Friday, September 30, 2016

A Refresher Course on the Old Lessons

I admit it: I have been struggling with the temptation to worry about our financial situation come my husband's retirement years.  I am not ashamed to be struggling with it, despite all the evidence...proof even....of God's faithful provision for us during the most horrendous times of our lives over the past 40 years, because I am so very human and God allows for me to be.  So grateful for his patience with me!!

Well, I did get a wee love tap on the wrist today and I am even more grateful for God's patient understanding of my human fallibility.

A few days ago my son missed his flight home from New York City.  He unfortunately struggles with the same form of dyslexia my husband is hindered by in the form of problems comprehending dates and times.  In my son's mind his :15 hour flight on Tuesday the 27th was translating into the following morning, Wednesday the 28th.

Due to incorrect information about that flight being sent to Flightstat, when I checked to see if he was airborn I got conflicting reports on its status, so I decided to try calling my son on his cell phone.  He answered right away and when I asked him where he was he replied that he was in in where else would he be??? When I told him he should be on a plane flying over Minnesota at that very moment, he impatiently informed me I was a day early.  I assured him it was himself that was a day late.  He checked his flight information on his iPad and there was a stunned silence coming across the telephone wires.  "O Mom, I can't believe I screwed up AGAIN!!!" (not his first flight miss as you can tell by his vehement response, teehee)

Short version of what happened next after a series of phone calls, emails and what have you between himself, the airlines and me:  by 5am he was in a cab on his way to John F. Kennedy Airport for a 7:30am flight to Seattle.  In Seattle he had a 3 hour wait for a shuttle back to Vancouver BC, about a 4 hour ride.  He arrived home exhausted and brutally upset with himself for misunderstanding what was going on.

Of course he had no money to pay for this extra flight, shuttle etc., having exhausted his resources to get to NYC in the first place.  I figured he likely had put everything onto his credit card to be able to book the flight and shuttle.  So, his dad and I discussed it, prayed a lot, then decided we needed to give him the money for his extra, unexpected travel expenses. We do so little for him it seemed like a good idea.

Well, that was the test for me:  were we being ridiculous not making him sacrifice more than he all ready has had to do with his finances of late?  Were we bailing out an adult man with our retirement money when he should be able to handle finding a way to pay off these expenses himself?  If you have struggling adult children, you know the drill.

Anyway, we sent the money as a gift, (our family doesn't give loans to each other), and decided the Lord would have to forgive us if we did the wrong thing and we shouldn't worry about a few hundred dollars anyway.


We have been looking at vehicles as our dearly beloved and elderly Toyota Corolla is on its last legs and my husband has a LOT of winter highway travelling to do in the coming months.  A friend has a vehicle, a 2011 Honda CRV, that my husband really likes but it costs more than we can afford right now.  Today she came to him and told him she would like to reduce the price for him so that she can ensure the vehicle goes to someone in ministry...a way to do some sacrificial giving on her part.  If you too have experienced the financial providence of God in big or consistent ways  you can probably guess how much she lowered her price:  yup, TENFOLD what we had given to our son for his travel glitch!!  Typical of the Lord to keep his own giving in a manner according to the scriptures, right????  hahahaha

So tomorrow we are going to have one more look at the vehicle, but I suspect we will end up buying it.  My son now feels far less upset about taking money from us, I am accepting my slap on the wrist from the Lord for being so tempted to worry after all he has done for us over the years and my husband is blown away with gratitude that he may be able to have this precious vehicle that, besides being in excellent condition and a little bigger than what we have had, can also carry his beloved canoe once a year to the lake! hahaha

The Lord's mercy and grace continues to abound and we are beyond grateful. He gives us more than we can ask or there's a true scriptural principle I need to remember more clearly the next time I am tempted to doubt!!

How Quickly Life Returns to Normal

I've been thinking today about how life at home seldom changes just because a person has been away for a few days.  Whether we have been gone a few days or a year, once we return home our lives default to the usual routine within a matter of hours, or even minutes.

Within 10 minutes of unpacking from our fast trip to Calgary earlier this week, I was getting my bank book out of my purse and preparing to pay the bills that arrived in our absence.  I prepared some cheques for deposit, figured out how much cash I would need before yesterday's pay day and decided whether I should walk downtown to the nearest bank or drive a bit farther away to a branch near a particularly good grocery store where I could purchase what was needed to replenish our refrigerator and food cupboards.  I got some quick thawing meat out of the freezer so I could prepare dinner that same evening, wrote up a longer grocery list for this morning's foray to the neighbourhood market, made a plan for a long walk to and from downtown yesterday to complete some other errands.  In other words, life as I know it was instantly restored as I walked through our back door carrying my suitcase the day we arrived home.

On the one hand it is great to get back to a familiar routine.  On the other hand I realize more each year how difficult I find routine of any kind.  That is what I love about travelling...short trips, long trips, day trips.  Routine disappears in many ways and life becomes a new adventure just waiting to happen.

I guess, if I am being totally honest, as much as I enjoy my life here and have enjoyed it similarly in other places, there is no joy that occurs just from living with a daily routine that is greater than the joy of being "somewhere else", with little to plan for than having new adventures and meeting new people.

That is why I so enjoyed participating last evening in the service for St. Michael and All Angels feast day at our local St. Mary Anglican Church.  The priest at St. Mary hosted a lovely evening Eucharist service, followed by a group of us heading over to LaBodega for wine and snacks.  St. Mary's still uses the old Book of Common Prayer and I was looking forward to that, as the Book of Alternative Services is very modern and in some ways rather...dare I say it....lacking in poetry and flow in comparison.  Well........I was shocked to discover that after spending the better part of 10 years using the BAS on an almost weekly basis, the return to the BCP was not what I was hoping for.  A proper sung Eucharist was performed and I had forgotten how long it takes for the simplest of prayers to be completed when everything has to be sung rather than spoken. Sigh....I never, ever thought I would find myself to be a truly BAS kinda' gal!!  As enjoyable as the service was, in other ways it seemed interminable!!  O my, what a surprise to me!

The food at Labodega afterward left as much to be desired for the price as it did the last time, so I think I will go sometime when I have the appetite for another full meal there and see if I can find something I genuinely enjoy there.  Last night both the hummus and the tapinade were rather flavourless, bland, unexciting.  Some of the others there also found their meals rather wanting in one way or another.  Too bad as it is in a good location for us to meet with friends who live near there.  We will definitely try it one more time before giving up.

So....back to what I was saying about a return to regular life....guess I am going to start sorting laundry now so that I can get an early start on tomorrow's laundry.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

So Glad To Be Home In My Own Bed Tonight!

It has been a hectic 4 days....all the driving back and forth to Calgary makes this past Sunday afternoon, the day we left, seem like it was a month ago!

It was a very good trip.  We were able to see a fair number of trees still sporting their fall golden, yellow and red leaves, although the incredible west winds have all ready stripped far too many of them off the branches.  There was sufficient green of all shades left in the foliage in the medians and fields to relieve the dreaded brown of autumn that has recently started to appear.  The roads were clear and dry, there was a good mix of sun and cloud in the sky and the temperatures were very comfortable both in the city and along the highway route.

Mom and Dad are doing as well as can be expected.  Dad is rejoicing that he has not recently had to take as many "breakaway" hydropmorph pills in between the prescribed daily doses, as his back is feeling so much better.  Hmmmm...I can certainly grasp why it is so much improved as far as pain level:  he sleeps for about 2 hours right after breakfast most days, sleeps another average of 3 hours after lunch and is ready for and in bed shortly after 8pm.  Sitting up in various chairs is what bothers him, but he spends so many hours a day lying prone on the bed that his back pain has subsided to a more manageable level.

We spent our 2 days together visiting and running errands around Dad's naps, as well as enjoying 3 meals out in restaurants.  Mom and Dad especially enjoyed the good old faithful Broken Plate Greek style restaurant last night.  My husband and I had a sushi meal the night before at OHanami, but it has changed hands and  has a completely Korean cooking and waiting staff.  The quality of some of the food has gone down a bit, plus it is more Korean and Korean/Japanese fusion than it used to be. My meal was particularly disappointing. My tempura was oily, not properly drained before hitting the plate and my chicken karaage seemed to be made of the same ground "chicken lips" as the chicken nuggets in fast food restaurants.  Blecch, pooey!!!  Next time we will go for Indian food at a wonderful place that is practically next door to the Japanese/Korean disaster.  

A highlight for Mom was going with my husband to the Silk Road spice shop and the Tea Traders over in Inglewood area.  She has wanted to visit both places to see the quirkyness of the decor and the wide range of product artfully packed into very small vendor spaces. Dad and I waited in the car while she and my husband took their tour. O how she enjoyed it. Dad was too tired to go in as we had just come from a long drive across the city to an eyeglass vendor for a new lens for his glasses.  I don't think it is possible to drive anywhere in the city that could be farther from their home.  He was done in just from that brief appointment, but he rallied sufficiently to say he needed lunch just about the time we were returning him to home and passing a favourite little lunch place of his. hahaha  We took them to the Cheesecake for lunch the other day we were there. They have favourite menu items they order every time there and we never mind taking them to chain restaurants so that they can enjoy the old standards.

On one of our drives we took them downtown so they could see the amazing architecture of the new music centre built around the old King Edward hotel.  The centre dwarfs the little old heritage hotel that was a hot bed for blues for decades in Calgary.  The hotel sign has been spiffed up and the brick work on the outside redone...really, although it is technically a heritage building, the sense of loneliness and abandonment that made the original hotel endearing in all its east side downtown shabbiness, has been totally lost.  It used to sit beside a vacant lot in one of the seediest, scariest areas of  the downtown.  It had an ambiance all its very own that is gone now.  The King Eddy is the only bar I have ever passed out in...and that was from the thickness of the cloying cigarette smoke, not from imbibing.  haha  Talk about a silly memory, eh? haha

Although it was such a brief visit it was a good one, a successful visit not only due to the number of errands accomplished, but by being able to understand the new needs of my parents and being able to accept the losses in their lives that effected and will effect all subsequent visits.

Dad doesn't want any kind of "party" or other gathering with friends for his 90th and after seeing the condition he is in we understand why. He could never cope with that kind of excitement for more than about a half hour.  He can't stay upright long enough and he can't sit long enough and he can't stay awake long enough to be a good host or have any fun.  Instead he wants us to fly his grandson in from wherever the fellow happens to be at the time and have a dinner with just our family.  It is easier, granted, but I am disappointed for him that he is no longer capable of being the social butterly, center of attention he has always demanded to be.  It is a huge change for him and for the rest of us.

I am delighted that mom's kidney failure symptoms have actually abated quite a lot over the past 3 months now.  Wow...that is amazing and wonderful for her.  I suspect the stress around the move to their present location was added to the health issues Dad was just beginning to develop and now that she is feeling settled and more content, despite having to care for dad, her body is responding positively to the reduction of those stresses.

I have not slept for more than a scant few hours each night of being away, for various reasons, so I am shutting my computer down now and having a bit earlier bedtime than usual. This morning we both woke up at 3am, so by just after 4am we were packed up and on the road for home.  We stopped more often than usual along the way for food, gasoline and to change drivers, but were still home 8 hours later.

My husband deserves an award for giving up the only 3 days he has had off in the past 3 weeks and spending it driving back and forth to Calgary to help look after my parents. Bless you dear!  It was the right thing for us to do before the snow arrives next week.

Winnie The Pooh, I GET You!!!

A friend reminded me today of a favourite Pooh saying.  If you are having one of "those" days, where other people's demands are stressing you, it will make sense to you!

"We can't all and some of us don't. That's all there is to it."

Clap if you GET it as well!!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Made It Safely! Hallelujah!

Church went so well this morning. The worship band from East Side United Church provided the music and it was a great time! It was fun to sing some songs my husband and I know from other denominations and our own parishioners gamely attempted them all: Lots of laughs and clapping along.

Then came the dreaded drive to the always takes us the better part of nine hours with food and gasoline stops, changing drivers, stopping to wash bug guts off the windshield and what have you. Today I did all the driving and heavy footed it most of the way, cutting an hour off the trip despite the usual number of stops. I make no apologies. (You realize that for someone my age, "heavy footing it" means keeping up to the rest of the traffic flow.) The time flew past rather nicely. Going home will be less stressful and lighter on the gas pedal.

Mom and Dad were in good spirits when we arrived. We had a lovely visit, did a couple of chores for them and planned our day for tomorrow.

Now, if we can manage to get this guest room cooled down, we will be ready for a good sleep. If the weather tomorrow is anything at all as lovely as today, it will be fun driving my parents around the city....more sunshine, warmth and light breezes, please!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Busy Saturday Morning Despite the Rain!

It is 8:30am on this chilly day with the rain still pouring down. It is a most gloomy day.

However, I decided to be cheery and get a few things done: I have driven out to the east side to the Superstore to purchase the delicious Tong Garden peanuts only they seem to carry, to the bank, to the post office and lastly to the drive through oil change establishment for fresh oil and filters for the car. (perhaps THIS week's trip to Calgary will be the last one for the poor old vehicle??? How many times  in the last four or five months have I made that assumption??? Sigh......)

Now it is time for a shower. My hair needs a thorough washing and some styling before we leave tomorrow.  Guess some packing up of clothes and breakfast foods is in order as well.

I admit the long, monotonous drive tomorrow, to be repeated on Wednesday's return trip, is something we both have been dreading, but as the time approaches we are realizing how badly we need this time together to catch up on conversation about what we have each been up to this past two weeks. There has been zero time to talk together. Yuck! It will be easier for my husband to separate himself from work if we are far away. As it is he has several work related calls that have to be made from Calgary on Monday. This is the job that never ends, it just goes on and on my friend.....

How many thousands, millions, of people world wide are in the same position of overwork for insufficient return? Technology has not made our lives easier! It has crowded out the very leisure time it was supposed to increase. It has made us too accessible to bosses, friends, family and complete strangers. It has raised the level of expectancy as to our availability to everyone else. For us personally the benefits are being outweighed right now by the pitfalls.

Even our bishop, on his badly needed holiday in the U. K. is answering a certain number of work related emails and text messages each day.....ridiculous!

I am praying my husband will get some time away from his job expectations during this otherwise hectic, very short, family visit. They are going to amp up again when we return.

New topic: it amazes me how I can go to bed stuffed full of steak and wake up at 6:30am all ready for breakfast! Aiiii yiiiii......

Friday, September 23, 2016

Aaaaargh!! I'm Too Full!

Tonight marks the end of our participation in the local annual Anglican Church fall dinners! I have watched my food intake quite well and made certain to get my evening exercise regime done....until this evening.

It started off well. I knew dinner would be served too late for me, so I dutifully had a small snack of  4 whole wheat crackers and a slice of low fat cheese at 4pm. By the time I was served my dinner it was well a after 7pm and I was ready to chow down.

Again, it started off so well. I avoided taking a bun, just had a small spoon of both the Caesar salad and home made baked bean medley, found the teensiest baked potato in the bowl and had less than a tablespoon in total of sour cream and crumbled bacon on my potato. I had a small glass of red wine to allow for a couple of forks-full of brownie dessert. Yup, I did all the right things, took all the correct amounts of food......until it came to the  BBQ'd steak! All the steaks were 10 ounces. Since I am allowed three ounces per meal, I knew I needed to cut off two thirds of that steak, wrap it and take it home for another day.

Did I do that? No....I did not.

My steak was a perfect medium rare. It had very little fat. It was so tender it was nearly melting in my mouth. I did not cut two thirds off the steak to take home for later. I just ate it.  I ate it all. I ate every last mouthful.

Ooooooo, it was delicious.

Ooooooo, I am now suffering despite the (somewhat shortened and diluted) post prandial exercise.

My stomach wants to split open from to top to bottom. It wants to burst out of the constraint of  my clothes and lie like the lumpy son the the Goodyear Blimp on my lap.

I am tempted so shed a few tears from the discomfort.

Oooooooo.....never more ten ounce steaks at one sitting.....discomfort, thy name is gluttony........

Again With the Travels for Work

My husband is now making plans to attend the next national Executive Archdeacons Conference....this November it is in Newfoundland!  He is terribly excited as he has not been to Newfoundland since 1973 when he worked on building housing for Metis and non-status Indians for the Toronto based group, Operation Beaver.  

I am happy for him.  Originally I had hoped to pay my own way to go along for the trip, but it is really too expensive with the recent and upcoming trips to see my parents.  Initially I was disappointed, but then it hit me: November!  Brrrrrrr!!!!!!  I think I can do without the long, blood sugar upsetting, plane flight only to arrive in a new place in miserable weather and having to find my way around on my own while my husband spends his days and most evenings in meetings.

I can be miserable in November right here in the comfort and relative "inexpensiveness" of my own home!!

November in Canada....blecch, pooey!!!

A Perfect Autumn Day Followed By a Stellar Celtic Concert

Yesterday was the most perfect autumn day and I am so happy to have been able to enjoy it before the rains set in overnight from a big system coming up from the USA that is in the process of dumping about 75mm of rain on us over the next 2 days.

I started off the day with a beautiful, relaxing walk through piles of downed yellow leaves between our suite and the neighbourhood grocery.  The sky was overcast but the temperature was warm and the breeze was mild: long sleeve shirt weather, but no jacket required.

I finished a large housecleaning project back at home and then spent the rest of the day making a large batch of stew, some cartons of which will go to Calgary with us to resettle in my parents' refrigerator.  It should provide them with several lunches.  My husband and I had a good feed of stew for dinner last night with some hot, toasted whole wheat bread and a bit of a cheat on the amount of butter we slathered them with! 

The sky became more overcast as the day wore on, I had to put the furnace on for awhile as the winds became stronger and chillier.  However, when my friend picked me up later in the evening to go to the Celtic concert, I was still able to get away with wearing only a suit jacket over my blouse without feeling chilly.

The concert was amazing!!!  It ran on until after 11pm, so we had to slip out during the encore so my friend could get enough sleep to be in good shape for work today.  I didn't care.  I received more than my $25 ticket price from the entertainment in the first half of the show.  

If you love Celitic music and ever have the chance to see the touring group "Echoes of Erin", make sure you take advantage of it and attend their show.  They are world class performers: musicians, singers, dancers and story tellers.  It isn't a large group, but each member has many musical talents and abilities.  O my goodness, Regina is blessed so often with touring groups that are magnificently talented.  Given the chance I would go and see the exact same show again tonight!!  This particular tour was subtitled, "Echoes of 1916" and featured music that led up to the 1916 Easter Uprising in Ireland's struggle for political independence.  Some of the songs and stories would break your heart. 

From the brochure we received at the concert:
"It traces the quest for Irish cultural and political independence, beginning with the 1798 rebellion, moving on to Young Ireland in the 1840's, Fenianism in the 1860's and the Gaelic Revival of 1880's onwards. Echoes of 1916 culminates in the Easter rising which consolidated republicanism as a central part of Irish nationalism."

I am most grateful my friend told me about this concert and invited me to come to it.  What a great way to end a nearly perfect day celebrating the onset of the autumn season. Never have I been prouder of my Irish ancestry!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Welcome Back Son....Have A Good Trip Son.....

Just got off the phone after a long phone call with our son.  He told us about his adventures in Tokyo and what incredible serenity he feels when he is in Japan.  He experienced a similar thing during his first visit a number of years ago.

The fun he had sounds so typically Tokyo-like to us.  He spent part of a day in Shibuya area at a farmers' market, then spent some time in a small cafe run by a taciturn elderly Japanese fellow who has lined the narrow walls with thousands of old vinyl jazz recordings.  Our son sat and sipped at his green tea while enjoying a multitude of excellent older jazz pieces.  He also met up with an old friend of his from Canada that he hasn't seen in years. They were in a rock band together in younger days.  Now the friend teaches English in Japan and has lived there for several years.  He took our son to another teensy cafe where there is no talking among the patrons.  Instead of chatting, the customers order one of the only five drinks on the menu, then sit at small tables and listen to wonderful classical music playing over the excellent sound system.   Our son had a marvellous time at the Suntory Art Museum looking at paintings by old Japanese masters.  Now he is keen to return to Japan at the first opportunity to learn ancient Japanese painting techniques!  He purchased an ink brush made of feathers so is doing research to find out how to use it properly.  The book fair itself introduced him to many interesting new people.  I suspect he needed this trip as much to give him a new persective on life as to sell art books.

He knows how to deal with jet lag, so he is feeling quite prepared to head for Williamsburg in the morning.  He will be gone most of a week.  I admit I am grateful he will be in that area this time around rather than Manhattan or midtown Brooklyn.  It is an area less likely to be hit with a terrorist attack due to the demographic it least that is our hope....sigh.....

It is fun to travel vicariously through my son's trips across North America and abroad.  He is so his parents, he has experienced the ways that God sometimes provides incredible adventures even for the financially challenged.

Hi and Goodbye to you next week.

If There Is A Method To Making An Easy Task Difficult, I Will Find It Every Time

My husband left for Clergy Conference at about 11am on Monday.  A few minutes later I began what has turned into its now third day task of locating a commercial quality clothes rack/garment organizer (so now there is a more updated and correct and pretentious term for this too?!!??) for my clothes.  The one I have was not created to hold more than 22 pounds of weight and since all my clothes but the coats have to go onto it, the poor thing cratered last Sunday evening after 18 months of overuse.  By Monday morning all my clothes were laying in a heap on the floor and the rack was in pieces scattered across the bedroom carpet.

I thought it would be relatively easy to locate a more commercial grade rack, get it set up and rehang my now wrinkled clothing items. HAH!!  HAH AGAIN!!!  The short version is that I have spent the last 2.5 days searching, purchasing, unpacking, assembling, hanging up clothes, watching the racks buckle and dump my clothes back on the floor, disassembling, reassembling to correct any possible mistakes, rehanging, watching the racks buckle and once again deposit my clothes on the floor, disassembling, repacking, returning, getting my money back and trying again with another rack from another store.

I have been to Canadian Tire x2, Rona, Peavey Mart, Princess Auto, Staples, Home  Outfitters, Home Depot, Home Sense, Home Hardware, Office Supply(ers) x4,, WalMart, Sears, The Bay, and finally to Bed Bath and Beyond, the point of my apparently successful and therefore final purchase!  Aiiii yiiiiii....who knew such a small task would be this time consuming, exhausting, frustrating and depressing???  WHO KNEW??? 

FINALLY this morning I got the proper rack assembled for a second time to correct a mistake I made putting it together last night, (I have never claimed to have excellent skills in logic, hand/eye coordination or interpretation of assembly drawings), and my clothes have now been hanging up for over an hour with no buckling, no dumping, no shrieks of frustration and disappointment emanating from myself!  YAY!! 

Well, if nothing else I am steadfast once I start a project and see it through to completion no matter how depressing or ridiculous the situation gets. This blasted OCD has to be good for something, right?

In other news: 

- a niece of mom's and her husband are flying around Canada visiting relatives this month. The husband seems to be developing some form of dementia and I suspect this trip is partly inspired by a desire to be sure they all see each other again before his symptoms worsen.  They flew from visiting her brother in Edmonton to Calgary to see my parents...a special trip to see them before heading on to their son's place in Vancouver.  My parents were so touched and delighted by that thoughtfulness and so am I.  It made my parents' whole week.  They visited and went out for lunch together. Dad was having a pretty good day so their timing couldn't have been better as far as his health.  It has put my parents in a wonderful, positive frame of mind that I am hoping will carry over to our own visit with them next week.

- our son is home safely from Tokyo. He flew out just as the typhoon winds and rain were beginning and the tail winds were so great the plane actually arrived in Vancouver EARLY yesterday morning.  He is exhausted, but had the best time.  He was mightily disappointed to have to come home after such a short time there. The fair itself went very well.  He and his boss decided to take turns this time manning their booth.  One would stay for the morning session and the other would go exploring in Tokyo, then for the afternoon session they would switch.  He leaves again for NYC tomorrow, so today is crazy busy doing laundry and errands and work related "stuff" so he will be ready to go on time.  We will wait to hear the details of his adventures in both cities once he is back.  

- my husband will return this afternoon from a very good and busy Clergy Conference.  He will be expecting to find the suite all cleaned and presentable, but he will instead discover that only his own space has been cleaned.  I have been too busy with the garment organizer issue to worry about the filth that is everywhere else around here......sigh....  Well, at least HIS space is clean.  He left it all so tidied up and ready for cleaning I could hardly NOT do it.  

- had a very tasty meal at Cravings last night with a church buddy.  We sat and talked long after the meal was done.  We will get together again for the celtic music concert tomorrow evening.

-tonight is a turkey dinner at one of our churches, following a brief Eucharist together.  Looking forward to it very much.

- if I can get the rest of the suite cleaned properly between tomorrow and Saturday evening I will feel ready for the drive to Calgary after church on Sunday.

Life is busy and good with a ton of  personal ministry happening between all the other events.  It is very comforting to feel useful, at least in the area of spiritual things.

It is cold and windy today, rain is threatening, a proper arrival of the autumn season on today, it's first official day.




Sunday, September 18, 2016

When You Are Prepared To Wait (and waaaaaiiit) Upon the Lord.... is amazing what can happen. Friends of ours are currently experiencing what we and other followers of Jesus have gone through so often. Life falls apart at the seams and it seems an answer is never coming. After a protracted period of limbo, waiting and waiting and waiting for help, for answers, for new direction and new hope, agonizing in prayer and wondering why God seems to have it out specifically for you, wretched sinner that you are, the fog begins to dissipate, answers to prayers begin to pour in like a flood. The shock of feeling abandoned by God at the lowest ebb is replaced by a different sort of shock: the shock over the perfection of the answers to the prayers when they finally become apparent. During the times of fear and extensive waiting, God has been at work planning, preparing, lining up every detail so that you can end up with smooth transitions into the answers to the prayers for help with your less than satisfactory circumstances.

Our friend lost his job nearly 18 months ago and has found not one job in his city. His job loss was painful and made him doubt himself. His wife has continued to work in an unsatisfactory job that has not paid a sufficient wage for them both to live on. They didn't feel they could pack up and move as two of their newly adult children were still living at home on and off, struggling themselves with jobs and relationships. Within the past month everything changed! All the grown up children suddenly found themselves in more stable work and personal relationships, a long term house sit became available in the very province and city our friends have been wanting to move to....and, as we too have experienced, that house is not some quasi slum! It is a mini mansion on a golf course. They will have at least 6 months in that house while looking to find a suitable accommodation of their own, through a series of "coincidental" meetings in that city just last week, they appear to have found a church family! AND SHE has had her first job interview at a wonderful company.   Once the details were lined up, with no real input from our friends, apart from continuing to ask God for help, bing, bang, boom, they will be moved out of their newly sold house and on their way next week to their new lives in the city of their choice.

Thank you Lord! Been through this ourselves so many times: interminable waiting and self inflicted agony about the future suddenly fixed right up and better than we could ever have asked or imagined. 

Thank you Lord for the amazing answers to all the prayers of these dear and faithful friends! 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Easy Peasey Stew!!

Well, that stew I mentioned I was going to make with a small pack of beef stir fry strips was absolutely delicious.  I assumed when I made it that there would be at least a small helping left over to send on my husband's lunch to work one day next week, but nope, we ate it all.  It was delicious and SO easy and SO fast!!

I chopped the strips into fairly small pieces and browned them, then added lots of diced onion, chopped carrot and potatoes, diced celery and just a small strip of finely chopped green pepper.  Into that mix I poured about 2tsp. of lower sodium soy sauce, 2 tsp. of yellow mustard and a tablespoon of ketchup.  Once everything was partially cooked I poured RO water over it, covered the stovetop pan with a lid and let it simmer for nearly 2 hours on the big stovetop burner, checking on the water level every so often and topping it up so it wouldn't go dry.

I didn't add any tomato sauce or other flavourings, just let the meat and veggies cook up together with that bit of soy, mustard and ketchup and o my, it was SO tasty good.  Talk about easy to do and prepare. It certainly didn't need any more salt due to the soy sauce and I didn't even need pepper on mine when it was served.

We decided we could eat that fairly often so I will definitely be making it again soon.

As I Was Saying.....

.....My husband just called to let me know we will be attending a delicious sounding turkey dinner at one of the diocesan churches here in Regina on Wednesday night and we are attending the steak night at our own church on Friday evening.  Wow....I only have to cook dinner for my husband tomorrow and then I am done cooking for most of the week!  YAHOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Although I am likely home alone for dinner on Monday and Thursday evenings, I am certain I can find somewhere inviting to go out for dinner on my own, teehee......

O yes, this coming week just gets better and better and better!!!!!

More Fun For the Coming Week

This is going to be a good week I think.  It is busy enough at least.  

Tuesday evening I am going out for dinner with a friend from church and she has also invited me to come to a concert Thursday evening sponsored by the Irish Association here in Regina. What could thrill my heart more than an evening of Irish music?  Not much!  I love it.  Slowly but surely I am building up a base of friends here in the city.  It takes time, particularly at my age in a new place where most of the people I meet have lived here all their lives and have their friendships and social agendas set.  I am relieved I don't always have to drive to Moose Jaw just to experience fun and friendship.  Sometimes those folk also come here and now I am developing some new relationships locally.  It is all good.

To pick up my ticket for Thursday's concert I walked over to the ticket sales at the gift shop in the Saskatchewan Provincial Museum.  The concert will be held in their hall.  I hadn't planned on a walk this afternoon, but it sure does feel good to get out there and stretch my muscles, walk off some carbs and calories and enjoy the beautiful day.

It is overcast and looks miserable outside, but in reality it is warm, lovely, only a slight breeze to contend with: a perfect autumn day. Now that the mosquitoes have all but disappeared since our night of frost early in the week and the wasps have settled into their fall stupor, I risked going off the walking paths in Wascana Park and struck off "cross country" across the beautifully mown lawns, under the trees, past some of the still lovely flower bed displays.  O my it was nice to be wandering through the short grass, still in sandals, arms bare in a sleeveless shirt, enjoying the trees that still have some leaves left on the branches.  I saw so few insects it was amazing: not a spider, wasp, ant, mosquito or blackfly anywhere in sight for the entire walk.  They stayed well hidden and I thoroughly enjoyed my time outdoors.  Of course by getting so close to the plants and trees I was covered in red rash by the time I got home, but not nearly as much of it as in the spring and early summer.  There was none on my face, only a little on my arms and feet and even the body rash was reduced from earlier in the season.

Well, I hope my huband is having a productive day at his Diocesan Council meeting.  The Diocese is getting geared up for fall and winter and there is much to plan and discuss.  After church tomorrow he has to return to the office to get some more work done. Sunday is a working day for him after all, so now that he isn't responsible for a parish and its hospital visits, congregational visits etc. on Sundays, he is busy catching up on office tasks.  I feel badly that of the 4 days off from work, in total, that he will have t his month, he has to spend 2 of them with my elderly, needy parents, but he is such a brick.  He is not the least bit upset and is more than happy to be the dutiful son-in-law.  Bless him!

So, off to do a bit of ironing!  Yippee, eh?? hahaha

Friday, September 16, 2016

A Must Read If You Enjoy Family Histories

I have just finished reading "The Hare With Amber Eyes--A Hidden Inheritance", by and about famous ceramist Edmund DeWaal and his ancestors.  

In this book he explains his world wide search to trace a set of 264 Japanese netsuke (tiny wood and ivory carvings) that came into his possession from a family member who had also inherited them from another family member and so on and so on and so on.  

As he traces the journey of the netsuke back to their entrance into his family through a cousin who purchased them at an auction in Paris in 1870, he ends up discovering incredibly well preserved details about his once well known, wealthy Jewish banking family whose lives and livelihoods in Europe were destroyed during the two world wars.  The rise and fall of his family members makes for incredibly interesting reading, while the preservation of all 264 netsuke in the collection, particularly during World War Two,  is nothing short of a near miracle.

It is a fascinating read.  A friend lent the book to me and I must get it back to her, but not before I refresh my memory on some of the more interesting details.

Ohayo Gozaimasu Son!

It is 8:15am in Tokyo right now.  I am assuming either my son is sleeping off the effects of last night's late celebration after the book fair closed for the evening, or else is forcing himself awake to face another day of it.  I wonder if he will eat a typical old fashioned Japanese breakfast before he heads to the Gaien campus for the fair: pickles, rice, fish, green tea (natto???)....oooh, the Japanese know how to prepare and consume a hearty breakfast, that is for certain!  

It is difficult to keep my mind off his Japanese trip, much more difficult than I thought it would be.  The poor man is going to be deluged with my requests for every single detail of how the fair went, what his transportation options were, what he ate and drank, what he saw that interested him, how his Canadian boss enjoyed their very brief Japanese much to see and little time after the long airline flights.

For someone who has no desire to return, I seem to be maintaining a huge interest in the details of my son's travels there.  hahahaha

He arrives home on Tuesday and has less than 48 hours before he heads next to Williamsburg NY.  So little time for him to answer all my questions!!  

Jet lag...o wow...he is going to suffer from that in NY!!  Guess I better start praying for him right now!!

The Birch Bark Basket Is Working!

The birch bark basket my husband purchased for me in Missinipe came with the claim that fruit flies do not thrive around birch bark, but I admit I was sceptical. I have stored several kinds of fresh fruit in it since I received it and nary a fruit fly has appeared. Yippee! It's working! 

Yup, Definitely Feelin' Better Again!

Over the past couple of days I have seen more evidence of the good effects of returning to my proper diet and exercise plan after such a stagnant and immobile last winter season.

I have more energy around the house.  I have more motivation to get out and "do", even if there isn't a lot to shop for or many errands to run.  I am willing to drive farther than usual to shop and go to the bank just to have some variety when doing the usual chores.  My weight has dropped another pound or two.

Today my only plan was to do laundry and check the new fitted bed sheets I purchased last week to make sure they fit my bed.  Somehow that morphed into a trip to the water shop to fill our heavy jugs....a surprise for my husband when he returns from work this evening, still thinking he will have to wait until after next week's Clergy Conference to go to purchase his R/O water to drink, since I am not supposed to lift and carry those heavy jugs, but today I did...just for one time....just to save my husband some hassle.  I added in a quick stop at the shawarma restaurant near the water shop so I could have an early salad lunch before heading to the bank at Victoria Square.  Then a quick tour through two Dollar Stores and a Giant Tiger looking for a product none of them seem to be carrying right now, but the walking exercise was good for me.  Tried on some sale clothing at the Mark's in Victoria Square, just for fun as I don't need any more clothes and what a freeing experience that is after all the years of struggling to find something affordable that fit me well enough and didn't make me look fatter than I already was. To be able to try on clothes I like, decide that no matter how much I like them I don't need them and leave the store empty handed is like a near miracle for me...a time in my life I once assumed I would never experience ever again...thank you Lord for the fun I had today, for the freedom to be able to walk away from beautiful clothes at good prices.

Once I returned home I got the last of the loads of laundry on the go, created a new bank book for my wallet and organized my purse and bill folders in my desk.  When I was putting the newly dried sheets on my bed I decided it was time to vacuum the space between the head of my bed and the wall, so hauled all the vacuum pieces out of the closet, put them together and spent a whole 25 seconds cleaning up that dusty space before taking them all apart and putting them away again.  Even a few days ago it would have seemed like too small a task to be bothered with the putting together of all those machinery parts.

Now I am blogging and in a few minutes it will be time to get the last load of clothes out of the dryer, get them folded and put away. Then I am going to make a bit of stew for dinner.  I found some stir fry beef strips yesterday at YIG that look far better quality and much less fatty than the chunks of stew meat in the meat cooler.  

No little task seems to be too much to soon as the need crosses my mind...just get 'er done!  

Running about the city in the beautiful warm sunshine today  was also very motivating.  Looks like we are going to enjoy a couple of weeks of Indian Summer after all this year. YAY!!

I actually got off my butt last night and started making a few plans for myself while my husband is away next week.  When I feel this motivated I can accomplish a lot....may I continue to stick to my diet and exercise plan so I can feel this way ALL the time!!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

What a Difference a Diet Makes

It has been fascinating over the past nearly three years to see how my blood pressure has come down post diabetes diagnosis. It has gone down from an average of 151/100 to an average measure of 100/63. This morning I took it right after my grocery shopping spree and it was 94/28. I have always felt better with those low counts. My resting pulse after a good night's sleep is closer to my former 80/50. For many people that is too low, but it has been my usual until my blood pressure began shooting up in the year prior to my diagnosis. With the heart murmur my pulse is often high, so that is always a concern, but I am relieved that at least the diet and exercise plan has brought my b/p back into what has been normal for me in times past. 

Hoping This is Just a Series of Coincidences!!

It has been more than a decade since my husband and I were last in Japan together.  It was such a perfect year I have never wanted to return.  The memories would be spoiled if we went back and experienced the many changes that have happened since then in Tokyo and with our former mission.

However, this has been a funny week of constant reminders of Japan.  When I was dusting in the den library the other day I knocked an old photo album off the shelf.  It is filled with many of our old, blurry, (at least in this day of digital photography they seem blurry to me in comparison), 3x5 photos of friends and scenery in Japan.  I took a look at the photos before I put it back and remembered some of the times we spent living there.  My reaction to the photos of my 5 year old girl English students was poignant.  I wonder where those now 20 year old women are today.  

I spent some time assisting my son in locating the university campus in Tokyo where the art book fair he is going to will be set up.  He sent me his flight information and we exchanged ideas on how to best get from his hotel in Roppongi area to the campus.  Yesterday he flew to Tokyo for the event.

On the weekend I recorded a boxing match that happened to feature a winning Japanese boxer on the undercard event.

Earlier this week I finished reading a book whose author is the owner of over 200 Japanese netsuke wood and ivory carvings.  The book traced the history of how they ended up in his possession.

Okay....all of  a sudden Japan is in my face every day of the week.  I am hoping, praying, this is just a coincidence, not an indication of any sort of return trip.  I am very happy right here in Canada thank you very much.  I am not much on world travel at this point in life and health.  The idea of ever having to plan another journey to the orient seems like a ton of work I don't want to face, what with visa applications, flight schedules, accommodation and on and on it goes.  

So, Lord God, this has been a nice week of experiencing good memories about the past, but that is as far as it is going to go.....right??

Ordinary Every Day Life is Very Good Indeed

After my trip to Moose Jaw on Monday, the excitement level of the week kind of went downhill from there.  There was a bit of prayer ministry going on, but not as much as some weeks; there have been some excellent telephone conversations and emails with spiritual sharing and encouragement; my cooking has been just fine if not spectacular; grocery shopping, laundry and cleaning chores have gone along tickety boo. The weather has improved once again and that makes all areas of life happier.

My husband and I shared a very nice meal over on Albert Street at the newly renovated Cathedral Public House.  Special attention was paid to each meal for ingredients and plating, even for simple burgers.  Mine was topped with a mound of arugula and it tasted wonderful with the herbs in the meat.  There was enough arugula to remind me of our days in Tokyo eating out at the neighbourhood Freshness Burger with its mounds of shredded cabbage atop almost every burger on the menu. 

I am glad we were at this particular venue during a quiet period.  The reno is wonderful: large  open spaces with lightly coloured wood grain style panelling all over the walls and nicely spaced seating areas, but there has been little attention put into the accoustics.  If it had been busier we wouldn't have been able to hear ourselves talking at all across the table.  Certainly it is worth another visit.  There is a wonderful selection of beer so my husband will likely visit with his colleagues on a few upcoming occasions, haha.

This morning I went grocery shopping at the neighbourhood YIG.  It happened that almost everything on my list today qualified for PC points.  I will save another fifty or more dollars on my last grocery load of the month.  What a wonderful saving right before pay day arrives.

Today I have started trying to make plans for next week while my husband is at Clergy Conference.  I must be feeling well. I am thinking ahead and at least attempting to make a few plans.  

So, if life is not overwhelmingly exciting in social and ministry events of late, that is okay.  I am just so happy to be here in Regina.  I can see how my husband's stresses at work are starting to change for the better now that he is facing only the one position to have to think about each week.  As much as he will miss leading a congregation and having that weekly coherent contact with them, he is far more able to relax when only focusing on the never ending tasks in the office position.  

All is well.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Productive Day Off

Although my husband and the Bishop spent part of their mutual day off today texting each other to set up the schedule of travel for the rest of the week, my husband still got a good sleep in this morning, some computer upgrades accomplished and had a good long phone chat with his sister.  

This morning I had my 4km walk downtown and back with a pitstop to get my hair cut. Ooooh, dat feels GOOD!!  After ending up with 2 meals out yesterday rather unexpectedly, as delicious as they both were, it was good to just eat plain meals at home today that are healthier for us both.  4 loads of washing, drying, folding and ironing of the laundry all afternoon filled the rest of the day nicely.

This evening we took some relax time to watch the boxing rematch between the Japanese fighter Kamegai and the Mexican fighter  Soto-Karass.  Wow, their rematch was the same all out brawl as their first match, but this time the body shots Kamegai laid on Soto-Karass took their toll and the fight was called off in the 8th round with Kamegai getting the win.  The Golovkin vs Kell bout is also on that recording but we didn't have time to watch it yet.  If Golovkin didn't win the fight I will be highly surprised!  With all my husband's work absences of late we have had to keep that recording for several days but so far I have managed not to find out if Triple G, my favourite boxer of late, managed to hold onto his winning streak of KO's.

Wonder how tomorrow will unfold......  My husband's plan to be out of town overnight tomorrow so he could be with the Bishop in 2 different parishes for meetings has been reduced to a day trip due to a sudden death among the retired clergy, resulting in a funeral on the second day my husband was to be away.  He will be home very late tomorrow evening, but he WILL be home. I admit to being selfishly glad he won't be gone as long as originally planned as he has to be out of town again on Friday, again arriving home extremely late at night.  I wonder what kind of condition he and the Bishop will be in for next week's 3 day clergy will be quite awhile before my husband gets back to his regular days off.  Very grateful the Bishop will soon be on his month of holidays and able to leave the country to go visit family overseas.  Hoping he comes back refreshed. The man is as exhausted as a person can get and still be able to stand upright.

So, "singing I go along life's road".........(do you remember the next line to that old hymn?)

Gather Round Prayer Warriors

Just got an update on Robert's condition: he has a cancerous tumor on the brain...a rare and deadly, aggressive form of the disease.  He will be starting intensive chemo treatments soon but it is not looking good.  Let's rally around the throne of the Most High and see what He decides to do with this situation.
Thank you.....

Monday, September 12, 2016

Another Successful Day For Which I Am Grateful!!

I had another good sleep last night, miracle of miracles, so woke up feeling strong and happy.  It was a good day for my trip out of town.

Despite the coldness of the day and dowses of rain showers at whipstitches all day, I had so much fun!  The drive to Moose Jaw was calm and the other drivers behaved themselves despite the frustrating slow down areas for road repaving and the rain wasn't that bad once I arrived in the city.

I so enjoyed arriving there just as the banks and stores were opening.  I was able to park my car exactly where I wanted to...but o my has the cost of downtown parking ever gone up!  It is still less expensive than most places though so no big deal.  Got some banking done while I was waiting for Gemmell Shoes to open, then had first rate service from their staff while I selected my new boots.  The faux leather on the new Reiker's is very very good once again, so I opted for that instead of paying out more money for good leather.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE proper leather boots, shoes and purses, but if any scratches or other damage happens it really can't be restored very well, as I have discovered in times past.  A second insole will bring even greater warmth to the shoe and the wool lining in the calf will ensure nice toastiness for my feet all winter long.

Next I dropped off a casserole for Nan. She and I and her husband had a great visit for nearly an hour.  It was so much fun to see her so encouraged about doing her physiotherapy and about life in general.  Losing constant chronic pain will do that, I suppose! hahaha  She looks marvellous!

Off to lunch with another dear friend over at Montana's.  I have not eaten at one of those places in quite a few years.  I think the menu has certainly improved...or at the very least, there are more salads and smaller portion options than they used to have.  We had a great visit and a ton of fun together.

A quick stop at Safeway to check out their new lower pricing system, pick up a couple of needed items and it was back out on the rainy highway for a good trip home again.  Stopped at my YIG store for the one item I couldn't find at Safeway, filled the car with gasoline and have been hibernating here at home for the rest of the afternoon, waiting for my husband to return from his staff retreat, also in  Moose Jaw.  It felt incredibly odd to know we were both in the same city away from home, yet unable to get together...just WEIRD!!!

Since I am not certain what time he will be home, I am trying to come up with something inventive and tasty for our dinner; something I can eat earlier than his arrival should that be necessary, but that can also stay fresh and tasty for him when he finally gets here.  

If it wasn't so blasted cold outside I would just say "Let's go out for dinner for tonight for this week's date!", but I know he will feel frozen to the bone by the time he gets home.  Our area only reached the grand high temperature of +8C today and tonight there is a serious frost warning from Central SK on to the southern portion where we reside....-2C or a bit colder. SO happy we have no tomatoes or other sensitive plants or flowers outside to worry about.  This too is to pass by tomorrow, with a good warming trend going on for a couple of weeks. After such a green summer around here it was shocking to see the nearly barren trees along the highway, dead leaves scattering everywhere and the blah brown of the harvested fields stretching out in all directions.

I got the guest room booked at my parents' facility for 3 nights toward the end of this month.  It seems so ludicrous to spend 2 full days driving for only 2 days there, but it is our only chance before the next round of craziness at my husband's job.  I do need to see them before the snow starts up again and we need to have our car with us to run the errands they have been saving up for us to do.

When our son returns from his travels we have to plan and execute a family party for my dad's 90th birthday, upcoming in January.  With his current state of health it is going to be most difficult to do....the dead of winter, so driving there is out. All 3 of us are going to have to fly in from our various destinations...our son may actually be living in NYC  by then if his plans continue coming together the way they have been. There will be car rentals, hotels......aaaaargh...will Dad even live that long?  Assuming of course that he does, do we invite the other cousins and friends who have been so good to him to come for a visit and wear him right out with exhaustion? Do we keep it a family event and hurt the feelings of everyone else?  Trying to plan any kind of celebration is difficult considering his health and the distance we and his grandson are away from him.  I am sure it will all work out, since enough prayer is all ready going into it, but in the meantime it is becoming increasingly difficult to know how to best honour him without creating even more issues for him and the family.  It may have to all happen a couple of months prior to the actual date in order for our son to be there....who knows?? Considering his health, is that even the best thing to do for Dad?

Well, off to find that creative solution to tonight's dinner!!  SO happy the day went so well.  I realized on the way home that a day out of town has been badly needed for me for some time.  My husband has had his canoe trip, this retreat, church services in other parishes out of the city and is facing 3 more absences this coming week for work, including at least one overnight mission, then is gone for three days the following week for Clergy Retreat.  I think, although so many of his trips have been work related rather than pleasure trips, I have been feeling a bit alone and housebound with the onset of winter and needed today to feel free and able to enjoy friends from elsewhere.   It was sort of a "go while the goin's good" kind of fun day!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

What a Difference a Day Makes! well as a great night's sleep! Any disappointment I felt 24 hours ago is long gone. I realize now how exhausted I was after cleaning the whole suite in one go. Glad I did though as it leaves me free to do more interesting things than that while my husband is at staff retreat.

He preached an excellent sermon at service this morning and had everyone thinking when he asked us if committing sins makes sinners, or if we commit sins because we all ready are sinners. You could see the wheels turning in peoples' brains, haha. Bottom line of his sermon is that if we define sin as missing the mark of God's perfection in our lives, then we realize we are born with that proclivity and can't help not being perfect like God is. So, we rely on God's love, mercy and forgiveness to lead us through this life in hope and expectation for the next. He loves us, knows we are often going to fail no matter how right and loving our intentions are, and helps us continue as we work with him to transform our lives for the better. 

This afternoon I returned to Amici Choir and so enjoyed our rehearsal with our new director and wonderful accompanist. What a difference from last year. I have a chance to actually learn some good things. The music is fun, a couple of songs are written in my favourite syncopated styles. We are preparing for the Christmas concert. I am actually excited this year to participate. 

Tomorrow it is off to Moose Jaw. I need a new pair of winter boots that only the shoe store there, Gemmell Shoes, seems to carry in this area. Hopefully they will have them tomorrow. I also have a casserole to drop off at Nan's and am meeting another friend for lunch before I come home. I pray the miserably cold daytime high of only +9C does not indicate an unforecast first snow. The clouds we had all day today did look somewhat threatening, but I will assume the best. 

Time to do dinner dishes and recharge this iPad before attempting another good sleep tonight. I am watching "The Revenant" while typing this....a good way for me to watch a rather hard bitten portrayal of American wilderness living and betrayal, interspersed with Pawnee/Sioux massacres and hideous bear attacks! Yikes! Why do I wait until I am alone to watch films like this????

Saturday, September 10, 2016

So Disappointed

My husband, the Bishop and the Bishop's wife are all out having a delicious steak dinner with the Anglican Primate of Canada. Three minutes before my husband was to arrive at the restaurant I found out I was supposed to be there too.  Due to a text message mixup my husband ended up leaving late from home as well. What a ridiculous situation. I had no time to get my grubby cleaning clothes off and get ready to go, so off my husband raced after getting a call from the Bishop's wife wondering where we were. 

I am getting very tired of what has become a constant string of miscommunications that leave both my husband and myself unaware that I am to be present at certain meetings and social events. Looking back on the various events I have missed out on due to lack of communication, I am tempted to feel angry and invisible. So far I haven't given in to the temptation, but wow...sitting here alone with leftover ground turkey and corn chips doesn't cut it when I could be eating a medium rare steak and Yorkshire pudding with friends!

Well, rather than get angry, I am going to go put on my jammies, crawl into bed with a good book to read and have a little pity party here on my own. My husband is furious things turned out this I suspect the issue of inter office communications will be a big topic at next week's staff retreat. hahahaha 

It is amazing to me how easily I get over these sorts of disappointments. Just confessing my disappointment here on this blog is all ready helping me put on my Big Girl Pants and get over it. 

Awwww Geeeee Whiz!!

The daily prayer for today contained such thoughts as asking the Lord to help my husband remember my existence in the midst of his own, talk about written just for us!  One of the requests was that my husband would remember to ask me how MY day is going and what I am accomplishing in his absence.  

Well, I prayed that prayer fervently because my husband is so rarely home in Sept., meetings upon meetings as the church year starts up again after summer holidays, losing days off for staff and diocesan retreats and what have you.  It is so crazy he can barely hold his health together, but by the grace of God he has managed this past couple of years.

A few minutes ago the phone rang.  It was my husband to ask me how I am doing today and what is occupying my time.  Nice answer to that prayer from the book. Then he asked me to look out the front room window because he was going to drive past in about 10 seconds and wanted to wave at me as he drove to his next meeting.  I did that.  We waved and smiled at each other as he drove on past and I thought that was a cute thing for him to do.  My husband is not known for doing "cute" things at any time for any reason.

Anyway, talk about an instant answer to a small prayer, but an important one for marriages plagued by work and ministry "busy's". In the midst of a tiring day of cleaning this suite from top to bottom, it was a cheery and encouraging event!

So Easy To Please

My dear husband is so easy to please when it comes to gifts, well, it is darned near pathetic how easy it is to make him happy.  Give him some broken down old bicycle, otherwise decent pair of pants or shirt with a hole that needs patching, filthy old camp gear needing a cleaning for reuse and his humble response either makes you feel higher than a kite for making him so happy over nothing, or else like a total shit for being so parsimonious in your gift giving!

One of my clearance item purchases yesterday at BB&B is a tv pillow.  I have had a very good quality tv pillow for the past 13 years and I so enjoy sitting up in bed reading with it encompassing my back and hips. However, it has softened with use and the passing of time and it is quite a large/wide one.  My back has been wanting a narrower, firmer one for some time and when I saw that very thing on clearance yesterday I decided to get it for myself.

When I got home I patched up 2 small tears in my old pillow and placed it on my husband's bed to find after work.  (There is very little "after work" these days as he runs from meeting to meeting, interruption to interruption, morning until night, day after day....thus goeth every September in the diocese office.)

My husband discovered it after dinner.  He was so excited he was tearing up.  He thanked me over and over again for such a considerate gift.  Last evening before bed he sat up for nearly an hour, enjoying the comfort of that old tv pillow and delighting that he is able to recycle it instead of it being thrown out for simply being a bit soft and too large for my comfort.

As happy as I am that he is so impressed, I admit that my own feeling was NOT one of "higher than a kite"!  It was the other feeling....sigh.....

He is such a dear man.  So humble.  So grateful.  I don't deserve him. Parsimonious shit that I am...........

Friday, September 9, 2016

Kaboom,Crackle, Pop!

I have never lived in a city that has so many firework displays all summer as Regina.  Tonight, once again, in the park across the street, there was some kind of event happening with LOUD music and amazing fireworks!  As soon as we heard the first explosions, just after 8:30pm, we raced outside to enjoy the brilliant sight.

As usual we have no idea what the event was.  Trying to find out what is going on in this city is incredibly difficult!  But again with the beautiful fireworks!  YAY!!

I suppose that is the upside to the sky being pitch black before 8:30pm in mid September...all the booming of the fireworks is over by 9pm and the music ends shortly thereafter because it is now too cold to sit outside any later than that.

The good with the

Cool, Calm and Collected

The past 2 days have been a tad warmer, less rainy/windy.  They have been grand days for grocery shopping and other shopping excursions.

I have been in need of a fitted bottom sheet more or less the same colour as my coffee brown Sophie Conran bamboo sheet set.  I have had those sheets for nearly 5 years now and the top sheets and pillow cases are looking nearly new, but the seams in the fitted sheets are pulling apart rather badly.  I have mended the coffee coloured fitted sheet more than once and now the seams are beyond repair.  So, off to find another sheet.  I looked first in JYSK, knowing the dreadfully poor quality of their bedding, as in one step above a dollar store, but thinking if nothing else I could find a cheap bottom sheet for the extra foamie we have stored for the odd time we get an overnight guest who is able to adapt to that kind of sleeping arrangement on the floor of my husband's home library.  I scored well at JYSK.  The sheet is so thin it could be spit through, as my mom used to say, and there is a large streak from top to bottom that has been faded by the sun at some point, BUT it does the job and I paid almost nothing for it.  No wonder their policy is that no bedding can be returned....ever....even with the original filler starch still left in it to show it hasn't been washed....even unopened. What an absolutely crappy piece of cotton...BUT it does the job and I paid almost nothing for it.  teehee

This morning I headed over to Harbour Landing area and found a lovely fitted bottom sheet at Bed Bath and Beyond. It was fairly reasonably priced, not quite the right colour, but it is for my own bed, so I don't care.  It is close enough.  There were a couple of clearance cereal bowls that I picked up for a couple of dollars each so I can now get rid of the plastic "thing" I have been eating my oatmeal in for the past year or more.  Eventually I will get all the dishes replaced that broke in our last move.  These are lovely china bowls left over from what was originally a set of 6 and are in excellent condition.  "As is" turned out to be very fine in this case.  I wanted to get a second jewellery tree at JYSK but they no longer sell them and the BB&B trees were badly overpriced, so I can live without another one.

I received excellent news at our local YIG grocery.  It turns out the information I was given about it closing when the new Real Canadian Superstore opens up in a few month's time is completely inaccurate.  Our beloved store is NOT closing and the staff member who told me it was is no longer employed there..something was obviously going on there between her and the management.  Anyway, I am beyond delighted!  YAY!!

This is the start of autumn weather I so enjoy. The sky is filled with puffy clouds, there is only the slightest breeze and the daytime highs are in the low +20's C.  There will be a cold front coming through on Sunday and Monday when it will be rather chilly, but then we are back to glorious days like today for awhile.  

I am wearing my favourite pink cotton "India style" shirt today.  It is narrow in the shoulders, just like I need and has a flared bottom that covers any bit of muffin tummy left from the weight I gained over the winter. The weight came off again, but it has left a bit of residual in the middle!  Yuck!  Hopefully I can exercise that middle back to what it was like a year ago!  I love my soft cotton shirt.

My husband has the busiest day tomorrow: Finance Committee at the Diocese office most of the day, then a Cursillo planning meeting over at St. Luke's church in the middle to late afternoon, then dinner at a nice restaurant with the Bishop and the visiting Primate of Canada.  He will be driving all over the place, meeting all manner of folk and sorting out all sorts of details about this, that and the other thing.  He has been at evening meetings a number of times this week and is wondering where, other than POSSIBLY this evening, he is going to find time to research and write his sermon for Sunday morning at St. Philip!  I can hardly believe that after this Sunday he has only 5 more preaching appearances there. Technically he is no longer their priest, but with the United Church leading the August services, I am glad he has a few more weeks with St. Philip's congregation before he is completely finished.  It will continue to be my church and I will go whenever I can get there.  I can't help hoping my husband could be assigned as one of their honorary assistants so he is still free to attend there when he is not travelling around to other parishes on Sundays. That way he could  take a Sunday service once every couple of months to help out.

I will spend Saturday giving this suite a decent cleaning.  I will certainly have enough hours left on my own to do that!!

I need to print off and rehearse a hymn our little rag tag, occasional, church choir is singing on Sunday morning. I will need to set the altar for the Eucharist before church, stay after church to wash up the patens and cups and then get home for lunch so I can be ready to return to Amici choir at 1:30pm.  I am getting an early ride with one of the executive so I will be there in time to assist in setting up and getting my cheque ready to pay the term dues.  I am excited to be returning to a different director this year. She has TIME FOR US and is EXCITED to be leading us.  We have a paid accompanist.  I pray the former members will all return and give her a chance because I think it will be a lot of fun and it will be a lot more challenging work now.  I am happy to give it a try.  

Time to go cook up some turkey I bought today.  It looks nice and fresh and since there is no room in the freezer to put the package it is in, it needs to be cooked and enjoyed over the weekend.

No great, fabulous weekend plans here, but this week has been busy enough I will kind of enjoy staying home tomorrow with no deadline for getting the house chores completed.