Monday, October 31, 2016

It's Set Up To Happen!

Well, the flights for our son for Christmas are booked! He flies in at 1am Christmas Day and flies back at 6am New Years Eve day. I can't believe it....all done...just like that.
Now for some fun planning! My husband is off work the entire time! O yay!!!! 😁

In Other Family News....

We had a good chat with our son last night. He and his dad are this evening looking for Christmas flights. Our son is trying to fly "home" for Christmas for the first time in a decade or more. We can hardly believe it. We will probably go a bit crazy if he actually does come: put up a tree, cook a 🦃 turkey and get a few small gifts. We have not given the boy a real Christmas in over 15 years! He has spent some rather miserable, lonely Christmases by himself far too often for one reason or another. If this works out he will be here to enjoy his dad's Christmas Eve church service.

He is going to also try to get to Saskatoon for a day to meet up with a 95 year old artist he is desperate to meet. Would you believe I am all ready praying for good weather and roads to take him there? Of course I am in all my winter weather paranoia! haha

Then in January we will try to all fly to Calgary for a day to take my dad out for a 90th birthday lunch. Our son will be teaching again at SFU starting that week, so we will work it out around that.

However this all works out, if it even does, it is wonderful to at least have the possibility for now of family plans in the near future! Other than a week on our summer holiday It has been awhile.....

My husband's sister and her husband are planning to visit us for a bit of an early Christmas the first weekend of December. Another good visit that I pray is not scuttled by bad weather, although those two are my winter driving super heroes. There are very few conditions they will not drive through. Amazing!

Our Last Halloween?

It is nearly 7pm on Halloween night and we have had 8 trick or treaters at the door. Sigh....where have all the kids in our complex gone this year??? I thought last year's turnout was disappointing, but this year's is absolutely dismal! Thankfully I purchased small bags of potato chips this year instead of candy. The chips will be far easier to dispose of at various church potlucks and other events over the next few weeks than candy would have been.

If we still live in this complex next year I think we will go out for dinner and a movie and return home after the whole trick or treat event is over for the night. First we get held hostage having to stay home to hand out expensive junk food to complete strangers, then too few of those adorably cute strangers show up to take the over priced junk food off our hands.

Yah.....don't think we will bother next year....

No more Halloween, right on the heels of no more Christmas cards. What old curmudgeons we are getting to be. I simply don't have the energy any more to keep up with these things and my husband never did participate much in either event.

Time for a change!

Tomorrow is Pick Up the Car Day, Yay!

And yes, for all you detail nitpickers, it was supposed to be today.  However, we got a text last night from Toronto that our sellers got stranded there on their way home last night due to weather related flight delays and were spending the night in the airport....blecch! They are such sweet people and seasoned world travellers so were less upset about it than I would be, but they had no certainty as to when they would get back to Regina today.  

We are extremely grateful it couldn't happen today after all.  My husband is so tired he can hardly stand up and I am exhausted.  We don't have to leave the suite today if we don't feel like it, no drives out of town for sales and exchanges and insurance forms with the added time limit of needing to be home for the teensiest kids in our complex who start trick or treating at 4:30pm.  

I am happy my husband can numb himself today with sleep and wretched old tv shows and have no plans whatsoever to have to fulfill.  Just praying our sellers can return home safely and get some rest themselves.  The weather is even supposed to be better tomorrow than today...warmer, even some possible sunshine...and no deadline for returning home.  

YAY!

For Armchair and Real Travellers (Funny but True!)

This just in from a friend who has moved to the Orient:
 
 5 Things You Experience While Living in Another Culture:

1. You constantly learn and unlearn language. Doorways in the brain are opening and closing due to the words you are hearing and using. We have lots of awkward moments when we can’t say what we want to say in Chinese, but much more disconcerting is when we can’t say something in English! We often have bizarre moments when one of us turns to the other, wide eyed, and asks, “How do you say 地瓜in English?”

2. The lines between normal and strange behaviour get blurred. Trying to adapt between cultures can get confusing when you shift back and forth. For example, the etiquette of giving/receiving gifts in China is very different. You might make a major faux pas if you act Canadian while giving a gift here. Then, when you finally master the nuances of how to give a gift the right way here and you mistakenly act that way back in Canada, you are being a weirdo.

3. You measure the value of material possessions in a different way. Stuff is no longer just a price tag or how much you like it. Whether something is going to make the short list of being worthy to drag around the world means undergoing rigorous scrutiny. Things are appraised with the all-important A: Can it fit in my suitcase? B: Can I get that in China? C: Can I do without that? For example, do they sell women’s shoes in giant sizes in China? No. Thus, my shoes are on the short list. Are all the shoes I want on the short list? No, not even close. See A. Do I need both black and brown shoes? See C.

4. You surprise yourself with your own flexibility and inflexibility. You can get used to a lot things you would never have thought/said/done/eaten before. I was thinking about that the other day when I found myself sipping Earl Grey tea and eating kimchi (spicy fermented cabbage). You can learn to roll with a lot of punches while living cross culturally. But you might also find small strange things have unwittingly become a safety net for you. For example, I am unreasonably attached to my Nalgene water bottles. It’s not just a water bottle. It’s also my cool pack, hot water bottle, sunglasses protector, extra storage area, and travel buddy. It was with me through experience XYZ. Can you borrow it? No. No you can’t. It’s not just a water bottle.

5. Weird things can make you sentimental. Small things can pop up out of nowhere and make you miss home. A smell, a sound, a word. Sometimes it isn’t the things you usually romanticize about home like Nana’s cooking, or the smell of wood smoke, or an old hymn. Sometimes you are walking past a barrel of meat parts and a Celine Dion song comes over the speakers. You don’t even like Celine Dion. But you heard that song at home the summer your youngest brother was born. And suddenly you find you are staring misty eyed into a pile of gizzards, thinking of home.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Happily Zonked!

It isn't even 4:30pm yet and all ready I could crawl into bed, fall sleep and not wake up until sometime tomorrow.  What is stopping me from doing that very thing is the fact that I am SOOOO tired that even a full bladder would not wake me up and that would be disastrous!!!  hohoho!!!!

I was sound asleep just before 7am when someone started pounding on my neighbours' back door.  I woke up in a tizzy and hobbled downstairs in the dark to be sure it wasn't my door someone was pounding on, just in case there was a fire in the building or some other reason I should be awakened in such a fashion so early on a Sunday morning.  Nope, it was definitely at the neighbours'.  In the almost year they have lived beside me I can now count on 3 fingers the number of times I have heard any noise at all coming from their place, plus I realized I was hungry, so no worries about being awakened.

After breakfast I felt pretty great...much better than I have felt at any point in the last 10 days....even my sinuses were less clogged, no more dripping, a decent sleep last night for the most part....yeah, feelin' pretty darned great, so decided to risk my tiny energy reserve and go to church.  Since our service is at 9:30am, I figured I would be home in plenty of time to nap before my husband returns at dinner tonight from his weekend seminar committments.  O how great to be out with people again after sitting alone in here for days on end.  That group is amazingly talented at making each other feel like their arrival at church is the best thing that has happened to anyone all week long.  I basked in the warm glow of acceptance!  (and maybe just the teensiest bit of rising fever... o well.....)

By the time we got to the Eucharist I was feeling rather nauseated, but kept plugging until the end of the service.  Our guest priest is a loving, older fellow, so experienced and gave such a lovely homily filled with hope as well as being theologically dead on!  BINGO! I couldn't sing along but could hum a few of the notes of the hymns in my gravelly sinus voice.

Since I had to drive a couple of km to the nearest Superstore after service I decided it wasn't wise to stay for coffee hour and visiting; better to pick up the 2 things I needed from the store and get home for that nap.

Ended up purchasing just a few more things...all from my grocery list on the kitchen counter at home, and since there they were right there in front of me,  it seemed ridiculous to not pick them up before going home.  As I drove out of the store parking lot I felt kind of faint and realized that my very early awakening this morning meant that, although it was only just before 11am I was ravenous for lunch.  I reduced the carb intake rather drastically at breakfast since getting this cold, because I knew there would be no exercising going on to burn off the sugars.  It caught up with me today. 

I kind of panicked because the only restaurant open in the area was a Fat Boy Burger joint, not the place for a diabetic to eat.   However, I knew I needed some sustenance before attempting to drive home, so in I went, first customer of the day.  O my....I DID enjoy my little burger treat splurge.  I ordered the baby burger because it has the tiniest of the carb-y buns and took the fries basket that, along with  a diet pop, gave me the best deal for my money.  The baby burger had a small amount of meat but a ton of vegetables. What I like, I discovered, about Fat Boy is that it is like a burger chain I used to eat at regularly that no longer exists: besides the usual lettuce, tomato, relish, mayo, pickles and onions, there is a list of other "free additions" to choose from.  I was too hungry to figure out what else I might want and took the standard issue, minus the fatty, salty cheese.  The whole 8 fries I allowed myself to eat had the skins on, my fave, and were crisped perfectly. I even allowed myself a teaspoon of catsup to dip them in.  YUM!  Ooh, haven't had burgers and fries for so long, and it will be that long again, but I surely did enjoy it today.  The oriental staff treated me with supreme deference, kind of hard to get used to being treated like what I was today: an elderly woman who is obviously ill and about to pass out, but I could try....I could try....

The dizziness and hunger pangs evaporated and off I went toward home.  A nap was calling.  Then I remembered one thing I still really needed from the grocery list, so I stopped at my neighbourhood Independent Grocery to pick it up....just a quick final pit stop before that nap.  Weeeeeellll....once inside the store I thought of just a few other things I should get from that list, PLUS I met 2 different folk from our church congregation and you know, a former priest's wife just has to stand and visit with them....for a long time....to the point of forgetting about the nap I was racing to get home for........sigh.....

Eventually I made it home and got the groceries unpacked.  I also had to wash my husband's alb he had forgotten to bring home last week after his final church service and that I dragged all over the city after church today.  Then my parents phoned.  Then I remembered 2 emails I absolutely had to send out this afternoon, then, then, then....now it is on the way to 5pm, my husband will be home for dinner in less than an hour and the nap isn't going to happen.

Unfortunately my body is telling me it really should still happen.  

I do have a lot of stew in the refrigerator, all ready to be reheated for dinner.  A few slices of toast to go with would surely be sufficient for both of us, right?  We don't eat dessert at home, so..........no more cooking required today....

Maybe if I just sit on the bed and read a few pages of my book and let whatever happens happen.....yeah...that is what I'll do.  I'll just doze off for a few minutes and pray that when my husband comes home and wakes me up to ask what we are having for dinner he will not be confronted by the raving, cursing, furious maniac that I turn into when I fall asleep this late in the afternoon.  Maybe if the sun is still shining as brilliantly and joyfully as it is right now when I wake up, maybe, just maybe we can avoid the raving, cursing, furious maniac thing.....maybe....

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Nearly 20 Years Later I Still Get Teary

In between chores today I have had the CTV tv coverage of the Canadian Grand Prix figure skating playing as background. I haven't followed figure skating for years, but used to enjoy it very much.

A few minutes ago I decided to watch the YouTube video of our former World Champions Viktor Kraatz and Shae-Lynn Bourne dancing their fabulous Riverdance routine in Nagano in 1988. All these years later I still burst into tears watching it. Celtic music makes me cry anyway, but to have such an amazingly creative bit of skating choreography paired with it....wow, it is emotionally powerful.

If you have never seen it, give it a look. It is very cool!

Improving Stew

My sinuses are still infected, I start coughing a few sentences into a conversation and my eyelids are still heavy...guess I am in this for the long haul. Drat!

Today I have been determined to accomplish something, even though my original plan to go grocery shopping had to be scrapped.

So, my laundry is all done. ✅ YAY!

Stew is made. ✅ YAY!  And, I have discovered a way to amp up the flavour of my plain old stovetop stew: add just a pinch of both fennel and lavender. Yes, lavender. Just make sure it is relatively fresh.

My tastebuds are back to normal after over a week of  blah. YAY! Looking forward to my dinner tonight.

The sun came out for a couple of hours this afternoon...o glory!

Following in the Family Spiritual Footsteps

Our son is having a time right now. He has all the required visa paperwork sent in to his US immigration lawyer and his long term visa is ready to be presented to the US government. The downside is that due to a problem with Revenue Canada not sending him his last few years of tax rebates and the ongoing hassle of getting that solved, he has nary a cent to pay his lawyer. He barely has rent for next week at this point. Art sales are in the toilet all over Canada with the downturn in the economy, so presently he is experiencing the typical famine side of the artistic "feast or famine" scenario.

That is the up and down financial life of any full time artist and he has been in this position before. He rarely stresses over it, but last night he told me he woke up in the morning worrying about money. He prayed, but couldn't shake the worry. Later in the day he ran into the accountant in charge of paying the reimbursements to my son for the expenses of a show he curated awhile ago. The accountant asked him about a receipt he felt my son should have turned in for reimbursement but hadn't realized it was an allowed expense claim. My son happened to still have the receipt, turned it over to the accountant and the accountant wrote my son a cheque for it right then and there. 

Those are the financial serendipities his parents have experienced for the past three decades. It has been our main arena for learning the trustworthiness of God as he provides for us. In the past few years it has been our son's most obvious arena for receiving answers to desperate prayers for help.
Very happy for you son....God is proving his faithfulness to you in many of the same ways as the old fogeys.

Be encouraged that if you are to go stateside the money will come from somewhere, somehow, in time....the right time....God's time! 

Even International Awards Are Losing Their Meaning

After a wait of over two weeks, the most recent winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Bob Dylan, has announced he will accept the award.

Well, isn't that special?

The news article I read today said that Mr. Dylan did not respond immediately to the honour because being chosen rendered him speechless. I can appreciate that because it rendered me speechless as well. The fact that he was shortlisted, or even seriously considered at all for the honour rendered me equally speechless to be honest. Was the list of worthy nominees that short? Really?

I don't have anything personal against Mr. Dylan. I have never met the man. I do not denigrate his large and obvious contribution through his music and lyrics to the incredible youth culture revolution of the 1960's and 1970's. While I do not necessarily believe that he and his peers among musicians of the era influenced my generation of young people in the best direction over all, no one can deny that influence it they did.

However, to call his song lyrics worthy of such a prestigious international literary award....I don't quite see it.

He won, I am glad he has finally stepped forward to accept his award, I just hope the judges of all the categories of the Nobel prizes, including the sciences, will think long and hard in future. Like so many areas of modern life, the quality of what is considered to be award worthy in recent years has definitely taken a plunge.

Hey, I am allowed to have opinions too.....

Friday, October 28, 2016

Falsely Accused! hahahahaha

This morning I discovered a WARNING NOTICE from our property management board sitting boldly in our mail box.  Any piece of paper that begins with big black letters like that across the top cannot be good, right?  Aiiii yiiiii, what now??

We were being charged with harbouring an illegal pet!  The threatening tone of the letter was somewhat terrifying as it listed all that would be done to us if we didn't produce said pet immediately for a decision as to whether or not it was an allowed pet for our complex.  

I am still not feeling well, the notice shocked me, but new gratitude overwhelmed me that the rental office in our court has reopened with full staff after being closed for some months. I was able to telephone the office immediately to find out what had happened.

My concern was that some other tenant had made a judgement against us and our imaginary pet, or misunderstood something going on at our home and were doing what would actually be their duty by reporting an "secret" pet.

Turns out the same 2 fellows who left our home the other day after checking the smoke detectors had put a pencil mark in the wrong box on their maintenance spread sheet, indicating we have a pet when they meant to put the mark into a different box.  Not sure what the box was they missed checking or what maintenance issue will not now be taken care of, but as long as we are not going to be in a heap of trouble for a non-existent pet, I don't care.  

The girl at the office was most pleasant about it and made the change to our info; back to being a pet-free suite. Whew!!

After I hung up I realized I was shaking all over.  A lot of things have happened in my life, including a number of false accusations many years ago that could have disrupted my life in a far more devastating manner than being fined for having a pet in this suite and I am realizing how long it can take to truly be over such a frightening time.  My goodness.  I thought I was over that a few decades ago all ready.  My reaction to the letter shows otherwise.

Had I been healthy today it wouldn't have been such a big deal.  Just shows me I have some serious recovery left to experience before this cold virus leaves my system. 

Hey....I just thought of something else: could it be that those maintenance fellows espied a giant spider my husband and I somehow missed eradicating from our basement when we were moving everything away from the leaking walls a few weeks ago?  They would only have to see one of them to arrive at the conclusion that there is indeed a pet hiding in here!!  hahahaha

Oh, this is such a crazy place to live! Ya' gotta love it...once you get over the shock of finding yourself in such a complex! hahaha

Probable Last Update on Abby

Very sorry not to have posted something sooner, but the one and only update I have received just now arrived in my inbox.

Gratitude is expressed for all the prayers for this university aged gal, however everyone has been asked not to post any of her information, including health updates on any form of social media.  I am sure the family has their reasons, but it means I can't say much without breaking their confidence.

All I am going to say is that she is slowly gaining ground on recovery from her physical injuries and from a serious brain injury.  She is on her way to a rehab facility and will require at least a year of daily therapy. 

Bless you all for caring for this young lady and her ongoing recovery. If I get permission to post anything else I will.  I am not sure I will get any more information either.  So, I guess we can all just continue to pray for her as God leads.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Accomplished A Bit Today! YAY!!

I had a fairly decent sleep last night!  Wahoo!!  Apart from sore neck muscles from sitting up for 6 nights in a row with insufficient neck and shoulder support, I felt considerably better, quite a bit less stuffy in the nasal cavities, no headache, clear eyes and ears and much less fog in the brain.  My energy level was still in the basement, but that is to be expected for a few days yet.

About 5 minutes before my husband left for work this morning I realized he was going to attempt to walk there with not only his heavy bag of snacks for the retreat starting later today, but also his briefcase with his talks and laptop, plus a giant duffle bag with his personal items and bedding!  As the realization hit me that he was willing to attempt that kind of discomfort just so as not to disrupt me, I decided the least I could do this morning was put on some clothes and drive him and his "stuff" over to the office to await his ride to the retreat.

While it felt pretty great to be tossing on a pair of jeans for the first time in 8 days, I didn't have time to spend putting on a whole outfit, or even brushing my hair and teeth.  Using a belt to keep my nightgown hauled up above the hemline of my coat and still wearing my bed socks, now jammed into a pair of old shoes, I drove him to work.  It is only a few blocks really, but too far to carry that amount of extra baggage.  Also it was still pitch dark outside and I had paranoid visions of him being jumped by some of the "local colour" who haunt his route to the office, in order to get their hands on his lovely blue duffle bag and computer etc.  Yes, it is a better area around here than some in a city known nationally as "The Armpit of Canada", but we still have our folk of interest, that is for sure.

I have to admit it felt quite wonderful to be outside the suite, driving the car, despite a freezing wind forcing me to huddle even inside the car with the hood of my coat pulled up around my neck and ears.

On the way home I had to drive past the local grocery and, forgetting my own "local colour" appearance, I decided I should stop and pick up a few things in case I ran out of steam later in the day or was to experience a relapse tomorrow.  Since the store had just opened as I was driving into the parking lot, it was quick and easy to gather up a half dozen necessities and head for the  cashier.....who was not very talkative this morning, in fact very reluctant to engage, both verbally and through eye to eye contact.  I was surprised!  UNTIL I caught a glimpse of myself leaving the store via my reflection in the store windows.  There I was in all my glory: my "obviously a nightgown" starting to peep out from under my winter coat, hair flying off in all directions like it hadn't been combed for a week...wait a minute...I don't think it actually has been combed for a week.....and my jeans hiked up so high that my socks with knit images of sushi rolls were showing.  Sigh....talk about yer local colour......aiiii yiiiii....  O well, I surived, the cashier survived and by the next time I go into the store it will have been forgotten, right?  Nope!  It is a neighbourhood grocery I go into at least twice a week.  Every cashier in the place knows me........well, at least this story will be more interesting for them to share together than watching me recover over the past year from a broken hip...a long and boring event. Sigh.... Yeah, if you want to jazz up the gossip among your local neighbourhood grocery cashiers, just arrive at the store around 8am with untamed, windblown old lady hair, your nightgown drooping out from under your coat and wearing sushi socks...works every time!

By the time I drove 2 blocks home I was too exhausted to be embarrassed and even now as I write about it, I just don't care anymore.  I have embarrassed myself worse than that in times past.  Yes, REALLY!  Sadly.....

It took me nearly 3 hours to recover sufficiently to exchange the nightgown for a warm turtleneck tee shirt, get my coat and shoes back on and drive a few kilometers away to the 2 banks I had to get to before lunch.  At least I made it before lunch...just....barely......  BUT I didn't embarrass anyone this time around...no nightgown to escape the confines of an ulooped belt, the sushi socks better hidden and hair pulled into a tight ponytail un-tousled by the wind!

O how wonderful it felt to return home and climb into a hot, steamy shower to wash the vaporated ointment out of my hair and off my neck once again.  Clean clothes afterward....o joy, o bliss.  I stripped all the bedding off my bed and trundled it down to the basement for laundering.  Tonight I will feel so much better in clean bedding, letting my painful neck and shoulder muscles luxuriate on a fluffed up pillow and a warm nightgown no grocery store cashier has ever seen!!  As this miserable cold comes to an end (hopefully at least) I intend to sleep lying down tonight...flat....on my side....no sitting up.  At last!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Improvement Looming?

Last night, all night, seems as though it may have been the dreaded worst night of any cold virus if I am indeed following the usual pattern for these things. Between 10pm and 6am I sat up in bed, mostly awake, while every pore, every sinus cavity, my eyes, ears and every other part of my body leaked fluids. It was a hideous night, but the one that generally signals that possible healing is on the way. I stripped off wet bed clothes and bedding twice and freshened up both myself and the bed. Another hot shower this morning felt sooooo good!

As the day has worn on I have experienced a huge reduction in tissue use and have kept  the same outfit on the entire day. The fog has gradually been lifting from my mind. The bricks that seemed to be stacked on top of my head have disappeared. The coughing has been minimal and slowly my voice is returning. Wow, what a relief!

So, according to past experience, tomorrow is the crux day for getting better. As the day passes I will likely feel the slight increase in energy that could fool me into thinking forcing myself to clean house 🏡 or go grocery shopping would be a good idea, when actually, if I was to walk farther than from the 🚪 door of the suite to the car and back I would have a relapse within 24 hours or less. Hmmmm.....this day constitutes a bit of a problem since I MUST do some banking. My husband will be out of town working so cannot do it for me. Hmmmmm......o, hey, wait a minute: if I use the drive through window at the bank I literally only have to walk outside from the door of the suite to the car and back! (With a 15 minute drive in between, but I will be inside the vehicle with the windows rolled up so no possibility of a chill there, right?) As long as I don't get dizzy again and pass out behind the steering wheel while driving, all will be well!! (teehee....just kidding....gotcha!)

Problem solved!

Obviously I am starting to feel better!

PS does anyone know why these cute little icons are appearing for my use? ❤️ Luv 'em!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Dear Lord Above, Self-Pity Takes a Lot of Work!!!

And I am done with it!!  I managed to maintain it for 12 whole hours before packing it in due to the boredom of such intense self-focus!!

No, I don't feel better physically.  I have been feeling crappier by the hour, but, as much as I would like to I cannot possibly maintain this mentality any longer.  I am sufficiently exhausted without that going on!

I caught myself a few minutes ago spontaneously thanking God that the day is coming to a close, that tomorrow is another day closer to feeling well again and for for all my friends and family who have been so empathetic in their expressions of concern for me.  

Thus far my husband has been fighting his own viral infection off and I just pray and pray he can manage to get to the Cursillo on Thursday and last until Sunday afternoon!  So far he is in better shape than he was earlier this morning.  Long may it last.

He got a tremendous amount of cleaning and tidying done in the basement today...at last all the summer camping gear has been able to be put back where it belongs because for now he has managed to sufficiently seal off the leaks in the basement walls.  He has reorganized the food and household product storage shelves, swept up the floor, knocked spider webs out of the ceiling trusses and generally accomplished a whole lot!  Tonight he is able to work on his talks for the weekend Cursillo that we believe, so far, in faith, that he will be able to attend.

The maintenance crew was here today for the annual autumn inspection for "pests under baseboards, in carpets and furnaces".  Just like last year they made not one search for any such thing, just tested both the fire alarms and left again.  At least last year they vaccuumed out the bottom of the furnace and changed the filter!  This year, not even that much.  We hope they will be back next week to do at least that much, but we are not getting our hopes up too high! hahaha  What a crazy place this is!  When they left, the 2 fellows were having a heated argument about our upstairs smoke detector.  One was pointing out how ancient it was and that it really should be replaced...he is the new guy.  The other fellow kept telling him that wouldn't be necessary because this one still works...sort of....the longer term employee.  It was a toss up as to whether the whole issue is laughable or incredibly upsetting in that we doubt that smoke detector will be replaced!  Around here, one never knows!

The Canada Post parcel delivery truck showed up here this afternoon and we signed for a large parcel from our son.  There were FRAGILE and HANDLE WITH CARE stickers all over it.    When we unpacked it we found 2 kinds of amazing Japanese tea for my husband that our son found at an organic farmers' market in Shibuya during his recent visit to Tokyo, an amazing smelling blend of spices from the Comox Valley where my father in law lived for many years and one of our son's beautifully painted red clay plates I have loved for several years and never ever thought it would be mine to have and enjoy!!  He and a group of other artist friends get together twice a year or so and paint pottery dishes.  This one was done in 2012 and is particularly gorgous with a deep blue, orange and black crescent moon style pattern on a white background.  Both of us are delighted to receive a surprise gift, but even more delighted by the incredibly loving note that accompanied it.  Wow......  He is not a truly expressive person outwardly with his family, but occasionally you find out how he really feels and it blows us away every time. (I will post a photo of the plate IF I ever figure out how to do that in Stupid Google...that is what I am officially calling it now...Stupid Google!)

For lunch I had a lower fat/lower sodium Swiss cheese slice with 2 Stoned Wheat Thins crackers and 3 prunes with 1/3 cup yogurt.  Those are the only things I can taste right now.  Wow, the old tastebuds are skeewumpus with this cold!  For supper I had a small bowl of my husband's home made tajine style dish of chick peas mixed with cooked tomatoes, onions, apricots and prunes.  I couldn't taste any of those things but the hot pepper spicing got through and I enjoyed that immensely.

So, although it is not yet 7pm I am going to head for bed and try to get some sleep while my sinuses are not completely clogged.  Not sure how long that will last, but between one medication and another and huge bottles of distilled water bedside, I will survive another night sitting up and trying to breathe.  Just a few more days....just a few more days....just a few more days.... at least I have been able to keep up with the daily dishes and tidying up.  So far, so good!

Fighting a Cold AND Bloody Stupid Google On the Same Day....Aaaaargh!!!!!

As of 4am, after yesterday's encouraging shift toward improved health, I apparently moved into Phase 2 of this blasted virus or whatever it is I have.  I woke up with plugged sinuses and a headache, typical cold symptoms.  Sigh....

So, guess I am down for the count for another week.  I know the drill.  Today will be the temptation to pretend the cold segment of the illness is not really going to develop, followed by tomorrow's wee hours of the morning realization that I can't sleep because I can no longer breathe through my nose, followed by about 3 days of feeling like I would rather die as the nose reddens, the eyes water, the sinuses ache like there are knives stabbing up inside them, the tissue boxes are emptied by the dozen, the NeilMeds become a token but practically useless gesture and a doctor's appointment becomes necessary in order to bring out the heavier artillery meds to keep the infection from clogging my lungs and developing pneumonia, before I start the downhill slide to actual recovery.  I figure about a week from today I will be safe to go outside once again, if all goes to form.  How grateful I am this series of symptoms usually happens so rarely in my life.  I am a BAD patient when I have a cold...angry, frustrated and nasty as all heck to everyone I talk to.

Then there is the added frustration this morning of attempting what used to be the simple process of addition of a contact to my GMail account. Hah!  Have you tried to do that lately?  It took me nearly 10 minutes to figure out not only how to find the proper procedure, but also to execute it.  I did learn something important though when I hit an incorrect button: the Merge Duplicate Contacts feature will result in someone whose 3 different email addies I actually need to keep separate, will merge together into 1 addie...an addie that contact has NEVER IN HIS LIFE ever had!!! 

I hate colds!

I hate Google!

I hate feeling hate!! 

I'm really ill.....waaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Kind People

I am blown away by the kindness of our church congregation.  They were so sympathetic about me being too ill to attend my husband's farewell.  They cheered when he confirmed I am not also leaving.  All afternoon I received emails from people who will happily drive me to church on weekends when he is going to be out of town for work.  The congregation presented him with a HUGE gift certificate for one of our favourite restaurants as a goodbye present.  What loving messages were written by various individuals in the farewell card.  I got kind of teary reading them. A ton of leftover food from the potluck was sent home for us to enjoy today.

I am having what I call The Cusp Day: the day when my own behaviour will determine whether or not I recover quickly now or have a relapse that makes me ill for the rest of the week.  I am feeling weak and tired but the phlegmy throat is much better, the coughing has abated considerably and I had a relatively good sleep last night after my fever finally broke.  So, it is up to me to continue to stay very warmly dressed, continue with the NeilMed and Vicks VapoRub treatments and remain indoors for another day at least.

I ventured out long enough this morning to cross the parking lot and toss the garbage into the bin and then go into the office to find out how Boardwalk wants noise complaints here dealt with.  I was wearing so many layers of warm clothes I felt like a 4 year old dressed up for playing outside in the dead of winter....a tottering, elderly penguin....a trussed turkey.......in other words, extremely uncomfortable.  However it was good to get a whiff of some very fresh air for the whole minute it took to make the round trip.

So happy to learn that if there is another party in the middle of the night at the neighbours' we can just call the 24 hour Boardwalk line and they will send their own security over to deal with it.  That is a relief.  We really have not wanted to bother the city police with a noise complaint when they have so many more important problems to deal with in the middle of a weekend night.

Off to have another rest.......it is so nice to be feeling considerably better, although I have a long way to go.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

No Farewell For Me

 It is rather embarrassing to be too ill to go to my own husband's farewell party. Drat! Since it is only himself leaving our congregation, while I will be staying, it isn't quite as sad to miss out as it would be if the party was to say goodbye to both of us. It is a potluck and since I wouldn't be able to eat at 10:45am anyway, at least I get to avoid looking rude. I am pleased for him that despite his abbreviated tenure there they are still throwing a party 🎉. That is nice, especially since they are so upset he has to leave all ready. They are a lovely, caring group.

It was nice to have a somewhat decent sleep last night. The girls across the parking lot were not partying. I sat up in bed all night to keep my sinuses from pooling gunk in my throat. Sitting upright to sleep when I have a cold is incredibly helpful for preventing badly plugged nasal passages. So, while I still feel crappy, I am grateful it isn't worse than it is. A couple more days of staying inside, having hot showers and slathering on the Vicks VapoRub and I should be on the mend.

Now I am praying my husband doesn't come down with this. I am concerned. One aspect of his CFS is that he is almost always running a low grade infection. The lymph nodes in his arms and thighs are swollen most of the time, but last night the lymph nodes in his neck were starting to swell. That is usually an indication an infection is going to worsen for awhile. He is so busy at work. If he has to miss work due to illness he will be stressed. I am hoping my prayers for his health over the coming week will get a YES answer.

Looks like we may have to reschedule our holidays for next year. My husband may have a chance to return to Africa for a week's conference in mid June....right in the middle of our holiday time. Sigh...  However, it would be a fabulous conference for him and could culminate with a side trip into Burundi if the civil war has scaled back by then. He needs to check on the plans for the hospital our diocese is trying to build there. Lots of exciting possibilities coming his way in the next few months.

It is a lovely sunny day. It is chilly but at least the bright blue sky is cheery after yesterday's grey clouds and drenching rain. We are thrilled that after all the patching my husband did in the basement, there is only one spot where the water is trickling in. Another coat of patching should fix that. Yay!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Feeling Worse By the Minute!

Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrggggghhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am hoping I am building to the worst day of this cold....please God can it be tomorrow so I can get that horrendous day of the cold/flu cycle over with???? I would like to remain that hopeful, but I have a strong suspicion the answer to this prayer may be a resounding "NO!" haha

Wow, I truly and totally forgot it was possible to feel this lousy, swollen, achy, leaky and genuinely miserable....for several days in a row. Blah!

Well, while writing this I have managed to scarf down 23 grams of whole wheat carb and my ounce of protein for dinner. I hope I can make it through the night without a snack because I have no appetite and, other than another hot shower, dowsing my sinuses with Neilmed and slathering my entire body with Vicks VapoRub, I will not be exercising off any blood sugar spikes before falling back into bed.

Iiiiiiiiick! Thanks for bearing with me. Downloading my own misery for the universe to peruse makes me feel a tad more in control of the situation.

And yes, to those who suffer such simple illnesses on a more regular basis than I do, I AM a wuss!

And I don't care! You can taunt me all you want. I feel crappy. I feel sorry for myself. And I don't care!  😷

Ugh! I'm Ill! Blecch Pooey!!!

I break a lot of bones but I rarely get colds...once every 4 or 5 years is the usual.  Apparently this is the year.  I had phantom symptoms on Thursday evening but by noon yesterday it seemed I was going to be fine.  WRONG!!

Well, I am not having a whiny pity party, just experiencing the disappointment that comes with having to cancel out on the day's fun activities I was looking forward to:
-getting to know the choir member who was picking me up for the special rehearsal today
-retail therapy and lunch after choir rehearsal with another new friend

So, not the end of the world.  There will other opportunities to get to spend time with all the people involved.  What is more important this weekend is that I pull myself together sufficiently tomorrow morning to get out of bed and drag my sore throat, swollen glands, congested lungs and paining sinuses to church for my husband's final Sunday as priest there, situate myself far enough away from everyone to avoid spreading this cold around and enjoy at least token participation in the cold plate pot luck after the service since it was put together especially for us as the congregation's farewell.

Why do colds never arrive at convenient times, right? hahaha  As if there is such a thing....

The student neighbour girls across the parking lot from us had the party to end all parties last night and it wasn't over until around 5am.  Everyone else in our complex who was obviously awakened by the noise as we were, at least if the number of interior lights in the other suites at that time of morning is anything to go by, didn't call the police apparently.  Usually someone does but no one did this time, including ourselves.  We decided we will let the managment know what happened, how many times these loud parties have occurred over the past 18 months and do the management the courtesy of letting them know the police are now going to be called every time the noise goes past 1am.  That is giving these girls and their many friends 2 hours past the city noise bylaw to pack in the yelling and singing and screaming.  It is most unfortunate in this day and age that it isn't safe for my husband or myself to go over there in the middle of the night and simply ask them all to be quiet, but with the amount of drugs and alcohol that were apparently being consumed, not knowing if any of them were armed....good grief how things have changed in the last 20 years....we decided it wasn't wise to try to approach any of them.  I will probably drop a note in the girls' mailbox as well to inform them of the intention to involve the police.  It makes us both feel badly.  There is so little trouble in this housing complex, at least as far as noise.  We know that young people who are working hard at university need to blow off steam, but it isn't right that they do that here where working people with  young families are going to lose sleep. So, having to deal with it at all leaves me with added sick feelings in the pit of my stomach.  Nothing makes me happier than when people can just get along.

The grey sky and cold temperatures are kind of depressing too I suppose, BUT another day without snow or ice on the ground is a happy day, illness and all!!  Any day after Sept. 30 that is not snowy or icy is a PERFECT day!!  hahaha

Friday, October 21, 2016

What a Gorgeous Day!

Today has been warm, sunny, with a brilliantly blue sky and only a slight cool breeze....the perfect autumn day.  

It has been so glorious that I have been for two walks today.  My husband had to take the car unexpectedly to work this morning, so I knew I wouldn't be able to pick up a fairly large load of necessary groceries.  I broke the trip into two parts.  Right after breakfast I took two of the more heavy duty fabric carry bags from the hall closet to carry home load number one.  I picked up the heaviest of the necessary groceries after a pleasant walk to the store and with the two bags, balanced evenly for weight, was able to enjoy the walk home.  After lunch I went back to the store for a lighter load.  I was grateful to have an excuse to go out a second time.  Not all the trees along my route are bare yet and I enjoyed walking under the branches still covered with yellow leaves. 

Phone and email conversations today have been encouraging. Sunny conversations have been as uplifting as the sunny outdoors today.  

Tomorrow is a special extra choir rehearsal and I have two offers of rides.  One of my friends wants to go shopping afterward with me for jeans at another mutual friend's store, so I hope the practise ends in time for us to do that.  

If the weather is even half this nice again tomorrow it is going to be a ton of fun riding around the city for music and shopping fun!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

So.... It's a Couple of Hours Later and I 'm Fine Again! YAY!!

My poor demoralized husband arrived home finally after his useless trip to Moose Jaw.  He was so upset by what he viewed as his own failure to arrive on time he could hardly choke down his supper.  I felt so badly for him.  As he told me about his day I came up with 7 different factors that combined to make him too late to make the vehicle transfer and I think he felt somewhat better after we discussed them together. 

It will be okay.

Apparently as the insurance manager was closing the door in his and the sellers' faces tonight, they were told that the transaction they wanted would take at least 20 minutes and so unless they had all arrived there at least 30 minutes before closing time the agents would have refused to do the paperwork anyway.  Nice to know our business is so incredibly unimportant and unneccessary for them.  I guess when you are stuck with province wide government insurance the agents can treat you any way they want as you have no choice but to purchase it. There are no private company options here.  Wish everyone involved at our end of the deal had been told that when we phoned to check on their hours of operation etc.

So....don't know what the lesson is for today and maybe there isn't one.  

I do know that we are now scheduled to make this transaction on Oct. 31.  hahaha  Well....we shall see how it goes then! hahaha

One improvement on this scenario over today's is that I will be there to sign on as co-owner and we won't have to make several trips beyond that to get the licensing and insurance changed over to include both of us.

So....it is actually all good...right?  Of course right!

And the Answer to THAT Prayer is No

So my husband arrived in Moose Jaw exactly 5 minutes too late to do our vehicle transaction. The insurance place closed just before he arrived.

I should not be surprised and I should have expected it, but I was and I didn't.

In a few minutes I will pull myself together and remember God knows what is best and why we all, buyers and sellers, have to go through this time of continued waiting. Whether or not there is more to it than another simple test of our trust in God we may never know, but it is at least that.

Yup, in a few minutes I will pull myself together and remember.....but for the moment I admit to being completely shocked and bitterly disappointed.

Just keeping it real.

The soap opera continues........

Today SHOULD Be the Day!

Got the call last night that the vehicle we are purchasing should be ready by 5pm this afternoon at the dealership in Moose Jaw. Yesterday afternoon a friend prayed with me that our usual soap opera, the one that seems to turn every simple event in our lives into a stress test, would not come into play this time.

Hmmmmm.....not certain how that prayer will be answered. So far, the answer looks less than promising: my husband has meetings today in Weyburn and Estevan. Estevan meeting is now going to have to be over in time for my husband to drive from there to Moose Jaw and arrive at the licensing/insurance agency well before their 6pm closure to meet the present car owners, pay them,  sort out the new insurance payments and transfer our own current vehicle over to them as they are giving it to someone else. The timing will be a bit tight. If he is too late, not only has he added 90 minutes onto his driving time for nothing, there will not be another opportunity to complete this transaction and get the new vehicle for another week or more, because the present owners are leaving town for that long. Since none of us actually live in Moose Jaw, finding a mutually convenient time frame to come there from opposite directions to do the paperwork and make the switch of vehicles becomes a bit complicated.

If it all works as planned tonight, since I have no way to get myself to Moose Jaw to sign on as co-owner of the new vehicle, we are unclear as to whether or not I will be legally covered to drive it until we can make that arrangement. Saturday is the earliest day we could arrange that, effectively messing up my plans for tomorrow.  hahahaha

Will be interesting to see how this goes. Soap opera or no soap opera?

Now, off for a haircut and a salad lunch at Zam Zam Wraps!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Unloading

I am delighted that a phone call last night from Community Living galvanized my husband and myself to choose some clothing, household goods and small appliances we don't need any more and pack them up to donate: FOUR BOXES worth! Yay! 

Community Living is a charity that provides for mentally disabled folk and we are happy to help out a bit.

While I find it fairly easy to get rid of most collected items I don't use or wear often enough to justify keeping them, my husband finds it much more difficult to part with most anything at all. I am so proud of him. It was difficult for him to pack up the iced cream maker we haven't used in 20 years and the bamboo sticky bun basket he hasn't used in over 5 years, but he did it. He was a bit sad to see them go, but both of us are noticing a change in him of late. He has realized his hoarding tendencies and is not only learning to let go, but to trust the Lord for those choices. He knows now that should he ever unexpectedly require an iced cream maker or a bamboo sticky bun basket, one will turn up from somewhere just in time. 

This morning I am gazing contentedly at four boxes of items that are going out, mostly household items; items we will not have to box up next time we move; items we will not be stuck with while not using them in yet another abode. 

This morning I feel like a tv evangelist as I am thinking, "Thank you Jeeeeeeesus!" 

If you have ever lived with a hoarder type of person you will understand the depth of my joy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Today's Walk in the Great Outdoors....So NOT a Good Plan!

After yesterday's day of staying inside for me to get the laundry done and my husband to complete a work related project (okay, it wasn't specifically for WORK...not technically anyway, so he felt justified doing it on a day off), plus my husband's ingestion of 2/3 of a home made apple pie in less than 24 hours, we decided today we needed to get outside and get some exercise.

In theory it was a great plan; a necessary plan for our mutual good health.  We decided to time our walk downtown with my designated lunch schedule so I could have a salad at Zam Zam Wraps and my husband could slurp up a big bowl of their tasty lentil soup.  Aaaahhhh, a great reward after a session of bill paying at the bank across the street from there.

At 11:30am we went and stood outside for a minute to get a good feel of temperature and wind direction so we would be dressed warmly enough without being too overdressed.  We each tried a couple of sweater/coat combinations before we were satisfied our outerwear was just right for the conditions.  Off we strode down the sidewalk.

1.5 blocks from our front door the weather went through one of those instant changes the prairies are so famous for...okay, so to us it is more like "infamous", but that is us.  Out of nowhere an horrific north west wind began pounding us full in the face and driving teensy snow pellets up behind my glasses and into my husband's eyes.  We kept walking, almost faster than my still recovering leg muscles could handle, trying to stay warm and hoping for an end to the pellets.  We made it another 3 blocks before deciding the bills could wait for another couple of days when I return downtown for a haircut and that we wouldn't need any more spending cash until then either.  We propelled ourselves down a side street toward the  neighbourhood vegetarian restaurant for black bean burgers and fried tofu wraps with salad, hoping by the time we were finished eating the weather would have improved.

No such luck.  If anything the wind was worse as we left the restaurant and the pellets were bigger and soggier.  Brrrrr.....  Not a chance we were going to head all the way downtown. We immediately headed home.  We took a shortcut through the lot at my husband's office, stopping in there long enough to pick up his drill set, then ducked behind and between as many large, sheltering buildings as possible the rest of the way home.  

We thought we would be okay to walk today as there was no moisture forecast, even 10 minutes before we left when we checked the latest report.  

As it turns out I am now grateful about not being able to find a buyer for my leather HD jacket.  Although it is far too large for me now, it covered the underlayers of sweaters and shirts, the sleeves drop down over my hands to add extra protection to the thin gloves I was wearing and the leather of course is a fabulous wind breaker.

Wow.....a typical prairie weather experience!  In the autumn and winter you never know from one minute to the next what is going to happen with the weather.  While today it was inconvenient for us, at the same time the quickly changing weather is one of the most amazing phenomenons on the prairies. Despite getting rather chilly and damp and having to cut our walk short, we enjoyed our foray outside.  

Monday, October 17, 2016

Still Musing......

....on why any Christian would choose to take offense (and taking offense IS a choice) at another Christian being excited enough about something God has done in her life that she is sharing it with her spiritual brothers and sisters.  Life is full of sorrow, tragedy and plain drabness so much of the time.  Why would it be seen as an offense to share something good in life that gives glory to God for his work in a person's every day life? I am truly curious about that type of thinking.

The psalms are all about David's deliverances from fear, from death, from his own sin. Even that he freely confesses and shares the salvation of God with not only his contemporaries, but in the written records that make up part of our own Christian scriptures.  He is detailed in his stories of God moving in his life.

The scriptures contain many exhortations that God's people are to share what he is doing in their lives with each other and with the rest of the world.  It gives God glory and that is what his people are supposed to do.  Stories of his moving in our lives as well as in the world in general are meant to be an encouragement, an edification to all the church.  Both Testaments are just that: testimonies about God working in peoples' lives.  Apparently some people find it "creepy" when Christians continue to do that today.  Should I be offended by being considered "creepy"? hahaha  No, of course I am not offended, just glad that a word was used that helps me understand the depth of the abhorrence some people have to hearing about other peoples' spiritual experiences.  I truly did not realize it before.  Typically oblivious me....sigh.....

So, this morning, I am feeling rather bamboozled as to why there seems to be an entire demomination of Christians (speaking generally of course) and maybe more than one, who are so against the very instruction of God to share his good works to bolster each other's faith.

I am torn between being completely fascinated by the discovery that so many apparently feel that way and being utterly appalled!

Lots to think about.  

I am grateful to my friend for enlightening me.  Her comments are most helpful and have helped me understand some things that have happened to me since moving to this province and becoming more involved in our denomination here.  Now a lot of things make sense that haven't before.

Another idea is forming in my mind and heart; an idea that has been dancing around the shadowy edges of my thinking for the past year.  It is that I need to take positive steps to expand my Christian community here where I live.  The people I am closest to and can share most honestly with about spiritual and personal things are still mostly folk from other cities, provinces and countries.  I suspect I am going to have to now further explore the local non-Anglican communities as well as continuing to enjoy my own church.  All ready this morning I have been made aware of another, still liturgical, group that is more open to sharing and to having a welcoming community that extends beyond whether or not a person has grown up in Saskatchewan.  It sounds less ingrown and more welcoming on the surface.  Church leaders I respect, even within my own Anglican community, are aware of this group and respect its leader so much he has even in times past been asked to be the guest speaker at Anglican leadership retreats.  

Yeah....I know when and where they meet and I may just check them out sooner rather than later as a place to expand my spiritual community.  Might be good, might not be good at all, but maybe it is time to find out.

Hmmmmm.....I am interested to see over the coming months what, if anything, comes of this.  My friend has started something good...she has been a catalyst for pursuing ideas I have been vaguely considering for some time, getting my thoughts going beyond speculation and heading toward concrete contact and discovering the possibilities out there in the broader church community.  

Okay God, let's see what happens next!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A Satisfying Kind of Weekend!

This weekend gave me a good break away from our suite after a rather long week of little social contact, lack of motivation and a good deal of exhaustion.

The day in Moose Jaw yesterday was about as perfect as it gets, weather included, despite it being another day with a fair amount of alone time in a different location.  It was fun visiting with my husband as we drove out there.  I was able to participate in the opening Eucharist with the cursillo training group and have a few short visits with the folk there before their training day began.  

Then I went for a nice long walk downtown.  It always surprises me how the retail landscape there changes so often...not always for the better, as the present economy has led to the closure of several of my favourite stores, but still it was interesting to see what is going on.  I toured many of the water main break locations on main thoroughfares and familiarized myself with those downtown street closures so I could avoid getting tangled up in them during subsequent driving about the place.  

Before I got back to the car I ate my favourite crusted chicken pecan salad at Boston Pizza....it is a TOTAL no-no for my diet as it is filled with fat and sodium...more than my daily allowed intake all by itself of both things....but OOOH, it was so tasty yesterday.  After lunch I drove to several other shopping areas and walked and walked and walked some more. I enjoy window shopping.  It gives me a feeling of empowerment to be able to see so many fabulous clothes, crafts, art pieces and special grocery items and be able to say, "Nope, I don't need that...or that...and I have more than enough all ready of those....nope, not one thing I need here!"  What a marvellous blessing to be going through a time where we actually do have everything we need, our wants are small and my husband's income is covering the essential expenses.  I was filled with gratitude by the time my day of walking about the town ended and I picked my husband up from his meetings.

After the meetings we went to dinner at the home of good friends.  It was a relaxed meal....again with the over abundance of sodium and I am paying the price today for yesterday's salty dietary indiscretions...our friends were able to share some wonderful events that are happening in their lives right now.  We didn't stay late, but it was long enough to feel connected and involved.  We arrived home well before 10pm, both of us very satisfied with our day's experiences.

So today began the repenting of the salt and fat intake from yesterday.  My body is quick to give me the head's up that I have had too much of either or both of those things.  I ate a pretty bland diet today and tonight I am settling down and feeling better again. The bland diet is going to continue for at least 10 days before I can allow myself anything containing extra fat or sodium again.  

Choir went well this afternoon, but so many people with colds were there. STAY HOME UNTIL YOU ARE BETTER!! PLEASE!!  I don't want your blasted colds!!!!

Today I learned something very important that should have a positive influence in future on my Anglican church life: a life long Anglican I know explained to me why the idea of "testimonies" is so abhorrent to Christians in traditions that have not made a habit of talking about such things on a regular basis.  Her explanation of how old fashioned Baptist or Pentecostal style testimonies often make those of "less openly verbal about their daily faith walk" traditions feel as if the person testifying is bragging, or else that something is wrong with the listeners in their own spiritual lives because God doesn't appear to be providing such obvious answers to their prayers. 

This was a revelation to me!  In my former testimony sharing denominations, it was rare that people listening to a testimony were focused on the person doing the testifying. The focus was on how awesome and faithful God is to even the worst of sinners who attempts to understand his will and obey his instructions, failing all the way and yet blessed because of the mercy of God....in obvious and silent, large and teensy ways.  Did a person testifying occasionally come across as a braggart?  Perhaps....I don't remember much of that...but those of us listening were fascinated by hearing about how God moved in that person's life.  We were taught that he moves differently in everyone's lives and we didn't compare and feel badly if our own testimonies were not the same as the speaker's.

I am very grateful to my friend for explaining how people simply sharing the grace and work of God in their lives can be misinterpreted so easily. (hermeneutics at work) It explains quite a few reactions I have had when talking about God with my Anglican friends over the past few years. My naivety about such things has been horrendous and I am a bit embarrassed I suppose for not catching on without having to be told.  However, I am only going to harness myself in specifically Anglican circles as necessary.  My other Christian circles are still there for me to share about and listen to the stories of God's moving in the lives of his people.  My blog will still be an outlet for sharing who I am in the Lord, with all my failures, faults and undeserved blessings.  God is good.

So, a lovely weekend...including taking a pie for a tour around the city! hahahaha 
Here's to another week upcoming with not too much rain or snow in the forecast, as well as an actual day off for my husband tomorrow barring some emergency at work.

If That Pie Could Only Talk......

There was a slight mixup after church today in regard to us picking up a pie set aside from Saturday's pie social at the church; a pie made specifically without any corn or oat products, just for my allergic husband to purchase and enjoy.  hahaha Hooo boy....talk about a communication break down.  hahaha

When we arrived at church this morning, the baker of said pie told me she had left that pie in my husband's office so we could pick it up after the service.  She hadn't mentioned that to my husband, so when he joined us for coffee hour, carrying all his other office accoutrements to take home, he had no pie in his hands.  He hadn't noticed any pie in his hurry to collect his things.

I decided I would be helpful and allow him to enjoy a quick cup of tea with the other congregation members while I headed back to his office to pick up the pie.  I had been told it was in the office beside the registry book.  Into the darkness of the deserted office I peeked and yes, there beside the registry book was a pie, a beautiful pie....obviously a rhubarb pie instead of the apple pie we had requested, but hey, a home made pie just for my husband by a loving congregant....so what if it wasn't apple? Rhubarb is also good.

I went downstairs to put some saran wrap over it for transporting it back home and mentioned to our loving friend that I would return her pie plate next Sunday. She looked at the pie and at me and told me it wasn't her pie or plate, so to just bring it back and put it in the church kitchen next week.  I was confused.  Why wasn't this her pie?   She asked me if I had picked up the pie beside the registry book, I told her I had and she was satisfied. Neither of us had any idea we were talking about 2 separate pies and that she assumed I had all ready collected hers and put it into my car!  Half way home I had the strongest urge that we should turn around and go look in the office again.  There was no point in keeping the pie we had if my husband didn't know what the ingredients were. Something else was niggling at me....some other misunderstanding may have occured.  So, we turned around and went back to the church.

I took the pie back to the office and made a more thorough search. Sure enough, after a bit of a look around I found another pie, labelled with my husband's name and inside a lovely pie carrier.  It was nowhere near the registry book, in fact it was on a different table all together.  What on earth had happened?

Short version:  when our friend put her pie for my husband on the table, the registry book had been sitting there.  When the counters of the offering came in after the service, they moved the registry book to a different desk.  The pie I had originally taken had been placed by a vestry member on that desk while the person was in a meeting instead of being at the coffee hour.  hahahaha  

The person picking up that first pie I absconded with is now going to be wondering how on earth it could still be where he or she left it, but is now covered with plastic wrap and will have no idea that while he or she was in that meeting that pie secretly went for a joy ride across the city!!!  hahaha  

Oh, if only that pie could talk!

Friday, October 14, 2016

It's Boob Crushing Time Again....Blah!

My letter arrived in the mail a few days ago.....time to get my mammies grammed. Blecch! One good thing is that when I called a few minutes ago to make an appointment it happens there is a cancellation for this afternoon. I have the car today, so I took the appointment. Not much time to dread it at least.

I don't find the test itself that horrible. A few seconds of discomfort or even outright pain is no big deal. What gets to me is how cold those labs and machine parts are. Brrrrrrrrrr!!!!!! Seriously, the worst aspect of the ordeal. It is even worse than standing boob naked in front of the complete strangers who do the tests.

Well, so much for my happy plan to walk uptown after lunch to pay bills and enjoy a decently warm afternoon. Brrrrr....I all ready feel cold just thinking about what is to come.

Hey women readers of this blog, if you are not in the habit of having regular mammograms, get yourself an appointment and have it done. It's IMPORTANT!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Perfect Autumn Day

There are few autumn days as perfect as today!  The temperature was -5C when I got up this morning, frost thick on the windshield of the cars in the lot.  By 11am it had warmed sufficiently to melt all that frost, the sun was shining, the piles of leaves on the lawn just waiting to be tossed about by either the slight breeze or by groups of small children jumping in them and flinging them around.  I just had to get outside in it.

I went to the neighbourhood grocery to pick up a few items, I went to the bank and paid a bill, I took myself out for lunch. After lunch I took another one hour walk, relishing the beauty of the day.  There won't be many more like this before we are snowed in for the rest of the winter season.  It was perfect!

The last flock of geese from the park across the street landed en masse on the front lawn early this afternoon, but they never did come to the back where they used to like to drive us crazy waltzing about and pooping everywhere.  They munched away on the fresh cut front lawn, had a bit of a drink from a puddle out there and then with a last squawking announcement of their presence, they flew away....hopefully southward for the rest of the winter.
 
My husband arrived home mid afternoon from the retreat and promptly had a rest! haha  Some retreat....although it sounds like he and the postulant had a grand time together discussing all things Anglican and sharing Eucharist and prayer services.  

Dinner tonight was the only fiasco of the day.  haha  Aiiii yiiii....the rice didn't absorb the water I was so certain I had covered it sufficiently with, the green beans were so tough we couldn't eat more than a few each and the steaks....oh my goodness....they were TERRIBLE: tough, tasteless, stringy...and they were a decent cut that I do happen to know how to cook.  Sigh........no idea what happened there.  My husband was SO good about it.  He watched me cooking the steaks and has no idea what could have gone wrong.  So, after a few bites of dinner, we cleared the plates and resorted to a dinner of peanut butter sandwiches and rice cakes with low fat Swiss Cheese slices. Aiiii yiiiii.....talk about desperation food! hahaha

The steaks are now in a container in the refrigerator, along with the rest of the green beans.  Tomorrow I will put them in the stew pot with some carrots, onions and potatoes and cook the life out of them. Perhaps I can get at least a bit of relatively decent stew out of those overpriced steaks!

We spent a quiet evening catching up on a couple of favourite tv shows and now we are both going to bed rather early.  Tomorrow I have to make sure I have everything done around here that needs to be done before the weekend so I can go out of town on Saturday with my husband.

I will enjoy the memories of this day round about mid January when I am cussing the winter weather and road conditions!



 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

With the Return of Sunshine Comes the Return of Joy!

After one miserable night's sleep, I finally got a few hours of rest and awoke to the sunrise this morning.  It was rather beautiful in all its reds and pinks.  The clouds cleared off immediately afterward and the sun is shining brightly.  There is no warmth to it, but at least the sky looks lighter than it did during the weekend of heavy clouds.  After one lousy sleep to usher in the winter, it was grand to go for a walk after breakfast and enjoy the brilliance.

Yay, it seems I am getting over the winter doldrums a day earlier than usual this year.  The bad sleep was last night all ready: dark thoughts about aging, retirement income, ever worsening chronic health issues, the world at war, the fallout of our nation's sliding economy....oh, there wasn't much left anywhere in the world to be concerned about by about 4:30am. I had covered most of my own, my family's, my friends' and the entire world's problems.  hahahaha  How glad I am this is such a rare occurence!  Thank you Lord!!

In the absence of the Bishop, my husband headed out to House of Prayer early this morning, with a deacon who is doing his pre-ordination retreat.  I hope it will be a most fulfilling time for them both.  HoP is a lovely Roman Catholic retreat centre near Fort Qu'Appelle.  My husband and I are thinking some time when we need a break but can't afford to go anywhere farther away, it could be a great place to spend a couple of his days off.  The scenery around the place is quite lovely.

The monthly bills are starting to arrive in the mail, but I think I will not save them up to pay all at once this month.  As long as the snow and rain do not return it would be good for me to make several forays out of the house while conditions still allow me to walk safely around the city.  More than one trip out would be good for me as there will be sufficient number of months coming up that I will have to either drive or take the transit bus to banks and stores.  I have time to pay one today between lunchtime and my Ontario phone call.......yeah, that is a great idea.  It will get me outside...in the chillyness...and the bright sunshine that is such a rare commodity in winter.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Typical Reaction to Winter's Onset

Apparently I am going to have my annual bad reaction to the arrival of winter:  I am so sleepy I can't stay awake for more than an hour at a time without dozing off for a few moments; I have zero motivation to do anything at all other than stare off into space between naps; my entire body feels like it is in a meat locker because I am SO freakin' cold; everything and everyone annoys me; I can't stand looking outside at the grey sky'd snowiness; I start crying over nothing at all, it irritates me that I have no car access for most of this week...as if the buses suddenly stopped running or something...I am not exactly stranded, but still I feel annoyed!

This too shall pass in another day or two.  It always does. I was hoping the whole reaction could be avoided this year, but no, unfortunately not. Woke up with the reaction this morning.  Just thankful it doesn't take more than a few days to go away.

In the department of Good News: we enjoyed our second Thanksgiving turkey dinner last night with friends in Lumsden.  It has been a year since we last got together and it seems every time we have shared a meal with them I have just broken another bone and am in recovery. hahaha  They said they didn't recognize me last night as I had no cane, walker, or crutches with me. hahaha  The food was as fantastic as it was at the meal the previous evening and I feel blessed and spoiled and completely sated with the delicious weekend repasts.

We made the trip out and back in the snow with no tire problems. The pavement was just warm enough to keep the moisture melting as it landed, so other than a filthy dirty car, all is well in the auto mechanics side of life today.  Hopefully my husband encountered similar road conditions today on his way to Gordon Reserve and back, a fair distance north of where we were visiting last night.  

My husband sends out a HUGE thank you for all the phone calls and emails of condolence he has received on the death of his step-father and I thank you too.  That kind of support has been a blessing to him all weekend.

I was hoping the ink jet and drum for our printer would arrive today, but no such luck.  Today was to be the arrival day but I don't think the stoppage of mail service for Canadian Thanksgiving was taken into consideration when the delivery date from the US was set. Maybe tomorrow???  The first 2 monthly utility bills should arrive tomorrow in the mail and it would be great to be able to bus up to the bank to pay them and to the pick up outlet for the printer parcel afterward.

So, I am counting the hours now until I feel more alive once again, am more into the new season, am more physically and mentally adjusted to the start of several months of snow and ice and cold, cold winds. I have a scheduled phone call tomorrow with a friend from Ontario and she always helps perk me up.  She is fabulous to talk to anytime about anything at all. It is a very mutual friendship when it comes to support and I so appreciate that about her.

I hope to accompany my husband to Moose Jaw on Saturday.  Our vehicle we are to pick up may not be ready that day after all, but if I go with him I can visit friends and window shop while he is at his meeting.  Then we are invited out for dinner.  It should be a very nice day indeed.

Some good things are going on in the midst of my negative reaction to the change of season.  YAY!