Tomorrow the condo board will go over the condo legal documents and then, a day or two later the final papers should be signed and the deal completed.  For this we are trusting...........

All in all it has been a good week.  If we can just overcome the noise in the room next door closer to bed time and get some sleep, we will be in shape to make the drive home happily tomorrow.  At least we have the option to leave as early as we want to, take our time and hopefully not drive into too much snow.  We have to check the Regina weather before we go and find out if they indeed received the large snowfall today that was predicted...could be an interesting time as we approach home tomorrow.

Yawn....time to get some packing done so I don't waste precious time in the morning.