Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Winter White

So, we do indeed have winter weather now. We only got about 5cm of snow overnight, but it is still drifting down from what will likely be a good 3 months of perpetually steel grey skies, the slight breeze adding a somewhat eerie look to the movement of the dancing flakes as they rain down, getting larger and thicker as the morning progresses. According to the forecast we will be plugging in our car block heaters overnight by this coming Sunday evening as the temperatures drop to a more seasonal level. The snowfall should taper off sometime tomorrow and begin again in earnest next Sunday and Monday. Finally....real winter weather is here.

Looking out the living room window the sight is rather pretty, in a treacherous sort of way as some of the vehicles outside on the street are having a slippery time navigating the curve in front of our place. I am quite grateful our building is as far from the street as it is. If a driver was to over steer that curve and end up on the lawn, there is a decent stretch of open space to get stopped on to avoid hitting our place.

So now of course, after all my griping about the geese, I am in panic mode that all the younger geese here who have banded together and not flown south are going to starve/freeze to death. The lawns are completely covered in snow, the birds are squawking and flapping wildly about low in the sky, but not settling on the now snow covered expanse of feeding ground they have become accustomed to. Okay stupid woman, stop worrying about the birds!

My husband's cold is worse today, although he does not have the bad 'flu' symptoms with it I had. No fever, headaches, overwhelming muscle aches or vaguely queasy tummy problems are accompanying his cold. I am glad of that. His cold is severe enough on its own. I am hoping tomorrow will be his worst day for symptoms and then he will be in recovery mode. He doesn't want to miss more than a day of work and neither of us wants to miss out on having family here on the weekend.

It is chilly in here despite the furnace blasting away. Guess I will take a hot shower and put on warm sweaters and thick, smooshy plush socks!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Brrrrrrr.....I Guess Winter May Finally Be Truly Upon Us....Finally....???

We had a small skiff of snow today.  It is laying on top of the thinnest of bands of frozen raindrops on a few of the road surfaces and tarred parking lots, but it isn't that slippery just yet.  Tonight and tomorrow we are supposedly "in for it" for snowfall...somewhere between 5 and 15cm.  Wow...it will be amazing to have actual snowfall that is deep enough to require shovelling.  It has taken until almost the very end of November for the real winter to arrive.

Have I mentioned before how grateful I am for that??  teehee What do you mean, "Yes dear, more than once!" hahahaha

My husband picked the best days thus far in the season to have a cold and 'flu', that is for certain.  He has a wonderful excuse to stay indoors during our first possible true snowfall.  (I say "possible" because thus far it has yet to happen despite the forecast that says it should have started several hours ago.)  He was able to avoid scraping frost and light ice off the car windshield this morning as I ran the errands on my own so he could stay warm and rest.  

I think most Reginans not at work this morning were doing the same thing I was doing: banking, purchasing mounds of groceries and filling vehicles with gasoline so that we can all stay inside tomorrow if the weather does indeed turn nasty.  Our little neighbourhood grocery was the most crowded I have ever seen it and the line up at the gasoline pumps seemed endless.  People were racing in and out of the bank, one long stream in each direction.  

I kind of giggled at all of us racing about as if the biggest snowfall in the history of this city was about to hit us, instead of the simply the start of actual, regular, winter weather.  hahaha  O how spoiled we have become this autumn!!

The possibly upsetting news about my husband having this similar illness to what I experienced for several weeks, is that it MAY cancel our company this weekend.  My husband's brother in law in particular is very suceptible to illness and has some medical conditions that call for as little exposure to cold and 'flu' viruses as possible.   We will be very, very, very sad indeed should that happen.  We have been so excited about our visit and spending an early Christmas together.  Sigh.... Guess we will all be in limbo for a couple of more days before the decision has to be made.  Thankfully they are supposed to be driving out here so would not lose out on air fares should the worst happen.  It is very difficult to find a silver lining when thinking about them not being able to come.  

My husband's Japanese style new year decoration looks most lovely on the back porch with its fresh coating of icy frost dusting the pine needles.  It looks less garish somehow, more natural.  It makes our teeny tiny back deck look far more inviting and pulls the eye away from the peeling paint on the deck railings and the dents and indelible marks that cover the back door.  ( O how I wish this was not a rental unit.  SO much could be done to fix this place up for not a lot of money.)

Our next door neighbours had their first baby a couple of weeks ago, a girl. Today as part of my errand running I had such fun picking out a gift for her.  We really don't know this young couple, other than to notice they are so very quiet.  Apparently their daughter is following suit: we had no idea she had arrived yet until this morning when her dad and I were both out scraping our vehicle windshields and got to talking.  I have to admit it has been SO quiet around there I was worried that perhaps they had lost the baby after all!!!  I hope we are being as good to them in regard to noise as they are being to us.

Somehow I have gotten myself invited to sing for 2 Sundays in the choir for the United church that meets in the same building as our congregation each week.  hahaha  Nod your  head in the wrong direction when someone is talking about musical events and suddenly you are part of them.  hahaha  Should be fun!  They meet immediately after our own service with the choir rehearsal in between.  I am looking forward to meeting some new folk.  December 11 I get to sing with a couple of our own church ladies...with another of our gals playing the harp in accompaniment.  I am SO looking forward to that. These are talented people and I am quite honoured to be asked to participate in these musical endeavors.  What fun!!  Music is such a part of Advent and Christmas for me.

Well, it is nearly 5pm, the sky is almost dark, I have no plans to go anywhere this evening, so I am going to put my warmest, plushiest robe on and schlumph around for the rest of the night.  Turkey burgers will be an easy dinner to make and I will put lots of mustard and ketchup on my husband's in hope that he can get some flavour out of it.  Poor guy...he loves food and can't taste much at the moment.

Wonder how much snow I will wake up to tomorrow morning??? If winter is actually going to happen this year I wish it would just arrive and get the initial shock over with!

PS Robert passed away this morning.  So glad he is not suffering now, but his family can still use prayers to cope with all this shock.  Only a few months between the onset of the tumours, diagnosis and leaving. Really tough on the wife and children.  Thanks so much everyone who continues to support them in comforting prayers.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

My Sunday Evening of Television Watching

Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev
Vasly Lomachenko vs Nicholas Walters
Ottawa Red Blacks vs Calgary Stampeders

Lots of excitement, tons of surprises.
A great evening of sports.
 Need I say more?
Happy, happy sighs.......

Poor Sick Husband!

It is my all ready beleaguered husband's turn to come down with a combination cold and 'flu' similar to what I only recently got over, sigh....he does not need this on top of all the other stresses he is dealing with.  He no doubt will have to miss some work this week, putting an all ready impossible job that much more difficult to get caught up on. I feel so badly for him. So much for the 'flu' shot. Sigh....all I can do is pray he gets over it much more quickly than I did....and keep him focused on hot baths, plenty of fluids to drink, warm clothes and constant rest. Blast!!!! Poor old dear......

Saturday, November 26, 2016

OK, So Old Kringle Boy Wasn't Quite as Annoying This Morning at Rehearsal (and a Prayer Request)

I attended a sectional rehearsal today for choir.  It was a small group of us, but I am so glad I went.  Today I finally grasped what the director wants from us as we sing the song I was crabbing about in the last post and so it seems moderately more tolerable now.  

It is a good thing I went today as I was the only alto there.  I wondered about that as I knew most of the other altos had other obligations this morning, but I decided not to freak out about it.  I just did my best and am delighted I was sitting close enough to the director that she could hear me.  She was pleased that I actually knew my  notes and lyrics for the songs we had time to do in our short hour together.  Tomorrow I will be far more confident at our regular rehearsal.  It turned out to be a good thing that I was on my own this morning.

The sun is shining so beautifully today, nary a cloud in the sky. Although it is nearly the end of November there is still some warmth in that sun.  My husband and I were able to go out and start touching up the paint on the car where gravel has taken off a few flakes on the hood. We will be racing out to the parking lot every hour for the rest of the day, layering the fresh paint properly to match up with the existing paint around the chips. We walked to the grocery store for a couple of items and stopped in at the Western Pizza there for a chicken burger lunch. I find my husband tends to hibernate at his computer doing work emails hour after hour, even when he is working from home and able to take a few minutes break here and there.  Eating out certainly got him out of his work space. The cup of cream of mushroom soup that came with our meal was surprizingly tasty!!  Not big mushroom soup fans but this one was made on site and a real treat!  No corn products and not too thin nor too gloppy thick.

I was very surprised at him though after lunch as we walked through the grocery store and he became enamoured of an outdoor Christmas pine and birch arrangement in a heavy hanging pot.  My husband tends to detest Christmas decorations...at least in his own house.  However the way this one is arranged, with  2 sawn off birch branches sticking out of the centre of the pine boughs reminds him of the Japanese kadomatsu (replacing the birch with 2 branches of bamboo) and so he forked out over $35 for the thing. hahahaha SO unlike him.  Me and my fake Christmas tree and now himself with his imitation kadomatsu. hahaha  We are getting soft in our old age, aren't we?  The arrangement in its hanging pot is extremely heavy but he walked it all the way home, stopping to rest every so often along the way.  Hilarious!  It is far too heavy to hang outside on anything around here and the winter winds between now and Christmas would eventually blow it off and smash it on the deck, so he has it sitting outside the door, Japanese style.  It has a scattering of huge fake red berries and red tartan ribbon and 2 giant snow-sprayed pine cones as well.......why is it that so often aging translates to "tacky"???  What a pair we are this year!  Well, we do have lots of Christmas company this year and so why not just enjoy the festive decorations of the season as we attempt to spruce the place up a bit....no, wait, that would be pine, not spruce...teehee. 

For those of you who have been praying for Robert, as I suspected his brief, near miraculous rally last week that brought him back home after a bad scare that took him to hospital in serious condition, was the precursor to active dying.  The family  just called me to tell me he has about 48 hours to live. They are racing to his side to say their goodbyes.  Sounds like he is ready to go and I am glad all the suffering for him will soon be over. Now it is time for prayers to be directed to his family.  He is not an old man.  So that is 2 friends this week who have lost and are losing a close brother.  It is so difficult for those of us left behind when a loved on dies.

Guess I should go and join my husband for his hour of tv break: he has been watching a special about the real "Great Escape".  Architects and archeologists are digging up the old "Harry Tunnel" and others at a POW camp in Poland that saw the escape of nearly 100 British, European and Canadian soldiers during WW2.  Most interesting to me are the interviews with some of the men who hoped to be escapees, (only 76 of 200 men prepared to escape actually made it out before the plan was discovered by German guards and of those 76 only 3 were not recaptured...about 50 of those recaptured were executed.), still living who talked about how incredibly realistic Hollywood's version of "The Great Escape" movie was....other than the main character played by Steve McQueen. They said there were not really any Americans involved in their feat, but enjoyed the rest of the movie very much for its accurate portrayal of their circumstances at that time.  

Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent.  My church is having a lay led Morning Prayer service.  My husband is going to be able to attend, in civvies, and just enjoy being a member of the congregation before heading off to work for the rest of the day.  I will go to choir rehearsal again tomorrow afternoon, newly confident that I just may know what I am doing with those songs after all.  

How Excited Can I Get About a Christmas Concert Song.......

....that contains the lyrics, "...go, go, go, go, Kringle boy....."?  

Not that excited.

The most embarrassing part of my lack of excitement is that I think this particular piece of silliness is a song that I myself put forward as a possibility for our choir back last summer when I assisted on a committee choosing this season's music.  Sigh....  Choosing a possibility based solely on the fact that it appeared easy enough for our choir to actually learn has come back to haunt me.  Aiii yiiii.....

However, our director is a smart lady. She has put that bit of fluff together with some other bits of dance music fluff into the first half of our programme.  After the fondue intermission we will do the more serious, more "Christmasy" songs that I enjoy a lot more.  While the name of Jesus is not mentioned specifically in any of our songs, most everyone attending will know which "tiny baby", shepherds and angels we are referring to. At least we are doing more of that sort of song than we did last year.  

There are quite a few of our choir members who attend a church denomination that is determined to erase all the "redemption/substitutionary atonement" and "sin" language from their beliefs, so that I think explains a few of the choices. The idea that Jesus could do something we could not do for ourselves is an anathema to them.  I find it difficult to understand why they still want to consider themselves a Christian church, but hopefully that will change before long as well.  Right now trying to work together with them on any kind of spiritual gathering, as my husband and I have had to do over the past couple of years, is proving to be difficult as the differences between us are becoming more pronounced as the years go by.  The gaps are too big to be surmountable without both parties compromising their practises to the point of having to lie about their own world view when we try meeting together. They are focused on the god within and the Christian church is more focused on the God without.  Bless us all as we seek our way through the ever changing maze of spiritual beliefs!

I can't help wishing more of our choir members, myself included, were capable of learning some proper classical music.  I still have a number of high school choir arrangements that I truly think we could pull off with a bit of extra work, but they would be deemed "too Christian" as they were specifically written for the churches of that era.  A little more depth in the level of our music would certainly be nice, but I am a realist, even about the loss of quality of my own voice in recent years.  Sad but true, I am on the middle aged downhill skid.

I accidentally erased yesterday's post after putting a great deal of time and effort into it...maybe it wasn't an accident.  It contained entirely too much whingeing and whining about something that didn't need to be whinged and whined about.  Sometimes losses are actually in our best interests! I wish I felt that way about the loss of my singing voice!!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

He's Home....

.....and I'm happy.

We have eaten a late dinner and right now he is trying to get his computer flash drive working properly so we can watch an online video of a tv show that I forgot to record for him last night. He would rather spend a half hour fiddling about making the show play through our large screen tv than on my instantly available, but teensy, iPad screen, haha. Can't imagine why, can you? haha

Out Came the Sun and Dried Up All the Rain

How blessed am I? 

I have to leave for the airport in an hour. By noon today the smattering of snow flurries had ceased. Part way through the afternoon the sun came out! Between the warmth of the sun and a slight breeze, most of the moisture on my vehicle and on the streets has dried up! The forecast turned out to be pretty much incorrect for the second half of the day and few people are more grateful than me! Hallelujah!

The other good news is that all my husband's flights today have been on time. He contacted me as he was boarding the plane in St. John's and again as he was boarding in Toronto. I just checked the arrivals here at home and his flight is scheduled to arrive early! Unbelieveable! I cannot remember the last time I personally had a flight leave on time! I am thrilled for him! 

Now I am thrilled for me too. I really missed him this week.

PS did I use enough !'s to suit you in this post?!!? teehee

Success! Thank You God!!

Yes, I survived my errands run!  In spades!!

The roads are not too slippery at the moment and will not likely be until my airport run tonight when the temperature drops below zero once again.  It will be okay....even in the dark...I have confidence now...more or less.....

Of course when I got to the first bank, there was a power outage in that grid and the bank was closed until power could be restored, so off I had to travel even farther to the next closest branch.  At least the bank machines were open there, so I was able to do most of my business. Then on to bank number two, farther away still.  People were actually driving somewhat sensibly this morning on the patches where there was a bit of slip so that was reassuring.

After doing what needed to be done I really got brave!  I drove to the nearest mall to seek out another small giftie or two of the edible kind for my parents. I found a couple of tasty looking nut bars at Laura Secord.  It may not be the highest quality chocolate (Bernard Callebaut why does your local outlet have to be in an area with such impossible parking??) but I know what my parents like and these fit the bill.  I was disappointed to discover only a couple of extra mall pop ups thus far into the season, but DID find a wonderful treat for myself:  an on sale, perfect sized, amazingly cute little artificial Christmas tree!!  God bless the sweetly dibbled Canadian Tire outlet.  How often have I walked into that sea of mishmashed looking bins of oddities and stumbled into exactly what I am looking for??  

I have been wanting to get an artificial tree, despite my husband's objections to them, because I hate the idea of having a real tree destroyed for the sake of my having the privilege of vaccuuming pine or spruce needles off my carpet for a month every December, plus I am desperately cheap about such things and the cost of real trees is vomit producing to my tightly closed fists.

So, my husband will just have to grin and bear it for my sake.  With his family arriving here in about 10 days time for an early Christmas celebration and our son showing up on the actual Christmas Day for the first time in over a decade, I am GOING to have CHRISTMAS!!!! in all its tawdry, over the top, decorated silliness  Yes, I AM!!! So there!!!

This day has improved vastly since the last post!  I had an email from a local friend who is in Vancouver with another mutual friend and it was fun to hear about her adventures.  I not only survived but enjoyed my little drive around the city (fear based adrenalin will do that, I suppose) but I have eaten 2 sugar free chocolates...one filled with peanut butter and one with raspberry cream and I am not going to tell you the exorbitant price I paid for them.  No, I'm not!  My tight fists are always willing to spread themselves open just a wee tad for a bit of sugar free chocolate.  (Okay, so it is really "no sugar added" and there are alcohol sugars, but I can eat a couple of them every so often and today I did.)

Now, if I can just enjoy the rest of my day before the trip to the airport all will be well!! My husband should be on the way to the St. John's airport, as I am writing this, to catch the first leg of his flight into Toronto.  How I pray he has his usual success with flights being on time...although with a mid day start in heavy rain, he may not be so blessed this time around.

Well, time to sit back and figure out when I will now be able to eat my lunch since I ate my little chocolate snack so late into the morning.  Maybe I did myself a favour. If my husband's flight is on time up to a half hour late, it is possible that with a late lunch and a small late afternoon snack, he and I could eat our dinner together when he gets home.  One good thing about diabetes is that it forces me to think ahead about food and meal planning.  

Time to go uncrate the new tree and get it set up....somewhere in the general vicinity of the living room...eeek...where will that be????  Should have thought of that in advance the same way I have to plan meals....aiiii yiiii....where the heck am I going to actually put the crazy thing?????

And to my American buddies:  HAPPY and JOYOUS THANKSGIVING!!!

Braving the Great Outdoors

I admit it: I have a terrible case of the Winter Wussies this year.

Yesterday I didn't really have that much to do here at home and by rights should have left the house for some reason, trumped up or real, but I didn't.  I got myself all ready to go, walked a bag of clothing over to the charity collection bin across the parking lot and decided that the scattered patches of frozen mist on the ground and covering my car windshield constituted a glorious reason to remain tethered firmly to my sofa watching tv and reading a cheap novel.  Sigh....  Lazy, wussie, freaked out by nothing, me!

This morning I HAVE to go out.  It is pay day for my husband and that means it is the day to go to the bank(s) and perform a few monthly duties there.  The first snow of the day is starting to come down, making the bit of thin ice on the streets more slick and dangerous, but it is hardly a problem just yet. I do have proper winter tires on the car and all the necessary ice and snow clearing accoutrements.  All my wussie nerve endings are on high alert and I am all ready talking myself through the straightforward, uncomplicated drive to run my errands.  What on earth am I going to do at times when my husband is away later in the winter and there is at least a half inch of ice cover under the slippery snowfall and I HAVE to leave home???  

God and I are having quite a lot of discussion this morning as I get myself ready to leave The Wonderful World of Denial and get a move on in the start of winter weather.  If I didn't have him to talk to I would be too paranoid to ever leave the house once the snow and ice begin.  

The number of falls and broken bones over the past few years have me spooked. I admit that too.  It is a constant battle both indoors and out to fight off unbidden mental images of myself falling down on pavement, on stairways, even on uneven lawns.  The pictures continue to plague me despite having a good grip on getting rid of them once they start.  Slowly it is easing, but the past year has been bad for "vain imaginings". If it was as bad as it was a year ago I would have to go for some serious counselling.  If it worsens again that is exactly what I will do.  We have some wonderful counsellors that work at my husband's office building and I would have no objection to seeing any of them.

Well, I can't spend any more time right now putting off the inevitable.  It is time to tiptoe through the goose poop to the parking lot and start clearing the car of rock hard frozen mist.  Then I WILL drive to 2 banks...I WILL, I WILL, I WILL!! It will be good practise and confidence building for the trip I also have to make this evening to the airport to collect my returning husband....in the dark and in far worse conditions than are out there at the moment.

Suck it up woosie nerve endings...away we go!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Geese 100, Me 0!!!

I chose 100 as the top scoring number for the huge flock of migrating geese that descended on us yesterday because that is the approximate number of poop piles I am going to have to pick up in this morning's light.....unless of course either they or another group decide to stop in today on their way south.  The owls are of no interest to them whatsoever. My husband and I have been hissed and flown at while attempting to wend our way to car, garbage bin and recycling area. I am a bit nervous of this latest migrating group.

Huge, unhappy sigh.....

All I am asking for is one narrow but poop free path to my vehicle. Is it really too much to ask for?

Aaaaand the instantaneous response comes in the form of more tubby goose bodies skidding to a halt on the back lawn as I am writing this.

Humongous, deeply miserable sigh....

Make that Geese 200, Me -10!!!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Dear Santa: Please Take Your Flippin' Parade Elsewhere Next Year and Screw Up Some Other City's Traffic!

Sunday was quite an experience around here!

After church my husband surprised me with a decision that we should have "just one more date" before he left today for Newfoundland.  He didn't know where he wanted to go for lunch, so we settled on Original Joe's because we knew the food would be excellent, even if the service was a tad slow.  I had a bit of a deadline with choir practise now starting a half hour earlier, my husband had to get to work for the afternoon, plus didn't get home from church very early after a protracted visit at coffee hour.

All was well when we arrived at the restaurant at about 11:45am.  I knew I had until about 1:15pm to get home and ready for my 1:30pm ride to choir with a friend.  Things were just fine until we arrived at the restaurant to find a nearly full parking lot. The restaurant is beside a strip mall and they share a large parking lot.  When we finally found a parking stall and looked about us,  we noticed signs on the main street running past the lot.  The street was going to be closed for the afternoon for the annual Santa Claus Parade. The excessive number of cars seemed to belong to people in charge of setting up the road closure and getting floats arranged in order in another large parking lot on the other side of the street.  

Hmmmm....a Santa Claus Parade, complete with road closures and all ready some parking issues near the restaurant....hmmmm.....  Now anyone with half a lick of sense would realize the best strategy at that point would be to drive back out of the lot and find a different restaurant, far, far away!  Guess my husband and I are down to a quarter lick of sense or less!

Knowing that the restaurant has a  full liquor license and is essentially a bar (no minors allowed) with a food menu added, we knew there would be no children bopping about, overamped as they waited for the parade to start and subsequently allowing excitement to prevent them from actually eating their meals and likely just spreading most of the food  around the place willy nilly due to low blood sugar from lack of sustenance on top of the hyper excitement, we opted to remain right where we were.

Dumb, dumb, dumb and again I say: DUMB!!!!

Never has the service been as slow as it was yesterday, even though the restaurant was only about half full of patrons.  Our order was not taken for a full 20 minutes and then we had another half hour wait for our food.  We realized when our meals arrived that despite a wonderful visit while waiting, things were going to have to speed up as we bolted our food down as quickly as possible in order to get home in time for my ride to choir and my husband to make it to a work committment.

Despite the distance, I suspect we would have made better time walking all the way home than trying to get our vehicle out of the parking lot.  We left the restaurant just before 1pm and found ourselves jammed into a terrible mess of cars all attempting to leave the lot.  I don't know how long it took us to be able to back out of our parking stall, bullying our car's back end through the stalled traffic in the driving lane behind us that was completely plugged with cars.  With the road closure sealing off 2 of the 3 exits from the lot, there were dozens upon dozens of cars all trying to leave at the same time.  We all had to turn left out of the lot to access an open street, but traffic being deflected from the road closure had to pass us, effectively blocking our exit.  Most of those cars were turning left, in front of us, into the same lot we were trying to get out of, thinking they could park in there to watch the parade.  All that was happening was that they were driving in, circling the lot, realizing there was nowhere to park and then forcing their way back into our lineup to leave.  The whole mess turned into one big circle of cars entering and then attempting to exit.  3 lanes of parking traffic in the lot all had to converge into one narrow lane in order to get out and the idea of merging properly is a totally foreign concept here apparently.  Add in the frustration of spending over 20 minutes just getting from one end of a parking lane to the other before the fight started to actually get into the slow moving flow out of the lot to the street and tempers were flaring.  It was taking as long as 5 full minutes for 1 or 2 cars to make it from the exit ramp onto the one open street due to the line up of other vehicles turning left in front of them.  It was pure bedlam. Finally we were able to exit the lot, cutting off only a couple of cars who actually had the right of way to turn in front of us.  Road Rage On the Way!

Only a couple of blocks from home we found the road blocked by 3 police cars due to a serious car accident that happened not far from the front of our suite.  So, once again we were backed up as traffic was funnelled into an oncoming lane so they could continue heading that direction.  Groan.....  Fortunately for us, there is a side street on our own side that was still accessible. We scooted onto it, once we actually got to it and made it the last 4 blocks home without further hassle. Sigh....

 We arrived home at 1:25pm and my husband immediately headed to the office to try to get his afternoon work accomplished.  I was most fortunate in that my ride was nearly 10 minutes late arriving to pick me up.  Whew!!!  

So, it really wasn't Santa's fault we had all the stress and hassle yesterday afternoon.  I don't know what the city was thinking when they set this up.  The whole area was a crazy maker for the entire afternoon.  If Santa is thinking he would like to do a parade here next year, we can only hope he has a meeting with the city traffic officials and assists them in better planning of the event for the future.  This year it was nuts, absolutely nutsy cuckoo!!!!  

Ta Ta Once Again Dear Husband

WOW....5:15am seems so early when it is a wake up time and not a time to be drifting back to sleep after reading half the night away! haha

Got my husband to the airport before 6am for his 7:30am flight and that was a good thing. The lineup through security was staggeringly long for our tiny airport and of course, as per usual, there was some hold up for my husband while he had an extra body search, had every last item in his carry on inspected and turfed all over the security table.  Don't know what it is with him.  He is not the "long haired hippie" he once was.  He is a nearly elderly, bald, sedate looking individual and today he is particularly well dressed.  Every time....EVERY time he goes through this while I am standing outside the security area, bobbing up and down on my tiptoes trying to peer around all the other passengers in line so I can see what is going on with my husband.  Finally he cleared security, gave me a cheery wave and headed toward the restaurant for a bit of breakfast.  Hopefully his connection to St. John's at the Toronto airport will be on time and he will be on time to board it!

I am most grateful that the freezing rain and snow that was predicted for overnight did not materialize.  Other than a bit of a cold wind, driving to the airport posed no problems.  I was even able to get home before the morning rush hour traffic built up along my route.  My night vision is not the best, but I did just fine.

Oooh...did I mention breakfast a few sentences ago?  Hmmm....that empty, bottomless pit feeling in my stomach must mean it is time for me to go and eat my own breakfast!

Once again I neglected to make any plans for myself in my husband's absence.  Busyness, denial that I would be here alone again, exhaustion and you name it all interferred once again.  Suppose I should pick up the phone and call a few folk, but I feel so very lazy.....will see how it goes....

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Some New Tech Info For This Blog Re: Cookies and the European Union

 The following message showed up yesterday as part of a longer message about new rules from Google for blogs being accessed by members of the European Union.  I don't pretend to understand "cookies" and how they are used and changed and generally fiddled with, whether or not Google or my husband or whoever in the tech world in general has my permission to tamper with them, haha, but apparently I have some kind of legal responsibility to convey this message.  I don't think it is effecting anyone who regularly reads my blog, but just in case please note the necessary addition of the "https://": to the addie.


"Your HTTPS settings have changed. All visitors are now able to view your blog over an encrypted connection by visiting https://dellssue.blogspot.com. Existing links and bookmarks to your blog will continue to work."

I can't tell you or Google how grateful I am that SOMETHING here on this blog will continue to work!  O my, what a relief!!

We Went To the Animal Fair....oops, I Mean the Farmers' Market!

We went about a half hour after it opened at 9am, hoping to find something for my parents that would be fun, possibly edible and easy to mail, but we were rather disappointed in our quest.

Only about half the usual vendors were in attendence today and of the ones present more than 3/4 were selling either fresh vegetables and baking, which of course cannot be mailed, dreadful locally produced wines, or glass jars filled with jellies and pickled what-have-you's.  While everything looked delicious and my husband succumbed to the lure of fresh parsnips and various homemade breads and jellies, there was little that would be of use or interest to my parents.  I was able to get dad a nice pair of warm, alpaca wool socks for his constantly chilly feet and a pair of wool boot insoles for myself, but not one thing for mom did I see.  I hemmed and hawed over a pair of lovely woollen mittens for the cold days when she must be out and about, but I am not sure if she would have an allergic itch to that much wool, so didn't bother to get them.  They cost far too much money to take the risk.  So. I guess I know part of how I am going to fill my time on my own next week: searching for just the right gifts to complete my parents' Christmas treats.  At least it will be fun looking.

I think the vendors were rather disappointed as well in the small crowd of people there this morning.  Don't know if the drop in temperature is responsible for our now rather spoiled selves simply not wanting to get up and scrape frost off car windshields, or if people are waiting until closer to Christmas to get their gifts and meal supplies, or if the amount of disposable income for many folk has dropped sufficiently that they are preferring discount grocery stores for their veggies and baking until things improve.  It seemed rather odd that so few people were taking advantage of local and area vendors who had some excellent items for sale.

I dropped my husband off at the office afterward so he can get in a day's work attempting (for the fourth day in a row this week) to get some past due filing done.  He will be there all day tomorrow as well to try to get at least part of that job completed.  So many unscheduled meetings came up this past week, neatly filling in the gaps, between originally scheduled meetings, that he had planned to use for filing.  The job continues to grow in scope...not only for him but for all the office employees.  Talk about an impossible task, but they are struggling onward with hope for the future.  He has decided to use any Sundays he is not preaching at a church or troubleshooting or presenting weekend seminars working in the office since it is a work day for him one way or the other. I am glad my  church meets early enough on Sunday mornings that he will be able to come with me sometimes before he has to go to the office.

I am now in the midst of doing my husband's laundry for his trip next week.  The warm air from the dryer and the nice hot water steaming out of the washer are moisturizing and heating this dry, chilly suite.  I do enjoy doing laundry on colder winter days.

Tonight we are taking the Bishop and wife for dinner...only about a year after we started planning such a thing....hahaha.  See, it all gets done.....eventually!  What a crazy life!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Easing Into Winter

This week the slow slide into true winter weather has begun.  We started the week out with daytime highs in the +12C to +15C range and now we are ending the week with highs of +6C down to +1C.  Yesterday morning we awakened to such a heavy frost outside we thought perhaps it had snowed, but no, that saved itself for this morning's waking pleasure.  There is only the slightest of skiffs out there.  It has all ready melted off the grass and back stairs and there are only small patches of snowflakes blowing about on the roads.  It was a bit of a shock yesterday to see ice on top of the parking lot puddles left over from the previous evening's light rain.

I am enjoying the chance to just ease into the winter this year.  Rather than the usual warmth one day followed by four inches of snow, ice and freezing winds the next, we are being rather spoiled this year with this slower transition.  Any year the weather wishes to start the winter season off this way is just fine with me!!!

We are back on goose poop patrol as of yesterday. Sigh.....our constant presence and attempts to train the gaggles of geese that have been hanging around since the spring eventually paid off.  During the late spring and right up to a couple of days ago, those crazy geese seemed to realize that they were not to encroach too closely on our pathway between back door and parking lot.  It has been absolutely hilarious watching them stand right at the line of invisible boundary, think long and hard about where to go next, then make a quick march exit around behind the vehicles and up on the other side of our unmarked pathway.  Who says you can't train a few geese to some extent to stay away from certain areas?  Unfortunately, they all finally flew south 2 days ago.  Yesterday morning a whole new group arrived who have no fear of the owls, no fear of us running at them waving the old red sheet that terrified the other geese so completely.  These birds are small, this year's batch of goslings all grown up. Even their leader seems to be the same age.  They are quite cute of course, but no amount of coercion, not one attempt to put fear into their little hearts about pooping on our invisible walkway, has been successful.  So, I am back to bagging up goose poop and putting it in the court garbage bin.  I really can't complain because I had most of the spring and summer completely free of it.  What gets me is the massive amount of poop this little army of geese is leaving behind itself on the lawn.  Yesterday afternoon I filled an entire large freezer ziplock bag with poop and today there may be 2 bags worth.  What a horrible job, but better than walking through it every time we want to access our vehicle.  We have located our flashlights to take with us when we have to go across the lawn at night in the dark, hoping to avoid stepping in it.

Yesterday there was one little poopy pile somewhat off the pathway that I didn't bother to pick up because the bag was so full all ready. After I went back into the suite I noticed a Canada Post parcel delivery truck arriving to park beside our car.  The delivery man took some parcels to a neighbour's then headed back to the truck.  A few seconds later I noticed him standing at the open truck door, gripping the door handle with one hand while the other hand was wielding a thin cardboard delivery notice card in an attempt to scrape goose poop off the bottom of his shoe. He had stepped right into the poop I had opted not to bother picking up.  I was torn between feeling very badly that I had made that choice and killing myself laughing as I watched him hopping up and down, clinging to the door handle and ineffecively trying to get that poop off the sole of his shoe.  He was torqued, PO'd, cussing, furious to discover it down there!!  hahahahahahahaha  Laughter won out over guilt, I have to admit.  He looked hilarious!! I have definitely been there and done that many times since we moved in here. haha

It has been a busy week here.  My husband is up to the eye balls in "situations" at work that require a lot of thought and time and tact and brutal honesty, many, many emails and, and, and....crazy times.  I spent the week running errands, trying to get as much walking accomplished outdoors as possible before the ice shuts me down. I have been collecting a few small treats to send to my parents for Christmas.  My friend is unable to take me to the Farmers' Market tomorrow as we had planned, but I think I will go on my own and see if there are a couple of unique items for the family for this year's Christmas celebrations.  By next week it going to be more difficult for me to walk my preferred long distances, so if I can do it tomorrow morning I will feel like I am being sufficiently discplined in my exercise, pre-ice.

Choir rehearsals are extending to 2 hours and we are having 2 more sectional practises before the December concert.  Depending on when we may have to fly out to Kelowna for my husband's step-father's memorial service, I hope to be at the sectional practises. I am going to enjoy our Christmas concert far more this year since it can actually happen before Christmas instead of having to work around our last year's director's schedule and be performed in mid January.  Before then we have to sing in the carol festival on November 30th.  Fortunately we only perform 2 of our songs there so everything else will be fresh for the December performance. The rest of the choir is heading to Lumsden to sing at their local carol fest early in December.  I detest carpooling in the winter, even for the short drive of 30 minutes to Lumsden, because I am such a nervous passenger with people I don't know and I don't see well enough any more in the dark to offer to be a driver.  Fortunately for me, my husband's sister and her husband will be here for their short visit with us and I have a wonderful and fun excuse to not be able to join the rest of the choir.  Thank you family!!

My mother turned 89 years old yesterday so we had fun chatting on the phone with her.  Their seniors' facility has a monthly celebration for all the residents who have birthdays that month and it just happened that November's fun was right on Mom's special day. Cake and cocktails and music filled her and dad's afternoon in the dining room.  

I enjoyed a nice dinner out at The  Nest earlier this week with one of my husband's colleagues. She has become a very good friend to me and I so appreciate her wonderful sense of humour and practical way of looking at ministry.

We are taking our bishop and his wife out for dinner on Saturday evening.  We are going to try a new place, Londonbelle, with a British chef, the winner of the UK Master Chef competition in 2011.  Our very British bishop is eager to give the place a try.  Should be a fun evening.

So life is cruising along all right this week.  I am behind in making plans for next week while my husband is in Newfoundland, but maybe this weekend I can get my act together and make some calls.  With winter now so much closer to actually occuring I am all ready fighting the temptation to hibernate indoors!

We shall see what the next week brings. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Anglican Chain of Command

I am shaking my head in unhappy surprise these days at the attitude of my fellow Anglicans and their refusal to even try to follow the chain of command set up in the diocese.

Our present Bishop, within not only his rights as chief pastor of the diocese but also within the boundaries of the episcopal guidelines is attempting to put into place standards of training for each lay position....standards that at some point in our past history became lax to the point of being non-existent.  In order to keep certain parishes running during times of  financial distress and lack of trained clergy, over the past decades many volunteers have ended up in positions within the church who have had little to no actual training to do their ministry "properly", or, in other words, according to the way the episcopal guidelines say that ministry is best performed.  Many of them have grasped the duties very well indeed and have ministered effectively and within the boundaries of what is acceptable, but some have not.  There are those who have run about willy nilly doing whatever they please in their positions. Why wouldn't they if they haven't been taught otherwise?

So, now the screeching and upset has begun as our diocese attempts to set things right again.  Do I understand that the insistence on standardized training is going to hurt the feelings of those who have done lay ministry for years and are tempted to feel that now, without the training programme, are "not good enough anymore?"  Do I understand that those with superior theological education cannot see the point of having to take a training course that would possibly seem a "Mickey Mouse" waste of their time at best? Yes, of course I do.  It is a very difficult transition for them personally and for the entire diocese to have to move in this direction after so much "freedom" has been allowed in the past in order to keep things running at all.  Some are dealing with hurt feelings....to be honest I have my own temptation right now to feel hurt.  

However, until and unless our Bishop starts insisting we begin following the episcopal guidelines more fully, since they are what our church practise is supposed to be about, things will continue to degenerate into a worse free-for-all than we are all ready dealing with.  

One of the basic tenets of Anglicanism is the chain of authority.  It is what sets us apart from the more modern "free" churches.  It is part of our identity as a sect of the Christian faith.  Lately it seems that notion and practise is being lost as more folk from other denominations have become involved with us.  We are failing to help them understand this basic notion of submission to authority before admitting them to leadership in our churches.  We need to begin restoring something that is so basic to the Anglican church and in the process it is unfortunate and sometimes will seem most unfair to those who feel their ability to perform lay ministry of whatever kind is all ready sufficient or even superior to what they would learn from a few days or weeks of standardized training from the diocese.

It is a difficult time for us here.  Our Bishop is aware of the daunting task he has set for himself, but he has to do something.  Too many of our parishes have been flaunting their own authority for too long and have lost respect for the bishop's position as chief pastor of the diocese.  In short we are not behaving as if we are indeed Anglicans.

Perhaps each church should begin setting aside a few funds to make available to those called to minsitry but who feel they cannot spend two or three hundred dollars for a lay course.  Perhaps those who are furious that after doing a ministry for years and now will be required to take a training course could forget their own hurts long enough to enquire as to the reasoning for implementing a more standardized training procedure, as is set out by the episcopal guidelines.  Our bishop is filled with empathy for those upset that now they may have to take a course before continuing in their ministry.  He really does understand how difficult this is for many folk who truly are perfectly capable of continuing in what they have been doing.  He does understand how folk with superior theological education may feel belittled by having to take a simple course in areas of ministry they are all ready well in command of.  As far as peoples' feelings, he "gets it". He truly does.  Unfortunately it doesn't change the fact that standardized training needs to happen.  

If those of us who feel this training is either not needed or is beneath us or is the result of a critical, unfeeling bishop, perhaps we should re-evaluate our own attitudes of submission to authority.   Perhaps we should take a second look and decide if the Anglican church is really where God is placing us.  Better to go elsewhere than to disrupt everyone else with our constant carping and criticism. That is my personal belief:  if in good conscience you cannot submit to leadership in one denomination then find one where you can.  Perhaps you will even discover that you take your problems of fitting into church with you....think carefully about that before making any sudden moves.... 

We humans are an egotistical lot and many of our hurt feelings are brought on by our own inability to realize that submission to rules within a chain of authority based denomination does not belittle us as followers of Christ.  It simply keeps the standard of our church practise higher.  Our well educated, or well experienced selves may be just the kind of necessary presence to assist the other volunteers who are not as well educated or as experienced as we participate with them in the learning process.  

Why not ask the Lord for the grace, humility and even financial provision to attend the standardized training courses if we are doing or want to do lay ministry in the Anglican church?  Even if the course itself teaches us nothing new about our particular ministry, we may be catalysts for the newbies to assist in bringing out their calling to lay ministry.  We can be mentors and "shoulders" and examples of the kind of humble walk with God that Jesus shows us by his example.

Please can we just give it a try?

There is another huge issue involved here and that is legal liability for the diocese.  If we continue to allow unlicensed volunteers to do ministry and there is a legal issue or problem that arises, the diocese has no way to prove to insurance companies that we have a standardized process in place for all leadership.  Without that process we are at serious risk of a law suit and in this day and age that is not as far fetched as it may sound.  It is up to our bishop and his assistants to be certain we are not in legal limbo due to a lack of process for all ministers, both clergy and lay.   I don't think any of us wants that to happen, no, I am certain none of us wants that to happen.  Please let us also take this into consideration before we come apart at the seams emotionally over upcoming standardized training requirements. Our Bishop has to make sure everyone in ministry of any kind is legally protected.  He is doing us wrong if he doesn't create this protective process.

Let's pray together for grace to participate in and even enjoy acts of submission to our leaders who have only our best interests at heart.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Some Days Turn Out Even Better Than Planned!

Our plan to go to Moose Jaw today hit the skids late this morning when my husband called the car dealership to make sure our paint pen had arrived and discovered that due to a long weekend shipping error, it won't be in until tomorrow.  Aaaaawwwww, shucks!!!  We were both disappointed to have our plans crumble before lunch.  Although there was a chilly breeze blowing, there was also a fair amount of sun at the time and we love being out and about in its shining presence.

However, we quickly came up with an alternate course of action.  We ended up taking a 7 km walk instead, right here in the city.  The first half of our walk brought us to the elderly Regina restaurant instutition known as Nicky's.  It has been run by a Greek family for the past 35 years and it is like an old fashioned diner, but with a Greek touch here and there on the menu.  The Greek salads looked quite delicious as they went past to other tables, but we settled for other items.  We were expecting quite a salt and grease festival after looking at the menu, but stayed away from the breakfast foods and were pleasantly surprised.  My husband had an egg salad mix on a croissant to which he actually had to add a bit of salt to bring out the flavour. For a side he ordered fresh fruit.  The grapes and bits of apple and pineapple were delicious, but, this being the prairies in the winter, most of the fruit was chopped, underripe, tough and tasteless melon....blecch!  He left most of it on his plate.  I had a Greek style burger with feta and tomato and tdziki that came in a pita and was quite tasty. The only salt I was aware of was in the feta cheese.  The owners grind and season their own hamburger on site and the patty was tasty without making my lips numb from added sodium.  That was a lovely surprise.  My salad was.......well, it was okay.  It was filled with the typical brown lettuce that graces our city this time of year more often than not, but the shredded carrots, radish slices and rounds of celery made the salad appear more attractive and edible.  For some reason though it just wasn't that wonderful.  I don't know why that is.  It looked fine apart from the bit of brown lettuce and it had all the right ingredients for a tasty salad...with the bonus of no tomato to contend with...and yet, it didn't quite work for me.  I had some Greek dressing in a little cup on the side and it was very tasty.  In fact it had sufficient dill and garlic I barely had to touch the tines of my fork to it in order to flavour the salad bits.  I would give the place a 65% on the food and about 50% on the decor, most of that being for the wonderful sound tile panels in the ceiling and carpeted floors...despite the carpet being rather faded and ratty, that and the ceiling tiles created fabulous accoustics and tables right beside each other were unable to do much eavesdropping on the patrons closest to them.  Love that!  The service was excellent and the prices certainly in line with what we had for food.  When we went to pay at the cash register it was like entering a pop up sales booth.  There were fresh cinnamon buns for sale...great huge things so of course my husband purchased 2 of them, haha....there were bottles of olive oil, bags of Greek herb mix, small cookbooks and books about tea blends, bars of specialty body soap....it was too hilarious!!  Nicky's is a glorified truck stop but has so many regular patrons we barely got a table for lunch despite its vast interior.  I can't imagine any other restaurant in the city was that packed out at noon on a Monday!  We will take our son there for breakfast over his Christmas break here as he loves to have a big, greasy,  diner breakfast a couple of times a year.  We had low expectations of the place but were pleasantly surprised for the most part.  We also expected the place to be filled with seniors, but there was every age of person there.

In fact, sitting right across the aisle from us was our former neighbour gal and her boss.  We didn't notice her at first, but she recognized us and greeted us most cheerily.  Her little dude just turned 2 years old. O how I miss him!!  Sounds like the 2 of them are doing very well. She looks happy and that was certainly a blessing to see after the upset of her split from the baby's father.  It was a real treat to see her!  Thank you Lord!  We have been wondering for months how she has been doing.

After lunch we launched into the second half of our walk, heading several blocks farther west to do some tea shopping in Ceilidh Surprise.  They carry the wonderful Barry's Teas.  My husband bought 2 boxes of loose tea to bring home and I just had to have a little purse pack of tissues with a tartan print on it similar to our family's Graham of Montrose tartan....at least as far as the dark colours used. Cute!

So, I have learned how to nurse my aching thigh muscle and still healing hip along on these long walks: take a decently long break nearly exactly half way along the route.  It is exciting that finally that large front thigh muscle is building back up and is not aching nearly as much or nearly as early as it has been doing ever since I broke my hip over  a year ago.  It must be adjusting finally to the big pin head that has inflamed it all this time.  I was limping slightly for the last 1/2 km or so, but the bit of an ache was nothing compared to what I have been feeling up to now. YIPPEE!!!!

So, now I have had a rest, a drink of water and 1/6 of a huge cinnamon bun.  AND it seems like we should be doing something else now for the rest of the day to keep the momentum going until our favourite Canada's Worst Driver show comes on tv tonight at 9pm.  Walking SO energizes me that after a rest I want to keep going!!  Filling the next 6 or 7 hours until bed time with anything either particularly fun or  useful seems like it is going to be difficult to do.  We have chili leftovers for dinner in the refrigerator so there isn't even any cooking to do....drat!

Well, off to discover how to fill the rest of my day so I am not bored and fretful!  My husband is happily ensconced on the sofa watching a tv show about the Dieppe raid, so I don't think he is going to have any ideas to assist me in finding something interesting to do.  I guess I will have to get creative on my own.

Hopefully tomorrow is our Moose Jaw day as the daytime high temperatures begin taking a plunge after that.  I still can't believe our current weather:  November 14 and not a flake of snow or chip or ice anywhere on the ground.  AMAZING!!  How grateful am I?????

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Yes, She Really Said That!

Our choir director told us the most hilarious true story yesterday. So cute!

She was travelling cross country a few days ago into Manitoba to visit relatives and she had a young "big city" gal with her. The dear girl knows nothing about country life, farming or ranching. As they travelled past field after field of grazing cattle, the girl looked at our director and said, completely innocently and sincerely, "Oh, look at all those cows! Is it cow season?"

How adorable is that? Plus, I am personally happy to discover someone exists who is even more ignorant of things rural than I am! hahaha

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Heavenly Sunshine Heavenly Days!

It is another glorious autumn day here in The Queen City.  The cloudless blue sky draws me outdoors every day.  According to the longer term forecast all this heat will be ending in only a few more days, so I intend to enjoy every single minute of what we have left to us for great weather.

Yesterday was a most lazy day.  My husband and I were exhausted, so caught a Remembrance Day service, then flaked out on the couch in front of the tv to watch an awful lot of boxing!  Thank you Lord for the PVR!!  haha  

In the evening we attended my church's fowl supper.  It was a hearty meal, delicious and even the store bought pumpkin pie topped with a blob of phoney whipped cream substitute for dessert didn't taste too dreadful. haha  The visiting was a lot of fun.  We teased the fellow and his wife unmercifully who were in charge of calling out the order of tables to the buffet.  In fact, I think we overdid it and I will apologize to them at church in the morning! hohoho!!

Early to bed and early to rise!  My husband had to leave at 6:30am for meetings in Maple Creek and Cypress Hills today.  Once again my gratitude for the lack of snow and ice on the highways is intense!!  Hopefully he won't be too late getting home this evening as he has to preach tomorrow morning here in the city.

I went to choir rehearsal this morning with a new friend from that group.  She is so nice and I am delighted to have met her.  Next Saturday morning we are going to the Farmers' Market and then out for lunch. She is learning how difficult it is to make friends in a place where being "from away" does not work in a person's favour.  We are rehearsing our choir part together during the coming week as well...a good thing for us both if today's rehearsal is anything to go by...sheesh! 

Tomorrow a good news announcement should be made at my church, so I am dropping my husband off at the service he is preaching at and making a beeline for my own church so I can be there for that.  More later...........

Monday it is off to Moose Jaw once again for the paint pen for our car and perhaps a yummy salad in a restaurant there for our lunch. 

Had a lovely chat with my parents today.  Dad read the poem "In Flanders Fields" at their facility Remembrance Day programme yesterday.  He was so happy to be included and to be able to use his "teacher's voice" to bring the reading.  He is going to be playing a few carols on the piano in December for their Christmas programme so is very nervous and excited about that.  If his memory will just not fail him as he finds the old chords again he will do fine.  Mom is turning 89 years old this coming week.   Wow....and Dad 90 in January. They have done extremely well in the face of many health crises over the past nearly 50 years.  I am proud of them.

So, it is 5pm and the sun is going down...wow, that is the most difficult thing about these unexpectedly gorgeous November days. The sun should stay high in the sky until at least 9pm so we can enjoy all these blessings for more hours per day .  Right?? Of course right!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Remembrance Day

Today is Remembrance Day.  Both my husband's and my families were touched by the two world wars, my father-in-law was particularly badly effected.  Most of our personal memories of relatives involved in those wars are rather sad.  In some ways I would just like to forget about those wars. However, whether or not I believe war to be a solution to world problems, those wars happened and there are wars still happening around the globe.  This year I am deliberately choosing to pay tribute in my prayers and thoughts to those who so willingly sacrificed themselves for the sake of whatever cause they were and still are fighting for.  Some causes I support more than others, but all the fighters have beliefs in something they deem to be worth the possible loss of their own safe circumstances, their sanity, their very lives.  May God be with you all in whatever way God is with all those who are willing to take the lives of others and give up their own lives for the sake of their cause.  I find the very concept of war mind boggling......

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Retro Fit

I had a good time shopping for jeans yesterday but did get a chuckle out of some of the "new" styles.  There certainly is nothing new under the sun, eh? haha

Ann brought me a pair of stylish trouser jeans to try on.  I took one look at them and it was instant flashback to 1968/69, grade 8 and 9 "elephant pants" that were all the rage just before the skin tight pants with the bell bottom flares took over.  These very lovely jeans had the same wide stove pipe legs with just the slightest flair at the bottom.  If I was much taller and much younger than I am, I would have purchased them immediately. However, I am neither of those things, PLUS I have all ready "done" 1968 fashion, IN 1968!  

It was a bit difficult to let them go to be honest, but I had to be real.  They make me look even more like a stocky blocked out rectangle than my originals did when I was 13 years old.  

It is really fun to see so many of the old hippie style fashions returning to a whole new generation of youthful gals who look even better in them than we did "back in the day". Today's gals wear them to be fashion conscious rather than to be fashion rebels, complete with makeup on their faces and beautifully coiffed hair.  It looks good on them!

Got a bit of a shock today when I opened my credit card bill.  We have a number of car expenses coming in next month, but I thought we were okay until then.  Eek!  Our Christmas gift to our son is his air fare here for Christmas week, but the airline we generally deal with doesn't charge for pre-booked flights until the first of the month the flight will be taken.  I assumed that would be the case this time, but I was so wrong!  The airline we used this time charges immediately upon booking.  So, we are effectively wiped out financially for this month, BUT December will be far better than expected.  That is the silver lining over this unexpected bill.  Things so often have a way of working out, even if they start off somewhat negatively.  It is all good.

It is cooler today, by about 10 degrees from yesterday, but still the sun is shining brightly and there is little wind.  I went to the bank and paid that bill as soon as it arrived, happy to have an excuse to leave the last 2 loads of laundry sitting in the basement for awhile so I could get out of the house.  So, back to the washing and drying of clothes for the rest of the afternoon. 

I decided not to go to MJ to get the paint pen today. There seemed to be some indecision among the dealership staff as to when the supply truck was going to arrive and I decided it would be more fun to go with my husband on Monday instead.  It is his last Monday/Tuesday off for a couple of weeks as he has the trip to Newfoundland the following week and I would like to do something fun and out of town with him instead of going on my own today.

With Remembrance Day being on Friday this week I am going to be confused all weekend about what day it is, what stores are open, post office delivery, bank closures etc.  I doubt my husband will stay home and take the day off, even though he has all ready commemmorated the day with a service at a nursing home last week.  I suspect he will go into the office to get caught up on some work emails.

My church has its autumn fowl supper tomorrow evening so that will be noisy and fun with delicious food and then Saturday morning is our weekend community choir practise. I am getting a ride with a new friend from choir and looking forward to having some extra time to visit with her.

So life is good, not terribly exciting in some ways, but there seems to be something going on every day of the week that gets me out and about.  Next week there is more socializing and ministry for me.

Time to go change over the last load of laundry.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Who Are You Really Protesting Against People???

I watched with interest and some degree of horror the news coverage of the American protests against President Elect Trump.  The horror came as I realized that what these generally well meaning and passionate folk are actually protesting against is their fellow Americans who voted Trump into power....more polarizing actions against their own people. I suspect that as the attitude of our southern neighbours grows in volatility, these types of protests against the actions of those who voted differently than the protesters is actually sowing the seeds of civil war.  There is a rise in protest through the Black Lives Matter movement, a resurgence of the KKK, the aboriginal folk are making noises similar to our own aboriginals, although they are not presently getting the media coverage our aboriginals are getting and on and on it goes, movement after movement.  At what point will all these special interest groups explode into more violence that draws in those who are not part of any of the movements, all of which are supposed to be proposing better justice and more rights for each people group represented?  Our continent is in a state of flux and I am wondering what the outcome of all these protests is going to be for all of us.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

How Amazing Is Our Weather This Week?????

This afternoon, November 9, in Regina Saskatchewan, seemingly dead centre of the western Canadian prairies: 
- +19C
- brilliant sunshine
- light breeze
- incredible day all over the city and surrounding area

Yes,  I just had to go for a walk after lunch!  I started off wearing a sleeveless turtleneck top and a light sweater with heavy winter pants.  By the time I was half way through my walk the sweater was completely undone.  For the last ten minutes on the way home it was wrapped around my waist and I was wishing I had worn summer pants and sandals instead of heavy pants and suede shoes.  What a glorious day!!!!!!  Oh, we will pay for all this great weather eventually with a brutal winter. At least that is what is predicted by sources that are as reliable as they can be out here in the middle of nowhere.

Yes, my ironing is done, but it pained me to have to come indoors to work after such a great walk on this warm day.  What an incredible blessing we are receiving.  Many farmers who thought they could not complete their harvest are out there working like mad men and getting the grain picked up. It is fantastic for all of us.  Thank you Lord!!


Post Election to the South of us...Back to the Daily Grind Up Here

After I checked the US presidential election results at 4am, I had a very good sleep and was all ready to get a move on at 6:30am.  Before arriving home at 10:30am I was able to eat breakfast, get my husband's lunch made and packed, then get dressed for grocery shopping, gasoline fill for the car, jeans shopping* and other errands. I have the rest of the day stretching out before me for ironing and other home chores that have been somewhat neglected of late.  The sun is shining, it is warm, barely a breeze....another amazing, lovely, beautiful NOVEMBER day!!! WOW!!

*if you want some help with fitting jeans properly in this city, make sure you see Ann at Bootleggers in the Northgate Mall. She had me fitted out and making a purchase in less than a half hour. Awesome!

Sunday and Monday were both good days for me.  My husband so enjoyed his time in Swift Current getting the new priest and deacon installed and meeting with various congregation members and committees after a marvellous potluck lunch there.  I had a ride to church and so enjoyed being able to see everyone...sometimes you just know a place is right for you to be and my present church is my place!  

After a slow afternoon relaxing from 2 days of house cleaning, I made a big dinner.  My husband didn't get home until 7pm so he was ravenous.  We watched tv, ate, visited and went to bed pretty early. Both of us slept really well for a change.

Monday was a laze around day for my husband while I did his laundry.  Ooooooh, those white albs are a terror for stains and dirt collection!!!  They do wash up well though and iron easily.  We walked down to Cornwall Centre and back, did some personal shopping at Sears and the Bay and had our lunch along the route at Abstractions Bistro.  It is a cute little eat in or take out with a surprisingly varied menu and excellent low prices...and a great staff!!  The food is plain and hearty.  My husband had a nice lentil/rice soup with a grilled chiabata bread sandwich stuffed with cheese and bacon.  It was so big he brought half the sandwich home and ate it for dinner.  I enjoyed a bean wrap.  It was a tomato tortilla, medium sized and stuffed full of pinto beans, chick peas, corn niblets, and cooked tomatos and celery, a bit of sour cream on the side as expected.  The spinach salad was huge with clean, large, fresh looking spinach leaves, chopped fresh mushrooms and lots of fresh carrot slivers.  I wasn't able to eat the dressing so I had a side of oil and vinegar that was quite bitter and offset the sweet carrots nicely.  It was just plain, simple, inexpensively priced food and perfect for lunch.  I enjoyed a chai latte with my meal.  We were tired out when we arrived back home so lazed around some before putting together a mixture of mismatched leftovers for dinner.

Tuesday was a grand day as well.  We were up somewhat early and headed off to Moose Jaw to get our winter tires installed.  We knew it would take several hours to be completed as the mechanic was behind as usual, hahaha.  So we wandered across the street from the shop to the Rexall Drugs and had our annual 'flu' shots.  Then we walked downtown to Rosie's on River Street for lunch. Rosie's is a very tiny, cute pub with a decent menu and inexpensive beer.  I enjoyed my caesar salad, partly because it had lots of grilled chicken and not too much dressing, but also because it actually came with a slice of garlic toast...seems that as the price of caesar salads has gone up, the toast has disappeared in most restaurants.  It is annoying to pay so much for some lettuce shredded up in a dish and not so much as a chewy, crispy carb unit to fill out the meal.  This salad I had no complaints about at all. haha  My husband had a nice sized burger, worth the price and also a caesar salad, sans chicken, that he quite enjoyed. The bacon bits were actual bacon, as they should be!  After lunch we walked another km or so up to the south hill to drop off canoe trip gear from August at the home of a friend.  It was a good day for a walk, not too warm and a bit breezy. We navigated around the sidewalk/road closures pretty well and enjoyed a brief shortcut through Wakamow Park on the way.  Our friend was about to take his lunch break from his home office job, so we stayed while he ate and we had a super visit.  What a treat that we had not anticipated. He is so very busy and we had no plans to interrupt his work day.

Then we walked back across town to pick up the car.  We ran a few other errands and by the time we returned to Regina it was dinner time.  We had no more leftovers and had thoughtlessly forgotten to thaw meat for dinner. There was nothing for it but to head to Da India House for a delicious buffet.  hahaha  It is incredibly reasonably priced at $15.99 per person for dinner and there is a wide range of dishes to choose from.  We were the first to arrive for dinner there so all the dishes had just been put out, were undisturbed by other patrons and looked SO delicious.  We were able to select a very private place to sit so we could visit in peace while the restaurant began filling up with other patrons.  The goat curry was particularly good, the paneer hot and fresh and the vegetable dishes....YUMMMM!  There was just a tinge of heat in the lentil dish but I would have loved more lentils in the tons of sauce. The chick peas were tender and tasty in a tomato broth and the rice was very nice and fresh.  It had obviously NOT been saved over from the lunch buffet....a problem a few of our local Indian and other buffet restaurants seem to have developed lately. Yecch!! At the cashier counter we found cartons of raw honey for sale from a farm in the area, so of course we had to get one of those as we had just run out of honey.  There is also a counter display of various Indian dessert cookies and bars and other delicacies.  Next time we are looking for desserts for a home meal, that is where we will go to get them!

Tomorrow our paint pen for the car should be available at the Western Honda in Moose Jaw. Yes, we could easily have purchased one at the dealer here in Regina, but it did give us a chance  yesterday to have a short visit with a parishioner from the Anglican church who works there and it will give me an extra drive on the highway in NICE weather AGAIN tomorrow to pick it up.  If it doesn't arrive early enough my husband can pick it up on Saturday morning on his drive to a meeting in Maple Creek, but I hope it shows up tomorrow so I can get it myself. I really want that drive in the new car. I don't know when I have enjoyed a vehicle so much. 

Well, off to make lunch and get some ironing done. My husband is going to be out of fresh albs and clergy shirts if I don't get to that little job this afternoon.  He is preaching at a local church Sunday morning and needs to have his clergy gear in order.

Tonight my husband is going to visit his friend Mohammed and I am going to be mentoring an alto friend from choir.  We should both have a nice evening! 

Today is another day where I am feeling particularly blessed to be alive.  NO SNOW AGAIN today!  O thank you Lord!