Thursday, December 14, 2017

Lots of Good News From the Test Results

My husband and his doctor were generally pleased with the test results they discussed today.  The triglycerides are too high, so some more work to be done there over the next 3 months, but the cholesterol has dropped to just within accepted range, the kidneys are working well, blood sugar is about perfect, even the thyroid is producing properly. There is no evidence at all of a bacteria associated ulcer.

So, the next step is an ultrasound to start zeroing in on the gall bladder.  My husband certainly feels divinely led to this doctor and clinic.  There is a lab, x-ray, ultrasound all right there and so instead of having to book weeks in advance for his ultrasound he is going in tomorrow morning!  The doctor will have the results very quickly.  WOW!!  The clinic where my doctor works has only an ECG machine.  I would be waiting a long time for a non-emergency ultrasound!  How cool my husband doesn't have that concern.

Step one completed, step two all set to go! I am hoping and praying that a diseased gall bladder requiring removal is going to be the worst case scenario........

Gettin' 'er Done!

My husband is going to the doctor for his test results after lunch today.  Quick action...we like that!!  He will find out if he is showing the enzymes in his system indicative of an ulcer, or if we need to chase down the gall bladder next, or also, as well as who knows what else.  He ate melted cheese on toast for breakfast this morning, just in case his cholesterol is still way too high, in which case that melted cheese will be his last for a very long time, haha.

I just received a call from the dental office to let me know my new crown has all ready arrived and my dentist has time tomorrow afternoon to put it into place. Rather than wait until next Tuesday I have taken tomorrow's appointment.  The gum around that tooth is pretty chewed up, so might as well do all the damage at once and then let the whole thing heal properly without any more invasive work.  Yippee...another new tooth.

In a little while I am going out for lunch with my husband's cousin. We are going to finish planning the cousins' reunion for Boxing Day.  Looking forward to nailing down the details.

It is very overcast today.  There are snow showers possible sometime in the next couple of hours and then the temperatures will begin a slow slide into a rather cold Christmas week.  How blessed we have been with warm weather so far this month.  Even Christmas week may have day time highs no lower than -16C.  Chilly  yes, but certainly not unbearable to navigate with our company during the holidays.

I am reflecting on the fact that December 24th, Christmas Eve, is this year the final Sunday of Advent and not the first Sunday of Christmas.  Wonder how many of our even most staunch Anglicans will remember that and refrain from wishing each other a Merry Christmas at the church services.  Not to nitpick of course, but if we are Anglicans we may as well act like we are!

Our son has another 3 days of casual work this week.  He is so grateful.  The gallery where he started off his life in NYC with a 3 month temporary position continues to call him back for a few days here and there. An artist friend does the same.  As he says, God does indeed provide his needs, but like the rest of us he is learning how to cope with that provision coming at the very, very last second.  It is building his faith, that is for sure.  He may get a chance next school term to do a classroom presentation one day at Cooper  Union college, so is hoping that comes about.  Doing two, two hour presentations when he lived in Vancouver got him a couple of terms of teaching at Simon Fraser, so who knows.  As he says and as his dad and I have experienced many a time, when you are in waiting mode for full time work, rather than being discouraged at how long it is taking to find such a job, be excited about the endless possibilities.

Aaaaah, here comes the sun peeping out from behind a big black cloud.  What a lovely thing to see on a December day!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A Teensy Tear of Pure Joy

This morning I needed to have my usual double shot of freezing to completely numb the area around the tooth being worked on and the dentist said she was rather surprised because generally one shot is enough for "a petite person like you."

A petite person? Me??  Wha'......? 

Then I realized she was not just smooth talking her patient. She actually meant that she thinks I am petite and genuinely puzzled as to why I always need two shots of freezing.

I have not heard the word "petite" in reference to myself since I was 23 years old and it certainly hasn't applied with the nearly 100 pound weight gain I experienced between then and a few years ago when it started coming off again with the change in diet and exercise!

I was so shocked and so humbled and so grateful that teensy tears came into my eyes.  I couldn't help it.  I never thought I would hear myself called that ever again.  Fortunately the dentist didn't notice as she is the sort who would ask me if something was wrong and there was no time for me to have a complete emotional breakdown over her off the cuff comment. \

It isn't ego that has me so jazzed about her comment.  It is the joy of recognition that when I take diet and exercise seriously it accomplishes positive results.  I haven't been wasting my time trying to be disciplined only to control the diabetes, even though that is the main reason and reason enough.  I feel better and look more like a human being again.  The excess weight on my small frame made me look less than normal for years and years. I don't have the bone structure to carry it off.

I am sitting here waiting for the post-freezing ibuprofen to take effect and musing on why I was so touched by what she said.  What it does is encourage me to keep the weight off, to get serious about being more disciplined again than I have been lately as far as total calorie intake.  I find that when my husband is struggling with health issues or work stresses I take them on to the point where I start eating too much protein and even more vegetables than one person needs in a day.  The carbs I don't struggle with very often, but a rise in total food intake will have a negative effect after awhile.  Yesterday and today, since my husband saw a doctor who seems to be concerned that he get some help, my appetite is back down to normal.  What a relief!  I need to learn better coping skills when others around me are struggling so I don't take on their worries and lose my dietary discpline!

Crowned With Many Crowns!!

Just home from the dentist.  I have my third crown of this year underway.  This is exciting!  At this rate, it won't be that many more years until the major crown extravaganza is completed.  I am so happy that a couple of weeks ago I received a retroactive, tax free, GIS payment that will cover the cost of this bit of dental work, no worries that my husband's plan has no more coverage for this year.  

I am amazed at how easy this process is for the patient nowadays.  What wonderful fortune to be able to access the most modern freezings, equipment, techniques....it never ceases to surprise me when I think back to the bad old days in the chair when I was a kid.  What a blessing to be able to lay back and doze while the drill is running, to be able to giggle at some of those sounds because they remind me of the old wood planer my husband had in his woodworking shop years ago. 

Add in a sunshiny above zero day (going to +5C!!), my husband getting all his lab work done early this morning, plus finding some of our favourite artisan breads 50% off at the grocery store and it has been one great morning!  I am grateful once again for the little miracles of the day.

My life may not seem very interesting to most of you reading this blog, but to me each day shows little glimpses of heaven to come; even the days that are dark and scary have their good moments.  My life has changed dramatically over the past 15 years and I have learned to be content with far less excitement than used to be required to feel happy.  It is all good! 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Making My Parents Happy

What fun my parents had this evening!  We called them after supper, just about the time the box of un-Christmas gifts we sent them arrived at their door.  They were so excited they didn't want to finish the phone conversation, they just wanted to go and open presents.  After they gave me the obligatory scolding for sending them Christmas gifts, which I explained were actually un-Christmas gifts, they raced off to open the box and find the treasures within. hahaha

They promised they would call back as soon as they were done opening the gifts.  I was starting to worry when nearly three hours had passed and no return phone call had come in.  Finally they called back, very apologetic for the length of time it had taken.  I asked them if something had happened and there was a silence...even in the silence I could sense sheepishness and I was right.  Dad admitted they spent the better part of 2 hours trying on the clothes and cramming their mouths full of each of the different kinds of candies and chocolates that were part of the parcel.  hahahaha  He sounded odd when I first answered the phone and I wondered why. Then it hit me: "Dad, is your mouth full of chocolate right now??"  

Dad: "Uh...yeah...why?  Does it sound like I have something in my mouth?" 

Me: "hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha"

Mom was babbling about the fancy winter shirt I sent her.  In reality it is just a fancy sweat shirt, but it is a type she used to wear all the time and hasn't been able to purchase for several years.  I was delighted to stumble upon it in a new Northern Reflections store here.  Dad was thrilled about a large print novel he received. Talk about me lucking out: turns out it is by one of his favourite authors and I didn't know that. I think God gave me some guidance on that one!  Dad even loves the toque I sent him...a real risk as he is not a toque kind of man, but I worry about him going out to wait for taxi rides in his little wool cap that leaves his ears and forehead completely exposed.  Mom says she is sure he will actually wear this one because he loves the colours so much.  Whew again!!

Thank you Lord for helping me make wise choices for gifts for my parents.  It is a struggle when they are both 90 and have so few needs, but I know how they dearly love presents.  I am so glad I prayed my way around several stores, hoping I was sensing the best items to purchase.  I am not good at gift buying for others and need to spend a lot of time looking, re-looking, walking around, looking again, leaving the store I have been in, returning to the store I was in...it takes hours to buy a half dozen little gifts.  Fortunately I was not in a rush and had time to put on this little performance.  So happy my parents are happy.

So, books, puzzles, candies and clothes later, my parents have had Christmas treats.  In a few days they are going to some younger cousins' homes for fancy dinners and there will be more gifts and fun.  I am delighted for them.  Dad was at the doctor's office today to get some help with his inability to sleep and the doctor has him on half a sleeping pill and half a mild anti-depressant tablet.  Dad will never admit that aging has depressed him severely for many years, but this doctor is no dummy!  He has Dad convinced he is on this bit of anti-depressant only because it will supplement the half sleeping pill without making Dad so drowsy all day like a full sleeping pill does.  FINALLY a doctor recognizes this struggle my dad will not admit to.  He must know how to handle Dad just the right way to get Dad to agree to taking this type of medication. Mom too is thrilled with the MD! She is not easily thrilled by any sort of medical person, so this is wonderful news.

Had a long Merry Christmas conversation with my cousin this afternoon.  I can hardly believe that after all these years I have connected with a cousin who seems to want to stay in touch and that I have so much fun with.  What a blessing!!

My husband has relaxed considerably since his doctor's appointment this morning. He has the alarm set bright and early so he can get to the lab before it opens in the morning and get his tests under way.  I hope it won't take more than a few weeks to figure out what is going on, but as long as the diagnosis is accurate it will be worth my trying to be patient.

Another good day....wow......thank you Lord!

Medical "Stuff" Underway

To our mutual relief, my husband had an excellent "meet and greet" with a very nice Nigerian doctor this morning and the man agreed to take him on as a patient.  Whew!

Subsequently, my husband has a battery of lab tests that he is going for tomorrow morning and we will get a diagnosis for his gall bladder problems....or whatever....underway immediately.  I am so grateful.  He has signed the forms for his past medical records to be forwarded from his last doctor and hopefully in a few weeks we will know something about what is causing this pain and start doing something about it.

We celebrated with a delicious spinach salad and lentil soup at lunch over at Abstractions....he finds their food sits so well in his digestive system, and he was celebrating getting a new doctor and the winding down of his nerves after a week of worrying about whether or not the doctor would take him on as a patient.  How could I say no, right?  haha  He is going to eat a good dinner tonight here: I have some left over pork loin and potatoes I am going to restyle with some lemon juice and Greek herbs, along with some well cooked veggies.  While I am on my way to the dentist early in the morning to begin procedings for another new crown, my husband will be standing outside the lab waiting for it to open so he can have his tests done quickly and get to work....and to the breakfast I will send with him!

I am feeling so relieved as well that finally my husband has someone who is available to him and is taking his syptoms seriously.  The fellow is wasting no time getting tests done for all manner of possibilities. I am filled with hope.  

We watched a bout of boxing after lunch...o how I love year end on the Boxing networks. So many big bouts happen this time of year.

Yup, a wonderful day! Thank you Lord!!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Merry Christmas Dearie

Trying to figure out what to buy my husband for Christmas this year has been a bit of a nightmare.  He doesn't need one single thing I can afford to purchase for him. He doesn't even know if he wants any of the things he thought he might want that I can't afford to purchase for him.  This was finally going to be the year I bought him nothing at all.  Not really my style......

This morning we had some errands to run for his job, then we went to the car wash to peel off layer number one of a two week build up of road muck, then over to the oil change shop for new oil and other fluid top ups in the car, then for a fabulous Chinese vegetable lunch at Angkor (How can they be that much less expensive than so many other places and still provide a great meal??) and finally to Canadian Tire.  

Turns out my husband wanted to go to Canadian Tire because he figured out what he wants for Christmas after all: a food dryer so he can make his own dried veggies for camping and canoeing stews, as well as making his own dried fruit for the granola he loves to make and that has slowly been breaking the bank over the cost of the dried fruit he adds to it.  Voila!  His Christmas gift!!  YES, question answered, stress eliminated!  Certainly this is the least expensive gift I have ever had to get him for the Christmas season and he is SO delighted with it I have to chuckle. Wow, that was the easiest choice ever for a gift.  He knew exactly what he wanted and now the food dryer is sitting in our kitchen awaiting its first use.  For the price, if he uses it three or four times it will have been worth the cost.

So, everyone in the family is now taken care of for Christmas gifts.  My parents and son have theirs in the post waiting delivery, my husband is taken care of and we will enjoy buying some meals out and treats for the visiting family later this month.  The ten or so Christmas cards I still send out are all in the process of arriving at their (mostly) overseas destinations and the suite is as decorated as it is going to get.  Christmas prep: done and done!!  YAY!! 

Easiest Christmas ever....soon the whole secular part of this crazy season will be over with.   January 2nd is always my happiest day of the year, apart from Christmas Eve church services.  I am glad family are coming this year because that will make my rather painful annual Christmas holiday easier to bear.  Wow, everything is working out wonderfully well, thank you Lord!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

A Honey of a Day

That is an expression my grandfather used to use and I detested it as a kid. hahaha  However, it is a good description of this sunny, warm, wind free, Saturday!!  (Plus when I went over to the grocery store after lunch I was able to make a sizeable donation to a favourite charity and receive a nice sized jar of delicious BC unpasteurized honey as thanks for my gift.)

My dad called today....again....hahaha.  For the past 10 years he has rarely initiated a call but in the past two weeks he has called 5 times. hahaha  It is wonderful to hear both him and Mom so very excited about life again, about all their activities at their seniors' residence and about which friends they have seen lately.  Dad was kind of confused today, but that is the rare day now, post-morphine, instead of a daily occurrence....so much easier on Mom. He ruined a small surprise Mom was planning for us for Christmas, but hopefully she will forgive him. The man CANNOT keep a secret! hahaha  

My husband called just before lunch to ask me to bring the vehicle to work so he could use it for making a work related delivery.  I was happy to have an excuse to get outside between loads of laundry!  Once the delivery was made he decided we should go out for a light lunch, so we stopped in at Abstractions Cafe on the way back to the office.  The place was nearly deserted, so unusual at any time, let alone on a Saturday at noon!  We quite enjoyed the privacy and the food was wonderfully fresh and filling as usual.  My husband tried an item from the Saturday brunch menu...the name of it has not stayed with me but it is a huge bowl (even the small size is huge) of small chick peas, ground lentils, onions and pine nuts with bits of roasted pita on top of the mixture which is creamy and has had a pat of butter added.  It is like a thick white soup, almost a stew and the taste is to die for. Drat...I wish I could remember what it is called.  It was accompanied by a long dish with two tomato chunks that I got to eat (I traded it for the slices of mushroom on my spinach salad), two slices of cucumber, a dish of green olives marinated in thyme and a dish of pickled turnip.  What a delicious meal he had.  I ordered the bean burrito, happy that the "burrito" was actually one of the small sized wheat and tomato wraps as the amount of carb is fairly low in those. It was stuffed with red and black beans, onions, celery, carrot slices and small corn niblets....actually I think it is their chili mix just stuffed into a wrap, with a light covering of cheese melted inside the wrap and a bit of sour cream on the side. It was delicious!!  The spinach salad was very fresh and was covered in carrot shreds and sliced fresh mushrooms. On the side was a very sweet and tasty raspberry dressing that I was only able to have the littlest bit of since I am sure it was sugar filled....sure did taste great though even in the miniscule amounts I was able to have.  My husband had a giant (technically a medium size) mug of tea and I had a small London Fog.  I am glad I had to do some shopping afterward to get in a walk and wear off some of the many carb units that I likely ingested between the beans and the wrap and the corn.  O my it was a lovely lunch and the owners/cooks are so very friendly and helpful in explaining what is in each of the dishes we had not heard of before.  My husband's meal originated from a favourite dish in Damascus, which is where the couple serving us are from.  

So, it has been a nice day...some wonderful surprises, a bit of driving around the city...seeing my husband unexpectedly in the middle of his work day, catching up on laundry....yeah, a nice day indeed.  Now I am going to watch a movie I recorded last week.  I think soon I will binge watch my two favourite Steve Martin movies: the Father of the Bride series, although I prefer the ancient original versions of those movies....in black and white...hardly ever shown any more unfortunately.

Off to relax on the couch,  and soak up the sunshine through the living room window while I enjoy my movie.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Christmas Decorating....Check!

Decided to put up our small Christmas tree this afternoon.  We have just enough decorations left after many an "o no, we are moving again" culling, to fill it out nicely.  The handful of remaining free standing decorations have mostly been able to fit into the small living room display case in around the pottery and antique ornaments. That means I won't have to dust them until after Christmas is over and I am putting them back into storage.  Lazy is as lazy does........  There were 3 or 4 ornaments that I couldn't cram into the display case successfully, so they are artfully (I hope) arranged on the china cabinets.  

So...Christmas decorating...done and done!!!

You can tell I feel about as Christmasy as the broad side of a barn this year...like most years now that so many of our relatives have passed on and the remaining family members are scattered all over the place.  Christmas Eve will be lovely because my husband is leading the service at our church and he does a good job, particularly at including the many kids who suddenly appear with their visiting parents at that service.

The other thing that will make the holidays happy will be the arrival of my husband's sister and her husband on Boxing Day.  Seeing the rest of the cousins at the reunion that afternoon will be a cheery way to usher in our holiday time.

My friend Pat laughs and laughs at my lack of decorating ability. She is a powerhouse of creativity and I am too lazy about the whole subject to bother finding out if I actually share any of her ability to make the holidays exciting through the joy of seasonal decorations.  

The sun is shining so brightly this afternoon that I am going to return to the grocery store for a couple of items I missed this morning and mail a couple of Christmas cards.  It will be fun to get outside for a few minutes again in the glorious, unexpected warmth.

Little Quotes

"Dear past, thank you for all the lessons.  Dear future, I'm ready."
--Gabby Douglas

"If you've habituated your mind to notice the bad, you've got to work to find the good.  Ask yourself: what can you appreciate right now? What could the upside be" How might this turn out well? How can you contribute to a positive outcome?"
--M. J. Ryan

"Do not compare your growth to anyone else's. The only person you are competing with is who you were yesterday."
--Sarah Jakes Roberts 

"If you can't find the spirit of the holidays in your heart, you'll never find it under a tree."
 --Michael Holbrook

"Curiosity has kept me young as I have gotten older."
--Les Wexner

"If you're feeling low, don't despair.  The sun has a sinking spell every night, but it comes back up every morning."
--Dolly Parton 


I'm not much for self-help books but occasionally I come across specific quotes by self-help authors  or athletes or celebrities that speak to me on some level.     

Over It Now

When my husband got home from work last night I told him what happened with my near accident and he helped me reconstruct what I had seen when I went to pull over in front of the car that I was too close to.  He drilled me and drilled me and decided that while I may indeed have cut her off, he suspects I wasn't as close to her as she thought I was.  He said that if I pulled over quickly and surprised her it is entirely possible she reacted more than necessary.  Weeellll, bless him for trying to make me feel better and maybe he is correct, but whatever actually happened it certainly is going to ensure I pay even closer attention to my driving when I go grocery shopping today.

The sweet man took me out for dinner to make me feel better....to the same Chinese buffet we went to last time that I wasn't that thrilled with, but they have a plethora of yummy veggie dishes that seem to agree with his digestive system.  haha  Fortunately, they had the wonderful steamed fish again, plus a sideboard with a huge beef roast that was so tender. They must have roasted it to death to get it that tender, but it was very tasty. There was a large ham as well that we didn't try, but it looked good.

I thought  I might try to go to the Rotary Carol Festival last night to hear the two choirs I should have been singing with, but by the time we got home it was too late, plus I wanted to remain at home to make sure my husband wasn't going to have any gall bladder issues after our restaurant meal. Fortunately he was just fine and had another good sleep last night. 

Our son phoned last night and I am glad I was home for that.  He is now fighting a cold, like half the city by the sound of it.  BUT he has also applied for 2 more full time jobs and is applying for 2 more this evening.  The joy there is that, unlike in his former resident city of Vancouver, there are so many art related jobs to apply for!  Eventually he should be able to land one.  He said he feels at this point that he is being set up to wait for just the right one because he continues to land a few days of temporary work here and there, just enough to keep ahead of the bills and art supply expenses.  He is working on the hand painted linen scarf he is sending me for Christmas, as well as making himself a set of curtains in a similar vein.

We also found out last night that one of the first friends my husband made when he moved to his college town passed away recently from a recurrence of a brain tumor.  The last time we saw him was nearly 3 years ago now and we knew he was in trouble again when the emails stopped arriving suddenly and no one in his family kept in touch with us.  He suffered horribly through both his tumor incidents and at the end just wanted to go to heaven to be with his mom and dad there. His family has suffered right along with him as personality changes made for big trouble. We will miss him very much as he was a huge presence in our lives and we learned many life lessons from him, but we are glad he isn't suffering such agony any more. He was only 66 years old.

Guess it is breakfast time.  Time to make my husband's lunch for work as well.  Time to get dressed and go grocery shopping before the store gets too "Friday crowded". It is warmer today and will be most of the next week.  Life goes on.....

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Still Shaking

It is warmer outside today and I am loving that, despite the ice buildup we will probably end up with if this continues.

I started the day off well, making an appointment to get another crown done starting next week, getting to the library to pick up a book my husband had on hold and heading out to deliver back a Tupperware container a friend had lent me weeks ago.

It was on my way to my friend's place that I very nearly caused a serious accident and I am still shaking ninety minutes later because I can't believe I did what I did!!

There was a driver ahead of me who seemed very unsure about driving on the ice and snow on the street.  I had no opportunity to get around her for many blocks, but finally, about the time she slowed down to 20km in a 50km zone after averaging 30km, I THOUGHT I had my chance to get around her.  I saw another car coming up behind me in the lane I was trying to move into, but I thought I had far more space between that car and mine than it turned out I actually had.  How I misjudged the distance so badly is a mystery to me.  I swung into my passing lane and almost immediately heard a loud honk by the car I had inadvertently cut off.  O no....how could I have made such a mistake?  The car followed me all the way to my destination, more than a few kilometers away from the near accident site and pulled over beside me as I parked.

As soon as I opened the door and the driver rolled down her window, I made my profuse apology and told her what I had done wrong.  She had dropped her son off at his grandmother's house just before I nearly ran her down and the strength of her fury was due to her envisioning what could have happened had we collided when her son was still in the car.  She had every right to be furious.  I made serious misjudgement and we could have had a terrible collision if she had not been on the bit and slowed down sufficiently to avoid it.

One thing I have learned since becoming a Christian is to give up any attitude of being defensive when I am in the wrong....an attitude I used to have as a reaction to being severely embarrassed by my own wrongdoing. Thank you God for helping me with that and for teaching me that admitting wrong doing and apologizing is the only way to live.  Today I am so grateful that young mom followed me to my destination and allowed me to apologize profusely.  She told me how angry she was and why and I told her she had every right to feel that way.  I managed to keep my emotions together and not be defensive, nor to cry, from the embarrassment of what I had done and from the shock of having done it.  We had a very civilized, honest discussion and ended up wishing each other a fabulous day.  Whew....it could have gone a completely different direction had either one of us been "on the fight".  

Part of my shock over what I did stems from setting out this morning with an even stronger than usual consciousness that the present city driving conditions require extra attention to detail, and a deliberate intention to drive accordingly.  I still don't understand how I could have misjudged a driving distance so completely. Just a half hour earlier, while driving downtown I avoided a possible collision nearly caused by a driver who was looking in a different direction than the one she was driving.  It would have been a multi-car pile up had I not realized what was going on and stopped in time. Aaargh!  Writing about it is making my hands shake even more so forgive any typos I miss correcting when I publish this.

Thank you Lord for preventing an accident that I could so easily have caused.
Thank you for that young mom who followed me and talked to me about the whole incident. 
Thank you that the conversation was honest and that both of us could hear what the other person was saying despite the emotions.
Thank you for the conversation ending well.
Please bless that mom and her young son and keep them safe on the roads.
Please help me not to make such a terrible mistake again this afternoon when I have to go out again.  AMEN!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

One Man's Complaint

All was quiet here last night after the afternoon gall bladder attack my husband suffered. He slept well and long last night and went to work on time this morning.  He has not called me to come and pick him up and his work day is nearly over now, so yay for that!!  Maybe he will make it until Monday's doctor's appointment after all.

It was very cold this morning.  Although it was only -20C it felt like -35C after all the high temperatures we were blessed with last week.  I was out shovelling late last night but the wind blew more soft snow over the pathway I created, more fresh snow fell and so this morning before I could go out to run my errands (Christmas shopping for my parents...lots of good food, candies and clothes....FUN!) I had to shovel all over again.  I admit I rather enjoyed it, cold and all.

On the way home today, as I passed a little church that is along my route, I noticed a man standing outside the church displaying a large poster board sign to the passing traffic. I have seen him before over the past year, just standing there with his big sign, but today I slowed down sufficiently to actually read it. The sign said, "If this church is an example of Christianity then Christianity SUCKS!!!!"

Hmmmm....the poor fellow obviously has been hurt in some way by the leaders or members of this particular congregation.  He seems somewhat bitter if the sign is any indication.  There was a fair amount of oncoming traffic, two cars behind me, and not a clear indication of where the left turn into the church parking lot is located, so I sped up again and drove home.  However, I think next time I see the man out there with his sign I am going to try to pull into the lot and talk to him about why he is so very upset. Obviously he is hoping to tell his story to anyone who will listen to him, so he might as well tell me too I suppose.  When people feel they have been unjustly treated, rightly or wrongly, (and the fellow may well have a case against the church in question), they need to know they have been heard and understood if any healing is to ever happen.  No doubt others have also stopped to hear him out and I don't know what it would take for him to get over the upset, but I would certainly like to know better how to pray for him and for the church people he is trying to get back at by making them look bad to the general public.  I would also like to know both sides of the issue, but since it isn't my church specifically, I doubt I will ever find out and likely I don't need to in order to pray. I would also like to find out if he suffers from a form of mental illness apart from the bitterness. That could effect my prayers significantly.

As a Christian Church we have certainly been guilty, without meaning to be, of presenting our sorry selves not so much as sinners who are in the life-long process of being transformed by the Holy Spirit through the love of Christ and the acceptance of the Father, but as people who have all ready arrived at the destination of near perfection this side of heaven.  When we present with such vigor our beliefs, doctrines, prefered practises and what have you, it is easy to leave people with the impression that those of us within the four walls of our church buildings are all ready wonderful ambassadors for God's truths, when in reality we are still in process of attempting to reach those lofty spiritual goals.  We hide our faults from those who are seeking God because we think if they know we are not yet perfect or that we have doubts and questions of our own about God, those seekers will turn and leave without completing their quest for the heavenly Father.  We don't seem to understand that our well intentioned dishonesty, sometimes masked as "positive confession", drives them even farther away from God and church because they feel, quite rightly, they have been lied to.  

So, I will pray for this dear man, whatever his problems may be, real or imagined and I will pray for the church congregation he is seeking to slander and destroy and I will pray that whatever is going on somehow God will rule and reign in the lives of everyone involved. 

A lot of people agree with his sign that "Christianity SUCKS!!" and some have good reason for that belief, unfortunately.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

My Poor Husband....What A Day!!

I had a marvellous day today...bus riding, errands, Christmas "things", ironing completed, shovelling twice the big fluffy snowflakes outside our place.

My husband....not so much.  At 2pm he had to be driven home by our Bishop from the day of meetings because of another rather bad gall bladder attack.  A second staff drove our car home for him and a third will bring his glasses and lunch kit etc., that were left at the meeting, back to the office in the morning. 

Now that the attacks have increased in frequency and intensity, we are quite certain that the gall bladder is indeed the culprit from anything we have been able to learn over the past week of reading.

Monday my husband has a "meet and greet" with a possible new physician.  HOWEVER, if he has another night time attack as bad as the last one I AM insisting I take him to the emergency at the nearest hospital.  If he arrives in that condition then the scope and subsequent treatment, surgery or whatever just MIGHT happen a little bit sooner...MAYBE.

So, I don't know whether to hope for a bad nighttime attack that gets some action or that the poor man can last well until next Monday's doctor's appointment and whatever that doctor decides to do in the immediate future...IF he even accepts him as a patient.

I feel so badly for my husband. Besides the pain and fatigue there is the fear of fainting, which his Bishop was scared he was going to do at the meeting.  My husband had some bad attacks earlier in the year after eating tomatoes, but lately they have been okay.  At lunch today he ate one....oops.....not the best thing to have done apparently.

I wonder if either of us is going to be able to sleep at night for the next 6 nights prior to the doctor's appointment.  hahahaha  

My husband is supposed to be interviewing a replacement staffer this week...sigh....if this gall bladder puts him any more behind than the whole process all ready is for one reason and another, he is going to be most discouraged.

Please pray he is able to just cope with whatever happens. Thank you. 😀

My Christmas Gift

Last night I was talking to my son, who, by the way, is over his bout of “24 hour ‘flu’, (Norwalk?), and is busy finishing up a painting. Praising God he is feeling better, he has a few days of work this week and he will be able to do them. Please continue to pray he finds full time work by January. Thank you so much.

As we were talking I realized what I want for my Christmas present this year: a small version of one of his hand painted cotton scarves. Usually they are massive things, but I just want a regular scarf size, about 92cm by 46cm.

If I pay him the large wrap around scarf size but just get a proper scarf size, we each get a gift!

I am very excited because I have wanted one of his art scarves for a long time. Ooooh, merry Christmas to me!

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Wind Bloweth Where It Wills....

It is 4:15am and I am awake because the wind is driving the falling snow against the crackly plastic siding on our building. Winter has returned with a vengeance!

My husband is not yet over his cold, so yesterday afternoon I decided it would be wisdom to go along as his driver to the installation service for the new Anglican priest at George Gordon First Nation Reserve. It is only a 90 minute drive, but he was tired and had to preach. It gave me an excuse to get out of the house and I did feel considerably better than he did!

It was a nice drive on a well maintained two lane highway, under grey skies, with little wind. Turning off onto the twelve km of gravel road leading to the church we found ourselves travelling in a bit of beauty. Large trees lined the road for the first few kilometres, then gave way to rolling pasture land, then thick stands of birch trees. The little church appeared in the midst of those birches, newly sided in grey with dark green trim, and a swanky new roof the band administration assisted in paying for. Bless them.

The service was lovely, the people warm and friendly, the stew and bannock at the potluck hot, filling and delicious. The priest from my own church was there and we had the best talk. I am glad I attended.

I am so grateful my husband was up for doing the driving coming home. Less than halfway along the route we drove into a snowstorm that followed us all the way home. Compared to most other storms we have been caught in the past few years, this one wasn’t all that terrible, but I would not have driven in it nearly as competently as my husband did! We arrived home to about three inches of snow all ready covering the formerly bare lawns at decks at our place. Now we have another couple of inches of the white stuff blowing about in the wind. Talk about a winter wonderland out there. It is beautiful to look at, not so beautiful to drive in.

I think we may just cut back on some our errands today as getting about the city is going to be miserable until the ploughs get out to clear the snow from the main streets. My husband gets the whole day off! So far anyway, haha.

Our son came down with the flu yesterday so he emailed to ask for prayers and to let us know he was making chicken soup so he could try to heal quickly enough to do another week of temporary work. He also wrote a beautiful tribute to his dad. My husband was nearly in tears, he was so touched by it. Way to go son. You made your dad very happy at a time when he needs encouragement like that.

Oh....the ploughs have arrived on our street. Snow clearing with the huge blades is a noisy process, so, since I won’t be able to sleep through it, I am going to go and watch from the window. Now my husband is awake too, making himself a pot of green tea and a slice of toast. It is nearly 5am now. I suspect it will turn into a lazy day for us while we try to make up for our missing night’s sleep.

I think we will decide to just be “storm stayed” today!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The First Sunday in Advent...Again All Ready!

I can hardly believe a whole year has passed since Advent 2016! Where has this last year disappeared to??

I suppose part of the reason last year’s Advent season seems to have only happened recently is that the first Sunday in Advent last year was the day we were finalizing flights to the Okanagan for the celebration of life for my husband’s step father and subsequent flights to Calgary for my dad’s 90th birthday. It was a hectic time. Those events are still somewhat fresh in our minds due to their significance.

Since that time we have lost a favourite uncle, seen my dad’s life miraculously transformed through the kicking of all his morphine drugs, prayed our way along with a relative who suffered through extreme cancer therapy, had some holidays, sent my husband on various work related travels, survived and even enjoyed the intense heat of summer, waved farewell to our son due to his move south of the border and celebrated my mom turning 90.....among other things.

Now, once again, it is time for serious personal spiritual reflection, repentance, atonement and eventually joy in looking forward to celebrating once again the arrival of Jesus Christ upon the earth. I like to read John of the Cross’ writings about “The Dark Night of the Soul” at this season in the Church calendar. The depth of despair of personal failure, followed by the joyful recognition of where and in who help lies, speaks so strongly to me. I enjoy the counter balance between the darkness of some of his writings with some of the more joyful visions of Teresa of Avila.

I am going to be missing out on most of my church’s Advent services this year unfortunately, but I can still sing our little Advent ditty: “Advent is waiting, four weeks of waiting. Advent is waiting for Christmas to come.”

May your own time of Advent reflection, repentance and atonement be very special and meaningful to you this year.

An Anglican Prayer I Particularly Like

The following prayer is taken from the Anglican Book of Alternative Services from a service for The Ordination of a Deacon, page 653.

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light,
look favourably on your whole Church,
that wonderful and sacred mystery.
By the effectual working of your providence,
carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation.
Let the whole world see and know
that things which were cast down are being raised up,
and things which had grown old are being made new,
and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made,
your Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen 

What a beautiful and powerful prayer. O Lord, let it be.
 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

NOW I'm Tired!

Nineteen trips up and down both flights of stairs, my wonderful six block round trip to get a few veggies at the store, a couple of hours on my feet in the kitchen cooking and I am very tired, finally.  It is the right kind of tired...from working and exercising my legs, instead of from a prolonged period of inactivity.

We reached our forecast daytime high temperature of +4C just before 2pm, so I wrapped my throat up in a warm scarf and had my short walk.  When I was recovering from both the broken ankle and later on the broken hip, a six block round trip seemed like a trip to the moon and back. hahaha  Now it barely counts as going for a walk.  What a fabulous change in life....enough hardware in my "bad" leg to keep me from snapping any bones just from walking and away I go!  Hallelujah!!  After every broken bone I marvel at the body's ability to heal itself with the help of physiotherapy...in an earlier day and age I would be confined to a wheelchair by now, but instead, I am walking for miles every week.  I am so very grateful for continuing mobility, because you never know....right?

Now I am going to watch a bit of tv until the last load of laundry is ready to come out of the dryer.  One more round trip up those stairs and then I will be done for awhile. hahaha Yeah granny...it is time for a rest! hahaha 

My husband will be very excited to see all the choices he has for his dinner tonight.  When I have the occasional BIG COOK day he is like a kid in a candy store come the next meal.  He wants a little taste of everything.  REALLY looking forward to him returning from his meeting so we can feast and visit together before he disappears for the rest of the evening to finish writing his sermon for tomorrow.

Busy, Busy......

What a constructive morning!  It is only 11am but I have cooked up a storm and finished up four out of six loads of laundry.  Don't know if the glorious sunshine outside is giving me energy or if it is simply because today I feel better than I have in the last three!

Cooking and laundry are two tasks I can do without straining my irritated throat.  So far today I have boiled a large cabbage and broiled a huge, lovely, organic squash from one of my husband's friends, baked a pan of chicken breasts and prepared a large pot of beef and vegetable stew that is currently in the oven, making the house smell just marvellous. Later this afternoon I will make a pot of Thai rice.

My husband went to bed very early last evening as he has a long day of out of town meetings today, but that meant he was awake and up before 6am.  I gave up any idea of sleeping and got up as well, so I think I will be eating an early lunch today.  Eating breakfast at 6:30am is not my usual experience. 

After lunch I have all the dishes to wash from the cooking extravaganza, so that will give me a chance to be on my feet right after I eat.  It is nice enough outside that I may walk over to the nearest grocery store for carrots and celery, to replace what I put into the stew this morning.  At the moment there is barely a breeze outside and I would like to take advantage of that!

Throat issues have effectively cancelled my participation in both choirs for the rest of this year....what a great time to pull out on the team, I know: right before the end of term concerts, but I can't help it.  Doctor's orders.

Other than that bit of upset all is well.  My sinuses have finally stopped aching and once my throat stops doing what it is currently doing, (I will spare you the gory details of the resurrection of old throat problems.), life will be back to normal.

Yup, another good day!

Friday, December 1, 2017

A Diocesan Vision Statement I Really Like

Along with the dragonfly pin in my husband's swag bag came a written explanation as to why the Diocese of British Columbia chose that particular symbol for their pins.  I am going to reprint it here because I think it is very cool:

"The Dragonfly
In 2015, when the Diocesan Vision Team had completed its work in articulating what God was calling us as a diocese to, it was gifted with what we now know as our vision statement:  Renewed Hearts, Renewed Spirits, Renewed People.  At the working group's final gathering there was a collective sense of God's word being spoken and heard in the crafting of that vision statement. This was powerfully reinforced when, in the midst of the gathered circle, a dragonfly appeared and hovered over the group for several minutes before flying off. Later, we would learn that for the First Peoples, the dragonfly is a powerful symbol of change. Since then, we have been on a journey of truth-telling, reconciliation and healing.  As a diocese, we are seeking to be transformed as the body of Christ on these islands and inlets, shedding the colonial shackles of our past; those parts of our history when we did not live into God's call to treat all peoples with dignity, respect and equality--the times we failed to do and be what God had intended for us. In so doing, we do not forget, but we try to bring forward into God's unknowable future those parts of our life together in Christ that affirm and uphold all of God's people, wherever we find ourselves.  So, for us the dragonfly is a powerful symbol of our commitment to allowing the Holy Spirit to work in and through us, in partnership with all peoples of these lands, to transform us and to create in us a clean heart and renew in us a right spirit as the people of Christ."
--Anglican Diocese of British Columbia

So Nice To Have You Home Dearie!

My husband arrived home right on time this afternoon from Victoria.  I so enjoyed sitting on the comfy chairs waiting for him to enter the arrival area, after spending a few minutes scoping out the two little gift stores located in our teeny tiny airport. I found a puzzle for my mom for a Christmas gift.  It is small enough to fit on a cookie sheet so she should enjoy putting it together....now I need to find out if she kept any cookie sheets when she moved into the seniors' residence....if not I will send one along with the puzzle!  

My husband's hotel was right around the corner from the Murchie's Tea outlet so he proudly showed me the two bags of fresh tea leaves he purchased as a gift for himself.  Lucky me too: he stopped in the Irish gift shop and bought me a lovely little Celtic cross necklace.  It is a copy of the 8th-9th century AD South Cross from Ahenny, County Tipperary.  I just love it.  It is on a cord instead of a metal chain so will not irritate my skin.  I also inherited his Diocese of British Columbia diocesan pin: a delicately drawn dragonfly.  It is so simple and modern. I love it. Our own diocesan pin is still the old fashioned crest shape that looks rather unwieldy and is certainly not attractive or fashionable as a piece of jewellry.  The dragonfly pin was part of his swag bag.  Also included were a small pack of smoked salmon, a small bar of awesome hand dipped mint soap, a huge maple Roget's chocolate and a roll of Mentos mints, all of which he will enjoy...although he did cut me off a bit of that giant chocolate so I could have a treat. Bless you husband!!

Of course as soon as he arrived I had to drive him to the office, but with his cold still hanging on and a wretchedly poor sleep last night, he very quickly accomplished what he needed to do there before I brought him home to rest....and begin preparing the sermon he is preaching Sunday evening at a priestly installation, the sermon he had no idea he was responsible to give until he went into the office today! hahaha  Our dear bishop forgot to inform him as he is as burnt out as my husband...Christmas and its couple of days break from the office cannot come too soon for either of these men.

After a nap, we had a good chat about possibilities for our future, then I made pita pizzas and salad for a light and easy dinner.  We watched a bit of tv in between getting my husband unpacked and more work being done on his sermon.

It was above average temperature again today, just above freezing. By Sunday the temperatures will begin their downward trend toward what is normal for this time of year and we may be driving through snow on our out of town journey to the installation, but we are not complaining after two weeks of excellent weather.  

One of the things we talked about in regard to upcoming retirement is that we are probably not going to be able to stay on the prairies.  Part of my husband's current struggle with life is that he has reached his limit of tolerance for the culture, landscape and the severity of the weather each summer and winter.  I hear him, I hear him....

I am glad we are finally thinking realistically about the future....that we are thinking at ALL about the future!!  It is wonderful to live day by day and see God lead and provide, but there is also a time when looking to the future, even though we can only guess at what it will hold, is equally appropriate and necessary.  We will reassess our plans every so often of course and a year from now we will do another big evaluation of our circumstances.

Maybe I am more ready for another of "God's little adventures" than I thought I was!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Well DUH!!!

Sometimes I am amazed by my own stupidity!

 I have just returned from a three hour lunch visit that was so wonderful and something I hadn’t realized I so badly needed!

BUT....I decided to give myself a rare treat of a great big glass of diet cola. In the summer I buy a few of them in hot weather, but they are caffeine free. Without thinking about the cola in the restaurant being filled with caffeine, I proceeded to drink nearly three giant glasses of the stuff. Two hours into the lovely visit I discovered my insides were starting to feel shaky. A half hour later my hands were starting to tremble and my tummy was getting queasy....not seriously upset, just a bit jumpy. Suddenly I realized why I had these annoying symptoms. Duh....for Pete’s same girl, you know better than to drink anything caffeinated in such copious amounts!

Fortunately a bit of shaky queasiness doth not a marvellous visit ruin, however, at dinner tonight I will be ordering my usual glass of water with my meal! Aiiii yiiii...where did my brain disappear to?

Good grief! hahaha

Done!

Vaccuming is completed! Happiness!
Bathroom fixtures cleaned. Yay!
Showered! Super!
Hair washed, dried, styled! Joy!
Makeup and clothes on! Ready, set.....
GOIN’ out for lunch with a friend! Dance of delight!

Sunshine, warmth, light breeze! Perfectamungo!
New boots on for their first foray outside, (patent leather gleaming)! Finally!

Chat with son last night! Whoopee!
Chat with parents last night! Relief!
Chat with Island friends last night! Fun!

Dinner plans tonight with another friend! Glorious!

Another day of little blessings I am very grateful for! Thank you Lord!

In other news: my iPad did a bunch of updating this morning and made some changes I struggled to figure out, resulting in my iPad calling me an iDiot! Sigh.....being called names by a computer really hurts! (teehee)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

500 Venetian Blind Slats Later.....Yawn.....

Yup, Venetian blind slats....500 of them....506 actually....I counted.

That is how I spent a great deal of my time today...nursing another sore throat and washing ALL the Venetian blinds in this townhouse.  I can't believe I did them all...guess OCD is good for something, right? haha   Once I start a project I find it nearly impossible to let go of until I complete it.  Wow, am I ever tired tonight and my arms are aching from all that washing and drying of each individual slat.  If it was up to me I would never have those blinds ever again, but in this case they came with the rental unit and wretchedly old and miserable looking as they are, having them has saved me a ton of cash outlay on draperies that won't likely fit the next place we rent.  So, a good job well done!

My husband called this afternoon.  He is really enjoying his meetings in Victoria.  The meetings end at noon tomorrow, but his booking agents were unable to get him a decent return flight until the next morning.  He is calling some relatives there to see if they can see him tomorrow after the conference ends, but if they aren't around or are too busy he has good plans for a relaxing time all to himself.  He so rarely gets time alone, even in our own home.  By the sound of his voice, getting away from the dry prairies and out to the coast is doing his health a world of good, while his sister and I both struggle valiantly on with cold symptoms that seem to want to hang around for a good long time!  I am so pleased for my husband. As soon as he gets home his life heats up at work again and I don't know when he will get his next day off.  Glad he is feeling well enough now to face it.

My voice is non-existent this evening.  I think I had better go and see the doctor tomorrow as I have a suspicion as to what is causing this and need it confirmed.  Drat...if I am right I will not be happy!  😡

Once I got the blinds washed I decided it was time to unkink my arms and do some dusting.  Fortunately I had the energy to do ALL the dusting. So now all I have to do tomorrow is vaccum and wash floors/bathroom fixtures and the place is good for another 10 days.

There are several shows on tv tonight I want to see, so am going to have a very quiet, happy evening...although I suspect I will find myself washing the kitchen and bathroom floors in the commercial breaks....despite my ongoing sinus and throat problems my energy has returned in spades.  Assuming the day tomorrow is as melty and sun filled as today was, (despite a 15 minute wet snow shower at mid day), I plan to walk some old books up to the community library box to get some good exercise.  The cooler weather is returning this coming Sunday so I plan to take full advantage of the nicer, ice-free days.  

Tomorrow evening I am going out for Indian food with a colleague of my husband's.  She and I have been trying every Indian restaurant in the city and are enjoying the variety of dishes presented at each one.  Our choice for tomorrow will be the menu items, rather than the too mildly spiced buffet, at India Palace on Albert Street.  Should be a lot of fun!!

Lots to look forward to in the last 36 hours before my husband gets home.  Wow, it is going to be so great to see him.  I used to be so cavalier about him being gone because he was gone more than he was home.  However, in recent years we have been together in the same place a LOT of the time and I have quite gotten used to it.  If we can come up with some more income during retirement I think we are going to have quite a bit of fun together!   

Better get some emails written before those television programmes come on!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

How Many Little Blessings Does One Person Get To Enjoy in One Day???

What a marvellous day thus far!  I slept so well last night, it more than made up for the previous night.  Breakfast tasted particularly good this morning...why, I don't know because I ate my usual oatmeal and prunes and drank my almond milk.  Maybe the bit of bread with its teaspoon of raspberry jam was more delicious than usual for some reason...anyway, I quite enjoyed it all today.

The furious winds we had raging all night died down almost completely by the time I caught the bus to go to my hair appointment.  I had a nice walk to the library from the bus stop downtown and arrived just as it was opening, so I didn't have to stand outside to wait to return my husband's book for him.  I had time to scope out a couple of Christmas gifts for my parents at The Bay before my haircut and found exactly what I was looking for: a huge box of licorice allsorts for dad and some peanut brittle for mom.  What a positive start to my shopping for them.

My hairstylist was particularly chatty today from the excitement of finding out just this morning her husband has booked them a family Christmas trip to Arizona and Nevada for 2 weeks during the kids' school winter break.  Her excitement was contagious and I came out of the shop not only looking better, but feeling positively cheery!  Her enthusiasm was contagious!

I returned to The Bay to pick up my parents' candies and then had my usual chicken shawarma salad at Zam Zam Wraps...wow, it was super charged with huge pieces of chicken today.  Delicious! 

Inside Stokes I found a lovely loaf pan on sale.  I have been searching for affordable loaf pans that do not have non-stick coating and today was the day.  My new one is red and white ceramic, most attractive and not likely to stick while not having a coating on it that will scratch and risk being ingested.

Ricki's had a great sale on some tops, so I took a wee gander about the store.  Last time I was in there I saw a mauve top I was interested in but didn't need.  Today there it still was on the clearance rack along with a matching white one, so I bought them both.  I love getting two for the price of less than one at the original price. No, I didn't need more clothes, but too bad, so sad.

Decided to see if our pensions were in at the bank yet and there they were, so I took out some money for our son for Christmas and walked to a branch of his bank to deposit it for him. He is heading to Montreal on the train for a few days' visit with a young woman and her family during Christmas/New Year week.  I don't think it is a romance, but the lady in question has been a very good friend to him for quite some time.  Train fare from NYC is extremely reasonable, far moreso than flying him to our freezing cold city for the holidays.  We are "getting off cheap" with his gift this year! hahaha  

By the time I got out of the bank I had just missed my bus connection.  Such a lovely day just begs for a good long walk, so home I came on foot. I stayed on the sunny side of the street where all the ice had melted and only once had to step off an icy sidewalk into the street to keep from slipping.  What an unexpected treat!

I came home to find a nice photo of my husband inside this month's copy of our diocesan newspaper that was in the mailbox.  I think he will be pleased with it. He looks so studious with his reading glasses perched on the end of his nose.  Teehee....  

Walking home in the sun was so nice. I didn't even need to wear my gloves. Tomorrow it is supposed to start snowing and the cool down will begin on the weekend.  I had no idea I would be so blessed as to get a good long walk in ahead of the next snowfall, with no ice to worry about.  So very glad I missed my bus after all!

Once home, I loaded up our empty water jugs and drove to the refill store.  Then I drove up and down 3 different main streets looking for the one car wash I have found in this city that allows me to wash the vehicle myself....for far less than the $13 to $30 required at the automated washes.  I must be really confused as to the location of the car wash we have been to occasionally as I couldn't find it anywhere.  I feel pretty silly, but it isn't anywhere to be found. I know I am not the brightest candle on the cake, but I don't usually get my directions that confused.  Perhaps it no longer exists.  All I wanted to do was get the worst of the present dirt off the car before the snow returns tomorrow, spawning a new layer of dirt.  O well......my husband will remember where the car wash is/was and tease me unmercifully for not being able to find it; and I will let him because usually it is his memory that is unable to recall things.  For once that problem will be mine instead of his.

Time for another nap I think.  Not sure if my still healing sinuses are going to react to being outside for so long today. I wrapped my neck up in a new scarf a friend gave me and it nearly sweltered on the walk back, but at least I didn't get a chill.   Well, if I have a relapse because of this walk today it will have been well worth it and likely would have happened anyway.

A day filled with little blessings for which I am extremely grateful.

Monday, November 27, 2017

When Your Partner Suffers With a Chronic Illness.....

...you become so used to dealing with it every day you don't realize how much effort it takes until you are free from it for awhile.

With my husband's CFS going away with him yesterday, I have several days where I can relax my memory banks.  I don't have to remember where his keys, cell phone, wallet, keys, jacket, hat or various important papers are. I don't have to ask him if he plugged in the car, shut off the lights, locked the doors, set his alarm clock, turned down/up the heat, turned off whatever appliances he has been using, etc. etc. etc.  I don't have to call him every day at 5pm to see if he has any idea what time he will be able to come home for dinner and then have to gauge the best way to cook the meat and vegetables I have prepared so that the meal is ready at the right time. I don't have to leave notes around the house reminding him what time he needs to be places on his days and evenings off, or what questions he needs to ask at work about things that effect us both, or who is waiting for him to respond to personal phone calls and emails among our family members.  I don't have to remember to remind him to read the notes. I don't have to remind him to try to remember what he has read. I don't have to make follow up phone calls or send follow up text messages to be certain he has remembered. I don't have to track his Google calendar to be certain he keeps his scheduled personal appointments away from the office. I don't have to read every Nutritional Value label on every food item I buy because I am buying it for myself.  I don't have to check every morning when we wake up to see if he has a CFS headache and how best to help him overcome it if he does.  I don't have to remind him which days to exercise and which days he is supposed to rest his muscles.

I only have to remember my very own "stuff" and I suspect that is part of the reason I fail to make many plans for myself when he is away.  No plans, nothing serious to remember.....oh, it is glorious.

It never ceases to amaze me that my husband can function at all with this illness, let alone hold down a fulltime, extremely stressful job.  In the past 7 years he has come right to the brink of a CFS episode several times, but has been able to recognize what is happening in time to take measures to control it and walk through it without becoming paralyzed in his work.  I praise the Lord for that....every day!

And tonight I am praising God for this short break for me to recharge the memory banks....in between worrying because he has no one to remember for him on this trip away.  He does handle problems created by the CFS quite well though.  If he gets his schedule screwed up when I am not around, he figures out ways to solve the problem, or at least who is most necessary to apologize to for missing, or being late for, something important. 

I can't believe he has survived this wretched disease for the past 35 years and is still working...STILL WORKING!!  Amazing!  He is even doing a good job!  

Thank you Lord for this little break for me to recharge and for him to be away from my constant reminders.  It is a mentally relaxing week here for me...and hopefully there for him as well.

Bawling Like a Baby

Surreal experience: just flipped on the tv and what should pop up on the screen but Oprah Winfrey singing (yes, singing) the old hymn "I Surrender All" to Harry Connick Jr.

Wha?????

She sang one verse for whatever reason and I had to pinch myself to see if I was really awake or having the strangest dream ever. I was definitely awake.

No idea what the show was about, all I do know is that as she sang with a small band and Mr. Connick backing her up, I started sobbing...and sobbing...abd sobbing. Talk about bizarre!

My husband and I have an extreme amount of stress in our lives and I am sensing the possibility of some changes coming. I have been feeling too tired and feeble to even want to consider yet another one of  "God's little adventures" coming along in our lives.

I don't know if we are correct that some changes may be in the offing, but what I do know is that whether or not anything at all ever changes, I have not been surrendering my life fully to God of late. I am happier with life more lately than I have been in a long time and I so do not want that to change. Why I would be subconsciously assuming a change would signal negative changes rather than positive ones, I have no idea.

I am happy to have flipped on the tv when I did. Crying in repentance and surrendering to the Lord's plans, no matter what they turn out to be, has lifted a big burden from my shoulders. What a crazy answer to prayers!

Happily Exhausted

I am happily exhausted today!  Fortunately I have no plans except to stay home and relax...and apparently chat on the phone.  hahaha A priest friend from Ontario, filled with good news about his life and diocese, has just spent nearly 90 minutes chatting happily away at me and it was a most encouraging sort of conversation!  YAY!  

Yesterday I was not only awake and ready to go to the small group choir practise at the church, I was even ready to attend the service...got there with 2 minutes to spare and very much enjoyed both it and the choir rehearsal afterward.  Raced home to make lunch and help my husband with the last items of packing for his trip, then off we went to the airport.  

His flight was mercifully, unexpectedly, on time to leave!  He arrived in Vancouver and was picked up by our friends, who took him to their church service, then out they all went for a Persian dinner.  I don't know how his typically tersely worded text messages last night could convey such a sense of cheer, but they certainly did!  haha  Today he will spend some time sorting out the best way to get to the airport and on to Victoria he will go later this afternoon...hoping that short flight is also more or less on time!

I drove from the airport back to the church building for the second choir's rehearsal. We had a guest conductor/clinician and he was just great...so helpful and so quick to help us deal with chronic problems in blending and pronunciation.  "Less Texan, more British!"  hahaha  Stewart Wilkinson, thank you for your wonderful help all afternoon.

From there I followed two other choir members over to one of their houses for a Greycup party.  It was a lot of fun!  Another family was there that I had not met previously and they were very friendly and  nice to visit with. I wasn't happy that Calgary didn't win the game of course, BUT at least it was a close and interesting game out there on the snow covered field of play.  I am much more interested in the Kovalev/Shabranskyy fight outcome that I will have to save for watching when my husband returns home.  haha  The party hosts and other guests were all delighted that Toronto won and so that made for a happy group.  I over ate the spicy chili and paid for that all night long with sleeplessness....of course the slice of cheesecake and the jalapeno cheese slices and the salt and vinegar potato chips I indulged in did nothing to mitigate my insomnia. hahahaha  It was the Thanksgiving blowout I never got to have at Thanksgiving and I regret it not at all!  Today it is back to salads and whole wheat seed breads and chicken and fish until our family arrives on Boxing Day in December for a Christmas meal blowout!!  

So today I am taking it very easy, hoping to have a nap at some point..maybe a couple of points!  I dozed off after breakfast dishes and was nicely asleep when the phone rang at 7:45am.  It was the blasted computer scammers!  I was so torqued and so NOT awake I admit I yelled at the person on the other end of the line about waking me up and slammed the phone down in a most embarrassingly unChristian-like manner.  That is now two phone scammers I have treated that way in the past year....sigh....I need to get a grip.  I don't know why I am like that when the phone awakens me....is it truly anger at the scammers on the line or is it that when the phone wakes me at times when no one in their right mind would be calling anyone I assume subconsciously that it is bad news about my parents or other family members and the instant stress that comes with it is released when I discover there is no bad news other than being awakened by a scammer?  

Whew...that last bit of reflection has drained the last of my energy, haha, so it is definitely time for a little nap!  Hopefully I can sleep until lunchtime!  The sinuses are so much better again today, almost free and clear and the coughing has stopped almost completely.  Hallelujah!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

A Good Sleep

I can hardly believe I slept all night, other than one little spell of coughing! I have been out of bed for a half hour and have not coughed even once! Good news for me! My husband barely coughed either. We are both feeling so much better. Yippee! In my case I never know how much of my sinus distress is due to allergy. My husband gets over even the worst colds more quickly than I do.

I think I will skip 9am church this morning to spend a few extra hours with my husband before driving him to the airport. Combined congregational choir rehearsal doesn't start until 10:30am. Based on last evening's attempts to sing here at home I think I can give a bit of singing a try.

The temperature is going a bit above zero again today. That is good news. I am going to a Greycup party this evening and should be home before the melt on the streets freezes again.

Should be a good day. Now I pray my husband's flights will be on time today. From my mouth to Air Canada's ear!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Cough, Cough, Cough.....

Cough...cough...cough...cough....cough.....

Breathe...cough...cough...cough......cough...cough....

Talk...cough...cough...cough...cough...cough...cough...cough...coughCOUGH!

Cough...cough...cough...cough...cough...cough...cough...cough....cough...cough...

Breathe...cough...cough...cough...cough....

Talk...cough...cough...cough...cough...cough...COUGHCOUGHCOUGH!   
Argh.......