Monday, August 21, 2017

Now THAT'S a Good Day Off!

My husband and I truly enjoyed our day together. Wisely, he shut off his phone and so we managed to have a whole day uninterrupted by demands from work. Yay!!!!!!!!

We had a decent sleep in this morning and a leisurely breakfast. Then we spent nearly six hours driving around the city purchasing groceries and last minute "bits" of canoe trip gear. We had a blast! It was a successful day of purchasing, but also one of laughter. UNINTERRUPTED purchasing and laughter! Yay!!!!!!

When we finally wore ourselves completely out, we came home for a light dinner and a couple of hours of watching a favourite tv programme and some newscasts.

Such simple amusements that we have had too few of together! It was a great day! Yay!!!!!!

We came home to some photos our son emailed us from the vineyard in the Hamptons where he has spent the past several days. It is beautiful with green lawns and huge trees surrounding the rows of grape vines. He got to go fishing in a kayak with his boss, first time ever to fish, and caught quite a few porgys that they were cooking up for tonight's dinner. Yes, we received photos of those as well, haha. Yup, always exciting to look at a plate of dead fish! And yes son, we are proud of your efforts, haha! Hope they tasted a LOT better than they look on that plate. hahahaha

The end of our happy day was marred somewhat by what we recognize is one of the causes of our recent "disturbance in the force".  We received the results of our relative's recent CT scan, post cancer treatments. We had some questions about the scan because we were fairly certain it was not an effective tool for seeking out this type of cancer. Sure enough, it turned out the scan was actually used to check the status of some spots on the lungs that were detected last January. Our relative was not told about the existence of these spots until this scan was scheduled in July, so you can imagine the shock. What these spots are exactly is unknown, but not obviously some other form of cancer, so that is great news. Since the follow up appointment with the specialist is not until the end of November we take that as a good sign as well. If the spots on my parents' lungs are any indication of other possibilities for our relative, the spots could be, like my dad's, a result of asbestos exposure earlier in life. Or, as in my mother's case, they could be small calcium deposits. Both conditions require regular monitoring, but are not life threatening. We are praying for our relative that these spots are insignificant and can be diagnosed as such! Thank you so much for your continued prayers.

I have to get up early in the morning to go to the dentist for my permanent crown. So grateful I had no problems with the temporary crown and have been able to chew properly. Yay!!!!!!

And so, to bed!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

And Just Like That It Is Ending

Over the last two days the revelation is hitting me: summer is on the way to being over once again.  

As I went for my long walk on Saturday morning I was very surprised to see how many leaves, all ready yellow and brown due to the lack of moisture this summer, had fallen from the trees and landed in the gutters along the streets. The strong winds were blowing them up around my ankles as I walked or I might not have been as aware of them.

The wasps are ravenous, furious, acting completely crazy.  That is how wasps act when the end of the summer season is soon to be upon us. In another couple of weeks as the temperatures cool down to autumn seasonals they will become sluggish and dopey.  For wasps and I inhabiting the same space, that happy (for me at least) time of year is nearly here.

The wind and general air temperature have lost that "hot smothering" feeling that happens starting in about mid-June each year.  The temperatures are still in the mid to upper +20C's but there has been a change in the scent and texture of the air around the city.  

This morning I wore a suit jacket over my sleeveless blouse...I wore it all day!  That is the first time since the end of May that I have been able to wear something with sleeves without feeling like I was going to pass out from heat.

This afternoon some black clouds filled the sky to the northwest and, although the air temperature didn't drop much and there was no rain whatsoever, I found myself feeling chilly for the first time in a very long time....even with my suit jacket on.

Tonight as I climbed the stairs from the living room up to the bedrooms, I realized I should have put the light on in the stairwell.  It was pitch black upstairs even though there were blinds open still in the bedrooms....and the time was only 8:30pm! Sure enough, as I peered out the windows the sun was nearly completely set.  The long, luxurious evenings that make me feel like every day will never have to end, are all over for another summer season.

Despite some extremely hot days that I thought would "do me in", this has been the best summer I have had on the prairies over the last 14 years.  The lack of rain gave me a few months off from having to staunch the flow of rain water into our basement.  The constantly sunny skies were a wonderful treat.  Even the heat was endurable because I detest winter so much as to prefer a few days of +33C to an outdoor carpet of ice and dead, brown lawns covered with mounds of snow.

Thank you summer for being so special this year.  I doubt there will be another summer in this area of the world that will be able to top it.

There's a Disturbance In The Force Around Here

Late last evening my husband and I had a long talk. We both admitted to feeling a strong "disturbance" in our inner selves of late. We have felt this way before over the years. Occasionally there has been no apparent reason for it beyond having to handle a few more of life's stresses than we have been prepared for, other times it has signalled an oncoming change of job or location, other times it has been a time of preparation before hearing difficult news, this time we aren't certain of the reason for it...not yet anyway. I suspect this time it is tied to several areas of ongoing uncertainty in our lives, wondering how some issues we face are going to play out. We never enjoy this feeling but there has always been a reason for it. It has always had its roots in an upcoming "new reality" that has sometimes been shocking or disappointing, but equally often has ended up propelling us into new and unexpected adventures.

As we pray through this we are hoping the reasons will soon be made clear.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

O the Things That You'll See......(thank you Dr. Seuss)

What a wonderful walk downtown to the Farmers' Market!  The howling gales of wind kept the wasps at a minimum and I so enjoyed getting out in the fresh, comfortably warm air!

I saw a few very interesting sights along my journey today. hahahaha  The first two were at the Farmers' Market itself.  There among the many vegetable stands and Middle Eastern baking booths was a large display of wool winter hats, scarves and mittens.  Standing amid the display making the sales was a friend of mine from choir.  Her mother is the artisan who crafts these beautiful, wearable and infinitely practical winter items.  Lovely as they are it was rather jarring to see this reminder of the season yet to come sitting out in the middle of the sunshine and heat, on dry pavement and being sold by my friend who was wearing sunglasses, a gorgeous pink sun dress and a matching wide brimmed hat!  The middle of August just struck me as an incongruous time to be selling winter woolies! I managed to stifle my giggles and not embarrass myself in front of my friend.  I got a great deal on a new winter wool hat for myself.  I suspect our friendship had a lot to do with the price actually.  100% Canadian wool, black and white and fits me perfectly.  I have not had a decent winter hat in several years because they cost the earth and I have been managing okay without one...well, more or less okay.  Thank you my friend....I know what you did for me.  The change I received when I paid for my hat was given to a particular street person with whom I have struck up a bit of a friendship over the past few months.  It was nice to have a visit with him once again.  He is looking extremely ill, much worse than a few weeks ago when I last saw him and I suspect he may not be long for this world.  

The only other thing I purchased was a bag of zaatar pitas.  The women who bake them remembered me from my last purchases and also gave me a deal. WOW!  My husband is going to love these. Usually I have purchased them on weekends he has been working out of town and since they are fresh baked the morning of the Market, I generally have them eaten before he gets home.

The other interesting sight at the Farmers' Market was a baking table that featured "diabetic cookies".  The cookies are baked with Splenda instead of refined sugar, but what struck me as absolutely hilarious is that the cookies are stuffed full of standard made sugary chocolate chips! hahahaha  There are so many sugar chips in each cookie as to nearly eliminate the rest of the flour and Splenda mixture all together.  They are pretty  much thick bunches of 
"non-friendly to diabetics" chocolate chips loosely held together with a minimal amount of cookie dough. Thanks for thinking of us diabetics lady, or trying to at least.....BUT I passed on a purchase there, hahaha. 

I bagged up the pitas and my new hat and headed to the bank to pay my phone bill. Then it was time to walk back home.

Just leaving the downtown area I came upon a group of young people who appeared to be in their early to mid 20's.  They were wearing what appeared to be home made costumes resembling a cross between super heros and some kind of medieval outfits. They were hooking themselves into safety rigging and, under the watchful eye of some fire rescue workers, were hauling themselves up and down the outside of one of the local "skyscrapers" while their proud family members took photos for some reason.  I have NO idea what they were doing and didn't bother to ask because looking up at such things makes me dizzy, so I just kept walking.

A couple of blocks past downtown was another interesting sight:  I saw a man walking quickly toward me with a thick, coral coloured scarf wrapped around his neck.  It seemed like an awfully hot day to be wearing a scarf!  However, as we got closer to each other and I saw the "scarf" moving around and the "tail" waving about in mid air, I realized it was not a scarf at all, but a beautiful, coral and white coloured snake of some kind!  hahaha  The fellow was wearing a teeshirt that proclaimed him to be a member of a snake handlers' association here in Regina and he was racing to an event.  He couldn't find a closer parking spot to his venue so was forced to don his beautiful snake buddy and try to get it to the event unscathed.  Luckily for him I love snakes and am not a screamer when I happen upon one unexpectedly. hahaha 

As I returned to our complex I decided to stop and have a gander at two of the only half dozen units actually participating in today's multi-family garage sale, not because I need anything but to try to encourage my discouraged neighbours.  I came home three dollars poorer though.  My next door neighbour makes beautiful jewellery, so she relieved me of two dollars for two lovely necklaces that I will get a lot of wear out of.  I don't have a lot of jewellery and rarely buy things just because I like them, but only if they will specifically go with outfits I have.  The other participant relieved me of my last dollar in change.  Buried in a huge and most unattractive pile of "stuff" on her lawn was a small drainboard that would fit perfectly on my dish tray by the kitchen sink.  I have never purchased a new one because most of them are too big for the tiny tray I have and I have managed more or less without one all these years.  This one looked kind of rusted out and I had no intention of purchasing it either, but when the owner's ADORABLE WITH A CAPITAL "A" 2 year old white-blonde haired daughter, in a teensy purple Hawaiian flowered dress, picked it up and said "Here lady, this is for you!", huge smile taking up her entire face, of course I bought it.  Sigh....I am such a sucker for kids!  I brought the wretched thing home feeling very foolish for having allowed myself to be scammed by a 2 year old, but as I washed it I realized the "rust" was not rust at all!  It was simply a buildup of something red'n'yukky that had been spilled on it at some point in the past.  Now that it is clean and bleached it looks brand new!  Okay kid, ya' got me, but it worked out just fine and will get a lot of use here.

Since part of the management sponsored event today includes free burgers and hot dogs, iced cream and drinks, I had a big, fat, juicy burger with mustard on a whole wheat bun for lunch.  Honestly, that cheap, cholesterol packed (and inducing) ground beef tasted absolutely fantastic.  It was all I could do to refrain from trying to cram another one down my throat before coming back to my suite.  The craving for protein has been intense the past few days, so a few minutes ago I got out my food journal and checked back on the past 2 weeks of meals I have ingested. Sure enough....I have been lacking in protein for rather a long time!  It is a good thing I have radically increased my cooked vegetables again, but in the process of filling up on those I have neglected meats of all kinds.  A bit of chicken every couple of days does not a balanced diet make!  So, now the craving and the overindulgence last night at the party make sense.

My neighbour in the building next to me just came over to show me what his 5 year old son purchased this morning from someone at the garage sale.  My neighbour was killing himself laughing about the purchase.  He gave his son some money and allowed him to go shopping by himself for the first time.  He expected the boy to bring home some kind of toy or craft project, but what he actually purchased was a colourful, foot high statue of a Hindu goddess!  hahahaha  It is the last thing his shocked father expected him to come home with. hahahahahaha  Hilarious!  His son is very proud of his purchase and happily showed it to me. He was glowing with the success of his first shopping trip alone! hahahaha

O the things that you'll see............

So, it is on the way to 3pm now.  I think I will watch the news for a few minutes and then have a nap.

The Dreaded Saturday Is Once More Upon Me

My husband went into work a bit later than usual this morning. Turns out he needed to take the vehicle to transport our moving dolly and some other tools for the office move going on this weekend.

Losing the vehicle at least sets my course for the rest of the day. I will be walking downtown to the bank to pay the phone bill and check out what dregs the Farmers' Market has left by the time I get showered and dressed and up there.  Since I couldn't decide what course of scintillating action I should take today, I admit it is kind of pleasant that my choice was made for me by virtue of circumstance. 

Wow....I can't seem to get my act together for Saturday plans.  You would think that after having a job that has taken him to work on Saturdays for over seven years now, I would be used to my husband not being around on the weekends.  Not so........very peculiar.  I just can't seem to get my "poop in  a group" a few days in advance of Saturdays.  The day always dawns with me wondering what to do with myself when I am all ready caught up on housework and laundry and cooking.  Today is no different and after losing sleep during the night for several hours I can't say I have strong motivation to do anything more than wallow in complaining about it.   

Yeah....complaining....ooooh, it feels kind of good!

In other news: the party we attended last evening was a lot of fun.  Most of the other guests were parishioners from the parish of St. Mary, where our host is the priest.  What a friendly bunch of people!  I have not had so many women introduce themselves to me without being prodded by a third party in many a year.  It was fabulous.  Even though they all knew each other all ready and we were the only "outsiders" we were completely included in the conversations and fun.  Their husbands warmly embraced my husband and he genuinely enjoyed himself. For the first time in ever so long we found it disappointing to have to leave so early because of my husband working today.  Usually it is our "good excuse" to flee less than welcoming social situations.  It was a truly lovely time for us. 

The annual canoe trip has, as usual, taken over my husband's every waking moment when he is not thinking about work.  It is so great to see him so enthused about something apart from ministry, something he looks forward to so very much each year at this time.  "Goin' with the guys" is something he has not had enough of in his adult life and I rejoice that he has this chance to be with his closest buddies here for a whole week on the water.  Next weekend will be the weekend our suite looks like a cyclone went through it as all the gear and food is spread about for packing purposes.  It is really a sight to see....I could charge money to passersby to come see how many things can be spread out in a relatively small space in order to be ready to go on this trek.

Our management company is sponsoring a BBQ today here in our court. The entire complex has been invited to set up garage sale tables at each interested suite and make a community  building day of it.  The affair was scheduled to begin a half hour ago. Thus far all I can see is the food court set up in the parking lot with the staff members standing around wondering what to do next. There are no residents there asking for coffee and treats, there is not one single garage sale table set up in any of the three courts I can see from our place.  I am afraid the whole thing may turn out to be a big bust.  I feel badly that I didn't rally the troops in our court by having a table set up.  Seriously, the notice about the garage sale possibility arrived exactly 1 day after I packed up what I could have put out for sale and donated it all to Community Living.   Guess I will take a short tour around the complex after I get showered and dressed and see who, if anyone, has anything for sale.  As I think about it, really it isn't that surprising if the garage sale component doesn't work well here.  I am guessing that at least 2/3 of our tenants are relatively recent immigrants to Canada from various Asian, African and Middle Eastern countries.  Many of them will not yet know what a garage sale is and even more of them will have so few possessions of their own that they will have nothing extra to sell.

Well, better quit lallygagging and get ready to meet this day of who knows what events.

Ummmm....Happy To Help??

So....about that fantastically realistic fake wasp nest we hung outside on our back porch....um....yeah.....the wasps are really enjoying the instant home we created for them.  As of last night several of the drones have taken up residence inside it to use as a home base during their food hunting forays.  

Big. Depressed. Sigh.......... 

However, you have to admire their ingenuity, don't you?  Not as stupid as one would be tempted to think.

So, now our ministry has extended to include providing accommodation for wandering  wasps....does our nobility never end??

hahahahahaha 
(Slap knees and double over with laughter!)

How Dumb AM I? I'm SO Dumb......

......I over indulged on the protein component at the party meal last night, so here I am awake at 4:30am still feeling sated, heavy and frustrated by my lack of self-control!

Ooooh, but it tasted so wonderful at the time: bison burgers and roast bison, barbecued to a delicious medium well done, still just slightly pink in the centre, tender, tasty....oooooh it was too difficult to resist that second helping. Bison is my most favourite meat. Cooked properly it is, to me, the tastiest protein on the planet. Our hosts know how to cook it properly, oh yes they do!! Happy, contented sigh.........

Wrapping my tastebuds in the bison's deliciousness lulled my brain to sleep as far as realizing how I was going to feel part way through the coming night. I can't even blame some noisy neighbours for waking me up because I was all ready awake listening to my stomach rumbling its discontent about being too full.

Why do I do this to myself??? My lack of self-control during only one meal has ruined my sleep and will make my coming day kind of miserable as a result. I can sense my plans for a long walk to the Farmers' Market changing to a car trip even as I am sitting here writing, but I don't want to give up the needed walk. My only exercise yesterday was housework, good as that is for me, but it doesn't replace the good cardio work out of a long brisk walk. Maybe I can talk my tired self into keeping the original plan. Could I regain sufficient self-discipline for that? I suspect I had better!

Dumb, dumb, dumb....yup, I definitely have my moments of stupidity. Urp......burp......ugh.....

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thoughts For Our Aging, Declining Church Populations

"Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire."
--Gustav Mahler

"When we hold back our best efforts because of what happened in the past we are letting the past decide the future."
--Bob Bell, How to be Here

"Courage is nothing more than taking one step more than you think you can."
--Holly Lisle 

  

Spontaneity is Good for Me....Rats.....

I struggle with spontaneity on a small scale.  I really do.  BIG TIME spontaneity I can deal with easily and even get excited about....things like finding an email invite at 2am asking me to raise my own financial support to go to Japan for a year and to answer the call immediately, resulting in a phone call to the passport office and to the local realtor by 9am that same morning to get paperwork going and to get my house put up for sale by the following day.  

Yup, spontaneous, immediate, complete life changes don't bother me one whit.  

BUT ask me to drop a dust rag in mid-afternoon to drive across town for an unscheduled errand and I fall completely apart.  Go figure.... 

That is what happened today.  I had just washed down the bathroom with a combination of clove oil and bleach and was mid way through dusting my office as part of my plan to spend the afternoon cleaning the upstairs for the week, when my husband called desperately needing a ride to the north end of the city to order some office supplies for his work place.  NO!!!  I didn't have time to do that and still complete my housework goals.  NOOOOOO!!!!  WHY???????

Well, of course I dropped the dustrag, dumped out the wash water and headed over with the car to pick my husband up and take him to the office supply warehouse.  Sigh....  I felt so stupid for feeling "put upon" to comply with such a simple and necessary request.  I was more than happy to help my husband out.  I could have just dropped the car off for him, walked the 10 minutes home and resumed my work here, but one look at his pale, weary face and I knew I was going to do the driving so he could relax a bit.  I admit, although I was not upset with him for needing the help, I felt just a bit crabby about having to give up my own goals for the day and reschedule my tomorrow to make this drive.    Blah!!!

Things worked out very well, naturally.  We got to the warehouse and the order was made and delivery arranged.  In the process I also was able to get myself a new office chair!!!  I have been unable to sit comfortably at the computer for some weeks now as my old chair with its old, flattened out back padding, is not supporting my back any more.  Putting a pillow behind my back worked for awhile, but not lately.  Back pain has been a thing of the past since I lost so much weight, but due to old spinal fractures the muscles need a lot of support when I am sitting to maintain the pain free status.  I don't enjoy this pain and have been so happy to be rid of it, but with the deterioration of my chair it has been coming back almost every day.  Having an office chair with arms is not comfortable for me.  I tend to rest my elbows on those arms for some reason, despite the discomfort, and then my shoulder muscles tense up and my back hurts even more.

I couldn't afford a new chair and I knew it so didn't even bother to look at the many in stock, just sat at the front of the warehouse in a comfy chair waiting for my husband to complete his order.  As I looked about I realized I was sitting next to a bunch of clearance items and one of those items was the most hideously coloured office chair ever created; the back pad netting the most putrid mustard yellow I have ever seen and not enhanced by the film of dust covering it.  Then I saw the price tag....PRICE??? What price??? The management was practically giving the thing away!   

Just for a lark I dusted it off with the hem of my housework shirt and tried it out.  O my....O MY......the back padding hugged my lower back in just the right spot.  I checked the bar that raises and lowers the seat.  It worked just fine.  I checked the bar that moves the back of the chair and locks it into various positions.  It worked just fine too.  I checked the rest of the chair for marks, breakage, defects and could find nothing.  When my husband appeared a few moments later I asked him to look at it and he couldn't find any problem with it either.  Then the salesman came over and I asked him why the chair was practically on give away.  He gave me the most odd look and said, "Uh....have you checked out the colour of that chair???  There is no way that chair is going to sell in this store. No professional office worker in their right mind would want to be seen using that chair!"  He checked it all out again with me and assured me there was nothing wrong with the chair, the management bosses just wanted it out of there as quickly as possible.  I was more than happy to accommodate them!! 

The chair is a dreadful colour, it is ugly as sin, it has no arms attached to it, BUT it is brand new, it suits my back very well, not having my arms resting on chair arms is far more comfortable for me  and I am sitting in it at this very moment pounding the keyboard to post this blog entry.

Maybe today is a good clue for me to be more prepared to enjoy the times of small spontaneity and not just the huge life changing ones. Okay God, I will try to enjoy those times more in the future.  Helping out my exhausted husband was worth dropping my housework schedule for all by itself, but I also received a bonus for being willing to make a minor change of plan. Very nice........

In other news: my mother finally went to the doctor about her swollen painful wrist that she has been absolutely convinced is the result of arthritis. When we visited her in June the wrist was so massive I was convinced she had broken a bone in there but she refused to go to the doctor.  FINALLY the pain got so bad that 2 weeks ago she went to her GP and he sent her for an x-ray. She dipsy doodled around for a few more days before giving in to my Dad's demands that she go for the test.  Today she went in for results and sure enough, a badly broken bone in there mended incorrectly because she didn't go for help when the pain first started and now she is paying the price.  She has massaging cream to take some of the inflammation out of the tendons, some oral meds for a couple of weeks to help the muscles relax and a great plastic sleeve she is to wear when she does housework, goes shopping or is holding her book to read at bedtime. The rest of the time she is to remove it.  The doctor read her the riot act because she was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis only a month before the wrist fracture would have occurred but she didn't seem to understand her bones are now in the same dreadful condition as Dad's and mine.  It seems that after talking to her doctor today the reality of her condition has finally sunk in.  Thank you Lord!!  Apparently she is also waiting to be accepted to receive the same injected drug that I get for my osteo. Please Lord, let that acceptance come soon so she can get started!!!  If she falls down..........ooh, I don't want to think about it!  Please Lord, keep her safe.

Our son is getting an all expenses paid vacation in The Hamptons at the moment...tough life but someone has to live it, right? hahahaha  Way to go son!

 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Happy "Friends Kind of Day"

I love days  like this!  Beside the beautiful weather I have had some beautiful conversations with friends I rarely get to see any more.

Today my husband and I had brunch, delicious as usual and thanks Breakfast Bistro for the great food and service, with a couple who are former priests in this diocese, now serving elsewhere.  They are on holidays and we are thrilled they chose to include us in their travel itinerary.  We laughed and chattered like 4 magpies while we dallied over our brunch, taking as long as possible a visiting time before they absolutely had to leave for their next destination. 

This afternoon a friend from Moose Jaw gave me a call. She has been away travelling about the country for the past several weeks and I have missed her very much.  It has been weeks and weeks since we have had a chance to get together.  I so enjoy hearing about her adventures because we share a similar sense of humour and have the ability to see humour in almost everything that happens.  She has another very busy week next week and then I am hoping to go and visit her before she returns to her job in early September.  

Another Moose Jaw pal called me too...from her holiday cabin! She has been thinking of me and wanted to share some insights from a book she is reading. How lovely to be thought of from afar.

The break this morning with his colleagues was good for my husband. Although in some ways it was a working brunch, he still had a chance to enjoy the social aspect of the visit, plunked down into the middle of his overly busy week.  He worked a nearly 14 hour day yesterday, so I think he more than deserved at least a few minutes of non-work related conversation over his meal today.

Tomorrow evening is a party over at the home of some colleague friends. Their grown up child is leaving home to attend film school so we will go and celebrate the achievements leading up to this exciting event.

Today I received a notice from the community choir I have been singing with that our first rehearsal for this term is going to be on August 27th....wow, that is a couple of weeks earlier than usual start time for the autumn.  I don't feel "mentally prepared" for it yet! hahaha  The rehearsal/concert venue has changed and that is going to be a big problem for me as there is no bus that goes anywhere near the place and certainly not on a Sunday schedule that works for my rehearsal time frames.  The bus times to our old venue worked perfectly for me and on nice days it is in walking distance as well. I have a lot of stress all ready trying to get to that same building on Sunday mornings for church to dispatch my transition team duties...the idea of having to find rides twice on Sundays to the same location, more weeks than not, is not a thrilling one. Guess I will just see how it works out.   That is the only rain that fell on my parade today.  Ooh....this reminds me that I need a ride to church THIS Sunday morning...better get on that!

Dinner time again.........well, that is okay.  I actually have the meal almost completely prepared in advance and it will only take 5 minutes to have everything ready when my husband finally gets home from work.  Yay me! haha

The Most Beautiful Summer

This summer has been about the best one my husband and I have ever experienced on the prairies.

I have always wondered what it would be like to live somewhere that receives very little rain and has sunshine and warm temperatures nearly every day. This summer I finally had that experience right here in Regina. I have to say that, other than struggling with a few of the days with the most intense heat, I have truly enjoyed it. The lack of rain nipped the mosquito breeding in the bud. In June I received a handful of bites and then all the mosquito population disappeared and have not returned. There have been more wind free and light breeze days this summer than I have experienced in our now thirteen years on the prairies. Oh if all subsequent summers could be like this. The over abundance now of wasps is the only real outdoor hassle at the moment, but the fake nest we hung on our porch railing is keeping them away from the porch and back door.

If our holidays were less than spectacular, they were filled with good family visits and good times with friends we have not seen in several years. We didn't have to go far from home to enjoy ourselves.

It has been a good summer for slowly growing some new friendships here as well. Not having to depend so heavily on friends from out of town and province has been a treat.

The lack of rain has kept our leaking basement dry. Going away for a weekend of work and ministry has been so much less stressful knowing we will not likely return to ruined items in our basement storage. Once the pre-winter rains begin, the ferreting out of new leaks and soaking the water up as quickly as possible will start up again, so this three month break from that worry has been a real treat!

That being said, I feel very badly for farmers who are watching yields and crop values drop this year due to the lack of moisture. My enjoyment of our late summer weather is tempered somewhat in knowing what is so great for me with the dry weather is harming them.

Today is another beauty of a day. We are looking at another week or more of manageable day time highs between +26C to +28C. There are no blasting winds at the moment. The sun is shining brightly. My husband is working at home for the first part of the morning, then we are meeting former colleagues for a working brunch. We are going to the Breakfast Bistro which always puts on a delicious meal. My mouth has recovered from yesterday's dental work and I am looking forward to brunch and a good time of connecting with our colleague friends.

Another pleasant summer day awaits!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Step Two: Crown Prep Complete

My crown preparation appointment at the dentist this morning went very well.  The temporary crown sits in all its glory, there in my mouth and looking far better than the overfilled, cracked, yellowed mess that was there previously.  My "fakes" are all going to look so much better than even the unfilled originals!  

As usual the procedure was pretty much painless.  In fact, I was tired enough that the ebb and flow of the drilling buzz actually put me to sleep for a minute or two right there in the chair.  The dentist had a good giggle over that one, but advised me to stay awake for the remainder of the appointment. hahaha

This dentist has a way of making her patients feel so special.  She told me today how crabby she was when she got to work and how relaxed she became when she looked at her schedule and realized that cheery me was her first appointment of the day.  Talk about knowing how to flatter an old gal! She told me I am so tough through the painful bits (WHAT painful bits?? I know pain and there is very little resembling pain in that place!) and am so happy that I am her favourite patient.  I am certain each of her patients is told they are her favourite and I suppose it is stupid to let that make me feel extra good about going for dental work, but it really is a great con game to use on patients who all experience discomfort and sometimes true pain in the process of dental repair.

A week from now I return for my permanent crown.  I had a quiet chuckle as the dentist and hygienist talked to me about making sure we got the colour of the crown just right. hahahaha  I understand it is nice to have your teeth all matching for colour, really I do, but on the list of things I deal with every day, getting the exactly matching hue on all the crowns of my teeth isn't even on that list.  I so do not care.  It is nice though to be asked and to have my opinion considered about cosmetic details since I crawl into that office in old jeans, tee shirts and no make up for every appointment, looking like anything to do with outward appearance in public is not in my skill set.  There is nothing worse than having mascara running down my face when my eyes water from holding my mouth open for a couple of hours. Getting mascara and shadow in my eyes is far more painful than anything the dentist has to offer.

After my appointment I went to the bank and paid the utility bills I didn't bother to drive to the bank for last night.  Now I think I will watch last night's episode of "So You Think You Can Dance".  Maybe I will doze off again for a couple of minutes.  The suite was a bit too warm last night and I had a restless sleep.  We had a bit of well appreciated rain, but then there was no wind afterward. The air was almost completely still, so the temperature stayed high most of the night.

I all ready tried going outside with a scratchy sponge and cleanser to remove the dead bugs from our car bumper and windshield, but the wasps appeared within seconds and I was barely able to wipe off the first squirt of spray before I found myself running quickly back into the suite to avoid being stung.  Even when I was leaving the dental office to come home, I had to scoot a wasp out from inside the car who appeared the very second I opened the door.  Wasps...blaahhh!  Even my upper lip being frozen into a full sneer didn't scare them away.  I will get my husband to wipe the bug guts off tomorrow morning before he goes to work and before the wasps are out in such great numbers. They don't seem to bother him and he isn't afraid of them.

Tomorrow we are going for a pub lunch with some colleagues formerly of this diocese and who we miss very much since they moved elsewhere.  That is something fun to look forward to.  They will have a whole new set of adventures to share with us.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Kind of a Nowhere Going Day

I had the best sleep last night!  It more than made up for the previous night's spider battling disaster.

Today has been kind of a lazy sort of day and that is all right.  It means I will be relaxed for my early morning dental appointment tomorrow.

My husband had a good meeting with one of the canoe trip planning buddies this morning while I did some banking and shopping. After a tasty chicken sandwich on rosemary bread, along with a quinoa and onion salad for lunch, we spent some time on our computers, then went over to my husband's office.  He wanted to get some preliminary work done for an electrician who is going to be in the building tomorrow fishing wires for new plug-ins and other small finishing up jobs so all the office staff can move into their new spaces next week. I was able to assist in locating the path of several old and new wires and cables, as well has have a great little visit with another office staffer, also cheating on her supposed day off by coming in to get caught up on a few things.

Today the skies above have been alternating between brightly sunny and overcast with dark grey clouds.  Rain was forecast for first thing this morning, during one of the bright and sunny periods, so of course not a drop of it descended.  Perhaps later this evening?  I am hoping a good rain will loosen up some of the insect "guts" all over our front car bumper so I can wipe them off by tomorrow afternoon.  I tried to do it earlier today, but the wasps were out enjoying the bright sunshine and opportunity to feast on the dead bugs adorning the front of the car, so I gave it up rather quickly.

Not sure if we will do much of interest this evening.  My husband has a huge committee meeting at work tomorrow and will want to double check his agenda items etc. He is tired today, but not exhausted. He is encouraged by all he was able to accomplish at work last week and in the car on his laptop as we drove around this past weekend.  I may slip out after supper to the bank once again because the utility bills arrived today and since we have several other committments this week it would be nice to have to them paid and forgotten about for another month.  Maybe I feel too lazy today to bother.  Maybe it is okay to just be lazy for a day.

I soon need to choose between cooking a small pork loin strip or some rock fish fillets for supper.  Maybe I will opt for the fish.  A protein dish that takes no more than 6 minutes in total in the grill pan is kind of an appealing option on a lazy day.  I am thawing a carton of my husband's chickpea and potato soup to have for lunch tomorrow as it will be soft and gentle on my temporary crown.  I have some of my own pasta sauce thawing for the dinner meal tomorrow.  There is cooked chicken in the refrigerator.  So, lots of options for our lunches and dinners for the next two days.

Right now my husband and sister on talking on the phone, attempting to plan a time to get together with other family and scatter the ashes of their mother and her brother, the uncle they were closest to growing up. It may have to wait until the spring as much as it sounds like everyone would prefer to do it as soon as possible.  The event will likely take place in Saskatchewan and anytime after the end of September is pretty bleak in this province. If they do wait until the spring it could be less depressing.  They are good planners. It will all work out just fine.

Our son will be finishing up his first temporary job by the middle of this week or so. Then it is off to his boss's condo in The Hamptons for a few days of rest with the fellow's family.  Tough life but someone has to do it. hahahaha  So happy for the son to be able to enjoy the spectacular scenery, beautiful sand and water sports as well as stay in a posh condo for a time.  It is incredibly nice of these people to include him as one of their family every time he goes to NYC.  Amazing!  Thank you Lord! 

Well....rock fish or pork loin?  Better amble off to the kitchen and figure it all out.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

A LOOOONNNNNGGGG WEEKEND!

We've been home for about an hour from our ministry weekend.  Driving a ten hour round trip in two days is not so bad, rather normal for most folk around here in fact, but having to wedge two complete church services, plus a baptism, plus an awful lot of great visiting and many fabulous meals in between services does leave one rather cheerily tired when it is all over.  

It was a wonderful weekend all around:  the weather was perfect, sunshine and warmth and manageable traffic levels.  There was more road construction on our route than we had expected so a couple of times we deaked off the main highways and took a series of rumphy, bumphy secondary roads that were mottled with potholes and pavement dips and dives that gave the shock absorbers on our car quite a workout.  ( OK, Lead Foot Lou here must confess that I was travelling on those dreadful excuses for roads VERY VERY quickly to make up lost time so we wouldn't be late for our first committment...and no, I am not going to tell you just how quickly....)It was just like the "old days" when we lived in that area. hahaha  There is some hilly country surrounding those battered old roads and the small hills are still covered in enough green foliage to be interesting to view,  as the roads wind through the South Saskatchewan River valley. 

We were only five minutes late for committment number one. YAY!  The Lord was gracious and I didn't roll the car on the hippy dippy side roads. YAY and THANK YOU JESUS FOR PROTECTING ME FROM MY OWN STUPIDITY!!  (It won't happen again....seriously, it won't. Mercy granted, but lesson learned!) 

We had the most delicious BBQ'd salmon and couscous dinner at the home of our overnight billet.  The visit with those folk was equally delightful after not having much chance to chatter over the past couple of years.  After dinner we went for a walk around the town and were literally almost run down by other friends driving their car facing into the setting sun. hahaha  They missed us, realized it was us, and before we knew it we were inside their new home, taking "the tour" and sharing a wonderful time of blather and laughter.

Our accommodations were lovely, such a comfy bed and complete access to a full suite in the basement of the home.  I was particularly grateful to be able to switch my sleeping space because just before 3am I was awakened by the presence of a HUGE garden spider making itself happily at home in MY bed.  I was so sleepy, so "stunned stupid" by the unhappy awakening that I took a huge swipe at the thing with my shoe, missed it completely and sent it scampering at top speed under the bed.  Ooooh, I detest spiders being in my space indoors!  I sat in the middle of the bed for the next 2 hours with the light on, shoe in hand, wide eyed, paralyzed by the idea that the darned thing could return to the bed at any moment. There was no way I was going to sleep in there once I finally relaxed.  Why changing spaces to the den couch was such a comforting, sleep inducing thought I have no idea because the big hairy spider likely beat me in there and could have easily taken to crawling on me in that space as well.  When I am "stunned stupid" there is no coming out of it until I have more sleep.  I finally fell asleep at about 5:30am, but woke up less than an hour later, flipped on all the den lights and inspected the entire LARGE room floor to ceiling for signs of that spider.  How dumb am I??  I am SO dumb......anyway, I managed to feel all right all day today, even drove the entire way home without my husband's assistance, the same way I drove all the way there the day before. 

I must be improving at this long distance driving stuff by virtue of forcing myself to do it more often this summer than I ever have before.  On the way there my husband was able to pull out his lap top and tweak his sermons and on the way home he was able to alternately sleep, purchase iced cream cones from roadside stands and prepare the agenda for his legislative committee meeting that will happen this coming week.

The services went well.  The baby being baptized couldn't have been better behaved during the pouring of the water over her head and the signing of the cross in oil on her forehead.  She coo'd and giggled and enjoyed the whole rite of passage quite thoroughly.  What fun!  A former parishioner took us out after the second service for a very tasty lunch and a most happy visit. Getting to the second service on time also involved a roller coaster highway ride, but I did drive more slowly....sort of.....I had to slow down to get around a short stretch with abandoned road paving vehicles sitting on the side of the road....does that count?

We arrived home well before dark and immediately upon entering discovered an invitation to a friend's party for this coming Friday evening.  I have a new appetizer I am dying to try out so this will be a perfect occasion to do it. 

My husband has to go to the office at some point tomorrow morning to let some contractors in who are working on the renovation of the interior of the building, but hopes to then be at home for the rest of the day...an almost day off, but not quite. I suspect he will be working on his part for the legislative committee meeting the following day. I will be SO grateful when the coming Diocesan Synod is over....only a couple of more months of this planning stress.  YAY!  

I suppose it would behoove me to head to bed early this evening and do some reading, after losing so much sleep last night.  Wouldn't you know it, hahahaha, we arrived home and the first thing we noticed was the "fake" wasp's next we hung from the back porch railing right before we left.  As I suspected would happen, the local spiders had made full use of it for stringing new webs between it and the railing and banisters.  I have a lot of "dusting" to do in the morning.  As we stood there laughing at the quickness of the spider's industry we realized the creator of that fantastic web was sitting right in the middle of its creation: the apparently same species of spider I had been chasing around my billet bedroom the previous night!  As I watched in horror, the spider detached itself from the web and scuttled in behind the kitchen window frame through a small dent in the siding.  EEEEEKKKK!  I am betting that little dent opening has a direct line into our suite somewhere!  I hope I can sleep tonight!!! hahaha  Aiii yiiii......

Spiders....Creator God...what WERE you thinking????

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Hi-De-Ho, Away We Go!

I am enjoying a slow morning today!  We woke up at our usual time this morning, so my husband was able to jot a few notes down here at home before heading to the office.  On the way he was planning to stop at Burns-Hanley church supplies and pick up a baptismal candle to present to the family of the wee girl being welcomed into the church family Sunday morning.

I have had a most lazy morning finishing up the novel I mentioned in the last post, washing my hair and getting packed for our overnight stay in one of our former parishes.  We had originally planned to stop in Moose Jaw for lunch on our way, but decided that with the rather tight time frame for our travel this afternoon and the lack of knowledge of any new road construction along our route, we would just as happily enjoy the less expensive and more nutritional fare here at home first.  

Being forced to eat at home more often this month...as in every single meal after that tooth broke and for the rest of this month, haha....has certainly reinforced to me how quickly I run out of creative ideas for cooking!!  I would rather iron for an hour than prepare a meal to be totally honest. By the time I am finished preparing and cooking our food I have absolutely no desire to actually consume it.  I have been that way my entire adult life.  My cooking isn't bad, it is just fine according to anyone who has eaten it, but as a project person I suppose it seems that once the cooking is completed I should be done with it! hahaha  You mean I have to EAT IT TOO????  Blaaaaaahhh......... There is a meal for us being planned when we arrive in Eston, as well as breakfast Sunday morning with our billeting hosts, then a pot luck lunch of some kind in Kindersley.  We will be home in time to make dinner here.  What a nice inexpensive weekend of treats for us!  AND LOTS of visiting!

I had my wardrobe for the weekend all planned out yesterday morning, but today I have completely changed my mind.  One look at the forecast tempartures and the wardrobe has been reduced to loose cotton capris and sleeveless summer tops with some very light jewellery.  The next two days will be hovering at around +30C so I am grateful for how much time we will be spending in our nicely air conditioned vehicle~we also decided to stick to the main highways this time instead of dipsy doodling along on the backroads.  YAY!!  My husband was just on all those slow backroads a couple of weeks ago when he was the pace car driver for our Bishop on his bicycle ride through the northern half of our diocese.   

Well, I think I will go now and telephone my parents before we take off for the weekend.  Mom had an x-ray of her very painful wrist...hmmm....only a couple of days ago now I guess.  It is likely severe arthritis causing the pain and swelling, but her wonderful doctor runs all manner of tests to be certain of any diagnosis.  Finally, a doctor for my parents that doesn't treat them like their health issues no longer matter because of their advanced old age.  I really like this fellow.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Curtailing Some of My Long Walks

Regina is apparently overrun with wasps at the moment.  Going for walks has become an obstacle course and torture test combined!  Yesterday as I walked to and from the grocery store only 3 blocks away, I fought off 4 different wasps who seemed intent on making their presence known.  One flew into my hair and I was rather upset until it left of its own volition.  I was afraid to try to swat it away in case I got stung.  Since I don't have an epi-pen at the moment, I admit to being completely terrified!  My last walk downtown was plagued by the presence of wasps as well, so I am curtailing some of my outdoor walks for the next couple of weeks.  Even standing on our deck outside yesterday afternoon I was aware of several wasps hovering closer to me than I was comforable with.  I am wondering if they are building a nest under our deck. The stairs and underskirting are made of 2x4 planks with lots of room between the boards for wasps to fly in and out, but with insufficient space for my husband or the maintenance crew to get under there and get rid of any nests.  I need to purchase a new "phony" wasp nest to hang outside the back door.  Our old one is long gone in our last move and it was getting a bit battered anyway.  I think when I am running errands this afternoon I will stop by Lowe's or Rona and pick up a new one.

Our phone rang at 3am...some happy sounding fellow asking for Olive.  I have had middle of the night calls for Olive before, although it has been some time now, all from the same cheery sounding fellow.  I wish I felt as cheery at 3am as he sounded. I don't do well being awakened from a deep sleep by a caller who has misdialed.  My husband was able to get back to sleep right away, but I had some trouble.  A few minutes after the phone call a group of young women walked past our place and were rather loud in their conversation.  That jarred me awake again.  Then a few minutes later a group of men, cheering at the top of their lungs, also wandered past.  Sigh....so much for getting back to sleep.  It has always amazed me that, with our windows opening onto a main thoroughfare, we don't have loud voices and screeching tires almost every night of the week, but it is rather rare, surprisingly.  I am spoiled now for when there is a bit of extra noise.  No more sleeping!

I sent an email off to my sister in law, read a chapter in a most fascinating novel titled, "The Beauty of Humanity Movement" by Camilla Gibb. It is set in Vietnam and encompasses the days of Ho Chi Minh and the political revolution that happened many years ago.  I am enjoying it very much.

I tried one more time to fall asleep, but gave it up as a lost cause and got up to iron for a couple of hours.  So, it is going to be a long day! hahaha

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Q. "How Many Anglicans Does It Take To Change A Lightbulb?"

A. "CHANGE?????????"

hahahahaha.......

Figures......

So, after upping the PST by 1%, making education and health care cuts very quickly and adding with shocking speed what is now an 11% sales tax to restaurant meals, immediately increasing sales tax on government sponsored insurance as well as other items which were not taxed at all previously, our illustrious premier announced today that he is retiring from politics and will only be with us until a new leader for his party is chosen.  Sigh......

I hope and pray the man is not ill or otherwise struggling with some intense personal issue, but if he isn't, well, I just have to say that, after living with these sorts of messes in Alberta under the leadership of Premier Klein many years ago, at least the man stayed in office to take on the fallout of his own poor decisions.

I wish you well Mr. Premier Person, but o my....what a mess we are in now in this province.

So, that 's all of my political musing for this month..........

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

One Little, Two Little, Three Little Boo Boo's!

Tonight I had the most wonderful visit so far this month....with the 9 month old cutie girl who lives next door!!  I have only seen her once since she was born as she is rarely out and about it seems, but tonight we had the sweetest visit out on the front step.  Her mom and dad are so thrilled with her and you can see in her cheery disposition that she knows full well she is loved.  She had my number in less than 30 seconds, dropping her little cloth book on the ground and giggling with delight at me when I stooped over to pick it up so we could play the game again. hahahaha  Kids so LOVE that game at her age.  It is lovely to see two young parents so truly happy to have a family.  Her mom has quit working so that she can stay home full time and my husband and I can relate to that sacrifice: like us, the husband is not making a huge income, but they truly believe it is better for their daughter to make some financial sacrifices to keep mom at home.  That is not for everyone. Not everyone can or should make that decision, but we certainly understand where they are coming from.  This little gal is one bright pumpkin.  You can tell how much time her parents spend with her by how bright, happy and deeply content she is.  What fun it was for me to hold that little girl...and how lovely to hand back over to her daddy after our visit.  NO RESPONSIBILITY whatsoever for her upbringing!  I can enjoy her with no worries about anything for her.  Far better for my temperament than grandparenting.

On the other side of us there is a couple who didn't have their still very young family until they were in their early 40's.  They both work full time and both kids are in daycare for another year until the oldest one starts playschool.  They too knock themselves out to spend time with their kids every evening and every weekend.  Their kids too are secure, content, happy little people, always smiling.  The oldest one, a little boy, has no greater delight than standing outside when he gets home from day care and screaming with unadulterated joy, at the top of his lungs, for at least ten minutes. Then he does a little dance around on the lawn, waving his arms and singing almost as loudly as he screams.  He sing, "I love, love, love life, life, life!!" and he truly does. He just turned four years of age.  His little sister isn't quite two, a tough little cookie who can do a full face plant on a cement parking lot without shedding a tear. Only a squeak of frustration, that she has fallen behind the racing older kids because of her fall, ever escapes her lips.  She is determined to keep up with her older brother and his even older friends and they are very patient and good with her.  

There are lots of great kids in this complex living right around us.  They are eager to introduce themselves to us and let us in on the details of their busy lives.  It seems every time we walk outside it only takes a few seconds for "Hi Sue!  Hi Dell" to start ringing out.  We have Canadian kids, African kids, Iranian kids, Syrian kids, Trinidadian kids, Indian kids, First Nations kids and Oriental kids scattered throughout the complex.   Many of their immigrant parents are still wearing their national garb, so there are many bright colours and beautiful fabrics making their way around the sidewalks and parking lots.  

For all hits foibles as far as management and landscaping and maintenance, this is a fascinating place to live. It is just full of cutie patooties!  

A Long Wait For a Short Visit...haha!

Soooooo....I arrived home from the dentist less than a half hour after I arrived!!

The dentist was dealing with an unscheduled emergency, so after taking X-rays and giving me a thorough exam, decided not to attempt the crown prep today due to the time involved. Since I am having no pain we decided to leave the tooth as is until 8am next Tuesday morning when she will have time to make it a priority and do it properly without other distractions. She has an emergency "plug" that can be put in prior to Tuesday should the worst case scenario come about and the big old filling remaining drops out in the next couple of days. She could have quickly drilled it out and filled it, but what an unnecessary expense for me as it still would have to be crowned in the next few months. Since I have five other teeth waiting for crowns, it is only one more added to the list. So, I'm really looking forward to next Tuesday! Yay!!

Ten Minutes and Counting.....

....and then it will be time to head to the dentist, hopefully to get my temporary crown put on.  I am amazed I slept wonderfully well last night, no nerves rearing their ugly heads at 3am or anything like that.  Yay! 

Okay....7 minutes and counting....I think I will put on my shoes and head for the car now.  Getting there a few minutes early never hurts, right?  With the freezing in the megatons that I get during procedures the drilling out of my broken tooth shouldn't hurt either, right? hahahaha

Waiting for the dentist....ooh, what a nuisance....hahahaha!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Load or Two or Three Taken Off

What a lovely day it was today.  It was a cooler day outside.  We had some rain at last.  I actually had to shut a couple of windows for the first time in weeks to keep out the chilly air and the moisture.  It was a wonderful change!!!

The visit with my friend was such fun!  She too is not eating much in the way of sugar or other desserts so it was a relief to be able to serve a plate of bread chunks with Moroccan style humus for dipping, some low fat cheese slices and some olives.  It is good to have a friend here who understands and shares my own need to stay away from sweets.  The conversation was "just right"!  We talked about things that are near and dear to both our hearts and it felt good for both of us to be able to share some deeper thoughts and concerns from our lives.  We left each other today with lots of prayer requests for our friends, family and churches.  It was an edifying and encouraging time such as I have been needing for awhile now.

I was relieved of cooking today, due to my husband's efforts over the long weekend.  Plus we still have another day's worth of fresh chick pea curry, basmati rice, pork loin chops and other goodies left over to enjoy. Since I am starting on the procedure for another new crown late tomorrow afternoon I am grateful not to have to return home so close to dinner and have to deal with coming out of the freezing while having to cook something creative and delicious for my husband to eat after work. Whew!!  Thank you dear, dear husband for your efforts in the kitchen.  

Arrangements have been made for financing this dental work and I am so grateful for that.  Thank you to those of you who prayed this could work out well. 

It was so nice to sleep well last night and wake up refreshed this morning due to the knowledge that our son has been able to find more work, a better place to live, a studio to rent so he can start painting again and a tenant for his place in Vancouver.  Now we pray that bank account can be opened QUICKLY!

It was also a good feeling to see my husband heading off to work this morning feeling better for having spent the better part of 2 days in a row just resting and doing some recreational cooking.  I think if he can soon have another 2 days like that he will be in good shape to get through the rest of the summer.  It won't happen this weekend or the next, but a good break time is coming for him when he can take a few of the days off he is owed and go on his annual canoe trip.  Two more weeks or so and away he gets to go.  He needs this desperately and I am so grateful it is scheduled in and the other guys are getting geared up and prepared to go with him.

I am relieved my parents have entered this stage of better health and motivation in life for however long or short a period it may last.

Yes, much relief to enjoy today!

Some Answered "Son" Prayers

My parents phoned their grandson tonight and had good news to relay to us:  apparently our son does have a different room to rent for September 1st and in a much nicer part of Brooklyn than where he is now.  This is great news indeed.  The other piece of great news is that the part time gallery position he interviewed for several times recently is now his starting in September.  Thank you Lord....it is part time and it is temporary, but it is a foot in the employment door there.  We are grateful and happy for him.  It will be another week yet before the bank will start operating his account so that is still a matter of concern, so we continue to pray for mercy there, but we are most encouraged by the other answers to prayer.  It appears he has a couple of excellent options as well for subletters for his Vancouver room.  For this too we are grateful. Thank you for your prayers for him.  He has been expressing his consciousness of God's intervention on his behalf since this journey began last spring.  Watching his parents' lives unfold over the course of his lifetime he would have a difficult time rejecting the idea of God's guidance and last minute provision, haha.  So for now, the general trajectory for his life at last seems to be up, up, up.  For that we are most appreciative and grateful.  Okay Lord, now the bank account....thank You!!

Monday, August 7, 2017

A Blah Day But a Good Day

My husband has been suffering for the past two days with a food sensitivity reaction that has left him feeling drained and completely lacking in all energy or motivation.  So, our two days off (more or less anyway) have certainly not turned out as we had planned and hoped.  However, we decided that other than a short walk to the post office this morning before the temperature outside got too warm, we would just chill, do very little and let my husband heal from this nasty food reaction, rather than pushing himself to do more than he feels up to.  One more thing he can't ingest any more.  The poor guy!!

I am glad we did.  We had a LONG visit about the state of our slowly dissolving church denomination, about his job, about my short term position at my church, about our son, about our other family members, about retirement and about the weather!  It was a good time of connecting about a few issues we have both been brooding about separately for the past few weeks.  I think we both feel a lot better now that we have been able to share our thoughts, hopes and fears with each other.

After a delicious lunch of my husband's newly made lentil yam soup, topped with a bit of fresh dill, freshly grated parmesan cheese, a small handful of pumpkin seeds and a light sprinkling of Maldon salt, we adjourned the six steps between dining and living room and enjoyed watching a boxing match I recorded the other night between the German world title holder Nikki Adler and the American two time gold medal Olympic winner Claressa Shields.  What a rout for Shields....her fast hands and determination brought about a ref's decision to stop the fight in the 5th round to protect Adler from any more beatings.  Wow....talk about punch power combinations!  

My husband spent the rest of the afternoon working on his course for the diocesan theological school while I spent some time playing a video game and washing dishes and tidying up in the kitchen....just in time for it to be all cleaned up as he decided he wanted to cook some more.  haha 'Twas ever thus, right? hahaha  At the moment our suite is filled with the aromatic herbs he used to make a chick pea dish that is loaded with onions and tomatoes.  I snuck a taste and it is GOOD!!  After eating a more or less vegetarian lunch, I am feeling the need for more protein so will scoop some of the latest cooking venture over a hamburger patty.  As loaded in carbs as my luncheon soup was, the lack of protein left me feeling rather hungry by mid afternoon. 

Tomorrow when my husband returns to work I will be able to kick myself back into a higher gear, hopefully.  I have a snack I want to bake in the morning for afternoon company.  If it doesn't turn out I do have a Plan B in mind, haha. Company....YES!!!!  This is a particularly close friend but we have had a long wait to get together for a real old fashioned "chin-wag" as my grannie used to call it, haha. Looking forward to it very much!

Getting His Greenery Fix

We received a photo from our son yesterday. It was a photo of his bare feet buried in the green grass of Prospect Park. It turns out he lives less than three miles from the second largest park in the area, designed by the same two fellows who designed Central Park. It is a lovely place with huge trees, open grassy leas, golf and tennis courts, a small zoo, a dog park complete with a doggy pool and a beautiful bike path, among other attractions.  The cement city of Brooklyn has this haven within easy biking distance for the son. He is delighted by it. The loss of Vancouver vegetation was the one consideration that could have scuttled the entire New York venture. It's streets lined with ferns, tall trees, hedges and massive flowering plants have been his places of healing for the past 15 years, so we were delighted to find out he has easy access to such a place of beauty.

It seems he may have found a new place to live for September first. This week he is going to meet the other roommates and hopes it will work out. I doubt he will be in touch much until most of the current issues have been settled. He is like his dad that way. He likes to wait until there is something specifically resolved to tell. They both get stressed if people constantly ask them if their issues have been solved yet. I am so much the opposite, as my long suffering family and friends can attest to. hahaha

It is Monday of the August long weekend here: Saskatchewan Day I believe. My husband does not get long weekends in this job. Even yesterday on his day off he was fielding work calls. As Commissary in the Bishop's absence he has to be on call all day every day, but I hope and pray nothing drastic comes along to take priority over this autumn's Synod planning.

It is 6:30am and I don't want to get up and wake my happily dozing husband, so I think I will sit here in bed and finally complete the Diana Mosley biography.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Soup du Jour

My husband and I had a lot of fun this afternoon making two batches of soup together.  I did the veggie prep and he did the cooking and spicing.  What we ended up with: a spicy Mexican potato lentil soup and a pureed chick pea and yam soup that is fabulous when topped off with pumpkin seeds and a pinch of of Maldon salt for each individual serving.  DELISH!!

My husband exhibits the patience of Job when it comes to sauteeing onions.  He leaves piles of diced white onions cooking in the pan for an hour or more on super low heat and they come out of that pan just perfectly clear and slightly caramelized.  O my...they make anything and everything taste spectacular.   For the Mexican soup he chose a perfect blend of mild chilis and paprikas.  He perfectly pureed the chick peas and yams...not a lazy lump anywhere.  Again...the patience I do not have for the finer details of cooking.  

My contribution, as usual, was paring and chopping and dicing and then washing up all the pots and utensils at the end of the procedure.  My other contribution was incessant blabbing while we worked. Sigh...again with the patience of Job.  

I had good reason to be blabbing today as church was so good earlier this morning. I considered something new in the sermon and that was very stimulating....the idea that we actually embark on two journeys in life and are often not told to expect the second one.  The first journey is when we are younger, getting our education, settling into a career and family life, accummulating houses and cars and money and other material possessions.  However, at some point, after we have more or less achieved those outward goals, the outward "container" of life, we often enter into a period of transition....such as Jacob did in our Genesis reading this morning when he wrestled with God as he fled the wrath of his brother Esau after stealing Esau's birthright.  We too often find ourselves wrestling with God about whatever is in the process of change in our inner life and as we reach out beyond the scope of what we have accumulated in our "outward container".  We too end up wandering about, spiritually wrestling with God, seeking a deeper meaning in life, working on what is in the "inner container", seeking some greater mission in life than simply sitting back and enjoying our possessions.  As J. R. Tolkein writes in his poem, "....all who wander are not lost."  God knows exactly where we are at.  He knows the first journey was important and necessary but he also knows that once we are reaching the end of those goals we will be ready for something else that he has in mind for us.  I hadn't thought about the idea of there being two journeys. For me that is a different way of expressing what happens as we get older and realize that as far as outward goals we pretty much have achieved them as best we ever will, so now what?  I am presently in a bit of a personal transition time, so it was meaningful to me to hear life presented in that way.

Back to the soup....my husband has two winner pots of soup, that is for sure.  YUMMY!!  I am not much of a soup person to be honest.  East Indian Sambar is about the only kind of soup I have eaten much of in recent years, partly because getting a carbohydrate count is so difficult with soups, plus they tend to be so full of sodium as to be dangerous for me.  The vegetarian recipes my husband based his soups on today are very low in sodium and fats.  Lots of carbs of course with the lentils and chickpeas and yams and potatoes, BUT I know I can eat about a half cup of each one and be safe.  I will savor those half cups of soup slowly and taste every single spoonful in depth!

The fact that my husband wanted to spend an afternoon cooking tells me he is starting to feel better underneath the tiredness.  This month he is getting a taste, through a temporary change that will be permanent in a couple of months, of what it is going to be like by the late autumn around the office.  A lot of stress will be coming off, stress he has been forced to deal with for too many months.  I am very happy for him.  Tomorrow he is going to do a few small computer updates and other such projects for me before he goes back to work on Tuesday.  We will sip and sup the soup and have a splendidly restful day....as long as no one in the diocese has any emergencies that must be dealt with immediately while the Bishop is on holidays. hahahaha  Hopefully all will be peaceful and calm!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

That WAS Fun!

What a beautiful morning to be driving around the city: pleasant temperatures in the low +20'sC, a mix of sun and cloud and surprisingly few customers in the stores and vehicles on the main thoroughfares.  Despite all the tourists visiting for the Queen City Exhibition this weekend, not much has changed for store and street traffic.  I suppose most of our local citizens are "at the lake" for the weekend.  "We were at the lake" is the common refrain to explain summer absences here.  There are so many lakes in this province that we have had to learn a great deal of provincial geography in order to find out which of the various lakes our friends and congregation members and colleagues are "at"!

Joy of joys, I found the particular "odd" products we were in need of spread out around several stores.  It took some racing about, asking questions of clerks and ferreting out a few items from back storage rooms, but eventually I was able to get the health food items my husband requires these days, as well as a couple of specialty items he needs to take on his upcoming canoe trip. I think he will be pleased. So many discounted prices as well....what treasures were found for me!

Now I can spend the afternoon trying to complete a biography I borrowed from a friend that she will soon be wanting back, getting some paperwork caught up and planning my upcoming week.  So far it includes a visit with a friend from out of town and my initial dental appointment to begin working on the crown for my broken tooth.  This tooth was NOT on the list of 5 outstanding crowns on my "work order", but better it falls apart now while my husband is still working.  What a bummer of a wife he ended up with.  While I am grateful I have not had to spend the past 15 years of my life single and unemployed on Social Assistance for health reasons, it seems so unfair that my husband, who also has a chronic illness, has been stuck bearing the load for us both as he has aged.  Aiii yiiii....sometimes life takes some very unexpected turns, doesn't it?

I am grateful today for family and friends.  Where would I be without your support and love?  Aiiii yiiiii...it doesn't bear thinking about. I am incredibly blessed by the people in my life. 

Yup, it is a good day indeed.
 

Family Prayer Request

This coming Thursday is the important first CTscan, post cancer treatment, for our relative. We are trusting for an "all clear" of course. The waiting for such test results though can be torturous, so if you are so inclined could you offer up a prayer for peace of mind and several good nights of sleep during this time of uncertainty? (for our relative of course, and for the rest of our family as well)
Thank you ever so much!

Friday, August 4, 2017

A Lovely Little Drive This Afternoon

We had a very nice drive up to north west of Craven this afternoon to meet with some young friends so my husband could have a short baptism preparation class. He baptized their first two children and this precious little girl is number three.  We will be driving to their home church next weekend to perform the service there.  What fun!

It was a perfect day for a short drive. The temperature was pleasantly warm and the sky was overcast.  I didn't even need my sunglasses on to make the trip.  Although the beginning of a long weekend signalled a sharp increase in city traffic and on the main highways, it was still an easy drive.

The first thing we saw as we drove into our friends' yard was a group of lambs feeding in an area of long grass, protected by a hovering llama nana who was not impressed by the arrival of these two strangers.  The larger, older llama in with the ewes couldn't have cared less about our arrival, turning his back on us and yawning with boredom. hahahahaha  At least that was what it looked like from our perspective. hahahaha  Guinea hens ran about the outside of the chicken barn, heads bobbing and weaving, looking quite hilarious. Apparently they are good for keeping the ticks down, but this bunch have been sticking too close to the barn to be of much use. Hope our friends keep them for sheer cuteness factor!

The older daughter, about age 5, was eager to show me her room and all its contents while my husband conducted the class.  About the time she was running out of things to show me, (and the contents included, after a parade of many toys and books, all her socks, underwear, lint under the bed and a spider living inside her clothes closet), her big brother, about age 10, came in to ask me if I could assist him in constructing a Lego house he was having a problem with.  hahaha  Apparently there would be no need to so much as remove from my purse the book I brought along to read.  I was going to be busy doing other things.  I love this little boy.  He has grown from a tiny, hyperactive, stuttering, lisping wee lad who used to enjoy his time in church by running back and forth and up and down the aisles during services screaming at the top of his lungs, into a tall, calm, focused young pre-teen who didn't really want or need any Lego building assistance as much as he just wanted to talk about life in general.  I don't usually have that kind of connection with pre-teens, so today's conversation with him was very special indeed.  They are, all three, lovely children, perpetually happy and supportive of each other.  The two older kids are very close to each other and they love having a new baby sister.

My husband is exhausted not only from work but from a food ingestion reaction he has been suffering from over the past three days.  We are not sure what exactly the culprit was this time, but getting going in the mornings through the headaches and bone wearying exhaustion has been difficult.  By this evening the episode seemed to be passing and he went to bed early, so if he sleeps in tomorrow and goes to the office later in the morning he should be fine again. No one else is in the office tomorrow and it is closed to the public, so he can work uninterrupted for as many hours as he sees fit. 

Had a chat with my parents on the phone this evening.  They are at it again.  Dad, who hasn't been able to walk 50 feet over the past three or four years or more without having to sit down and rest, then go to bed for the rest of the day, walked with my mom a good 6 blocks yesterday afternoon after a morning spent grocery shopping with her and a hair cut and filling his tummy with iced cream.  Dad has barely been able to handle going to the grocery store with Mom for the past few years. Usually, on the few occasions Dad has tried to go along, they have taken a taxi or ridden with a family friend, mom shopped while Dad sat on a bench and drank a cup of coffee at the little in-store coffee bar, then their friend drove them home again, dad forced himself to eat a bit of lunch and then went to bed for the rest of the day.  Not yesterday!  He went along for the morning shopping trip, came home and ate a good lunch, rode with their friend to the salon, had his hair cut, ate two huge scoops of iced cream afterward at the little sweet shop next to the salon, then walked all that way home with his walker in the +29C heat!  He only sat down twice on his walker seat along the way, then sat for 10 minutes in the little park a block from their place, on a bench under a shady tree, before marching triumphantly back to their suite.  I think my mom is still in shock that he made it!  So am I!  AND we are both delighted for him!  He did pay for it today as far as being extremely tired out, no surprise, but when I called him after dinner this evening he became very animated telling me about his adventure. There are more than a few near-miracles happening for him these days.  I hope Mom is able to rejoice sufficiently with him not to feel a bit resentful that he now accompanies her again to so many places and slows her down considerably.  She has never had much independence and is once again losing what little she had, but I know she is happy for him. It has been several weeks since Dad last sounded depressed on the phone and she is certainly happier now that he is more interested in life again.  I am praising God for these happy events taking place in their lives.

Tomorrow I am going to go to a few different grocery stores to find some specialty items my husband needs that our little neighbourhood grocery doesn't sell.  That will be fun!  It is so easy to get in a rut of going to the same places all the time just because I know the layout of the aisles and sometimes it seems an extravagant waste of time and gasoline to be driving all over the city to get one or two specialty items, no matter how badly either of us may need them.  I am feeling more "with it" as well these days now that the temperatures outside are more comfortable for me.  I am looking forward to rodding around the city tomorrow. Church Sunday should be enjoyable as our own priest is taking her turn to be in charge and do the preaching and I will be making my first announcement as a representative from the transition team, hopefully helping the congregation understand some of the fun events we are going to be participating in starting in September as we explore ways to be more pro-active in ministry.  I think it is going to be a pretty good weekend.