Thursday, March 31, 2016

Good News For My Husband

I am so relieved that for a number of reasons, the auditors that were coming to the Synod office next Monday and Tuesday are not able to come now until the following week and on regular work days for my husband. He will not have to lose his days off this coming week after all in order to accommodate the audit.  YAY! He is tired after an incredibly busy week that only gets busier between now and Sunday evening.  Thankful, SO thankful he will get his proper days off after all next week. What a blessing!

Just a Nice Normal Sort of Day

There is so much that happens in our lives every day that I am not able to share with anyone...crazy things associated with work and family and health.  So, my blog is not always interesting to read because of all I have to leave out.

Today though was a lovely, normal kind of day filled with errands, a bit of dinner out together with my husband, taking advantage of the advance election polls and discovering a well stocked little library branch a few blocks from our home that we explored this evening.  I even had a nap this afternoon...which is why, when I awoke in a panic just before my husband got home from work, we ended up going out for dinner.  Hmmmm....wonder how often I could get away with that impressive trick!??! 

I appreciated this day.  There were no issues, no clashes, no bad news, no fears, no mistakes, no scary health "stuff".  It was one terrific day...my definition of normal happened today.

Thank you Lord!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Off the Mailing List!!

In addition to several otherwise honourable groups who raise funds for worthy causes, I have once again requested my name be taken off a mailing list. This time it is the Cancer Research Society.

I was terribly disappointed to receive in today's mail a large envelope from this group that was stuffed full of poor quality birthday cards, more than I could use in three years, even I wanted to use them. There was a cheap pen and four loose sheets of phone pad paper. Sigh.....

It seems I never learn to stop sending donations to fund raising groups whose causes I do believe in.

This time I have finally made the decision. I am finished with donations to good causes. My church will now be the recipient of the extra donations I have been giving other groups. My church does not use my donations to purchase crappy cards and pens, decorative phone pads and stickers.

Enough is enough! A big SORRY to the other groups, but that is the end of my giving to your most noble of causes.

And yes, I AM keeping the crappy cards, pens  and what have you. Why not return them, despite the mailing costs to further make my point? I am keeping them simply because I obviously paid for the stupid things. Although I am unlikely to use any of those items, these shysters are not getting my apparently wasted donation AND their stuff back to pass onto some other innocent dupe!

'Nuff said!

Happy Walking Today!

Marked a small milestone this morning.  My husband dropped me off at the neighbourhood grocery earlier this morning as I needed a prescription from the pharmacy department. He continued on to work, I picked up the prescription and a few groceries, then walked the three blocks home. It was my first outdoor walk, alone, of more than half a block since my fall last September 4th. Yay! All other walks of similar length were in the populated and smooth floored safety of shopping malls.

Okay, I admit I did take my cane with me for emotional security, but I didn't put any weight on it so it was more of a nuisance than a help.

It is time now, weather permitting, to start taking longer walks, sans cane, to accomplish some more leg muscle strengthening and restore my confidence,

Apart from some swelling of my bad ankle, which is also going to have to get used to more exercise once again, it was a successful venture. Thank you Lord, I/we did it.

A Message From Casey

Casey had some breathing struggles at home yesterday so he spent last night in hospital being tested and monitored. No specific source for the issue was discovered, so he is on his way home with a monitor so his parents can track any distress immediately. It isn't a huge surprise after what his tiny lungs endured so early in life, but we continue to pray for his healing to soon be complete. There is no apparent lung damage, which is pretty fantastic given the severity of the viral attack. The little fellow is a fighter, that is for sure. I will update you all if I hear anything else. Blessings everybody.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Getting My Diet Back on Track

A weekend run in with the most delicious banana coconut loaf ever baked took its toll on me I have to admit.  My sleep at night was interrupted by  mild heartburn just from the few slices I actually consumed over the course of 3 days...that is how little refined sugar I am ingesting any more. The slightest bit extra and my entire body goes into overdrive afterward.

So for the past couple of days I have been repenting of my dessert sin!  A friend and I went out for lunch today and I had a massive Caesar salad with a very light coating of dressing at Breakfast Bistro.  These giant salads are filled with sliced bits of apple and pumpkin seeds and thinly shaved cheese shards...not too much cheese, just enough to know it is there to add to the flavour.  I admit I did eat almost all of it.  I was looking at the last few mouthfuls, wondering if I dared to finish eating them when my friend picked up her own  plate, now free of two huge slices of French toast, slathered in whipping cream, butter and syrup and with only a few chunks of roasted potatoes left on the side, placed her plate overtop of my own and told me I was done!!  I think I shocked her by how much salad I was able to finish, and at my (badly) habitual lightning speed. hahahaha.  

I was still so full at dinnertime that I ate a mini-pita with some chicken and veggies on it and called it a meal. 

I never used to eat salads, couldn't stand them in fact. Now I almost crave them and eat some kind of salad nearly every day, usually at dinner.  A salad added into a higher carb and protein meal makes you feel light and healthy as you push away from the table afterward. Some oil and vinegar on the salad helps with digestion and adds some of the HDL cholesterol to assist in "pushing out" those miserables LDL's.  

Here's to creative, delicious salads!

The Joy (?) of Physiotherapy

Despite having to modify a few of my exercises to accommodate past injuries, I am noticing some positive changes in mobility and pain levels over the past 11 days of physio. Unfortunately there has been little change in either when I am climbing a flight of stairs. I haven't seen or felt significant change there in over three months of working steadily at improvement. It is rather discouraging....the pain and awkwardness of my climbing gait occurs at the site of the pin head. It is also the site of major discomfort still when I roll over onto that side in bed. Attempting to roll onto that side when doing floor exercises is impossible. I can do the rolling over with little problem, but cannot stay on that side for more than a second or two at most on any surface that is firmer than my bed mattress. Drat!

I will continue to work at climbing and roll overs between now and September when I see the surgeon again for my one year check up. I don't want to have the pin head removed! If the huge screw in my hip decides to start working itself out of the bone sometime in the future it will create more problems and surgeries. As much as I would like to be completely pain free now, I cannot face another surgery in the autumn. Blah!

On a happier note, it is a spectacular morning. We awoke to a temperature of +2C, not so much as an ice crystal on the car windshield to have to be scraped off when I run errands later this morning. Yay! There was some brilliant sunshine earlier that gives a feeling of new life, joy and serenity.

Although my husband was called into work today, he didn't have to go in until an hour later than usual, so he had a decent sleep overnight.

We rejoice in having such a great new neighbour on the other side of the wall. He had a ton of friends over to play board games the other night and despite some hollering out of scores and a few folk standing out on the porch to smoke, we heard very little from there. By midnight everyone was gone. They left quietly, so had we not still been up and moving ourselves we would never have heard them leave. If you have ever lived in shared accommodation buildings you will understand why this is such a big deal.

Time for a shower and getting on with my day. A few errands to run and some housework to do. Hopefully some company is coming over tomorrow or the next day. Looks like a fairly decent week ahead.

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Late Great Me!!

It is interesting what you can discover about yourself when searching the internet for various things.  

Tonight I stumbled across an ancestry website that had my name listed, along with some personal details pulled from whatever info could be scammed off the internet by people who do that sort of thing.

There wasn't anything there that could be used for ill, only the names of my husband and son and my date of birth, no big secrets, no harm done.

However, I did make one most amazing discovery: according to this particular site, I am deceased!! 

I had no idea.  

Apparently I must be living in some alternate universe at this point because the real me departed at some point in the past.  Wow...cue the theme from Jaws!!

Of course I must actually be deceased because, you know, everything you read on the interweb is true....right??

Nyaa haa haa..........................BOO!!! 

A Wonderful Serendipity

A wonderful thing has happened!

This morning I received an email from my dear friend in Nova Scotia. She is on her way to Calgary in April for a few days of visiting her family.  Since we reconnected over a year ago now after a nearly 35 year loss of contact, we have been able to be in Calgary together twice all ready.  

So, guess when my husband's study leave is happening....in Calgary....in April.  Yup, the same time.  We get there a few days ahead of her and she arrives only a few days before we have to leave, but there are several days of overlap so we should be able to work out a visit.  Isn't that amazing??

We are both very happy the way this has turned out. Thank you Lord....I suspect you have something to do with this serendipitous event!  My friend and I have shared some very deep and private griefs and pain over the past few months and have seen some healing answers to our prayers for each other.  

Wow...if it wasn't for the many times God has allowed such things to happen to me I would never believe the timing of our mutual visit to the west.  YIPPEE!!!!

My time in Calgary is showing signs of improvement on a nearly daily basis. I wasn't particularly looking forward to the long drive and the many hours of enforced inactivity that is required when visiting elderly relatives, but now those time will be interspersed with other things that have come up since we booked our time there.  It will make the enforced quiet times more enjoyable as well and I think my parents and I will have a much better time together if I also have things to do and people to see while they attend various appointments and events of their own that week that don't include me.  We will have more immediate things to discuss together.  It is all good.

Bored with Blindspot

I've been trying to figure out why I am so bored watching Blindspot I will probably not bother watching the rest of its first season.  

Despite the almost equally ridiculous premise, I continue to enjoy The Blacklist.  

So, ridiculous premises aside, what continues to draw me to The Blacklist, but not to Blindspot?

I think it is the quality of the scripts and acting that are so very different...at least the acting. Perhaps Blindspot will do some growing if it is renewed for a second season, but for now the acting just isn't very interesting.  The two main characters have only one level: extreme intensity. Every line, every situation is so intense and so very serious that it becomes terribly monotonous.  They are intense at work, they are intense at home, they are intense when interacting with each other, they are intense when they interact with the other characters.  Nary a laugh nor a giggle escapes their lips; nary a smile nor the vaguest of grins ever graces their facial muscles. The secondary characters hold far more appeal, but of course are present on screen far less often and for shorter lengths of time.

The writers and producers of The Blacklist have a far greater attraction built into their characters because of the humour and the sincere expression of emotions each episode.  Somehow the entire story line seems more plausible simply because the characters seem more real to me.....at least more real than the characters in Blindspot.

I am rarely tempted to stop watching a tv programme this close to the end of the season, but Blindspot is on again tonight and I don't even remember if I set it up to record.  In fact it began airing ten minutes ago and I haven't bothered to go and check the PVR to see if it is recording.  However, it seems like an age since the last new episode of The Blacklist and I have had the next new episode set up to record for several weeks all ready.

The acting matters, that is for sure.  The premise of a show can be interesting and the writing can be rather good, both of which are true for Blindspot, but the acting makes it or breaks it for me.  Lighten up Blindspot main characters, you daunting duo, lighten up!!

A Good Prayer For The Fearful

"Lord, steady me. Strengthen the emotional muscle of my heart so that I am not so fearful all the time. I want to be stronger. I want to have more faith. I choose to believe in the One who knows everything and has the power to change hearts and lives."

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Another Excellent Daily Prayer

This prayer seems appropriate as we attempt to enter this glorious Easter season expecting new life, new trust in God and joy at remembering Christ's sacrifice on our behalf.  It is not the time to be tempted by fear and doubt:

"Lord, I don't want to be anxious about anything, but so often I am. Right now I release my burdens and cares to You. I give You my heavy heart and my flailing emotions. As I keep my thoughts, actions, and attitudes centered on Jesus, Your peace comes."

Wow..."flailing emotions". That is quite an accurate description of how I feel sometimes.  The picture that comes to mind is of a ball of black shiny string and from the centre of the ball long strings are flying wildly about and each length of string has the name of an emotion printed upon it:  happiness, fear, love, jealousy, hatred, peace, anger, joy....they are all there twisting and jumping about.  What a great picture of that phrase.  It certainly describes me on my worst, most overblown emotional days.  I don't want to have "flailing emotions" at this time of the year. I want to concentrate my thinking upon Jesus' love for me and enjoy watching the spring burst upon the prairies....new life!!  L'chaim!!

He Is Risen!

The Lord is risen indeed, alleluia!
Happy celebration of the resurrection everyone!

Church was a very joyous event this morning. There were beautiful, bright yellow daffodils and white carnations decorating the front of the altar and on the side tables. The cross was shrouded in clean, bleached cotton, the Paschal candle lit, boisterous praise songs were sung, special trumpet music was played, o, it was very lovely. At coffee hour afterward people seemed even cheerier than usual. My husband preached on the words of the angels that the women met at Jesus' tomb after the crucifixion: "Why do you seek the living among the dead?"  Despite being exhausted from last night's very late Vigil service he did a great job.

After a teeming rain last evening that melted much of last week's new snow, the sun has come out, the temperature is on the rise and the entire day just feels celebratory as a result.  Adding to that feeling for us is the good chat we just had with our son. We have spoken to all the family this weekend, wishing each other the joys of the season.

My husband is celebrating now by having a well deserved nap, following which we will watch a few bouts of boxing I recorded last night. I inadvertently erased this past week's episode of Shades of Blue so I will see if it is available on line for him.

I am grateful my husband still gets tomorrow off work before having to give up his Tuesday for a special work related project.

Holy Week services have been especially meaningful to me this year for some reason. All good....

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Meat Can Be a Garnish!

A lady I met recently who has a limited income and is therefore appalled and frightened by the rising cost of groceries, has asked me to draw on my own experiences of how to make foods stretch after living below the poverty line for so many years myself.

Thinking back to those days I began remembering some tricks of the poverty "trade"....tricks I may have to soon implement once again. One of the old Jack and the Beanstalk cartoons of my childhood showed the characters sitting around a barren table, preparing to carve one small bean between the four of them, one of the characters wielding a giant sized carving knife sharp enough to shave the bean into four thin slices. The older and more poverty stricken I became as an adult the less far fetched that cartoon seemed to be!

I discovered a number of ways to make small amounts if meat stretch into several meals, using less expensive cheeses and eggs to fill in the protein gaps.

The trick with meat is to start considering it to be a dinnertime garnish rather than the main focus of a meal. One larger meatball can be halved after cooking, then each half can be crumbled over a small plate of rice or diced potatoes mixed with a handful of peas or corn niblets or other bits of chopped vegetables. If you take a fork and smooth the rice mixture so that it covers the entire surface of the plate before crumbling the meat over it, it can look like a lovely casserole type of dish. Spreading it evenly over the plate stretches the appearance of how much or how little food in total is actually there. It is always a surprise to me how full I can feel simply by making a smaller amount of food look as if it is much more.

A chicken breast can be quartered after cooking and stretched into two meals for two adults. Quartering it prior to cooking dries the meat out. The first night two of the cooked quarters can be wrapped in a strip or two of thinly sliced green or red pepper and placed beside larger portions of potato or rice and thin slices of tomato or other veggie or salad. The second night the other two quarters can be diced up and added to a vegetable stir fry, or a rice mixture similar to the one in the previous paragraph. Adding plenty of chopped and sautéed onion to any meat dish stretches out the flavour in your mouth, making it seem plenty satisfying even if there isn't a lot of it.

A teensy pork loin roast right now costs only a dollar or two more than a package of low quality ground beef and it is a great meat for thin slicing for dinners and sandwiches. There is very little fat to remove after cooking, so you are getting mostly edible meat. Three or four very thin slices of porkloin fill one entire side of a small plate. Finish plating with a third to a half a cup each of two or three other filling foods such as carrots or peas and that bit of meat is more than sufficient.

Droozling a bit of your favourite home made, or even commercial, sauces over a tiny portion of meat and eating it slowly raises the level of enjoyment to a point of requiring less of the meat to feel satisfied.

Most of us do not need to consume the huge amounts of meat proteins we tend to stuff our stomachs with here in North Anerica. Of course there are exceptions to that, but for many of us consuming more than an ounce or two of protein two out of three meals a day is not a necessity.

With the terrifying rise even in the cost of produce these days I am learning that most foods can be eaten in smaller amounts by our family. Variety on a plate is also key to feeling satisfied with smaller total intake.  If I eat a dinner with five or six different foods on my plate, all in small amounts, I feel just as emotionally and physically satisfied and often more so, than eating larger amounts of only two or three items.

Struggling with food budgets can bring about new levels of creativity and preparation fun in the kitchen while we learn to happily make do with less, particularly in the area of expensive proteins. That has been my husband's and my experience anyway. (And yes I did post a similar post some months ago on the same topic...o well, right now it is relevant again for me and this new friend.)

Friday, March 25, 2016

Two Services Down, Two To Go

Last night's Maundy Thursday prayer service that began with a Seder service led by the hilarious Rabbi Jeremy and ended with the solemn stripping of the altar, was well attended, a lot of fun at times and also very much focused on Jesus' being taken to be crucified.  It was an amazing night of learning and prayer and introspection as to what his death means to us in today's society as well as what it meant to the people of his time. Some of our people were able to learn more about our own connection to the Jewish roots of our faith.  It was a profitable time for us all. My husband was delighted that the Rabbi enjoyed so thoroughly the charoseth my husband had prepared for the Seder meal.

This morning my husband and his deacon led us through a series of prayers.  A bare wooden cross adorned the front of the altar and as the appropriate verses in Psalm 22 were read, a crown of thorns and a purple cloth were draped on that cross.  The palms from last Sunday's celebration of the Messiah were dried out and dropping on the floor, the remains of the matzoh crumbs littered the carpet from last night's Seder, the clergy didn't robe but instead wore dark clothing and black stoles.  It was somber, like a funeral and that is the point of our Good Friday service.  It continues the time of meditation on the sacrifice of Christ as we move toward tomorrow evening's Easter Vigil and the huge celebration of the Resurrection on Sunday morning.

My husband was fasting this morning.  Between that and his accidental imbibing of several tablespoons of the corn sweetened Mogan David wine at the Seder the night before, he was rather light headed and vacant this morning.  I doubt anyone else but myself was aware of his slight disorientation throughout the service, but at least mentally he was certainly in keeping with the disoriented mood of the event, haha.  The Messiah was not leading his people to victory over their oppressors as they had expected, but was hanging dead on a wooden cross between two criminals.  Talk about disorienting for the disciples and other followers who had not understood Jesus' message to them about what he was about to experience and that his Messiah-ship was meant in a more spiritual sense until his return...whenever that turns out to be.

Despite getting ourselves into the wrong lane of traffic as we accompanied some parishioners to the nearest McDonalds for coffee after the service, we did manage to arrive there not too long after they did and we had a lively discussion while we drank our coffee and snacked on muffins.  After the sadness of the church service it was refreshing to get "back into this world" with a handful of others who had just experienced the same reflections and prayers that we had.

We came home in time to make lunch.  As I was opening the margarine container to spread some on my sandwich bread, I made a rather unnerving discovery! Inside the container were two cups of charoseth that this very morning I thought I had delivered to the office of the United church minister in our shared church building.  So, if I had a container of charoseth in my refrigerator....ummmm.....it must mean that sitting on the desk of the United Church minister was a carton of margarine!!  Aiiii yiiiii..........I admit to wolfing down my lunch in a most unladylike manner before racing back to the church to make the exchange before the United Church minister discovered the error at his congregation's service! Sigh....okay, it wasn't just my husband fighting disorientation this morning...and I wasn't even fasting!! hahahahaha  Some early mornings are like that....

At home we had several birthday and anniversary emails awaiting us from various friends and family for my husband's 64th birthday and our 39th anniversary.  My husband has a plethora of interesting birthday cards, one of the funniest being from Ontario friends: there is a photo of a policeman talking to a priest he has stopped for a driving infraction. The policeman asks the priest if he has been drinking, and the priest responds, "No officer, just water......good Lord, He's done it again!" hahahahaha  
(If you aren't sure why this is funny, get out your New Testament and look up the account of the wedding in Cana in the Gospel of John, chapter 2, vs 1-12.)  

Right now I am writing this from the Synod office.  My husband asked me to come to work with him this afternoon and just "be around" while he works on some computer problems he would like to have fixed for the rest of the staff when everyone returns to work on Tuesday.  The full allergy reaction to the Mogan David is hitting him since lunch time and he decided that rather than lay around feeling miserable at home he would prefer to come to the office when no one is here to interrupt him and get this project completed.  Normally I would have a fit about him working after Good Friday services because he doesn't get his day off next Tuesday, but I think he will feel that a lousy day of allergy has been redeemed if he can accomplish something over here.  He is certainly good at making the best of a day where he isn't feeling well.

We are hoping we can locate some sort of cozy, inexpensive restaurant open this evening where we can have a bit of an anniversary celebration.  Tomorrow, the actual day, he has a sermon to complete for Sunday, a baptismal class in the afternoon and the Easter Vigil in the evening.  I may skip the Vigil if I am as tired then as I am right now.  It doesn't start until 9pm and I need to be in my best cheerleading form to help my husband get up early on Sunday morning for the big Resurrection celebration.

Happy Happy Easter everyone! May the meaning of this season bury itself deep in your own hearts and then rise up in power and healing in your own lives as needed.

Final Word For Team Casey =)

March 24th:
Well folks, this is the day we have been praying for! After 26 days here at Children's Hospital we will be going HOME with our sweet baby boy!
Casey the Brave has fought a hard battle, and there were many moments when this day seemed impossible. God has healed his little body and done a miraculous work in our lives, of that we are certain. What an incredible team of staff they have here at Children's Hospital. As Dave has said many times this month, "This is the best place that you never want to be." We are so fortunate to have the best care available, and we are forever grateful for those that worked with Casey over our delicate few weeks in the ICU. One blessing through all of this has been the prayers, love and support given to us by all of you, thank you all so very much.

With humble hearts and immense gratitude,
David, Whitney, Jameson & Casey

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Real Thing!

Part of the prayer for today from my little book says this:

"Lord, I am so tired of imitations. It's hard to tell what is true any more......I want the real thing......"

That is how I feel about a lot of things these days. In so many areas of life I don't know what is real and what is just another shade of grey, or just an imitation,  or even a lie.

Think about the areas of life where you feel unsure these days: friendships, health, church community, work colleagues, job descriptions, relationships with family,  your own feelings, the reasons you keep your present job, etc.

I have started to meditate and pray on these and other areas of my life where I am not sure the full truth is winning out, where I am not sure my feelings are real and deep, where I am concerned that my own ability to discern is failing me.

Sometimes it is good to step back and rethink life, hang onto what is fulfilling and real and let go of all the imitations and lies.

Bullies (and everyone else in Sasktoon) Beware!!

The city of Saskatoon is considering enacting legislation that will ban bullying from schools, playgrounds, parks, shopping malls and other public places.  

While I understand with the underlying idea of putting a stop to bullying, attempting an outright ban is going to create more problems than it solves.

One of the biggest hassles is going to be how to define said "bullying". What constitutes an offense worthy of the proposed $2500 fine for a conviction?  Who will decide what the definition of "bullying" is in practical terms?  Who is going to be responsible for enforcing the ban? Do the city police not all ready have enough to do, sufficient areas of enforcement that are difficult enough to keep up with as it is?

How much of the implementation of such a law is going to depend upon the perception of the person who feels themselves to be the victim of bullying and how will that effect possible charges against someone who, while being perceived as a bully, was not actually aware of how a comment or action could be perceived by the person wanting to press charges?

Are people really so naive as to think that legislation against whatever the definition of "bullying" turns out to be is going to actually put an end to something that has been a part of human nature and action since the beginning of time?  I truly wish such a thing was possible, sincerely I do, but once again all I see is one more attempt to regulate morality that is going to fall flat and cause more damage than a lot of the actual bullying.

What happens to freedom of speech?

How can the innocent be protected against someone who is out for revenge after feeling bullied for a long time and finally chooses someone upon who to take out their frustration in the courts, when the person being charged is not actually guilty?  

We all ready have laws whereby if someone is physically bullied or beaten the offenders can be dealt with in a court of law.  We all ready have anti-defamation laws.  People are all ready suing each other under the cover of very sketchy definitions of racial hatred, ageism, gender inequality and sexual harrassment.  Our court system is in enough turmoil all ready sifting through definitions, actualities and possibilities.  Now one of our cities is considering adding to the all ready considerable confusion of how to practically deal with these issues and others that involve the ephemeral area of human, individual perceptions of offense.

I can't help hoping Saskatoon decides against implementing this particular law.  If they do the entire city population and all visitors will be better off living their lives in silence than to risk opening their lips and ending up vicitimized by a vengeful person in a litigation happy society that is developing here only a few decades behind our neighbours to the south.  There is an aura of "I am the persecuted" that is beginning to pervade our society.  While I am well aware of the terrible bullying and expressions of hatred that exist and are worsening in our country at all ages and levels of society, I am hoping and praying we can come up with better solutions than government legislation that depends on human perception of ad hoc definitions and leaves our courts and our population in more moral legislation limbo than all ready exists. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Busy Time of Year

One thing about celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus in the Anglican church, among others, is that it keeps clergy and their spouses very busy for the week leading up to Resurrection Sunday.  

Tonight my husband and I have a prayer meeting with the Bishop and the others on his diocesan prayer team. Tomorrow night is the Maundy Thursday service, where I will have the privilege of being the one at the end of the service to strip the church altar of its accoutrements...Bible, candles, table runners etc. will be taken down from the altar while the congregation sits in silence as the lights dim over the bare altar...symbolic of Jesus being stripped of everything on this earth, including the support of his disciples, as he is arrested and awaits the laborious dragging of his cross out to the hill for his crucifixion.  Good Friday marks the end of his earthly life as we talk about his vicious death on a cross, the beginning of his last steps to securing the salvation of those who believe in his divinity and his mandate from God.  Saturday evening is Easter Vigil where we wait upon the glorious resurrection celebration that will happen on Sunday morning.

The liturgies are basically the same each year, the prayers reflect the same issues of gratitude, the sermons always talk about the true significance of Christ's sacrifice and what it can mean to and for us, but somehow it never becomes monotonous to listen to or participate in.  The reminder that someone who, while a part of God, participated fully in all the joys, sorrows and eventual death that all humanity experiences in order that our eternity can be spent in the Kingdom of God should not be so necessary for believers, should it?  Every day we should be on our knees in gratitude because we know who we are without Christ.  Unfortunately we seem to forget with sad regularity the forgiveness and mercy and love that is ours from on high.  How often we forget to give forgiveness and mercy and love to others who, like ourselves without the grace of God, do not deserve to receive them.

I am grateful each year to be allowed to participate in the services.  Participation makes all Jesus went through more real to me.  There is something about the hands on action of stripping the altar, or pounding a nail myself into a wooden replica of the sort of cross Christ died on, or seeing that same cross on Resurrection Sunday morning completely bare...no body hanging there, or sometimes with flowers replacing each nail that was put there on Good Friday by those of us in the congregation, symbolic of the resurrection and of new life in Christ.

For clergy it is an exhausting time of year.  My husband will be as wiped out from the extra services as all the other priests.  He will be very happy though to have had the opportunity to once again remind us what God has done to bring us closer to himself.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Today's Prayer From the Daily Book of Prayers


"Lord, You give me many good gifts--but I know that fear is not one of them. You have given me a spirit of power, love and self-discipline--power to do Your will, to love others, and to discipline myself to think about things that lead me into faith."

Way To Go Casey!

Casey came completely off oxygen support today, hopefully permanently, but the coolest news is that he has started nursing again with zero problems. His mom is so happy to finally be able to hold him again without any medical equipment to get in the way. Sounds like he can be released from ICU into a less critical care ward. Wow! This is so exciting! Thank you Lord for the fighting spirit of this baby boy!

We Are Officially Elderly

Our next door neighbour's back door was so frozen earlier this morning he had to take his shovel and go out the front door, walk all the way around the building and shovel his way through the icy snow on his back steps and deck so he could melt the ice around his back door with a cigarette lighter. It hasn't been completely successful and he continues to sprint back and forth around the building trying various means to get his door all the way open.

In the process he also shovelled the snow along our personal front step and walkway. When I stepped outside to thank him he said it was no problem because he enjoys being able to assist the "seniors" in the complex when he has a chance. I smiled to myself and refrained from mentioning that my fellow "senior" husband was able to get our back door open himself and without the use of cigarette lighters,  blow dryers and other devices requiring the use of less than brute strength. haha

I like this neighbour.....even though he makes us feel as old as Methuselah. haha!

The Long Wait For Winter is Over!

Well, it took nearly six months, but actual winter weather has arrived at last, as the spring season begins. Ho! Ho! Ho! About five cm. of snow came down overnight and the hours worth of howling winds coming out of the east set up a drift so high outside our back door that my husband had a difficult time pushing it open without breaking the hinges. The door was frozen shut. A coating of ice on top of the snow made it even more difficult to move that door. He finally got it open sufficiently to squeeze himself outside onto the deck to get the shovel. The shovel and broom were so covered in ice it wasn't easy to hang onto them while clearing off the deck and steps. They are now beside the furnace in the basement to thaw them. All the windows on the east side of the building are so covered in ice we cannot see through them. The city has apparently not cut into their nearly untouched snow removal budget from this winter because the cars going past on the main street outside are crawling and crunching along. It is a day that is both spectacular to look at and ugly to deal with. Our car is an ice cube at the moment, with a mound of snow on top like marshmallow topping on a mug of hot chocolate. My husband will go out this afternoon and dig it out, clean it off and try to prepare it to take to work tomorrow, when it will require more work to get it out of the parking lot.

Happy spring everybody! It's two...two...two seasons in one!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Sweet Sleet

Wet snow mixed with rain is coming down so fast and thick I can hardly see across the street as I sit here eating my supper. It is gorgeous! It is one of the beauties of nature this time of year. I am slightly envious of my husband being out in it as he heads out to dinner with some new friends. I am going right now to get my coat so I can stand outside on the back deck and enjoy the downpour. Yay! Spring's a'comin'!

LATER: my hair is drenched with sleet, my toes are chilly, my fingers are puckering from scooping up the wet snow on the deck. I feel happy and carefree just from being outside enjoying this latest weather system that is threatening to drop over five centimetres of snow by morning. Because it is technically spring now, whatever snow we get will not last long and there will be a few more storms in early spring, I am guessing. Well, it isn't dark yet....think I will go stand outside for a few more minutes.

Makin' Beautiful Music!

Last night my husband treated me to an early anniversary celebration by taking me to a concert held in our local Anglican Cathedral. We enjoyed incredible music for 90 minutes....the time sped by and it was the icing on the cake for me of Palm Passion Sunday.

Here are some samples from the programme:

Hosanna to the Son of David (Thomas Weelkes)
Cantique de Jean Racine (Gabriel Faure)
The Passion Chorales from The Orgelbuchlein (J.S. Bach) 
Komm, Jesu, Komm (J.S. Bach)
--all performed by The Luther Bach Choir; organ solos and accompaniment by Valerie Hall (O how I wish the Cathedral organ had a few more ranks of wooden pipes to deepen the sound and remove the tinniness of the metal piping, but it was still pretty wonderful in Ms. Hall's capable hands!)

Bless The Lord, O My Soul (Mikhail Ippolitof-Ivanof)
Heyr, Himna, Smiour (Borkell Sigurbjornsson)
 --performed by Campion Schola Vocal Ensemble

As if the singing wasn't sufficiently edifying and enjoyable, we were also treated to instrumental performances by several young people, of junior and senior high school age, all sufficiently fantastic as it is, but I am also looking forward to hearing them in ten years' time and when playing professional grade instruments.  SO MANY talented people in this city.

It is a pleasure to be feeling well enough and mobile enough to finally start taking in more of the musical culture this city has to offer. For such a small city, out in the middle of the prairies, it has a wide range of cultural events, well done, completely professional.  Over the next year we hope to discover and take in even more musical performances.

Even Young People Have Their Bad Times!!

One of our teen readers' theater participants had a terrible week leading up to yesterday's service.  

On Wednesday he ate something at school that put him into an anaphalactic allergy reaction and he ended up in hospital despite the administration of his epi-pen.  

On Thursday something else triggered another anaphalactic reaction because the one the day before had been so severe and he ended up back in the hospital for adrenalin shots.

On Friday the science fair exhibition he was supposed to participate in went on without him because he wasn't healthy enough yet to travel to it.

On Saturday his hockey team lost their game and subsequently their play off hopes were dashed.

Sunday morning our young lad got up early to rehearse his lines for the readers' theater and wasn't that excited any more about reading Jesus' words.  His reason: "Mom, I had TWO allergic reactions this week, missed the science fair, didn't get to even play in my team's hockey game, we won't be in the play offs....and this morning......I GET CRUCIFIED!!"  

hahahaha I cracked up when his mom told me about their little conversation. hahahahahahaha  

Kids!

Oooh, I Feel So Badly For What I Inadvertently Did!!!

This morning I went early to the clinic for my annual ECG. While I was sitting back out in the waiting room, waiting to see my doctor for the results, I pulled my bottle of fragrance free hand sanitizer from my purse and slathered the contents all over my hands.  Normally a great thing to do, but this morning it couldn't have been a worse move to make. Sigh....

A younger man sitting two chairs down the row from me suddenly sat very erect, dug into his pockets for a large piece of cloth, threw it over his nose and began gasping for breath.  He jumped to his feet and raced over to the reception desk to say he would be outside getting some air and if they called his name to see his doctor that is where they would find him.  He was gasping like a fish in the bottom of a boat.  The receptionist asked him what was wrong and he managed to choke out that MY fragrance free hand cleaner had given him a terrible, instant respiratory reaction and he just had to get out of the building.

I nearly died of shame.  The poor man. He was NOT faking it in any way. I know this because I have an identical reaction to cigarette and wood smoke.  It hits instantly and so hard you have to see it to believe it!!  

So, I called out my apology and told him I would go instantly to the washroom and wash it off my hands.  He went outside for a few minutes, then returned to see if I had indeed done what I said I would do. I had, showed him my hands, let him smell my fingers and he began to relax.  It took nearly 5 more minutes for his breathing to start returning to normal and the purple colour to leave his face.  He explained he has a terrible reaction to all acohol based products as they do have their own particular odor.  

Having a good friend who has very bad reactions to all fragrances and chemicals to the point where she was literally trapped inside her own home for about 30 years, I felt even worse about what I had done to this poor fellow.  I know what my friend still goes through, even though she is able to manage much better as her body has healed somewhat after a terrible few decades of recovery from chemical poisoning.

What a terrible way to start the morning....for me, but more so for that man!!!  He was called into his doctor shortly after that and after nearly a half hour emerged with an emergency atomizer, clear breathing and a face colour more indicative of a healthy person.  

So, by the time I was called to see my own doctor, having survived the terrible looks and loudly expressed sentiments about what a horse's ass I must be to use such a terrible product in a public waiting room, I was glad to get away from the other patients.  Sigh......  

The good news is that even with the heart murmur, my ECG results were excellent and the problems I was having previously were most likely the result of the virus I suffered earlier this winter.  Whew!!!

I slunk back out through the waiting room, deliberately not making eye contact with any of the patients still waiting who had expressed their opinions of me so succinctly, stood outside the building to put my coat on and fled to my car!

Today I learned something new and that is that I should not use my particular brand of hand sanitizer in an enclosed public space...and I won't ever again.....just in case.

More News for All of Us on Team Casey

"Good Morning, Team Casey! Today is significant, as Mr. Brave will be off of the breathing mask indefinitely. The hope is that he can do well breathing on his own all day, and that would indicate that he is ready to move onto full-time breathing without support, and graduating to feeding again on his own. Please pray that he would do well today and that we can begin the process of feeding. It is surreal to be at this point, considering where we have come from. Praising God for healing our son and holding us together through our darkest days. You have all played a role in our story and we hope to have the good news for you of him coming home soon." 💙

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Casey is Making Great Strides Forward, Says His Mom

 
"Casey did 2 hours this morning without his mask! He will do two more stretches without it this afternoon and then hopefully even longer trials tomorrow if he continues to do well. Please pray that he wouldn't have 'work of breathing'. After 3 weeks here, we hope to be out of the ICU in the next few days and transitioned to a different ward. Thank you all again for the love and support."

Pre-Birthday Celebration!

Since my husband will be up to his ears in church services on his birthday Good Friday, has Holy Week services all that weekend to prevent personal celebrations, plus is going out "with the guys" for beer and burgers tomorrow evening, we decided to celebrate his birthday even earlier than originally planned and go out for a lovely lunch today.  Yum!!

Maybe it just tasted more delicious than usual because the Palm Passion Sunday service went so incredibly well this morning, but we opted for Original Joe's for our meal and it really was a tasty treat.  My fish tacos were just as great as I remember them being from times past and my husband was delighted with his applewood salmon, accompanied by a very filling quinoa salad and a spicy good tomato garlic bisque.  Original Joe's has pretty good meals as a rule, but today in particular the food seemed especially "en pointe".  I am sure my own meal was as good as his was, but I was very wrapped up in his enjoyment. haha  He has been so good about sticking to his diet, perhaps that is why today's "cheat" seemed so fantastic, haha.  Anyway it was a good time all around before he went back to work at the office for the rest of the day.

All our teenaged readers remembered to come early for the readers' theatre rehearsal this morning before church.  They did so very well today, we are proud of them. They worked hard on the pronunciation of some of the more difficult words in the text and there were no problems at all.  One of our readers is also excellent on trumpet and accompanied our recessional hymn.  What a treat! She will be playing again next week at the Easter Sunday service.  I found it most interesting this morning that every one of the teens expressed an interest in coming to services much more often, but that their parents are the ones with other committments, or wanting to sleep in and none of the kids are quite old enough yet to drive themselves to church.  Sigh.....to see how keen they are and to know that they all live so far from us that we can't even do a swing by their places to pick them up on Sunday mornings....aaaargh!!!  Come on moms and dads.  Your younger teens are still spiritually keen.  Find a way to get them to services Sunday mornings. My husband and I are going to locate other parishioners in their areas of the city and see if we can put some rides together for the future.  

The palm waving procession around the church was a lot of fun this year because all the parishioners and even some visitors, were so very excited to do it.  My husband's enthusiasm on Sunday mornings is not easy to ignore and today he was very excited about having so many young people to assist.  He scrapped his short homily at the last minute.  The scriptures that were read by the readers' theatre group were so rich and they spoke for themselves.  No interpretation was needed.  Bless him....he is certainly not one of those preachers who is enamoured of the sound of his own voice, that is for sure.   His restraint in giving up sermons and other speeches that he has laboured over in order to be more in tune with how the Holy Spirit seems to be trying to lead at any given time is, to me, a mark of his good character.

So, his birthday treat is taken care of and now we have to figure out the best way to celebrate our 39th anniversary that occurs on Saturday. With an Easter Vigil to attend that evening, the annual Easter Sunday extravaganza the next morning, following the other extra Holy Week services he is doing, my husband will not be able to take me out for any celebrating on "the day".  Easter Monday a lot of places here are closed and he has to give up his regular Tuesday off for a finance meeting.  The following weekend is marked by other weekend meetings that will take up a lot of time and preparation energy, and he doesn't have his Monday or Tuesday off that next week because the auditors are coming to the Synod Office.  One of his tasks tomorrow on his day off is to figure out how best to move his days off the subsequent 2 weeks so he doesn't miss any and end up burnt out now that he doesn't get the 5 days off after Easter services that the full time priests get. The next 3 weeks are absolutely crazy and then days off and life in general will get back to normal....at least as normal as they ever are. haha

It is a beautiful warm, sunny day today.  After I dropped my husband back at work for the afternoon I took a little drive to do some errands that could have waited until tomorrow morning, except that I remembered...thankfully...that I have an ECG in the morning and I am not going to miss that!  I am grateful it happens right at my doctor's clinic and if any problems or issues are seen on the ECG she will be right there to share them with me....no waiting!  After being previously in a little tiny town where waiting 2 weeks for results of ECGs and other hospital tests was the norm, this is quite a blessing!

I am hoping we can attend a Bach chorale tonight. A good friend is in the choir and it is such beautiful, detailed, deep music and lyrics.  It would cap off our first day of Holy Week very nicely.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Movie Gotta See!!

We just finished watching "The Grand Seduction" with Brendan Gleeson and Gordon Pinsent.  It is hysterical!!  The cinematography is lovely, the story is so funny and the acting is wonderful. There are some hilarious lines of dialogue.  After living in Labrador more than once in his life, my husband could almost see this story happening "for real". hahahahaha  This is quality Canadian cinema!

Glorious Sunshine

While it is not a particularly warm day today, mid way through the afternoon the sun finally came out after an absence of several days.  O how wonderful!

I had a nap on the living room couch this afternoon...a rare treat...and the sun felt so good shining in through the window on my forehead and shoulders.

When I went grocery shopping earlier on I had to zip my winter coat up, cover my hands with winter gloves and pull my hood up around my ears.  Now, despite a bit of remaining chill in the air, the sky is a brilliant blue, the wind has died down and the sun has melted most of the snow left on the ground after Thursday's mini storm.

Bring on the spring!!

Read From Bottom to Top For Casey's Latest Updates....Now His Mom Has Bronchitis!


3.Today, just a few minutes ago from Casey if he could talk:
I'm smiling because today they were able to remove my pic line! Now I don't have any wiring except for my feeding tube. I am slowly doing more and more trial times without my breathing mask. Thank you for praying for me ❤

2. March 18th at 6:36 p.m.
Another great day for Casey! He did multiple trials without the mask today and they all went well. His lungs have slowly (and steadily) improved day by day. He was a very smiley boy today! I am also feeling much better than this morning. Thank you all so much for your prayers and love.

1. March 18th at 11:23 a.m.
We are so thankful that Casey has made steady improvements over the past few days. Our challenge currently is that I have come down with bronchitis myself and once again need to ask for your prayers. For healing, strength and supernatural energy to keep going during a trying time. Thank you all again for your love and support.

Caution vs Paranoia

At what point does sensible precaution give way to outright paranoia?
I am questioning myself on that issue this morning. 

While it isn't yet time to start wearing the spring wardrobe, it is time to drag the totes up from the basement and pull out the warmer weather clothes for a good going over, checking to see if they still fit, if they are in good enough condition to be worn another year and to check for gaps in the lineup that require a shopping trip.

I started today with my shoes.  With my hip problem compounding the old ankle problem I decided it was a good idea to see if there are any more shoes or sandals I am not going to be able to wear this spring and summer...or maybe ever again.  

The first pair I spotted is the pair I was wearing when I fell down and broke my hip. They are excellent walking shoes, Naots, and so very comfortable.  HOWEVER, when I tried them on and took a walk around my bedroom I immediately broke into a sweat, felt so hot I thought I was going to pass out on the carpet, was overcome with dizziness and had to sit down on the bed.  I kicked the shoes off so I could put my feet up on the bedspread and within seconds everything that was wrong went completely away. Seriously, I barely had time to count to ten before I felt just fine again.  I stood up and there was no dizziness, no intense heat, no more sweating.  Whaaaaa???? Gone, just like that!

So I tried on some more shoes and sandals, took a break downstairs to do some dishes and then returned to the shoe closet to try those Naots on again.  This time I walked around upstairs with no problem, then decided to wear them downstairs.  At the top of the stairs, just as I went to take my first step down, the heat instantly returned, the sweating as well and as I turned around to go back down the hall to my room the dizziness hit me so strongly I almost didn't make it back to the bed without falling down.  Aiiii yiiiii......

I realized I was breathing like an asthmatic as I kicked off the shoes again. This time the symptoms hung around for several minutes before dissipating.  When I finally got brave enough to open my eyes I felt a bit light headed for a few seconds but was able to sit up and felt much better.

O my goodness......I looked down at the Naots tumbled down at the bottom of my bed and felt rather nauseous.  Good grief...could a quick onset panic attack be the result of paranoia developing over those shoes just because of the fall last September???

I know it is a good idea after a serious fall to assess the footwear being worn at the time and decipher how much the actual footwear had to do with it.  These Naots are quite wide across the toes, part of the reason my feet are so comfortable in them, but also it was a contributing factor when I twisted my ankle on that pebble and the wide part of the toe area on that foot got tangled behind the heel of the shoe on the leg that broke.  Because of that width the shoe wouldn't slide back out from behind the opposite heel and over I went despite my best effort to regain my balance. I literally could not pull one foot out from behind the other and I hit the ground really really hard.

Caution in the future when wearing these shoes is a great idea, but after what happened today when I put them on I am wondering if I should even bother to try wearing them again?  Am I going to be completely paranoid every time I put them on my feet?  If I can't manage to wear them down a flight of stairs without making myself ill from panic, how on earth would I overcome that to go walking outside in them?

Is it better to force myself to put them on and go for a walk to get over the paranoia or is it better to give in to the panic, get rid of the shoes and not have to worry about them tripping me up again?  When I broke my ankle it was because I was wearing boots that do not grip the ice properly.  I still wear them in the spring, summer and autumn with no problem.  Mind you, I never had the emotional reaction to those boots that I had this morning with the shoes.

The shoes are in great shape. I hadn't had them very long before I fell, so I am thinking I am going to give in to old age and paranoia and donate them to the thrift store.  I can pretty well tell that if I don't they will just sit in my closet unused.  I know myself well enough to be fairly certain I will never put them on my feet ever again.

Am I really paranoid or am I just being cautious about a pair of shoes that contributed to a serious injury during a fall?  

Thinking about my panic attack this morning I am thinking maybe I don't care what the answer to that question is.  I am thinking I will just quietly place them into the bag of clothing that is all ready partially filled for the thrift store and then take the bag to the collection bin immediately before I have time to change my mind and force myself to take the risk of wearing them again.

Cautious or paranoid?  Does it really matter?  I thought it did when I started this post but now I am not so certain.  Not falling down again is a central focus for me these days! I want to do whatever is going to contribute to my staying upright when walking and if getting rid of those shoes even contributes ONLY to my emotional relaxation when out walking, then I am going to get rid of them.

Done deal!

So glad I had this little  chat with myself.

Today's Prayer

From my book of daily prayers:

"Lord, I want to be a more confident woman. Give me the courage to know that  You will be my confidence.  You keep me from tripping over my tongue and saying the wrong thing. *(sometimes)* But even when I do, You have the power to make things right again."

* italics mine
 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Is March Going Out Like a Lion?

It certainly came in like a lamb, so if the old adage is true.......

Between last evening and this morning we gained at least three centimetres of snow on the ground, the second deepest ground cover this winter, so that tells me how little snow we've had this season. It is icy underfoot and on the city streets and local highways, although a large volume of traffic should wear it off on the main roads.

It is -7C with a predicted daytime high of -2C and the wind cuts through my winter coat like a knife. Brrrrrrrr.....  I am not complaining about this taste of winter. There has been a tremendous amount of illness going around due to the warmer temperatures. I miss the -20/-30C weeks because the cold destroys many of the bacteria and viruses that lurk about in mild winters like this one. I feel most blessed to have had only one short lived bout of dizziness and exhaustion.

Last evening as the small storm hit, we were enjoying a delicious Irish stew dinner with parishioners. What a welcoming group of people with so many fascinating life stories. Along with the stew there was a tray of delicious baking powder biscuits, whole wheat bread and soda bread. There were plates of triscuits and melba toast and fresh green veggies with dill dips, coleslaw, and a dessert selection of pistachio square, key lime tarts slathered in meringue and sugar cookies dyed green and shaped like shamrocks. The food was so tasty and the fellowship sweet. Our hosts went to a lot of work cooking, baking and decorating the house and themselves in St. Patrick Day themed plaques and banners, hats, scarves and ties, green dyed carnations, and wreaths. What fun!

I was able to spend an uninterrupted afternoon yesterday cleaning the suite for a lunch guest coming today. One more chore to complete, then my physio, plus some food preparation and I will be ready for my friend.

The only disappointment of the day is that I will not be able to attend a funeral in Moose Jaw later this afternoon. It is too cold and the highway conditions too "iffy" to risk taking our old car out alone. I don't enjoy breakdowns when the wind is so biting. Having waited beside many a highway for tow trucks and mechanics in times past, I KNOW I am not in the mood to risk it today. We are currently researching used vehicles for a spring purchase. Here's hoping for a good one!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

And By the Way.......



HAPPY ST. PADDY'S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!

Special greetings to all my relations in Poyntzpass, County Armagh!

Casey the Miracle Baby

From Casey's Mom and Dad and big brother:

"Casey will be doing short trials off of the mask today - taking baby steps towards breathing without support. Another nurse today marvelled at how far he has come and called him a 'miracle'. Thanking God for the work he has done and the many ways we have been upheld while here. We hope to be home by Easter weekend but we have learned not to put timelines on things ;) It has been very difficult to be away from Jameson for nearly 3 weeks now, but we are fortunate enough to see him for a 'play date' each morning thanks to our family's help. He loves to see Casey and asks about him constantly. Thank you for your continued prayers, many of you we do not know personally but you have all impacted us greatly with your love and support. God is good."

The report was accompanied by a photo of little Casey in his dad's arms at the hospital, no oxygen attached to his face.  He is smiling and looks incredibly content despite his ordeal.  I am not posting it because I don't know these people personally and don't want to invade their privacy beyond the requests for prayer, but take my word for it, he is adorable!!  His smile almost matches his daddy's for joy factor!

Grey Grey Go Away

We are into our second day of grey skies and the occasional flurry of snow. There is very little of yesterday's snow still on the ground, so that is encouraging, but o how I wish the sun would come out.

I am so grateful that another warming trend is on the way for the weekend. Spring is nearly upon us after an amazingly dry and relatively warm winter.

Such a funny time of year. When I went to the post office yesterday at 9am I had to wear snow boots. By the time I left for lunch at 11:30am the sidewalks were dry enough again to put on a pair of shoes instead. When I attended our final Lenten dinner and worship service in the evening I had to exchange my spring jacket for a full length wool coat. My winter sweaters are too warm to wear by mid morning, but it is cooling off too quickly by late afternoon to wear spring blouses. Winter coats are appropriate for going out at either "end" of the day, but to leave the house mid day now requires not much more than a light sweater, or even bare arms if the sun is shining.

Holy Week is nearly upon us....a time of praise to and for the Creator of the universe, the author of our salvation. What a perfect way to welcome the spring.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Great News About Wee Casey!

Here is today's report from Casey's mom:
 
Earlier this afternoon:
The x Ray results from this morning showed major improvements in his collapsed lung - it is looking much, much better - thank you for praying! He is ready to begin short trials with the mask removed. We are praying that he wouldn't have 'work of breathing' and that he would continue to be calm and get lots of rest despite the mask. Thank you all!We are able to hold Casey now as much as we want (which is a lot!) - so incredibly thankful for cuddle time with our brave boy 💙