Saturday, December 31, 2016

Leaving Ahead of the Snow Storm AND My Other Favourite Family Tradition!

Our son was apparently fortunate to have that very early flight out after all.  We have received nearly 7cm of snow in the past 2 hours!  The first hour there was such a total whiteout of blowing snow we couldn't see across the street!  It is pristine in its white freshness, but will soon be spoiled by the traffic that will be passing by once people come to terms with the fact that their last minute groceries will just have to be purchased in a blizzard! Each week of December we have had a bit more snow piling up and making the prairies wintery like they should be at this time of year.  Our highway travels and flights are over for another week, so it might as well snow and blow for the next few days.  I remember all the Christmas weeks we spent on the highways to BC and around Alberta before our son was born and when he was a toddler.  It seemed we always made it away from our destination to return home about the time a snow or ice storm was about to arrive.  Only twice or three times maybe can I remember us driving into any sort of weather disaster on the way back. Mostly storms seemed to blow in behind us, following us along the route.  I am grateful our son's flight was not held up leaving because of this weather.

The other tradition we have instituted ourselves is one of our son cooking us one excellent dinner each time he visits.  Last night was the night to enjoy his menu of medium rare strip loin beef seasoned with sea salt, pepper and paprika, on a bed of arugula coated in rice vinegar and pepper.  It was accompanied by stir fried asparagus that was so delicious I nearly cried when I finished eating my portion.  As he said, it was simple bachelor fare, but a person has to know how to use even the easiest techniques and have good knowledge of herbs and spices to pull off something so tasty and so basic.  He gave me a wonderful explanation of how to cook a medium rare steak and I plan to pick up a strip loin next week and try it out before I forget or get too freaked out to even try it.  

So now it is time to take the rest of the turkey dinner leftovers from Christmas and get them in the freezer for future use. There aren't many left but I would like to be able to pull out a bit of turkey for sandwiches or a pot pie a couple of times over the next few weeks.  My husband is going to eat a final plateful for his lunch today, but I who can live on the same leftover foods for weeks at a time, have had enough all ready.  My taste buds are still a little off from the infection and nothing is tasting completely correct even yet.  

Good to be feeling so much better at last, although my head is still a bit thick from clogged sinuses.  Yesterday's shopping trip did wear me out completely but that just meant I enjoyed our short night's sleep and also that I was able to return to bed for 2 more hours of deep sleep after taking our son to the airport this morning. All in all I think I am over it, but will take good precautions for another week.  My husband is also getting over his symptoms at last and is thrilled to have ZERO committments for 3 days in a row now. He may rouse himself sufficiently to walk a couple of blocks to the grocery store for milk before it closes for New Year celebrations this afternoon, but I am not counting on it, haha.

I completed my round of medication last night so tonight I am going to have my glass of ridiculously expensive Williams Gin and a diet tonic.  I have waited over a week to enjoy that little pleasure.  I think only having the occasional drink is the best way to enjoy it. The taste is always fresh and delicious and is truly a treat.

Other than being ill, this past week has been wonderful thanks to the presence of our son!


 

He's Gone.

I'm sad.

I'm also completely exhausted.

It is 6:30am. I have been awake since 3am for the airport run. I think once our next set of flights are over with in January we are going to rethink our whole method of travelling. Flying so early/late for the sake of saving one hundred dollars or less per person may no longer be worth the saving. We have a whole week before our flights to BC and Calgary and we are all ready dreading them. I think it is time to just admit our limitations and work with them.

Our son's flight this morning is now a half hour delayed. O Lord, don't let it be any later. Our son is tired out as well and wants to be in good shape to start work on Tuesday.

Despite everything we had a great visit. I am grateful.

Friday, December 30, 2016

The Highs and the Lows, the Good and the Bad, the Ups and the Downs...Yadda Yadda Yadda

Our son's last day with us has been a lot of fun, tempered by a few other incidents.  I have felt vaguely sad and ill at ease all day, typical of what happens on the last day of any of my visits with him....joy at our time together coupled with a profound sadness to be separated once again and this time it is worse, not knowing if we will be seeing him again in 3 or 4 months or a year or nearly 3 years.......I detest the not knowing at all.

However, we have had fun today!  We got off to a late start as we all slept in a bit, then we waited to start our shopping day until a friend of mine delivered a beautiful woolly sweater I purchas earlier this week from her store.  We eventually got to Cornwall Center just before noon and had good fun in The Bay while my husband and son tried on shirts and pants and made their selections for the new year.  For the first time practically since he left home nearly 20 years ago, our son will have more than 2 pair of jeans and his dress pants!  The brand of jeans he used to purchase at the Bay is no longer carried by that store, so he compromised with some others he eventually decided he likes. (I would rather go clothes shopping with a dozen middle aged women than with him as he can spend hours trying on a small handful of items and then hemming and hawing for another hour as to which of the items, usually only one, if any at all, he wants to buy.) hahaha  Oooooh son....I thought your dad was a slow shopper....you far out distance him on your inability to make wardrobe decisions. Finally we decided it would be lovely if he just bought all the pants for once in his life and stopped being quite so minimalist in the area of his wardrobe. He is doing more teaching now so could use a few more things that are decent to wear in public. The fact that each pair of jeans was on sale for half price or less helped convince him he could handle having a few more than usual.  haha  My husband found 2 shirts he actually likes and that fit him properly...after only 90 minutes of looking at every shirt in the store...and there were a LOT of shirts....all over the racks....all through the mens' department....everywhere we looked....aiii yiiiii....!

We took a wander through Sears on our way back to the carpark and lo and behold, if out of the corner of his eye our son did not see the small shelf off to one side of the clothing department that was stuffed with several pair of the very brand of jeans he had originally hoped to purchase in the Bay.  There was one pair left in his size so we convinced him to just get it!  He now owns a total of SEVEN pair of pants! Unheard of!

My son also found some socks and undershirts and a teensy tiny wallet that is just perfect for the bit of stuff he carries with him on a regular basis.  It was a most successful shopping day for the guys! YAY!!  At least they both bought things this time.  Usually I don't go with them clothes shopping because it galls me to stand around in a store for anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours and watch them decide in the end to purchase absolutely nothing!

 None of the restaurants we wanted to go to for a late lunch were operating their usual hours today, all closing early to take an even longer long weekend, so we headed to Bobby's Place for our third visit there since they opened this branch of their chain.  It wasn't too crowded, the music piping in over the loudspeaker was gentle, the owner of the chain was visiting from Moose Jaw today and stopped at our table for  a good visit and the food was quite delicious!  The burgers my husband and I had were thick and juicy and slathered in mushrooms.  Our son's Shepherd's Pie plate was huge and he enjoyed every bite.  My caesar salad had so little dressing...it was perfect for me.  I waited too long to eat lunch so was overly hungry and ate both halves of the small burger bun, but that was my worst culinary sin......today...... 

After lunch we went back downtown to visit the main head shop here.  It has a wonderful vinyl collection for sale.  My husband purchased a great double DC of John Coltrane and my son found a valuable and rare double album of Keith Jarrett's music. The prices were so inexpensive and the condition of CD's and albums just excellent. What I found for myself was a place to sit down!!  My hip had packed it in by then and was very, very painful.  

We stopped at the grocery store on the way home so our son could pick up some fresh vegetables and a decent piece of beef to cook up for dinner.  We will be eating quite late.  The boys are currently having a late afternoon nap after the stress of having to try on and choose wardrobe items. hahaha I find clothes shopping to be quite an adrenalin rush but they find it to be completely exhausting. hahaha

Unfortunately my husband's and my own high spirits died a quick death when we came home and I picked up the mail.  There in the box was a speeding ticket my husband accidentally racked up the day he went shopping for my computer.  He was in an area of the city he is not familiar with and was so busy peering about for the store he was looking for he didn't realize he was driving through a school zone at top speed.  $214 later, ouch ouch ouch right before a trip to BC we hadn't budgeted for this year, not knowing of course that my husband's step-father was going to pass away out there.... However, the cheque to pay it is written out and it will be popped into the mail on Tuesday!  We actually can afford to pay it!  That is joy to me even if my husband feels really badly for not realizing he was speeding.  He forgets sometimes that school zones here are in place at all times, all year round and are not only in effect when the kids are actually in school, the way it was in Alberta when we lived there.  I wish I could make him feel less badly for screwing up. He is so hard on himself.

Then we checked our email and there was a note from the daughter of our beloved Home Church Ministries director, telling us that he has suffered a great failing in his health over the past month and is now in hospital after 5 falls inside his home in the past week.  They are awaiting a placement into a nursing home for him because now his mind is failing rapidly as well.  I just feel kind of ill knowing he is likely not long for this world after he played such a huge role in our lives since just before we both turned 20 years old.  We have known him for 4 decades!  He has been our spiritual mentor, our friend, our great prayer intercessor for our lives.  O John, how we are going to miss your input and your wisdom and your love for us. We hope that if you leave us before too long you will soon be back in the presence of your beloved wife Reta, who you have missed for so many years now.

The worst part of the day is the realization that less than 12 hours from now we will be taking our son back to the airport so he can return home to start making his plans for the big move south. I am not feeling very grown up about it right now.  I want to hug him forever.  I want him to move back home into our suite.  I want him to promise he will never leave Canada.  Okay, okay....in my right mind, the mind that I inhabit every day with him except the last day of any extended visit....I do not really want to do any of those things.  I want him to follow his own path,  for him and us to trust the Lord as always for his future, to continue to enjoy his own life with his own friends and various surrogate families he has adopted himself into in Vancouver and New York.  I am very happy for him, just feeling sad for his dad and me as the day darkens and the time approaches way too quickly for his departure.

So, that's the kind of day it's been!  All the possible emotions...aiii yiiii.....

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ooooooh, My Woozy Tummy......

This afternoon I have confirmation I cannot eat caraway (ajwain) seeds. In less than two hours post ingestion, all three times in the past month, I started feeling extremely woozy. It lasted less than an hour and is not incapacitating, but it does slow me down.

How disappointing since I love these low carb, low sodium, low fat biscuits from India. Sigh.....

So, that is how it goes sometimes. Glad to find out there is a specific solution to the problem: stop eating products containing ajwain! Easy peasey! Whew! 

You Know You Need To Start Your Own Blog Site When.......

.....you feel a strong desire to try your skills as a writer out of the limelight of people who themselves actually know what good writing is and therefore you will be able to maintain the illusion that you have a modicum of talent

.....you have a sad committment and determination to telling the world about the minutiae of your life and find the number of folk on your email contact list too limited an audience

.....you want to give the folk on your email contact list a break from a constant barrage of detailed emails that they, being the caring, concerned, kind types that they are, will feel obligated to respond to in just as much detail, cussing you quietly under their collective breath for making them feel so obligated by the sheer volume of email you send to them

.....you yourself are as caring, concerned and kind to your friends as they are to you and want to give them the option of reading the minutiae of your life at their own convenience....or (horrors) not at all, and then respond only as the fancy takes them

.....you want to feel the subtle surge of power that accompanies the words, "Oh, I blogged about that actually...do you have access to my blog?  I can send you the link!"

.....you have the strong desire to let the blogosphere family, friends and lurkers alike know that you ate a ham sandwich for lunch, but the limited number of characters for your Twitter account does not allow you to describe that cloying smoke house flavour of the meat, or the crispness of the newly picked organic lettuce, or the piquancy of the European specialty mustard no one reading about your meal has ever heard of and couldn't care less about....in fact, truth be known, couldn't care less that you ate lunch at all, let alone what the fare turned out to be

.....you have lost all self control as to when and how often you pick up the telephone to call everyone you have ever been given a phone number for in your entire life, with no regard given to what time it is or possible circumstances going on in their lives at that exact moment, nor any remembrance that you have all ready called them every day that week at the same incredibly inconvenient time of day in their lives

....you feel incompetent and lazy if you do not have some sort of activity, no matter how ultimately mindless, to occupy your time no matter how ill or otherwise incapacitated you happen to be on any given day

...somewhere in the dim recesses of your brain you begin to comprehend that it is not actually necessary to contact the same people day after day in a more personal form to rehearse, again, problems you have with other friends or family...friends or family the people you are talking to or emailing so constantly do not know, have never known, will never know and, by the time you are done ranting incessantly about them and their inconsideration to you personally, will never want to know

.....you need a safe place to take out your own manic tendencies where no one will hate you for going on and on about the thrill of, say, housework ad nauseum, ad infinitum, so you can get back in emotional control of your own boring life

....you want to have the last laugh on all the people who think that you record absolutely every detail of your daily life in your blog, because you post so often it is easy for them to make that mistake and then when you do something you "fail" to report you can have a good giggle at their expense and feel like you have really gotten away with something amazing, when in fact it was something rather plebian

So new readers of all sorts: welcome to Sue's Views and the reasons for it.....

 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Getting Back to Normal....Whatever That Is.....Hohoho.

What a nice day today!  I had all day to visit my husband and son, get some tidying done around the kitchen and relax when I needed to. For two hours I played a video game....TWO HOURS!!!  It doesn't get more relaxed than that! My son went down the street to the nearest internet cafe to get some work done for a few hours, my husband stuck to his guns about not doing one single thing today that involved work or other people in general so he could relax and all in all it was a satisfying day leading up to my first foray out this week.

My husband was too exhausted to go with us, but my son and I had a lovely dinner at Lancaster Pub.  My Surf 'n' Turf small plate was as delicious as the first time I had it and if my son's chicken burger and caesar salad were not gourmet, they were both darned tasty, the chicken burger patty so thick he could hardly get his mouth around it.  The price was relatively reasonable, the server a bit slow but very personable, we got to sit rather on our own right beside the beautifully decorated Christmas tree....it was quite a lovely way to step back into normal life.  Thank you God I was well enough to be out for 90 minutes, surrounded by lively people, noisy music, twinkling lights, visiting with my son....it was very special.  We had a deep conversation he and I.  Good "stuff"....

When we arrived home the three of us decided to rent director Tim Burton's latest: Miss Peregrine's School For Peculiar Children.  Okay, I admit it, I was all prepared to hate every minute of it. That is not a comment indicating I think Burton lacks talent. He is talented up the whazoo, I just don't always enjoy the content of his movies because the themes or characters are not of great interest to me.  It is just a matter of liking other things, not a negative critique of his work.  As it turned out, I really enjoyed this little show.  It is the closest thing to a kids' movie I think I have seen from him, although the wee kiddies could be scared witless by the monsters, but over all it is most watchable by folk of all ages.  The sets and costumes and digital effects combine well to present a coherent and visually beautiful programme.  Of course...it IS Burton after all.  It had a far lighter touch of morbidity than many of his other works, although I was grateful for what there was because it prevented the movie from turning into the typical sappy kids' fare.  There were some witty lines and tiny but interesting camera angles and visual cues that could easily be missed by "Burton Virgins".  If I know a movie is a complete fantasy before I start watching it I tend to enjoy it more than something that starts out leading me to believe there is going to be a realistic and serious story line....hardly a problem with any Burton movie....so I appreciated the film from pretty much the very beginning.  The only possibly realistic events in the movie happen in the first three minutes and from there on I was lost in a crazy, unbelievable world of adult monsters and child heroes.  There were many subtle and not so subtle presentations of social and political issues, but I decided on first watching to just enjoy the story itself.  Next time I watch it I will keep a better ear and eye tuned for the "moral of the story".  

So, a great evening....dinner and a movie. Haven't done a lot of that recently.  Enjoying some entertainment with my son made it all the more special.

Slowy the Brain Fog is Lifting!

This morning I woke up conscious of the fact that my meds really are working.  While I am aware that the slight fuzzy feeling I have been experiencing is just the medication masking how much more infection I still have to get over, there has been a marked improvement in the past 24 hours.  My throat is still froggy and my sinuses are still somewhat clogged, but that heavy chested feeling is completely gone and my nose has quit dripping almost completely. YAY!!!  I am turning the corner.  

To mark the occasion my son and I are going out to the Lancaster Pub for a quick dinner tonight. I have not left the suite in 4 days and am slowly going crazy sitting around in here.  The pub is a short drive away, the weather has warmed up substantially, it isn't windy and it is a good time to try a bit of a break out of this place for some good non-turkey food!  Love the leftovers but there is a limit even for me! 

The guys had such a great time at our Moose Jaw friends' they didn't get home until nearly 1am today. hahahaha  They called at 11:30pm to let me know they would soon be on the snow and ice free highway home, so I got to use the speaker phone to have a good conversation with the whole gang.  Such fun!!  The hostess sent me home a huge bar of Rose Bath Soap that I love!!  I have a bar of Indian floral soap I SHOULD use up first, but that Rose Soap is so very tempting....hmmmm....I have a half hour before I have my morning shower to decide what to use first.  haha  Decisions, decisions...o that all of life's decisions should be so small and unimportant, eh?

Our son is getting ready to head up the street a few blocks to an internet cafe and complete his final draft for the curriculum he has to submit to SFU before year end.  His first teaching gig there last year was quite a learning experience as his faculty advisor was so ill and so absent he was left completely on his own to put together a curriculum that hopefully lined up to the two or three sentence list of expectations in the student course outline.  Apparently he did very well since he was asked back this term.  Teaching the course is taking 4 months off his 3 year US visa time, but it also gives him that 4 months to be prepared with some paying work there when he arrives in the spring.

The sun is shining today along with the warming temperatures, so what is more encouraging than that?  My mood is lifting along with the clouds.  I am so grateful our pubs are non-smoking so that people with lung problems like I have are free to enjoy the food and drink there.  There are a lot of us it turns out....wow....I am not the only party pooper in town any more.  YAY!

My husband is enjoying his first day off with no committments since his so called break from work started.  It is actually his only day completely free this entire week.  Tomorrow morning he has to go into work to do his part with the CFO to complete the year end financials and in the afternoon he and the son are meeting up with the retired art teacher they met at the airport.  Friday is the shopping trip and possibly a visit with our Muslim friends in the evening.

Then the boy will be gone again.  Sigh...........saying goodbye will be more difficult this time. Other than a brief visit in Calgary for a day to celebrate Dad's birthday, we don't know when we will see him again, or where. Wow......the times they are a changin'.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

One Missed Social Event Down, One To Go....

The men in the household had a grand evening yesterday. My husband apparently preached an excellent sermon at the Feast of St. Stephen service before he and our son raced home to pick up the salad and pot of boiled potatoes I prepared for the salmon roast afterward. They had a good visit with their hosts and other dinner guests and they arrived home with a large piece of delicious salmon for me to eat today.

The entertainment at the dinner consisted of various poems said, one in particular I would have loved to hear as the reader, who is English, can affect a perfect Irish accent, songs sung and appropriate readings rendered. My husband's contribution was a slide presentation of the three men present from the various canoe trips and church conferences they have attended together over the past five years. Apparently some of the photos brought great hilarity to the evening.

I quite happily stayed home to rest, catch up on a few tv shows I have had recorded for weeks, rejoiced that slowly but very surely I am starting to feel better and tried to convince myself I am not disappointed to have to miss our social engagement in Moose Jaw tonight with good friends. The guys will still go. Our son would never forgive us if he had to miss seeing these people who love him like their own.

Last night I watched the second  big fat Greek wedding movie. It is pretty forgettable, but cute enough and happily lacking in junior high school bathroom humour, so that elevated it in my opinion.  It had a number of very cute moments and I enjoyed seeing a return to the screen of some of the older talented actors you no longer see in the movies, such as Michael Constantine and Lainie Kazan. They still have what it takes to carry off broad humour believably. I find Nia Vardalos to be incredibly underrated.

Tonight's fare will consist of an old Barbra Streisand movie I have not seen before: The Mirror Has Two Faces. Not expecting a lot so I may be happily surprised.

So, yet another quiet day at home. At least the son has his own work related projects to keep him busy today before the trip to Moose Jaw. My husband has several thank you notes to email today and the guys have to decide what day to go clothes shopping. It is rather nice having an adult son who enjoys coming to the prairies fir a rest and is no longer young enough to feel antsy if he has to slow down for five minutes. haha The guys have to work in two more brief visits this week, one with our Muslim friends and one with a retired, somewhat eccentric art teacher the guys met at the airport the other night while waiting for my son's luggage to show up on the baggage carousel.  Yup, only my boys would not only meet these characters but arrange a get together. hahaha. Love it!

Well, better get some serious mid morning resting in before another day of reading forgettable novels, playing inane video games and the energy consuming task of pulling leftovers out of the refrigerator to be reheated....yup, it's a tough life. teehee. Just so grateful that better health at last seems to be on the horizon.


Monday, December 26, 2016

An Interesting Receipe For Making Cocktails

Our son brought us a copy of his gallery's most recent publication: a small book of cocktail recipes by artists who have connections to the OR Gallery.  I have his permission to post his own most creative effort because it is a great read! hahaha

Which Way is This Way Cocktail?
--Eli Bornowsky

Generate a list of 6 random numbers between 1 and 8 (www.random.org/integers/). The first three numbers represent a number from the Hard, Liqueur, and Mix/Garnish lists, below, respectively. The next two numbers represent which measurements from the measurement list to apply to your Hard and Liqueur selections, and the final number represents how much to add from the Mix/Garnish list selection. The sum of the 6 numbers may be used to determine how many guests to invite to your party. Further randomizations may be generated to determine, for example, how much to stir, what type of glass, and how often to repeat.  Errors in the algorithm represent opporunities for subjective choice in the recipe.

HARD:                                        MIX/GARNISH:
1. Scotch                                   1. Soda
2. Rye                                       2. Ice
3. Bourbon                                3. Fruit
4. Tequila                                  4. Sugar
5. Gin                                        5. Juice
6. Vodka                                    6. Mint
7. Rum                                      7. Cherry
8. Cognac                                  8. Olive

LIQUEUR:                                  MEASUREMENT:
1. Berry liqueur                          1. 1 oz
2. Creme liqueur                        2. 1 1/4 oz
3. Flower liqueur                        3. 1 1/2 oz
4. Herbal liqueur                        4. 1 3/4 oz
5. Honey liqueur                        5. 2 oz
6. Nut liqueur                            6. 3 oz
7. Fruit liqueur                          7. equal parts
8. Coffee liqueur                        8. free pour

From: Artist Cocktails Volume 1, 2016
Published by OR Gallery, Vancouver BC

 

A Sad Christmas For Retailers

I have a number of friends who manage various types of retail businesses and it has been a bad time for most of them. Sales projections for this year's Christmas season were way off target, with total sales at least 33% lower than expected. Some of the sales for tech products were closer to target but still did not reach expected goals. It is a frightening economy for retailers of all kinds. Here in Regina I expect we will see more single proprietorships and some of the chain store outlets closing down in the next few months. Disposable income is dropping sharply for many people as the cost of groceries, utilities and other necessities continues to rise.

Our son laughed and laughed when we told him our rent is now two hundred dollars a month less than when we moved in as our management company struggles to keep these suites filled. He lives in Vancouver, land of ever increasing accommodation costs.  He couldn't believe our rent has been going down instead of up!  What a blessing for us on my husband's somewhat meagre salary.

It will be interesting to see how the economy here in Saskatchewan fares over the next couple of years.

Our son has been creating scarves using paint on thick cotton. They are really interesting and he has been able to sell them for a couple of hundred dollars each. Right now he is preparing ways to photograph them properly so he can try selling them online. He has decided he will spend up to three more years living as a starving artist type but then will pursue full time employment curating or teaching, using more of the skills he has acquired over the past nearly twenty years. It is encouraging to hear about his plans and goals.

This morning my breathing is much better. It is only my sinuses still bothering me. The meds seem to be attacking the lung problem with gusto and I am ever so grateful!

Time for breakfast. I think that good turkey dinner finally sparked a return of my appetite! I am actually hungry this morning. Maybe a turkey sandwich would be a nice change from the usual oatmeal? Ooooh yum......

Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Best Christmas Dinner!!!

Today I was unbelievably blessed by my two men cooking our entire Christmas dinner.  They cooked whole baby potatoes, made the stuffing, prepared a nice mix of parsnips, carrots and peas, cooked the turkey to perfection...it was so moist and delicious. The gravy and stuffing had lots of good sage flavouring....wow, all I had to do was sit down and eat.  

We had an Italian boxed cake for dessert.  I purchased it last week at the Italian deli here and it was just perfect.  The icing sugar comes in a separate pack to be sprinkled on the cake before serving, so I was able to get my little slice cut before the sugar was added.  I love those Italian box cakes. They are kind of dry and not very sweet. This one had a nice eggy undertone to the flavour.  The guys added a thimbleful of whiskey to theirs to moisten it, but I like it just the way it is.  A half carb unit slice is more than enough for me.  

I was able to clean up the entire kitchen after dinner.  The guys were exhausted after being up half the night and then working so hard on the dinner, so they both had naps while I put the food away, stripped down the turkey, washed the pots, cleaned the stove top and counters AND I actually, for the first time since we moved here, loaded up the dishwasher to clean most of the other dishes.  I got the floor swept up, the dining room table wiped and generally made myself useful for the first time today!  Then I sat up and visited for over 3 hours. So, I am guessing my meds are finally starting to have some positive effect on this crazy infection. Thank you Lord for that!!

Our son brought us some nice gifts.  There were some bags of wonderful green tea from his recent trip to Japan, special salt from BC, a big piece of honey comb for his dad to enjoy and for me, a marvellous BC pottery vase thrown in the typical west coast fashion...thick pottery with ridges and earthy colours.  I love it!  What an unexpected treat.  Our son is delighted that his new accountant was able to get him a tax refund from two years ago that he qualified for and wasn't allowed to have originally for some wierd reason.  He was able to pay off his immigration lawyer and have a bit left over for our gifts.  How very kind.

We had a nice telephone visit with Mom and Dad this afternoon.  They had just opened their Christmas gift box from us. I asked Mom if they liked their presents and she shouted, "YES!!!"  haha Success!  haha

Our Muslim friends called us tonight to wish us a Merry Christmas and see if we are well enough to visit them before our son goes home.  If nothing else, my husband and son will go and see them.  Mohammed wants to meet our son and talk to him about the possibility of commissioning an Islamic tile painting.  I asked Nermine how her kids cope with not celebrating Christmas as they have a lot of non-Muslim friends, but today is the oldest son's birthday and he had his party yesterday, receiving gifts and eating special foods for that. No hardship for the kids with that birthday happening right at Christmas.

Well, it is after 10pm and I am starting to feel kind of tired again so it must be time for bed.  I have been up since 5:30pm after sleeping away most of the rest of the day....in between blog posts.  I am SO grateful to be able to blog about my boring life when I feel too ill to do anything else.  I can feel somewhat useful without having to do much! haha 

Giving Myself Permission

Ooooooh myyyyyy...I have not been this ill on Christmas since I was 15! In those growing up years I was laid low every Christmas, year after year, after year. One of my proudest accomplishments as an adult has been feeling healthy and energetic on Christmas Day. Guess I will now have to give up bragging rights! Drat!!

It is nearly 3 pm and I have been lying in bed since 11am feeling weak and woozy from a combination of the infection and the powerful meds. I feel like I have run into a wall headfirst.

For lunch I forced myself to drink a cup of hot milk and eat three crackers with three thin wedges of Camembert, because that cheese is the only thing I can taste today.  Blecch!

However, on the happy side of life today, my men have completely taken over cooking the Christmas dinner. It smells delicious in here with the delightful mix of onions, fresh sage, chopped celery and parsnips. I did manage to hobble downstairs to sweep the kitchen floor and make sure the rarely used dishwasher only contains dishes that will not break, haha. Okay, I admit it: once OCD always OCD, haha.

I have given myself permission to tell the guys I likely will not accompany them to the Boxing Day church service and dinner, plus I have decided I will likely have to skip the dinner with our dearest friends in Moose Jaw the following day, the clothes shopping expedition and all our other plans. Wow, that removes all the stress. If I do get to do anything it will be a bonus!

Actually I think it is good for the guys to get a few days on their own. It rarely happens and I think it should happen more often.

Okay, so that's enough blogging. Time to lay down and feel wretched again for awhile.


White Christmas

We had a huge dump of snow here overnight and it is still coming down.  I feel terrible for the city workers out there clearing the streets on Christmas Day and I feel even sorrier for the maintenance crew at our complex.  Looks like every last one of them are here motoring about on bobcats and small tractor units clearing the snow from the sidewalks and parking lots.  What a crappy Christmas for these dear folk.  Glad they didn't have to come in until 9am instead of their usual 6:30am, so hopefully those with kids have had a chance to have a family gift opening or special breakfast or something Christmasy before they had to come to work.

I slept for 5 straight hours without coughing!  I haven't coughed much since getting up for breakfast an hour ago either.  I am conscious of being quite ill, underneath the fuzzy glow of the rather strong meds I started taking yesterday, but the meds keep me from caring.  I have eaten, the turkey is finishing thawing in the sink to go into the oven at about 2pm, my husband is up working on a photo project on his computer and hopefully our son is sleeping through the noise of the snow clearing equipment.  We have put a lot of prayer into his health with him walking into this suite filled with illness for his holiday.

So, in between cooking tonight's meal and visiting a bit, I am going to spend a lot of time just laying in bed and resting.  Now that our son is finally here we can all relax and just enjoy chillin'.

Happy To See the Son

It is 3am. We are just getting to bed after my husband picked our son up at the airport after 1am. I stayed home to sleep after church because the second dose of medication hit me like a sledge hammer. Feeling better now after a little taste of Camembert and a demitasse of my husband's delicious vanilla milk concoction. The dash of whiskey in mine should send me right back to sleep for the rest of the night.

The son looks good. He has taken off some weight he gained during a stressful time, has taken to wearing white shirts exclusively as they suit his skin tone, has some lovely new sport coats and generally has "cleaned up nicely "! He is cheery, laid back and seems to be coming to grips with his crazy life.

Despite his parents both feeling kind of lousy, I think this visit will go well.  He and his dad are the biggest blessings in my life.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Please No Phone Calls on Christmas Day, Unless....

 .....you are my parents or my husband's sister.

We hate to come across like Dr. Seuss' Grinch, but we seriously are not up for chatting on Christmas Day this year. Our son's flight, even if it is on time leaving Vancouver tonight, does not arrive here until 1am. It will be at least 2am before we are asleep. All 3 of us are getting over bad colds and my husband in particular does not wish to be awakened for chit chat as he has been the last three or four Christmas Days.

We don't know when things changed, but we both remember growing up in an era where people did not need to be reminded that families were to be left to their own devices on December 25. As much as we love talking to our friends, we would prefer it if we could all wait until at least Boxing Day this year. This year it is a health issue.

Thank you so much for understanding. We feel mean posting this, but are trusting you all to forgive us and grasp our reasoning. We can 't shut off the phones because part of my husband's job is to be the one available for diocesan emergencies this weekend to give the Bishop a break.

Thank you, bless you, enjoy your Christmas. I suspect we will enjoy sleeping more than anything else. Snooooooorrrre........

Got Me Some Good Help From the Clinic

I ended up at the walk in clinic when it opened at noon today.  I got there 15 minutes before it opened and joined the line up of folk all ready standing outside the locked door.  Bless that dear office manager Lord who opened the doors a full 10 minutes early and started taking our information right away so that we didn't have to stand outside in -20C, coughing, limping, sneezing, crying and what have you.  The doctor on call is my own doctor's husband.  It was nice to meet him and he is most efficient.  I was fifth in line, was seen in record time compared to other clinics I have been to on a weekend, got my prescription filled at the pharmacy next door, did my last minute shopping for Boxing Day's dinner and was home in well under 2 hours.  I am so very grateful for that.  Now I can take an hour to rest before cooking up the yams for tomorrow evening's Christmas Dinner.  YAY!!

I am so happy about the newer penicillin based anti-biotics because I can take penicillin without allergy problems.  I take it rarely and so it does help a lot to break the cycle of these crazy infections.  I am trying to remember the last time I took an anti-biotic but I can't as it has been quite awhile.

Thank you Lord for good doctors who come from all over the world to practise in Canada.  We would be in a terrible bind in this country if not for them.  My doctor and her husband are native east Indians, trained in South Africa and wow, they have certainly benefited from that excellent South African medical education.  

So, here's hoping that the penicillin works as per usual and that I will be okay now.  My husband knows that if he develops any gravitation of his own illness down into his chest he is to see the doctor immediately and get help so that our trips to Kelowna and Calgary in January will not be in jeopardy.

Time for a nap!

O For Pity's Sake!!!

I felt "odd" all day yesterday. Couldn't describe what I felt, just like something was a bit off kilter. This morning I woke up with the beginnings of bronchitis. Our first attempt at a Christmas celebration with my husband's family back in November was cancelled because of his cold and now the long awaited week with our son is under threat because of my own respiratory ailment. Sigh....to say we are disappointed is putting it mildly!

So, I will call the pharmacy as soon as it opens to see if Saskatchewan pharmacists are permitted to give out meds or if I am going to have to join the throngs waiting at the area walk in clinic at noon. Their recorded message claims they are open noon to 4pm as always, so I do hope that is correct. I can't let this take hold or I will be in big trouble for the trips west in early January.

I am so very sick of being sick! (and yes sticklers for proper use of English words, I do know I meant that 'I am tired of being ill', but I am also too crabby right now to want to be corrected, so bear with me, okay?)

On the Good News front, my husband is feeling considerably better today! Yay! Thank you for praying for him!

Friday, December 23, 2016

27 Hours Until Our Son Arrives!

O gosh oh gee, do you think perhaps I am just a tad excited about his arrival??? haha

My husband is showing the slightest signs of improvement this evening as he battles onward with his cold and cough.  This morning I played Santa Claus at his office, delivering his gifts to his co-workers and receiving the presents they had for him.  It was good to see everyone, but I refused the invite to stay for the staff party because my husband was so very upset that he was unable to attend himself.  No point rubbing his face in it by partying without him.

I had a few last minute Christmas errands to run this morning, but got to the housework an hour or so before lunch.  Just like yesterday, my trips to the various malls and stores and banks was no headache as far as crowds....there weren't any!  Even the grocery stores didn't have many more customers than usual on any other Friday.  It was shocking actually.  I hope business has been better in the afternoons than in the mornings or we are going to see the demise of a few more retailers after a drastic cut in sales for this year's Christmas season.  Sigh....the economy is SO bad here at the moment.

It is going to start snowing soon.  The temperatures are going to take another bit of a dip for a few days and I will have to plug the car in again tomorrow evening.  Tonight on the phone our son asked for advice about what sort of clothes and outerwear to bring....so hilarious to be asked about proper footwear from a fellow who, as a teenager, wore sneakers with thin, or even no socks ALL winter long! 

So I am praying my husband will be able to feel well enough by tomorrow evening to handle the preaching and other duties at our church's Christmas Eve service. It is well beyond too late to get anyone else, not that anyone else is available and I don't think our Bishop is as lax as some we have had in other dioceses, who didn't freak out when I took the occasional service when Dell would be ill or absent for some good reason at the last minute. hahaha  O MY I have been bold in times past....officiating and preaching at Anglican services with nary so much as a lay reader certificate for training.  teehee  Rebel that I am.........  Well, good grief, I am certainly capable to some extent.  I wouldn't dare pull that now!  I wonder what would have happened in our lives if I had insisted on going to seminary when my chance came instead of handing over the money to my husband to go instead?  I don't regret it at all as he has been SO happy the last 10 years, but I am curious nonetheless.  Wouldn't it be fun to have an "It's a Wonderful Life" experience like Jimmy Stewart's character had, but from a positive point of view instead of a negative, regretful one?

Boxing Day is the next service my husband is supposed to preach at.  The service is taking place at a different church than we attend.  The priest there is my husband's good friend.  After the service we will eat dinner with his family and also with the family of another priest who was my husband's honorary assistant in our last parish.  Should be a good evening.

The next night we are invited to friends' in Moose Jaw who love our son so much that the husband in the family was trying last year to be a matchmaker between our son and his youngest daughter.  hahahahaha  It wouldn't be a good match.  BUT kudos to him for trying his level best.  hahahahaha He was a successful matchmaker for his oldest daughter and wants his youngest to marry a man he loves as much as he loves present son in law.  Apparently my son fits that particular category.  SOOO CUTE!!!

We have so many gift cards for interesting restaurants at the moment that it is going to cost us very little to wine and dine our son during his visit.  hahaha  Not that I am cheap mind you..........  Okay, I am sort of cheap..........

I got a fair amount of deep cleaning done in this suite this afternoon and evening.  I have one small bedroom and hallway, plus the bathroom left to finish in the morning.  I am going to cook the Christmas yams tomorrow and will have to do another quick shop for some more baby potatoes and salad fixings to take to Monday evening's dinner event.  It is nice to be busy and feeling better than I have been since the middle of October.

Today I received a lovely card and note from a cousin in Montreal who I haven't seen in about 20 years.  As I get older, slowly but surely a few relatives I never had any relationship with before are getting in touch occasionally.  It is quite lovely for me to feel at least somewhat connected to a few folk out there in the world.  I was such a lonely kid, no ties to family, few friends who could relate to my life, bullied like crazy.  Being an older adult ROCKS!! hahaha

Well, I am going to go now and play one of the new games my husband put on my new computer yesterday....computer games....I never have played many of those, but I am enjoying one or two of these. They will be great "go to's" for days when I am too exhausted to do anything more constructive.

Merry Christmas everyone out there.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Awwww, NUTS!

(This email is brought to you by my new computer and keyboard that my husband bought me for Christmas....yippee!!)

I have discovered the cause of some physical symptoms that began nearly a month ago and have been freaking me out because they are similar to allergy symptoms I had when I had the life threatening reaction to the oral osteoporosis med over 3 years ago now.  

It was my husband who figured out what was actually going on.  I have been keeping a food journal JUST IN CASE and in hopes my symptoms were from a cause different than a reaction to my new meds.  As we got reading through it a few days ago he pointed out to me how many nuts I have been eating every day for several months now:  almond milk for breafast, (which I dearly love), peanuts at noon and sometimes for a bit of dessert at dinnertime.  Nuts...every day....more than once...for months....yeah.........too much fat...way too rich for my liver and kidneys....yeah.........not good!

So, for the past 3 days I have not eaten any nuts or had anything to drink that is made of ground nuts.  Result: in the past 48 hours I have not had one symptom. Since they began they have been slowly worsening day by day and I have been tempted to despair.  I was so afraid I was having indications of another medication allergy. If I go for 2 more days, nut free, with no return of the symptoms then it is likely we have come up with the problem.  It is easy enough to go back to drinking a cup of 2% cow's milk with breakfast instead of the carb free almond milk.  I am so disappointed to have to do that, but I pretty much have to in order to keep my calcium intake where it needs to be in the mornings. The regular cow's milk has a bit less calcium per serving  unfortunately, as well as a full carb unit of which 12 of 15 grams is sugar, but I survived well drinking one cup each morning for the better part of 3 years prior to making the switch, so I can do it again.

No more fatty nuts in my diet, that is for sure.  I have learned a good lesson.  Daily nut intake = unhappy liver and kidneys. Point taken! 

'Tis the Season...Ho Ho Ho...Ow Ow Ow....

Last year it was me recovering from a fractured hip over Christmas and this year it is our Bishop's wife having surgery today for a fractured wrist.  She fell yesterday walking the dog and o wow, what a fall.  She is having her surgery as I write this, so if you get a moment and have a mind to, shoot up a quick prayer for Lori that she will have a good recovery and a quick one. She has an office job and will need to be keyboarding after Christmas break. Thank you. She is a dear soul and I am so disgusted this happened to her.

This Is For Cheryl From Woodland CA

Oooooooh my dear friend, in the process of setting up my new computer yesterday your email addie is one in an entire file that disappeared. I did not realize any were missing until I went to email you Christmas greetings this morning! I am so sorry. I need to keep a hard copy of all my email contacts and have now learned my lesson!

Between busyness and having a cold and lung infection since the second week of October, I did not get much in the way of cards/letters sent this year, so will write your special greeting here:

Have the merriest Christmas ever....may you and Ken continue to have the happiness you deserve in the new year! May a new job be forthcoming and may peace and joy fill your days!

I am so happy you have stayed in touch...wow, do you believe how many years it has been since we were at SAIT together??? Yikes!

If you get a chance to drop me an email so I can re-save your addie I would appreciate it. Thank you Cheryl. Many blessings be yours in the new year!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

My Poor Husband is So Ill Again

Sigh......he has the same secondary infection I had. He came home from work coughing, stuffy nosed,  feverish and utterly miserable. The poor man....and he has a service to do on Christmas Eve,  another day and a half he has to be in the office and his son will be arriving before he is over this. I feel so terrible for him.  Please pray he can get over this in record time.  Thank you. It is so difficult to see him this way.

My Computer is Almost Ready For Use and Other Good Things

I am stuck with the iPad for posts and emails for another day or two while my husband figures out why the security programme on my new computer doesn't want to load past 88%.  Thankfully we do have the iPad, generous gift from our previous  parish. Thank you for those amazing folk, Lord! Everything else transferred easily from old machine to new, so this is the only glitch. It will all work out. Soon......

The sun is shining like crazy. The warmth after two weeks of deep freeze is for basking in! I have invented every possible excuse to be out of doors before it gets cold again! Yesterday my husband and I ran a few errands like picking up the rest of the Christmas dinner groceries and scouting out a few new places to take our son for entertainment he can enjoy while he is here.  A few minutes ago I returned from the thrift store after depositing some items in their donation bin. I could have waited until tomorrow to go there, as there are other errands that must be done then, but it was an excuse to go out and add another layer of muddy slush to our filthy vehicle. No point in washing the car until the next cold day or it will be a waste of time and money.

This morning my neighbour and I were out shovelling. I got very bold and asked him if he and his family are planning to stay here for another year, because if not we likely would not renew our lease in a couple of months when it expires. He assured me they have a three year saving plan for a down payment on a house and felt quite free to tell me they are not moving for some time. He asked me when our lease is due, then announced he works for our property management company and is charge of offering rent reductions for lease holders....I knew he was an employee, but did not know the details of his position. He told me he was going to ask for double the offered reduction because he wants to keep us next door. He called me after lunch and told me he had indeed done that and will have the paperwork to me tomorrow. I happen to know that new tenants in our places have all ready been paying for almost the past year the same monthly amount we will soon be paying, so it isn't like we are getting special treatment, but I so appreciate that longer term tenants like ourselves will now benefit from rent reduction too. What a crazy economy eh? We arrived in Regina just as the oil boom was ending and rents were still ridiculously high. Now businesses are failing from the ensuing 'bust" and our rent has been reduced two years in a row. Merry Christmas to us!

Yesterday my husband took me to Vintage English Tea Room for lunch. Oooooh Lordy...we had a tasty meal. I took one look at the menu, realized there was not one thing on it I could safely eat, as a diabetic, made a split second decision to have my annual Christmas meal blowout a few days early and ate carbs to my heart's content!!! No regrets! My meal consisted of a small bowl of potato leek soup. It was packed to the brim with quartered, small potatoes, soft but still holding their shape and crammed into a thick, creamy leek sauce. I did only eat about 1/3 of it because I knew how many more carbs were coming.....plus my dear, dear husband deliberately ordered a lighter meal so he would be able to eat some of my carbs for me. What a sweetie. Next was the chicken pot pie, loaded with chicken and veggies.....ooooh, so delicious with a thin, greasy, salty crust the like of which I have not fallen into temptation with in three years of diabetes! Ooooooh it was so yummy. I ate the whole thing while my husband munched on his half ham sandwich, finished my soup and chuckled at my delight. And then I ate an entire helping of sticky toffee pudding....yes I did. My husband was too busy inhaling his own to help me eat mine and I was rather glad if it, if I am being totally honest. The portion was twice the size I was expecting, but by then my meal was so over the top in the worst carbs I could ever eat, it didn't matter any more. The damage was done...delicious, delectable, delightful damage. At the cash register as we were paying for our meal, I noticed a tray filled with half dozen portions of Welsh tea cakes. Our whole family loves them and I all ready knew from the first visit my husband made to Vintage they are as good as my mom's, so I bought a couple of bags for our son for Christmas. I bought one for my husband. I bought one for me. By bedtime my husband and I had eaten all six of our tea cakes. haha My son's are in the freezer until he arrives.

Whatever my blood sugar count was by bedtime last night.....well....I had the best sleep I have had in a month, I felt fantastic all afternoon and feel great today. Hopefully the two hours I spent on my feet shopping after my fabulous lunch helped my blood sugar and I am now, I admit, terrified to eat like that again for a very long time so that is good! haha

Today has been spent doing active house chores. Tomorrow more errands, then before you know it Christmas will be here! Yay!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Post Concert

What a fun evening we had singing tonight. Our concert was sold out, we pulled off another evening of songs and chocolate fondue for our guests with pretty good success. Our director pulled as much good sound as it is possible to get from our ragtag group, the musicians and dancers outdid themselves and our director should be pleased at the amazing job she did in her very first term of directing a choir. My husband even had fun and amateur concerts are definitely not his thing.

I will sleep well tonight knowing we pulled it off.

Tomorrow morning I am going to put together a decent lunch for a young fellow who is coming over to share his missionary adventures of the past two years in Turkey and then in India. What fun to see him again after all this time.

Tomorrow my husband wants to install my new computer! Yay!

Tuesday is a shopping day with my husband and we may go to the British tea room for lunch. Their Welch teacakes are almost as good as my mother's, but hers have more yummy currents.

Looks like a good week of activities and even better weather.

Thank You God For a Warming Trend, No Matter How Temporary It May Turn Out To Be!!

So....we may not be experiencing quite the dramatic warming trend of an Alberta chinook, BUT we are having a terrific warm up this afternoon and without the strong chinook winds!

When we got up this morning it was -31C with a windchill of -42C, the most difficult cold weather start our poor vehicle has seen thus far, as I forced it to get moving and dropped my husband off at the office on my way to church.  Brrrrrrr......  A small skiff of snow, about the time church was ending, was the first signal of the warming trend that made itself known in our weather reports last evening.

At the moment, at nearly 3pm, it is -10C outside!!  It is like summer in comparison to this morning's deep freeze!  The plastic siding on the outside of our building is crackling as it buckles in the warmth, even more so than it has been cracking and banging in the bitter cold on previous days. I just stepped outside for a moment to feel the change in temperature and I almost didn't want to step back inside, the difference is so noticeable.  

WOW, this is a great way to get feeling prepared to sing in our choir concert this evening.  Hopefully all the members will not be so elated that they will refuse to settle down and behave themselves when they are singing.  Adult choirs and unnecessary chit chatting instead of paying attention and obeying the director's instructions seem to go hand in hand everywhere for some reason. hahaha 

As I am writing this the sun is peeping out from behind the clouds and that is adding to the feelings of cheeriness.  Thank you God for a break from the cold for a few days.  Bless you, praise you and thank you again for this extra special treat!!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Merry Christmas to MEEEEEEE!!!!!

My husband just arrived home from work....bearing Christmas gifts....for ME! THEY ARE A NEW COMPUTER AND KEYBOARD!!!  I am SO excited.  In a couple of days he will have time to hook everything up for me and get all my stored data onto the new machine.  OOOO excitement!

AND it seems I have purchased a new home PC monitor for my husband's computer as his gift from myself. hahaha  Sure does make it easier when he chooses exactly what he wants for himself and I just give him the cash reimbursement afterward.  

So we have both spent most of our Christmas gift money from my parents on each other and how much fun are we having this evening?  A TON!!!!  

O I am so grateful and so excited...teehee...did I say that all ready??

So, more old computer equipment to get rid of at electronic recycling in the coming week.  Always good to get rid of the junk....my husband has been stringing 3 ancient monitors together to get a screen wide enough for what he is doing and now he will be down to 2 of them, one placed horizontally and the new one placed vertically for scrolling documents.

Such simple gifts and simple pleasure that bring such joy!

Thank you Lord for joy!!

Life Goes On No Matter What the Weather!

Today has been the coldest day yet after over 2 weeks of deep freeze around here.  The windchills remained in the -40C's all day even though the actual temperature rose to a balmy -27C!  haha

However, life here doesn't stop for bad weather very often.  Only raging blizzards have the ability to bring a few things to a temporary halt.  My husband actually drove to work this morning after walking back and forth every day since the temperatures fell so sharply.  The early morning windchill was close to -50C, so he dropped me at choir practise before heading off to work, carrying a long extention cord to plug our vehicle into the office heating unit.  I am so grateful to have friends at choir who drove me home afterward.

We had our choir dress rehearsal today for tomorrow evening's concert.  It is going to be a lot of fun and I hope the fun we are having translates well to the audience so they can have fun too.  Those of us putting hot, melted chocolate into the fondue pots in the kitchen for the intermission will get a few minutes longer this year to accomplish it, since our story teller is telling his story at the end of the first half of the concert while we are in the kitchen covering ourselves and everything in sight with the gooey fondue. hahaha  How well I remember how covered in chocolate I got prior to the second half of last year's concert! hohoho!!  

Hopefully I will be able to make it to church in the morning.  A bit of spiritual encouragement will help me keep my energy up during the day for the evening concert.  After supper is NOT my best time to sing.  In this weather I am sleepy and ready for  bed by about 5:30pm and supper is an unwelcome intrusion at times into my doziness!!  

O dear Lord....speaking of supper.........time to cook again...sigh.....  Maybe I can convince my husband to brave the cold for a little bit longer after church tomorrow and take me out for lunch!  This cooking thing is starting to get to me!  Creativity with food is not my forte!  Bless my forgiving husband who will eat almost anything I put before him without complaint.  The man is a true gem!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Dying Technology....etc.

My beloved but elderly PC is on its last legs.  My husband spent his days off last week fixing a few problems, but warned me to prepare myself to need a new one very soon.  I guess he is right......in the past 2 days I have been getting odd error messages onscreen and the high speed fan comes on after less than an hour of using the computer, continuing to run for hours.

I was hoping this one would last until February when I could afford one I actually want, but I don't think this one will last more than a few more days or so. Sigh....

I am the third owner/user the poor old thing has had, so it isn't a surprise it is dying, but I will miss it because it has been so easy to use.

The father of a dear friend of ours died somewhat unexpectedly 2 days ago.  'Tis the season, I am afraid.  That is 2 deaths in the past week.  Christmas will be particularly difficult for these families in the future.  Very sad.......

It is so bitterly cold outside today that I almost gave up running my errands this morning before I even started.  If my husband had not called and requested I drop off some items at his office, I would have tucked myself inside a giant blanket on the sofa and spent the entire day right there.  I am grateful though for my husband's call. It forced me to get dressed and get going.  I have so enjoyed being outside the past few days and really, despite the cold, I am glad I went out again this morning.  I am keeping myself very warm and dry when I go out and so far my lungs are clear and my sinuses dry.  Hallelujah!

By early next week we should be getting at least a temporary break from the low daytime temperatures and horrendous windchills...may it be so!

I found 3 pair of proper old fashioned knee socks at Mark's today. The prices were fairly reasonable so I picked them up to wear inside my wool lined winter boots.  I had no idea it would be so difficult to locate something as simple as knee length socks, but apparently they went the way of the dinosaur a few years ago.  Again, thank you Mark's!  These are soft and thick and protect my legs from itching when I have my woolly boots on.

The bag of apples I need to cut up on Sunday afternoon for that evening's choir concert has been purchased, as well as 4 disposable bowls for the fondue stations we will be manning at intermission.  I apparently will be working in the kitchen again, cutting the bags of warm, melted chocolate and pouring it into the fondue pots. Wonder how much chocolate I will be wearing home this year? I don't think I could beat last year's chocolatized clothing fest!!

Last night my husband and I went to the home of one of his colleagues for a simple dinner, followed by an evening of singing older praise and worship songs and prayers.  It was delightful.  We were a small group and I always like that.  The dinner was takeout oriental from a place not far from our house...think I will go and give the place a try.  There was a delicious coconut chicken curry dish with lots of onions and a smattering of green and red pepper strips that was most delicious. I would ask for it to be hotter though...our host deliberately asked for a non-spicy version, probably a good idea for most of the group, but my husband and I prefer more herbs and spices to be added for good, hot flavour. For dessert there was homemade baking.  My husband glommed onto a minced meat tart before anyone else had a chance to get near the plate, haha, and I was delighted to be able to have the most wonderful butter tart I have ever had.  Between the dessert, rice, almond chicken batter and sugar in the curry sauce, I am adding up at least twice the number of carbs at that dinner than I am ever allowed to consume at that time of the day.  O well....sin at length, repent at leisure....that was my motto last night.  It was so wonderful to be eating a tasty meal I didn't have to prepare myself that I ate rather a lot....of everything available.....  I was surprised how well the Argentinian Melipal Malbec went with the oriental food, but it truly did!  What a wonderful evening out...great food, fun visiting and then over an hour of singing and praying together.  AND I stood up the entire time to help my blood sugar at least a tad...better than sinking into a soft couch immediately after such a dinner.

In the afternoon I was at a different kind of musical event.  It was the Jack MacKenzie School Christmas pageant.  It was SO much fun.  The music teacher there has the coveted gift of making every single child from Grades 1-8 engage fully with whatever they are doing: singing, dancing, playing instruments...yes, it was typical "kid production" fare, but there wasn't one child who wasn't performing to best ability.  The teacher is an amazing woman who drew an awful lot out of the usual rag tag groups of kids with the entire spectrum of musical and acting (dis)abilities.  It was amazing to watch the kids responding to their music.  I specifically went to support my friend's son who is on the autism spectrum.  He actually volunteered, all on his own, to audtion for the grade 7/8 choir and was accepted.  He is a gifted performer and his heart was truly in it.  It was such a joy watching him on the stage doing so very well.  What an encouragement as well to his parents to see the new activities he is capable of doing.

So yesterday was a pretty good day....I was out most of the day! hahaha  Today I don't mind hibernating at home for the afternoon after my chilly morning of running errands.  One more utility bill to arrive by  next week sometime and be paid before Christmas. Then the monthly "chores" will be complete.

It is only 9 more days until The Son arrives for the holidays....YAY!!  It is only 9 more days until my husband has the entire holiday week off work...AND I don't think he is even on call for anything that week this year.  YAY!!!

Tomorrow morning is the set up and dress rehearsal for our Amici choir concert, then the performance happens on Sunday evening. I am looking forward then to a break from things music for about three weeks. I suspect I will miss the first rehearsal in the new year because of being in Kelowna that weekend, but it shouldn't be difficult to return for week 2. I definitely won't be behind on the music!

SO, blither, blither, I think I will go and find something cozy to do....like curl up in the aforementioned big blanket with a book!  I don't have to start making dinner for over 2 hours yet. YAY!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Warming Trend

Yes, it is possible to occasionally believe the weather forecast a week or more in advance and I am choosing to believe, for the most part, our current long term forecast.

Apparently by the end of the weekend we should see a few days of daytime highs soaring into the -2C to -11C range for the better part of a week....o please God, let it be.  I so want to believe it!!  hahaha  Prairie winters are starting to take their toll on me and I would appreciate a let up of this deep freeze....as would most other people across the country.

One good thing about the uber cold windchills is that they should kill off some of the viruses and bacteria that plague us without these occasional weeks of extreme cold.  There is always something good about such things, right?

I am looking forward to another excellent day AWAY from home again today.  This afternoon I am going to a school concert that my friend's son is singing in, then my husband, myself and the rest of his office staff and spouses are heading over to the home of our Canon of Education for a dinner and a "good old fashioned" evening of praise and worship.

In an Anglican context and with this particular group I do not yet know what their idea of such an evening is going to turn out to be. Most of the folk who will be there are over the age of 40, so will we be singing the Anglican equivalent of '70's and '80's praise choruses?  Will we be singing old Vinyard and Brian Doerksen numbers?  Will we be singing any songs my husband and I have actually heard of before?  It should be a lot of fun finding out.  Our Bishop is an excellent guitarist and who knows what other musical talents we have not yet had the pleasure of listening to among the staff families.

This morning I am focusing on the warming trend that should be arriving as the present polar vortex prepares to move on. YAY!!  Tomorrow morning there are errands to run and then another weekend of music begins, the last before Christmas.  I am so grateful that I should be able to participate this time around and make use of all the rehearsing I have been doing between bouts of illness.

The cold air rolling off the window right beside me is so intense I am going to finish this post later.  I am freezing cold sitting here......brrrrrr....whoever thought a single pane window with a permanently embedded summer screen was a good idea for a place like this?  O, wait, I know.....it is the same people who have not replaced the insulation in the walls in the last 50 years, nor the ruined carpets on the floors. hahahaha Aaaaaah, the wonderful world of rentals...how quickly I forgot! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

-37C Never Felt So Good!!!

I am even pleased that the bus was late this morning on my way downtown and I got to stand out in the winds and cold, enjoying every moment of it.  Feeling as housebound here for the past few days as I did in our last town of residence has not been a good thing for me.  Being alone at home for more than a couple of days in a row is still causing a bit of an emotional overreaction, but this too shall pass.  I do not live there any more, isolated out in the country, I live here in a small but vibrant prairie city and life is good again.  When I can get out and about it is particularly good.  

My haircut turned out very well.  My shawarma chicken salad for lunch was delicious and it was fun window shopping and saying, "Nope, don't need this...nope, don't need this..."!  What a great feeling.  I wondered years ago if a day would ever come when I could say such a thing. In retirement we may return to the old financial debacle, but right now we are enjoying our lives, enjoying having no stress about how to pay the basic rent, utilities and groceries and enjoying being able to have a few treats like eating out a few times each month, since that is literally the only source of entertainment we share together.  Our interests are too different to have any other ongoing sources of mutual entertainment.  That is why I love eating out: we do it together!  I don't begrudge one penny on restaurant meals with my husband, not one penny. Some of our best visits happen over a plate of fish and a bowl of salad.

My husband needs some ironing done so I am off to do that now. The sun is shining brightly on the ironing board and it looks so cheery from up here on the second floor of the suite where I can't see the ice and drifting snow on the roads and sidewalks.  O happy day!!  Thank you Lord!!

Getting OUT!

Yesterday was a fabulous day! I went grocery shopping! Outside my own suite! In the cold! In the blowing snow and big, cold wind gusts! Out! Out I tell you!

Ooooh, it felt good!

This morning I am about to go OUT again!

The windchill is -37C, so I will be dolled up like an Arctic Penguin, but I don't care.

And why do I not care?

I don't care because I will be getting out. OUT! Glorious, wonderful, unrestricted, unrestrained OUT!

It doesn't matter that I am not going anywhere exciting. It is just fine that my foray into the winter deep freeze is only for the purposes of getting my hair cut and accomplishing a couple of banking chores. It only matters that I am breaking from the confines of this suite.

O yippee, skippee, transit bus here I come...on my way OUT!

(and yes, my lung congestion is nearly gone so stop worrying surrogate moms)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Braggin Up My Own Son....and No Apologies For It!

The Georgia Straight newspaper has had an ongoing positive relationship with my artist son over the years and the writer of the article attached to the link below was most complimentary about his latest works on display as part of a big group show presently at Vancouver Art Gallery.  I am pleased to see these encouraging words. Thank you Georgia Straight!

http://www.straight.com/arts/840851/vancouver-special-ambivalent-pleasures-sparks-delight-dark-times

If the whole article is more than you want to wade through, here are the lines relevant to the proud mom:

"Some of the paintings here are mated to sculpture, as seen in the work of Eli Bornowsky and Colleen Brown, or to sound, in the work of Jordan Milner. Bornowsky has created some of the most energetic and engaging art of his career, a series of painted and embellished constructions that riff on the geometric (or perhaps primordial) form of the circle within the larger project of abstraction."

I am hoping that once the show is over he will post photos of these new works on his website: 

www.elibornowsky.com

PS the site is supposed to flash...there is nothing wrong with the site or your PC.

Since I didn't send out a traditional family Christmas brag letter this year, this blogpost will have to do.  hahaha Thank you for indulging me on this one.