Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Our Meal Did Not Disappoint!

Oh what a great meal and a great visit my friend and I had this evening.  Dosa and Curry Garden did not disappoint!  I can't wait for the next opportunity to go.  We had a major entree each, (a spicy fried chicken on a bed of grilled cabbage and a spicy Indian/Mandarin chicken fusion...both fantastic), a large bowl of rice and a basket of naan and our total bill with taxes came to only $32.  Unbelievable!!  

What also delighted us is the way Regina is embracing this great Indian food!  The little restaurant was completely filled with patrons by the time we left tonight.  Most of them were Indians and the rest were prairie Canadians newly enthused about such amazing ethnic food.  O how Regina has changed over the past 10 years...and for the better when it comes to restaurants.

A delightful meal and a great visit with my new friend.  AND tomorrow I shop for groceries in the morning and books in the afternoon!  Another truly fun day to look forward to.

I really miss my husband this week, more than I usually do when he is away. I think it is because we had a more fantastic summer together than we have had in a very long time.  We saw more of each other in the last 3 months than we ever have before in summer and it was a super treat for me.  I am counting the hours until he comes home even though he has to return to the office only a few hours after his arrival.

He will be happy to find some fresh garden veggies that were delivered today by a parishioner, as well as a new turtle necked tee shirt from Mark's.  I found one this afternoon as I wandered through the store on my way to the theatre.  There was one left in his size on the clearance rack and I got it for under $10!  He will be delighted.

My friend Nan is having her hip replacement surgery on Friday after a delay, so she is pretty stoked that it is finally happening. She has been in bad pain this week with her hip so is prepared for the long recovery period, knowing that pain will be gone in about 39 hours time!  Please keep praying for her. Thanks!

Thank You Producers, Directors, Writers, Actors for Making "Florence Foster Jenkins"!

I really enjoyed watching that movie this afternoon at the theatre.  After the obscene, horrific, pathetic and disgusting excuse of a movie I sat through last week it is good to know there are still at least a few decent films in production somewhere in the world.

Meryl Streep is the consummate actress as usual in the title role.  It was great to see Hugh Grant playing a character with more depth than the addled twits he played so often in his earlier films. It was also wonderful to see Simon Helberg playing a completely different character than his tv role on Big Bang Theory and coming across on the big screen so believably and well.  The writing was excellent and the story portrayed rather believably.  My parents heard Florence Foster Jenkins sing many years ago and I do hope Dad can pull himself together long enough to get out to the movie one of these days.

What a great afternoon getting lost in someone else's life and story.

And to pick up my friend for Indian dinner.  Hopefully the Dosa and Curry Garden food is as good this time as it was the first time I was there.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Impossible To Be Lonely

I am certainly enjoying this week.  Considering I had no plans made whatsoever until after my husband left for his trip, I am doing very well indeed for human contact!!

Yesterday I had several phone calls from out of province and a flurry of emails.  Today more out of town calls received and a wonderful visit with my Moose Jaw friend.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring before my Indian dinner with another friend in the evening?

I am beyond grateful for the wonderful life I am currently experiencing.  How long will it last?  No idea. Doesn't matter.  Living one day at a time is a lesson that was instilled in me many years ago and as long as I don't try to live too far into the future, I have peace of mind and spirit.

I could be in a dead panic over the paperwork for our medical insurance company that has not arrived back here from my bone specialist after nearly 2 weeks.  I could be flipping out that our presentation cards for that company that we are now to present for electronic billing on site, instead of paying up front and being reimbursed as we have been until recently, don't seem to be working and no one at the insurance company seems to know why.  I could be completely terrified about the condition of my teeth at present and the lack of success at finding a new dentist....or at least one that bills the insurance electronically...and about the cards not working meaning a possible shock at a dentist's office when I have to pay up front unexpectedly for something I can't afford to pay for all at once.  I could be in freak out mode because my canoeing husband and his pals are completely out of cell phone and email range for the entire week.  I could be extremely upset every time I read about accidents and crime in downtown Vancouver, knowing my son is often present in those areas at the same time the crimes and accidents are occuring. I could be laying awake nights worrying about my dad's health and what will happen to Mom, financially, mentally and socially if and when he passes before she does.  I could be zombie-ized by fear that Mom will actually pass away first and leave me stuck with Dad, not having a clue how to handle his illnessses and demands from such a distance.  I could be clinging to the ceiling by my fingernails with fear about what kind of horrendous mess retirement is going to be for us in the very near future without a miracle of support. I could be paranoid about falling down again and breaking more bones.  I could be intentionally upset over every spike and drop in my blood sugar or in the constant worsening of my heart murmur.  I could be worrying over the fact that at my age I could find myself having to care for a chronically ill husband, or he for me....or I could find myself to be a widow when I least expect it.

O yes, life could be one big, mind blowingly depressing disaster. 

But it isn't.

I have a great big wonderful Heavenly Father who has taught me very firmly that he is there taking care of me, providing for me and for my family, walking with me through the times when it seems I am not exempt from human suffering just because I trust in him.  He has taught me how to cope, how to trust in and wait on his answers until the last possible second when an overwhelming, seemingly unsolveable problem is suddenly dealt with in some way I could never have imagined. He is the one who is constantly with me even when the phone calls and emails and visits and invitations out to dinner in my husband's many absences never materialize.

Yeah, life is pretty good.  

It was good today and today is all I have for sure.  

One day at a time......  

Monday, August 29, 2016

Another Day of Incredible Joys

I woke up this morning not sure of how I should spend the day.  All morning I couldn't get motivated or organized to give the suite that "lick and a promise" clean up, but then a friend from Vancouver Island called. As she so sagely reminded me, other than absolute necessities there is no point until giving the place any kind of cleaning until my husband returns on Friday, unloads his gear all over the place and then spends the weekend putting it all away where it belongs in the basement.  There will be dirt and dust and gritty grains of sand and spruce tree needles and sleeping bag lint and garbage worthy leftover food orts and disgusting campfire smelling thingies all over the house for at least 2 or 3 days.  Yup, my friend, you spoke wise words and I am going to heed them!!  Thank you!!

So what to do?  First thing, spend some money.  I ordered a photo from Prairie Magic Digital Photography in Moose Jaw that we have had our eyes on since we had a look at it while viewing the Festival of Words photography display.  Can you think of a happier way to spend time than spending money??  Of course not!

Then I decided to read the newpapers online from every city and town we have ever lived in and that took up most of the rest of the morning, but I felt kind of dissatisfied. I had a nice morning but hadn't accomplished anything much. 

I noticed the fruit in the kitchen counter bowl was looking kind of droopy and limp so decided to cut it up and invent some kind of fruit loaf.  Hmmm....what to do with a couple of cups of yellow wizened apples, squooshy plums and pluots, a rather nicely ripened peach that I would have just devoured but for the high sugar content and a small fresh lemon.....  Fortunately I happen to have a very forgiving old recipe for banana loaf.  I got it from a friend, now long deceased, at one of my wedding showers nearly 40 years ago.  It is the most wonderful recipe.  If you happen to skimp a tad or add a bit too much of any one ingredient nothing bad ever seems to happen to the loaf!!  It is my favourite loaf recipe!!  It didn't take long to wash and peel and dice up the fruit, then halve the lemon and squeeze all the juice over the bowl of fruit bits to keep them from going brown while I mixed up the batter.  I only made enough batter for one loaf and then realized I had enough diced, juicy, fresh fruit for at least 2 loaves.  There were 2 small sized aluminum toss away loaf pans in the drawer under the stove left over from some community event or other I'd last baked for, so I mixed all the fruit into the batter and split the works between the 2 pans.  I cooked them for an hour in the oven with the rack on the lowest rung because I forgot to raise it to mid-level like I should have.  Here is how forgiving that recipe is:  I placed 2 small loaf pans, filled with batter that looked more like soup than dough because of all the juicy fruit in it, on the lowest oven rack rung and let them cook for an entire 60 minutes + another 5 minutes because I was in the basment when the timer rang and I didn't hear it, yet even at that the loaves turned out absolutely perfectly!!!  I cut myself a small slice to have with my lunch and it was so good I just had to have one more small slice!!  (No worries, I worked it off later on.)

By the time the baking was out of the oven, my lunch eaten and all the dishes done it was still only 1:15pm.  Hmmmm......I hemmed and hawed about what to do and then decided that after eating sweet, carb filled fruit loaf, I needed a long walk. Decided to head downtown to the bank and then take the longest possible way home past the Provincial Museum and around the lake.  I was ready to go at 1:45pm, walked out the front door and realized the temperature outside had risen considerably!  Hmmmm....too hot to walk the more than 4 mile round trip.  Then I saw the bus coming, so I hopped on and rode downtown.  Smart move as it really is VERY warm outside and the wasps are presently in charge of the city!  After banking I took a circuitous route back with a stop at the gift shop at the Provincial Museum.  I was hoping against hope that by some miracle there would be a particular pottery plate I have been looking for to complete my bread and butter plate collection after breaking the one old one I kept when I got rid of the rest of them some weeks ago. Wow, what great prices at that gift shop.  What an eclectic shopping gem so close to my home!  Coming back from the museum, in the warm sunshine, surrounded by old trees, green grass, only one particularly persistent wasp and other people walking through the same park, I felt almost teary with happiness.  We have lived in so many different places and each one has had pros and cons, but for some reason I am particularly happy here in Regina at the moment.  I don't know how long we will be here so I am taking life one day at a time again, enjoying each one for what is has to offer.

Just got off the phone from talking to my parents.  They are both sweetly dibbled today, happy, enjoying looking forward to their plans for the rest of the week.  They have a new couple sitting at their dinner table who are keeping them both amused. Mealtimes have become a great social event for both my parents.  It is beyond joyful to see how much less isolated they are now that they have moved to the seniors' facility.

Well, I think I will go and put together a grape coke...or a strawberry/kiwi coke or a pomegranate/cherry coke (thank you Coca Cola and Dasani Drops) then read some more of an excellent book a friend lent to me....more on that once I have gotten farther into it.  A quiet evening of tv watching awaits me after my coming up dinner of tuna salad and toast....because I forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer to thaw.  O well, more meat for tomorrow and the next day!

Cheers everybody!!!  


Weather Person, Are You Kidding Me????

It is just after 8am and the temperature outside is +3C! Plus three?? It is still August for heaven's sake! 

O well, we will get our revenge by midweek, when the daytime highs will be back up around +30C once again. Yay!

Hope the canoe guys are getting good weather and not freezing at night in the tents.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

O Glorious Day(s)!

Yesterday was a load of fun for me!    A  friend took me about an hour northeast of Regina, just south of Abernethy SK, to the Motherwell Homestead for a grand day outdoors.

Motherwell Homestead is a National Historic Site, named after Saskatchewan's first provincial minister of agriculture and first federal agriculture minister under Mackenzie King, William Richard Motherwell.  The site is about 3.6 hectares in size and features the restored, historic, Lanark Place: a stone house named after Motherwell's home in Ontario.  There is all manner of 1907 farming practise machinery, out buildings, a barn etc.  I stayed out of the gift shop, lucky for my husband, hahaha.

The reason my friend and I drove out there was for the annual outdoor concert put on by the Regina Symphony Orchestra and o my, we had a grand time.

We were there early enough to be parked in a stubble field only about a city block and a half from the entrance gate.  It was easy to haul our picnic hampers and chairs and sun umbrellas to the huge grassy area in front of the main stage and get set up for a fabulous afternoon of good music.

I have to say the event was extremely well organized!!  As we drove down a short gravel road to the parking entrance we were met by staff who collected our ticket money (only $15! Amazing!!) and showed us exactly where to enter the parking area. Once in there we were met again by excellent parking staff who had every spot organized and made it very clear where everyone was to park.  Off to a good start!!

We arrived in plenty of time to meet up with my friend's family and set up our seating and lunch area with them.  All the shady spots under the trees were taken all ready and we were just as happy as we all preferred to sit away from spiders and other bugs and field dust dropping out of the trees during the concert, hahaha.   Running across other church friends in the crowd made it even more fun.

We toured the barn, watched the old threshing machine in action and wandered past the food booths that featured some of the  best burgers I have eyed in some time, piles of french fries, potato chips 'n' vinegar, fried chicken, cotton candy, slushies, ice cream products of all kinds and stalls featuring 3 kinds of craft beer.  We passed on everything and enjoyed our own lunches from home while we visited.

The pre-concert entertainment included a number of staff dressed in period costumes talking about life at the turn of the last century and a rousing set of songs by Saskatoon's Rosie and the Riveters...not my kind of singing, but great for warming up a most eclectic crowd of folk at an outdoor venue.

At 2pm the RSO began their performance.  It was just perfect for outdoors and for a large audience composed of people with differing, varied musical tastes. After the loud and proud singing of O Canada the programme was as follows:

--Verdi's La Forza del Destino: Overture
--Brahms' Hungarian Dances No. 5 &6
--Beethoven's Symphony No. 6, Op. 68, F Major: First Movement
--Fritz Kreisler's Caprice Vienoise
--John Willliams' Raiders of the Lost Ark: March 

Following an intermission that was far shorter than the lineups for the porta-potties we were treated to:

--Rossini's Barber of Seville Overture
--Aaron Copland's Rodeo: Hoe Down
--Bizet's Toreador's Song (Suite N0. 2) and Dance Boheme (Suite No. 2)
--Williams' Star Wars: Imperial March
-- Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture (complete with cannons!)

The encore was a short version of the "Can-Can", which met with thunderous applause.

The sound system worked so very well and the sound techs did a bangup job.  The music was loud enough to prevent people with bad manners near us who talked incessantly from being annoying, but not so loud we were all blasted into outerspace.

In the 5 hours we were there I saw 2 mosquitoes, one wasp and a handful of small black flies....a near miracle in SK in August!!

I garnered a most marvellous dark tan in the v formed by the neck of my teeshirt, but unfortunately the tan on my face is a true farmer's tan as the brim of my sun hat kept the sun off my face above my nose and left the bottom half of my face exposed. hahaha  So grateful I don't burn easily!  My hands are even darker with tan than they were before I went out there so that is nice. My tan should last well into the autumn....although hopefully the tan on only the bottom half of my face will fade far faster!!

As we were driving out of the parking area we were met by the same incredibly well organized staff who directed us off the property quickly and efficiently.

I got home in time to eat a late dinner before I passed out from hunger and then did what little I could to assist my husband as he packed up the last of his gear and the food for the canoe trip.  I was so tired I was in bed and asleep by 9:30pm and when we had to get up at 5am today I was ready to face it!  My husband didn't get to bed until 11pm, but his short sleep was a good one and the sheer excitement of getting away with his buddies on this trip will carry him through the day just fine. The miracle is that the driver arrived on time this morning and, although the stopover in Moose Jaw to collect the other canoeists involved a wonderful home made egg and toast breakfast, they still got away in good time from there.  I got an email from "the road" an hour ago confirming they are well on their way to pick up the canoes at the rental shop in Missinipe late this afternoon.

It was nice for me to be able to go to McDonalds for tea with the rest of the congregation after church. Usually by the time my husband is done his work and is able to leave the church building, coffee hour there is over.  Unfortunately for the staff at the restaurant, there were some serious problems going on with their newly installed computer pre-order system.  So, a lot of people gave up trying to order that way and the lineup at the order counter was 3 deep.  People who did manage to use the computer system to order were kept waiting for at least 20 minutes until their orders were ready and then another mix up had most of them getting the wrong orders.  It was chaos.  In the meantime, those who patiently stood in line at the order counter were waiting between 30 and 45 minutes to get so much as a cup of coffee.  What a mess!!  We decided we are all very grateful that starting next Sunday the basement of our own building will be able to be used for coffee hour once again.  haha  We sure had a good time though making jokes about the terrible service and giggling about the situation like a bunch of pre-teens.

After a cool, cloudy morning the sun is out and we should reach a high of about +26C...a perfect temperature!   I hope and pray the guys have such good weather when they are in the canoes.  

I made no plans this week for myself as I couldn't seem to get my act together, but as usual I won't be alone that much.  I am just waiting to hear about a dinner date with a friend one night and another day just got booked with a visiting Moose Jaw friend.  I suspect it will be a week when I am to "roll with the punches" day to day.

Since the car isn't in sufficiently trustworthy shape for me to drive to Calgary to see my parents this week, I will keep in close touch by phone.

Aaaaahhhhh...some time away from ministry and work stresses before my husband returns to resume the nutsy-cuckoo schedule that is September every year.   

And I have to admit that since my husband had no compunction about spending more money on this canoe trip this month, I felt it only right that I should go to my favourite clothing store and purchase a black and white dress/jacket combo I have had my eye on for some time...snicker.... 
Happy winter wardrobe to me!!!