Friday, March 31, 2017

Social Events and Stressful Folk

One of the newest Catch Phrases these days comes from the idea of having the right to feeling emotionally comfortable around other people. The Catch Phrase is "feel safe".  

To not "feel safe" around someone can have consequences as small as simply avoiding that person as much as possible to as huge as THAT PERSON being fired from a job due only to the belief by administration in YOUR feelings.  Apparently few to no facts at all are required in some instances to confirm the other person is actually not an emotionally safe person for you to be around.  When there is no physical abuse involved, there often doesn't seem to be much to go on for choosing to attack the perceived unsafe person to the point where his or her life or career can be ruined by someone else's emotional whim.  Such decisions are apparently rather arbitrary and very much "of the moment" reactions.  

The whole idea frightens me.

However, not all feelings of being emotionally unsafe result in dire consequences for the perceived offender.  Thankfully!

I am facing soon a group of folk in a social setting that inclues at least three people who for me are, in my and my husband's opinions, unsafe for my emotions.  They are people who I do not relate well to for reasons I don't actually understand.  A choice has been made in how all of them treat me and it isn't a nice way to be treated.  I have to be careful when we approach this upcoming event because my husband will be tempted to let them know what he thinks of their behaviour if he gets even the slightest hint from me that I feel mistreated.  Bless him for wanting to protect his wife, but I see no need to make issue of these things in public.

Each of these people who I do not "feel safe" with are nice enough in most ways.  There is just some kind of problem with me that they are not eager to share with me, don't want to make it right for some reason....perhaps they are just not walking fully on the adult end of the scale. I don't know what it is and to be honest, (and believe me I have tried to talk to all of them about it with no results forthcoming), I am past the point of caring much.  However, it does sometimes make these sorts of occasions uncomfortable on an emotional level. The event is in a rather confined space so avoidance will be difficult.  Perhaps I am being called upon to walk fully myself on the adult end of the scale??

For me the concept of feeling emotionally unsafe with certain people is rather helpful.  "Unsafe":  such a simple word that describes my emotional reaction to these folk so perfectly.  

However, there are degrees of "unsafe".  The only thing in danger at this event will be my own feelings.  AND feelings can be reined in, can be controlled, can be overcome and can be let go of when I turn them over to Jesus who loves me unconditionally.  I can walk into the setting with my head held high, gravitate if possible to the other people there who are good friends and who are indeed "safe" for me.  I can look the people who don't like me in the eye if I can't avoid them and radiate all kinds of love in their direction, whether they are prepared to receive it from me or not.  

In an odd sense, God's love is the best revenge when people make your emotions feel so desperately "unsafe".   There is nothing like having God reach out to you from someone you don't like to throw you off balance.  At least that is what happens to me when people who likely view ME as emotionally "unsafe" for THEM prefer to love me anyway rather than give me "attitude" that I likely deserve more than their love. 

As I face what could be an emotionally uncomfortable time in this mixed crowd of friends and "not sure whats", I am going to call upon the Lord to grant me love like I have not experienced ever before toward these "unsafe" folk.  For my own protection God may limit our contact, or he may open up a very unexpected door that leads eventually to reconcilation and healing.  You just never know what God is going to do for certain, but I do know that he loves me and he loves them and his greatest wish is for us to love each other.  That can happen!  I've seen it before and I hope and pray I can see it again with these particular people.  

Life is never boring, is it?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Books To Go!

I had some banking to do earlier this morning. When I was done and about to leave the bank I noticed they had a table of used books and a collection box for United Way. The idea was to choose a few books and donate one dollar per book to the charity.  I picked up four books, made my donation, returned home after completing the rest of my errands, went upstairs and saw my own small stack of previously read books sitting forlornly and annoyingly on the floor beside my bed.  

Hmmmm.....part of the reason they have been sitting there for weeks is because I haven't had any idea where to donate them.  I could take them to the one cramped, disorganized, second hand book store I am aware of here, but don't feel like opening yet another used book account and feeling obligated then to spend hours in the store attempting to find a book or two as I search through the stacks and piles and shelves.  So, I decided to bag my used books up and take them to the bank sale.  

It felt good to make the donation, helping myself out of course in my desire to have an uncluttered bedroom, but also hopefully helping out the United Way with a few dollars if anyone buys the books.

Since it was lunchtime at that point and there is a Swiss Chalet across the parking lot from the bank, it made sense to me to stop in for a grilled chicken caesar salad.  Does it not make perfect sense to you as well?  I mean, the building was RIGHT there after all and it WAS lunchtime and I WAS hungry...1+1+1=3 right?  teehee

Now I am home for the afternoon, waiting for my husband to return from conference by dinnertime tonight, deciding that I am not going to strain myself cleaning house before he arrives. That will be a good project for tomorrow and Saturday afternoon when he is at work and I have nothing to do other than a sectionals rehearsal at choir Saturday morning.

It has been a productive day.  There was some rain this morning, just enough to cover my car with muck again, o well, but now the rain has cleared off and the sun is shining.  Lovely!  

I love the beginning of spring...so much hope comes along with the melting of the snow and ice and the formation of new buds on the tree branches. Every year the arrival of spring gives me the feeling that any and all good things are possible!!  They are too, are they not??

My Two Favourite Quotes This Week



"Memories were waiting at the edges of things, beckoning to me."
--Neil Gaiman, The Ocean At the End of the Lane



"It's not that I forgot; it just stopped bothering me. It was the strangest thing."
--Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

DAAAAAAD!!! AAAAAARGH!!!!!!!

One last vent about poor old Dad and then that is all for awhile...I promise!  I just have to get the frustration down in print so I can get it out of my system and decide what if anything I can do about it all.

Mom's approach is that Dad is so out of it so much of the time right now that there is no point trying to bring him back to reality about his medical situation so she is just sitting back in order to control her own stress and worry.  I may have to do the same.  He is, after all, going through morphine withdrawal symptoms so can't be expected to be totally rational. I can only hope and pray his lack of ability to listen to reality will not end up hurting him more than he all ready is.

Dad decided that he has to ditch the strong medication the doctor gave him to help control his bowels through the morphine withdrawal.  Dad told me that an hour after he took the first pill his hernia bulged out and he was in terrible pain.  I couldn't figure out how he made the association between the two, so started asking lots of questions.  Turns out he had been racing to the bathroom so often over a two day period that he had removed his hernia belt. By the time he received the meds from the drug store he had been without his belt for well over 48 hours straight.  In an unfortunate coincidence, the hernia chose an hour after his first medication dose to bulge.  Sigh....  

Do you think I could convince Dad that his hernia bulged because of not wearing his belt?  Nope, not a chance.  I talked to him until I felt like I was becoming blue in the face from lack of oxygen. Nope, it was because of that medication.  If his hernia could start bulging after only one pill then the meds are too strong!  Sigh....

As we were talking a neighbour from my parents' former residence arrived at the door bearing some off the shelf strength tablets.  She takes them and swears by them, so of course they must be far safer for his hernia than the ones the doctor insisted he take. HUGE SIGH OF FRUSTRATION!!!!!!  The two things do not equate to begin with.  Taking off the required hernia belt for such a long time of course is what results in hernia problems, but not to Dad's way of thinking at this time.   Blaaah!!

So, I decided to agree with Mom to just let it go. The doctor specifically told him not to bother taking the off the shelf meds because they wouldn't be strong enough to assist his bowels, but suddenly, for the first time in his life, Dad has decided to disobey the doctor.  Mom is so stressed and upset she can't handle the whole situation.

I don't know how I am going to even suggest that Mom move into a smaller suite in their facility in order to free up the funds to place Dad into progressive care downstairs.  In some ways, no, he is not quite ready for that, but it won't be long.  They can't think their way out of a wet paper bag at this point anyway but don't take kindly to suggestions from The Rebel Daughter who ran off and got married instead of devoting her life to caring for them.  Well, hey, it is a convenient enough excuse in Dad's slowly crumbling mind to allow him to ignore anything sensible that I have to say.  It all makes me very sad.

So, if you are one of the prayer warriors who read my blog, do send up a prayer or two as you are so led that my parents can sort out their 90 year old lives in a way that will be safer and happier for them both. Thank you ever so much.  I really appreciate it.  I am going to have to step in at some point but I don't know when that point is going to be and am praying for a smooth segue into the conversation my parents and I will soon have to have.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Poor Mom and Dad

This evening I had a rather depressing phone conversation with my parents.  Poor Dad is going through some intense withdrawal symptoms as he ends his 4 years of too much hydromorph.  In fact some of his symptoms have been so intense he ended up going by ambulance to hospital Monday afternoon.  Sigh....if I hadn't called them tonight I wonder when I would have found that out.

Fortunately for Dad the specific problem was fixed within a few hours and he was home again by 9pm.  Tonight is his last dose of morphine.  In only 3 weeks he has gone from taking 12 or more mg a day to 2mg a day over the past 3 days. No wonder his body is suffering withdrawal, but I am glad he has been brave enough to obey his new doctor and do this.  If he can get through another week of withdrawal he should find life to be much happier, more active and less about sleeping constantly.


I am actually more worried about how Mom is holding up through this. She is completely exhausted by it all. Sigh.......  Dad said she ordered him to wake her up every time he has to get up in the night to use the bathroom, and over the past week that has been numerous times each night.  She is afraid if he falls down in the bathroom she will not hear him calling out for help because she is so deaf.  I asked him why he doesn't leave his emergency call button necklace on his bedside table and just pick it up and take it with him every time he gets up in the night so he doesn't have to wake mom up.  There was a stunned silence when I asked him and then both he and mom admitted they never thought of that.  Sigh........  Of course dad can't wear the necklace to bed because just rolling over could push the button and accidentally signal the downstairs desk that there is an emergency when there isn't, but neither of them had their wits about them to realize that instead of leaving it on the dresser at the other end of the bedroom, Dad could leave it right beside his head on the night table with his glasses, which he also picks up and puts on every time he gets out of bed.  Aiii yiiii.....the fact that Dad wouldn't think of something so obvious is not a surprise as he is rather dibbled a good deal of the time now, but for Mom not to think of it is downright worrysome!  It tells me how stressed out and tired she is getting to be.

This is when living so far away is so terribly frustrating.  I can't afford to just hop on a plane, or even drive out there, any old time I happen to feel like it.  It could be June at this rate before I can get out there again. Sigh.........

Well, that is just how life goes sometimes.  I will try not to worry more than I should and I do pray that Mom can recover her clarity of thought as such a thing is pretty much beyond Dad at this point. Sigh.....old age really sucks!  My parents are so ready to go home to Jesus and for their sake I hope things don't have to get a lot worse before that happens.

Say What?????

My newly ordained friend told me the most hilarious story the other day.  Apparently a young person who had not attended the ordination recently asked her how her "coronation" had gone! hahahahahahaha

Yup, Queen of the World, that is my friend. hahahaha

There were so many jokes and scenarios we came up with over that small vocabulary mistake that we ran out of time before we had a chance to cover them all with our warped sense of humour. hahahahahaha 

Coronation...teehee....cute one!

Almost Spring-like Outside

Another lovely day for me!  Blessing upon blessing is mine, that is for sure!

I didn't sleep in this morning, but when I woke up at 6:30am I had the luxury of being a lay-about, reading a book for a couple of hours before I really had to eat breakfast.  The morning was spent ironing, taking out trash, paying next month's rent and all manner of wee chores.  Since I ate breakfast so late, I had a small snack at 11:15am to carry me through to a mid afternoon lunch.  Rode the bus downtown for my haircut at 1:30pm and then thoroughly enjoyed my chicken shawarma salad at Zam Zam Wraps.  YUMMMMMMMMM!!!!!  Today I got the larger pieces of chicken left in the bottom of the server after the smaller bits were used during the lunch rush...must remember that for future reference. hohoho!

I cased all the stores that sell shoes in Cornwall Centre, but not one of them had the sort of sandals I can wear. Sears had a rather nice pair but of course the soles are too hard to wear with bone spurs under my heels. I am going to make a trip to Fosters Shoes tomorrow to pay the big bucks for a pair of sandals that will be good for my feet, if they have anything suitable.  Hopefully the specialty shoe stores will have more sandal selection by the end of April if I can't find what I want right away.  Inannone's is very good about ordering what I need, but it does take a long time as the shoes I order come from the deep south of the USA.

After all my window shopping I decided it was far too nice a day to encase myself on a bus to come home.  What a lovely walk I had.  It was windy, but the wind was much warmer than it has been over the past few days.  By the time I was half way home my coat was unzipped and flapping out behind me as I strolled along in the bright sunshine.  The snow and ice are almost completely gone now on all the tree lined residential streets, so I had a safe walk, only having to look out for new heaves in the cracked sidewalks in that old section of town.  The closer I got to home the slower I was walking....not because of pain or mobility problems, but because I was reluctant to end my walk and have to come back inside!  Despite the mud and dirt and general ugliness that accompanies the first weeks of spring on the prairies, it is the best feeling in the world to be able to get out and walk without having to wear YakTrax on the bottom of my boots, without huge floppy mitts and fat, ugly parkas, without toques and scarves and turtlenecked teeshirts....and a spike-ended cane! 

SPRING IS COMING!!  YAY!!

Of course that also means we will likely have some wicked storms over the next month with blowing snow, blinding rains and gale force winds, but the best part of those storms is that the aftermath doesn't last more than a couple of days before we will be dry and warm once again.  

I feel like I have been set free from prison at this time of year!  Hallelujah!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Back in the Fog...Beautiful!

The fog rolled back in this evening and brought a bit of misty rain with it as well.  By the morning there will be a coating of frozen mist all over everything.  I am glad I did my bit of grocery shopping this afternoon and that my hair appointment tomorrow isn't until after lunch.  That should be late enough in the day to allow the frozen mist to be melted off and leave the sidewalks less slippery for my walk to and from the bus.

Tonight I rented "Manchester By the Sea".  I enjoyed it.  Casey Affleck did such a great job of playing a very difficult character.  It is a slow movie, but in this case the story and characters call for it.  The long shots, scenic interludes and slow action are all part of the mood of the film.  It was a wonderful way to pass an otherwise boring evening alone.

Speaking of "alone", I am surely enjoying text messaging these days.  My husband and I have been able to be in touch this evening quite regularly, getting caught up on each other's day.  Something as now commonplace as texting is still a rather big deal to us because for several decades when he was working away from home it wasn't always convenient to telephone each other, or even access emails from some of his job sites, so we often went for a week or more at a time with no contact whatsoever.  The first few times he was in Japan we experienced no contact for a month or more at a time, more than once.  We became so used to not being in touch with each other for days or weeks in a row that even now we both have little patience with couples who have to be texting and emailing and calling each other every hour of the day when they are apart.  hahaha  That would have driven and still would drive both of us completely crazy.  A person needs some space in our opinion, even from a spouse!

I am about to start a new novel:  "A Glastonbury Romance" by John Cowper Smith, first published in 1932. As usual I am likely the last person in the country to read this popular historical novel. haha  Looking forward to it as it is a very long book and so will occupy my time for quite awhile.

Since it is nearly 11pm...again...where did the day go after all????...I am going to hop into bed and get started on reading this epic novel.

The Return of the Geese

The geese have returned to our area of the city.  It happened about five days ago with much honking and flapping of wings as several geese flew over us on their way to check out the conditions on Wascana Park and lake.  Yesterday the same pair that first showed up on our lawn last spring arrived.  We know that it is the same pair...or at least one of the original two...because of the odd placement of the band on its leg.  It really stands out as being different from the bands on the other birds.  

Sigh.....the goose manure all over the back lawn from the overrun of geese on their way south last fall has not yet had time to dry, in fact we are all ready bringing it in on the soles of our shoes as we slog through the remainder of the slop to get to our car and back.  
HUGE SIGH.....

This year we have decided to stop wasting time and effort on trying to keep the birds and their deadly droppings off our part of the yard.  No one else here seems to care enough to work with us to put the run on the huge flocks of geese that moved in on the property two Septembers ago and are obviously returning this spring.  The management company here would need massive amounts of money and human resources over the next two years that it would likely take to convince the geese to stay off our lawns. The city has no clue what to do to stop them from taking over the man made lake and surrounding park areas across the street from us and the parks employees and administration seem completely disinterested in finding out.  I suppose someone is going to have to develop bird manure related lung disease before anyone at all with any influence pays the least amount of attention.

So, if you are new to the blog and want to find out what the problems are with these geese you can start searching out posts from about a year ago. They are titled in such a way as to let you know geese are the topic.

That is pretty much all I am going to say about the blasted geese this year.  The topic was exhausted by the end of last September and I assume this year will be a case of "Second verse, same as the first...a little bit louder and a little bit worse."  Double sigh.....


Beautiful, stupid, poopy geese.......

Monday, March 27, 2017

In a Fog....As Usual!

I woke up this morning with a foggy head from lack of sleep and to a foggy morning outside.  The fog was so thick early in the morning I couldn't see the large building across the street when I first got out of bed.  Colliding weather systems seem to have ushered in cooler rather than warmer temperatures today.

Had kind of a rotten sleep last night.  I knew I had to wake up rather earlier than usual to be ready to go to the lab for my 6 months lab work up and for some reason I couldn't seem to stay asleep much even though the alarm was set for the correct time.  O well...the good news for me was that I was at the lab and in line for opening suffiently early as to find myself in the third spot!  It was worth a 20 minute wait outside in the dark until they opened.  The 3 of us standing there were eventually joined by 9 others.  I wish I could always go on Mondays because the lineups on Monday morning are the shortest of the week.  I have to get lab work done according to the date, not the day of the week.  Rats!!

The lab opens at 7am and I was home stuffing my face with breakfast by 7:30am after my 14 hour fast.  The fog wasn't fun to drive through, but my route to the lab is a good one on major roadways with good streetlights.  

After unloading my husband and all his overnight gear at work at 9am I filled the car with gasoline and went back home to get a little more spruced up for my lunch appointment in Moose Jaw.  What an interesting drive it was!!  The fog was rather thick between Regina and the half way point at the wee hamlet of Pense, but I could see the distance of 3 utility poles ahead of me, so other than a couple of fog obscured major crossroads with no overpasses, there weren't a lot of extra danger spots. However, the fog continued to thicken between Pense and Belle Plaine and by the time I cleared Belle Plaine for the last few kilometers into Moose Jaw I couldn't see the distance of even 1 utility pole ahead.  Thankful it was day and not night, when the added blackness would have made driving nearly impossible for me, I ploughed on through the nearly pea souper!

Fortunately Moose Jaw is located in a valley below the highway and the fog remained higher in the air.  Once in Moose Jaw there was little fog, just a sky filled with ugly grey clouds.  I was able to make both my deliveries before picking up my friend for a fun time at lunch.  We went to Montana's because my friend enjoys their lunch sized macaroni and cheese and caesar salad.  I opted for a large caesar salad and it was rather tasty.  We had a good visit over lunch, followed by a trip to the Dollar Store, then some "singin' in the shower" crooning while cruising through the downtown before I took her back home and returned to Regina.

By the time I was back on the highway most of the fog had lifted and by the time I reached Regina the sun was starting to shine.  The sky was more clear and sunny by 5pm than it had been all day.  It continued that way until sunset.

I am just "bagged" this evening.  The lack of sleep so close on the heels of all the celebration on the weekend, plus driving through the fog outside that was paralleling the fog in my sleep deprived brain exhausted me!  Tomorrow I think I will confine my activities to a short walk to the grocery store for some milk, possibly some laundry for myself and my usual post prandial weight lifting, jogging and marching on the spot.  

Another good day today......unbelievable to have so many wonderful days in a row.  How blessed am I, right? Thank you Lord! I hope my husband's time at the clergy retreat will be as blessed also!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

It Was Great While It Lasted! Yeah!!

The fun weekend of celebration continued through today.  My husband was actually awake in time to come to church with me this morning and it was a particularly good service.  He was feeling well enough to stay for coffee and visiting afterward so that was a treat for me too.

We ate a light lunch at home and then I headed off to choir practise.  Today's rehearsal certainly highlighted our faults and difficulties, so hopefully some of us, me included, will spend a bit more time rehearsing at home this week!!

I arrived home in plenty of time to get cleaned up and spruced up and ready for our dinner at Memories.  It was delicious!  We knew from our last visit there that the portions are a good size for the price, so we skipped the appetizers and knew all ready there would be no tummy room left for dessert.  We both ordered chicken dishes:  mine was the corfu, a phylo pastry wrapped chicken breast that had a most tasty sauce and my husband had a half chicken roasted in Greek herbs and lemon juice.  There is no skimping on meat portions in this restaurant...yum!  Both meals were accompanied by perfectly cooked baby potatoes and a vegetable medley of broccoli, zucchini, red peppers and pea pods.  I cleaned up the balsamic vinegar decorating my plate and that gave a nice little kick to the corfu sauce and zucchini.

When we arrived home we got a few things ready for my husband to leave for clergy retreat tomorrow. He concentrated on packing up his special snacks and tea selection and I ironed a few items of his clergy clothing I should have ironed yesterday but forgot about. (oops)

We relaxed watching a gruesome but quirky movie: The Legend of Barney Thomson, based on a novel of similar name.  The Scottish accents were so thick we had to replay several scenes to be certain we heard the script properly, but the acting was superb.  The movie is, as I mentioned, built around a gruesome subject, but it was one of the silliest and most hilarious movies I have seen in a long time.  Emma Thompson was stellar as a crazed woman in her 70's and Robert Carlyle was hysterical in the title role.  It reminded me of a more hilarious and British version of movies similar to Pulp Fiction.

So, now it is back to the reality of post-celebration daily life.  Ho hum..... BUT tomorrow after I drop my husband off at work I get to meet a friend in Moose Jaw for lunch.  I have a couple of items I need to deliver to some friends there so will drop those off while I am in town....2 loaves of diet bread to one friend who enjoys it as much as I do. She is the recipient of the loaves I recently purchased at about the time I realized that I have developed a definite sensitivity to oats and this bread's second listed ingredient is oat hull fibre.  Sigh.....I LOVE that bread, but I can't eat it any more.  The other item is a Martyn Joseph CD I bought at the house concert the other night. Turns out my husband and I were both thinking of one set of Moose Jaw friends in particular as the concert was going on so it seemed appropriate to get one of the CD's for them.  The musical artists we listen to on their CD player are of the same ilk and I think they will enjoy listening to Mr. Joseph.  Neither delivery actually requires an immediate trip to Moose Jaw, but it is a chance to do something fun in the newly nice weather to take the edge off the disappointment that my husband has to be away again at a conference.

I think the rest of the week is going to be pretty quiet....I have a hair appointment midweek......... BUT toward the end of the week we are going to a surprise birthday dinner for a friend who has never had a surprise party before.  We have seen the menu for the dinner and are not sure our motives for attending are purely for the sake of our friend!!  WOW...again with the wonderful meal we don't have to prepare or clean up afterward!  teehee There WILL be wine!

Well, I have a big swack of fasting lab tests in the morning so better get to bed and try to sleep away the invented feeling of desperate hunger that assails me every time I have to fast for 12 or 13 hours....just as I do every other night of my life since I stopped having evening snacks anyway. hahaha O how a person's mind plays tricks on them when the choice to fast overnight is not her own....hahaha.

It has been a wonderful week of family and other company, great meals, celebrations and spending time with my husband. I am so grateful for it all.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

And the Best Gift of the Weekend....

....a long phone conversation with our son. He is fighting a cold and 'flu' as he always seems to have to do at the end of each teaching term. He is working too hard, not resting enough, not turning down any work that comes his way. He has a new possibility for interesting work in a few weeks right at home involving mentoring two young computer engineering students. The work would involve algorithms and patterning them for art pieces, an interest of our son's for a long time. O my...his future is SO up in the air and rife with possibilities. It was encouraging talking to him, but we need to pray he gets well in time for classes on Monday.

Non-Stop Celebrating!!

My husband woke up at 6am today, awake and rested sufficiently for the first time in a couple of weeks, conscious of the fact that for our 40th anniversary tomorrow he had arranged a big fat zero for me.  No flowers, no gift, no dinner reservations, not so much as a card!  hahahaha  (Why he found himself so shocked by his own behaviour I do not know, because he rarely has anything prepared for our anniversary anyway as such things are not HIS thing.)  So, he spent the early waking hours of the morning ordering me a special surprise bouquet of roses, mini-carnations, baby's breath and ferns and making a dinner reservation back at Memories for tomorrow evening.  teehee  I LOVE it when he makes himself feel guilty about such things because I "do" far better than if he had remembered in the first place. hahaha  Lots to look forward to tomorrow on top of him being free to attend morning church service with me, plus I have choir rehearsal for my afternoon entertainment.

Today has been quite a wonderful birthday for him.  Although he woke up early, he felt well and has continued to feel well all day long.  We ran a few errands this morning, stopping into the Cathedral shopping district briefly afterward where I was able to find one of my needed two pair of SAS sandals and he was able to get a stellar deal on some special Chinese tea he loves.  The store is not allowed to sell it in less than 50gram packs and all the manager had left was about 45 grams, so he just bagged it up and gave it to my husband for free along with the other bit of tea he was purchasing.  YAY! What a nice birthday treat for him.  While I was buying my sandals, my husband raced down the street to the very florist's shop where he had ordered my flowers so early in the morning, sneaked them into the car and presented them to me as soon as we got home.  When he asked me what I wanted to do after our errands had been completed and I said I wanted to look for sandals at the Cathedral district store (Ianonne's shoes and foot clinic)he couldn't believe it.  We rarely go there and he was wondering how best to get my flowers picked up without having to ruin the surprise. haha

What could I do but take him out for lunch, right?  We went to Dosa Garden on Albert Street.  They have new owners (again) and the menu is more comprehensive. The food is just as delicious, if not more so, than previously.  I ordered a spicy pepper chicken.  The sauce was exquisite and just hot enough, along with buttered naan bread.  The sauce was so delicious I refused to waste any and brought home the remains to heat up tonight with some left over ground chicken that has spent the last 48 hours in my refrigerator looking kind of drab and tasteless. Not any more........tonight's dinner awaits!  My husband ordered a potato and chicken stuffed dosa and it was exactly what he was hoping for.  There were 3 dipping sauces for the dosa:  tomato yogurt, coconut cashew and sambhar.  YUM!!  I think next time I am there I will order a dosa, cut off the extra batter on the ends for him to enjoy so I don't over-carb, then eat the delicious stuffed centre with the dips.  The dosa was thin, thin, thin and perfectly rolled and browned.

So, the birthday and anniversary parties continue.  How very blessed are we?  How I wish all the people I was worrying about last night could enjoy what we are enjoying this weekend.   Why us and not them, is all I can wonder.......

Friday, March 24, 2017

Just Wond'rin'.......

What do people do when they are forced to stop racing around life at light speed and have to face up to the fact that their lives have just been one disappointment after another:  broken dreams, loss of love, the realization that love given is not returned in kind, dashed hopes and unmet expectations, the complete death of the vision of career or relationship, the shock of a tragic health diagnosis? How do people feel who never get a break in life, or who have to one day face the reality that they have been fooling themselves that all is well in their work or families or marriages or...or....or....?

I am thinking about some of those people tonight who I know and... just wond'rin'....

A Wonderful Spring Day of Celebration!

Today my husband's office cronies threw him a surprise party at Golf's Steak House over the lunch break in honour of his 65th.  What fun!  He certainly was completely surprised. hahaha  He always goes into kind of a stunned state when people surprise him, particularly in public places, but he recovered well, opened his many gifts with appropriate comments and jokes, enjoyed his magnificent roast beef luncheon and was generally pretty pleased by all the attention.  The staff gifts were hilarious:  a magnifying glass and some Superman logo bandaids to celebrate his pensioner status, a bobble head doll that looks like my hippie husband looked like in the '60's, with the idea that when he is able to grant requests around the Diocese he will set the doll's head a' bobbing!  Then there is the rottweiler shaped clock to be used when he has to lay down the law around the Diocese! hahaha  He was given a lovely large tea mug and strainer to use at the office so he doesn't have to keep dragging his insulated mugs back and forth from the house every morning, a cool flashlight arrangement he can use when he is walking back and forth to work through the back alleys in the dark, 2 blocks of his favourite cheeses and wonderful crackers he loves to eat to go with them, as well as a lovely bottle of Argentinian merlot.  The Bishop gave him a gift certificate for Fresh Air Experience so he can purchase another canoe bag for this summer's upcoming trip.  He received hilarious cards and notes as well.  I am SO happy for this acknowledgement from his colleagues.  May they be blessed beyond measure!

The day started off well too.  Friends from Alberta travelling through on their way to Winnipeg stopped in for a long breakfast visit.  My husband was able to take a couple of hours off work to join in the fun.  What a great time we had catching up on their lives, and getting their news about other old friends.

Since my husband stayed home with these dear friends until the last possible second before he absolutely HAD to be at work, he tore off to the office in our vehicle, not knowing of course that I would have to find an alternate way of getting to his surprise luncheon.  haha  The good news is that he was in so much of a hurry he didn't realize I hadn't sent any lunch with him. haha

I added up the number of blocks from our place to the restaurant and decided it was a pleasant enough day temperature-wise to walk up there and back:  my first walk outside since the snow fell last autumn.  It was +3C when I walked to the restaurant and +7C by the time I returned home.  Although the breeze was chilly, it was still a perfect day for a stroll.  I stuck to the main thoroughfares to avoid any sidewalk ice still lingering under the big trees on the side streets.  That first spring walk leaves me with an intense feeling of freedom each year.  It was FANTASTIC to be outside, strutting along unburdened by a heavy parka and boots.  My spring rain coat and walking shoes were sufficient today.  What a relief!  There will be more spring snow and ice storms over the month of April, no doubt, but today gave me a good taste of what it is going to be like to be able to wander about in the fresh air once again.

Bonus: my aching leg and hip muscles that nearly drove me crazy when walking last summer and autumn were able to heal more deeply over my relatively inactive winter and today I experienced NO pain, NO aches and NO discomfort during my 1hour walk.  Last October, even on my final walkabout of the year, after a spring and summer of building my muscle strength to the point where I could walk for 3 to 7km with only a short rest half way along the route, every step was painful from the time I left home to the time I returned, limping and crabby from the constant ache.  Today, it was almost like I hadn't fallen and broken my hip.  YIPPEE!


The only disappointment today is that the movie my friend and I planned to see tonight had its last run yesterday. BUT it is returning to Regina in a few weeks' time to another theater, so we will see it then.  The good part of not going is that I get to spend some extra time with my husband. He will be gone most of next week to a conference, so I am making the most of our time together between now and then.  

Thank you Lord for a truly happy day!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Personal Reflection From Last Night

This morning I am mulling over some song lyrics from the opening number of last night's performance by Martyn Joseph.

The lyrics told me, in effect, to step away from all I am doing and allow my heart to return to what it needs, to what is truly meaningful to me.  The song hit me like a sledge hammer and I am sure I completely missed what the next 2 songs were all about because I was lost in thought and prayer.

Like all good spiritual lessons, I was tested immediately on my thoughts and heart desires during the intermission.  My husband was embroiled in an animated theological discussion with the woman who had been sitting next to me, leaving me free to meet and talk to the friend she brought with her.

This young woman turned out to be intensely troubled, consumed by thoughts of death, heaven, hell, forgiveness, the existence or not of God, etc. etc. etc.  Long story short, she and I were able to have a very long and involved conversation about Jesus and about the love of God for her, that her sins too are covered by Christ's sacrifice and that no sin is too awful to leave her in a position of being shunned eternally by the Lord.  Forgiveness in Christ, security in his love, transformation of her life by his spirit are all as available to her as they are to everyone else, if she will be willing to reach out and grasp them.  We exchanged phone numbers and I hope we can get together again sometime for coffee and a chat.  She is not "church ignorant".  She was raised by a minister father and has attended a number of different churches sporadically as an adult, she just struggles to believe that so many good spiritual gifts can be hers to enjoy.  She is grappling with the concept of dealing with an invisible God and a lack of "definites" to hang on to...full, uncompromising faith in a person or system lacking in concrete substance is a difficult struggle for her as it is for so many.

So, I do hope something that was said last night to her by either myself, my husband or her friend will assist her to find her way out of the darkness she is surrounding herself with, the fear and uncertainty that plague her.

For myself, it definitely confirmed my heart's desire to share more about Jesus with more people.  I have been sitting on it for so many years because there was no place opening up for me to go to talk to new people, partly due to fear and paranoia of my own engendered by a general lack of acceptance of myself in various communities we have lived over the past few years.  

Without going into too much detail, I can say it felt good to be talking openly and honestly once again about my own faith in Jesus with someone who actually needed and wanted to hear about him.  I stepped away from my own combination of fear and resignation that "no one cares anyway what I have to say about anything", and let the Lord just be present.  THAT made/makes my heart happy.  

I can only trust that the conversational exchange last night will help this dear girl.  For myself it was the dawn of a new day as far as opening up my heart again to fulfill the desires within it.  For that I am grateful.

Martyn Joseph House Concert...SPECTACULAR!

What a fantastic evening we had!  We didn't want the concert to end!  40 of us packed in "cheek by jowl", listening to the passionate singing of my favourite Welsh singer/songwriter, Martyn Joseph.

We clapped, we sang, we hooted, we hollered, we snacked, we visited, we made new friends, but mostly we just enjoyed every moment of Martyn Joseph's singing and amazing guitar and harmonica playing.  He flies into Calgary tomorrow to do a concert there tomorrow night, about half way into his month long tour here in North America.

It was a privilege to be able to hear this man perform to such a tiny group of people and he was incredibly gracious to us all.  His songs touched my heart and mind and spirit.

House concerts ROCK!!!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Don't Mind Me...I'm Only the Pedestrian WITH THE RIGHT OF WAY!!!!!!

Enjoyed a very successful sweater shopping excursion this morning...thank you Mom and Dad.  I stopped long enough for a shawarma chicken salad at Zam Zam Wraps, probably the tastiest, most generally nutritious lunch in the city, and caught my bus right when I wanted to come home.  Perfect!

The bus stop across from our place is right beside the 6 lane intersection I have to cross to get to our building.  There is also a curve in the road there, so pedestrians have to be extra careful despite it being a well marked crosswalk.

My being so careful likely saved my life today!  There was no one coming from the north in any of the 3 lanes so I knew I could make it safely across that side of the intersection.  All 3 lanes had traffic coming from the opposite direction, but they were far enough away that I could get started across and be easily seen by the oncoming cars.

Sure enough, about the time I reached the middle of the intersection, 2 of the 3 lanes had indeed stopped for me and for a lady crossing on the other side of the intersection.  Unfortunately a man in his pre-middle aged years decided he didn't need to bother stopping for the pedestrians, even though he was looking to see why the cars in the 2 lanes beside him were stopping, looked back in front of himself and saw me about to cross his lane, but did that mean he made even the most hesitant of attempts to stop?  No!  It most certainly did not!!


He didn't slow down even a fraction, just continued to drive through the intersection, passing approximately 3 feet in front of me, doing a minimum of 50km, looking at me quizzically as he sped past.  If I had not noticed him looking at the stopped cars as I was approaching his lane, nor noticed his rate of speed indicating he had no intention of stopping, I would have been struck and most likely killed.  If the roof of his car had been any lower to the ground I may not have seen him at all until it was too late. I think the height of his car is what prevented the accident due to its visibility from street level. Somehow he also missed hitting the woman on the other side of the intersection as well. 

I have been back in my home for about 10 minutes now and am still shaking.  I have been hit by one car going illegally through an intersection once in my life all ready, am still dealing with the consequences of those injuries over 40 years later and have no interest in attempting that sort of event ever again!

Well, it is still a great day.  I am going to do my ironing from yesterday's laundry.  I am going to pray my husband has a safe trip to Davidson and back this afternoon and I am going to look forward to tonight's concert.

Thank you everyone for allowing me to debrief here on the blog!  I am starting to feel better just for being able to write down what almost happened to me today as I was crossing the street. Whew...thank you Lord for protecting both myself and my crossing buddy!

A ME Day Today!

In a few minutes I am going to catch the bus downtown to do some shopping with some anniversary money that came in today's mail.  My half is going on 2 or 3 of the 3/4 sleeve sweaters that match some sleeveless summer tops I got a couple of weeks ago at Cleo's.  The sweater stock for those tops had not yet arrived at the time.  How nice that I will be able to match up the colours appropriately by purchasing the sweaters at the same store.  Light summer sweaters made of cotton and rayon are so perfect to cover the floppy, elderly, upper arms that the sleeveless tops on their own leave exposed to public sight...and ridicule! haha  Aaaah, to be old.......hahaha.

Tonight is a very exciting time for us, me in particular: we are going to a house concert at my husband's cousin's home.  The singer/songwriter is the wonderful Welshman, Martyn Joseph, whose politically left leaning commentary is always interesting to hear both in his speech and music.  He has nailed a few of the world's political problems on the head and is very good at bringing attention to the issues and some possible solutions, through his songs and stories.  Cousin met him at a big festival in Ontario this past summer and was able to talk him into including this house concert on his Canadian tour this winter.  YIPPEE!

I think it is going to be a good day today despite overcast skies and wind going on outside.  At least no snow or rain are forecast here today........yet.........

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Cute Cartoon

I can't copy it onto this site, but I got the biggest chuckle out of a cartoon a friend sent me the other day.

Jesus is teaching a crowd of people about God's plan for forgiveness and is telling them that God wants his people to forgive those who offend them "seventy times seven". A guy in the crowd slaps his forehead and says, "Oh great! Now I have to be able to do math too?????"  hahaha

Hilarious!

A Truly Lovely Weekend With Family

The ugliness of the early spring "BROWN" that encompasses the entire city in its annual spring sea of mud and muck was much easier to deal with this weekend because we spent the time with our visiting family.  Even yesterday's strong, cold wind didn't dampen our enthusiasm to get out and about for our last day together.

We are so grateful for the clear highways and warmer temperatures that made the travel for our family go well and we pray for similar conditions to accompany them home.

It was a weekend of visiting, way too much good food, a bit of shopping for decent white balsamic vinegar and an evening out for the guys at the IMAX to see the latest Star Wars venture.

Last night we celebrated my husband's 65th birthday and our 40th anniversary at Memories restaurant on Victoria, just off Broad Street.  They have an extensive menu of "oldies but goodies", many items we haven't seen on restaurant menus since the late '70's and early '80's, items like Chateaubriand and Coquille St. Jacques.  "Memories"is an apt moniker.

The wait staff was helpful and pleasant.  Being it was a Monday evening the restaurant was far from full so no one was rushing us and there was time to kibbutz a bit with the staff. The prices were reasonable and they obviously have a decent chef, if the meats were any indication: beef and lamb so tender they truly almost melted in the mouth.

Our relatives ordered from the set meal March Madness special menu.  For $40 a person had a choice of escargots or a lamb chop, followed by a choice of green salad or caesar salad, followed by a choice of various beef or chicken entrees, followed by either a banana cream or strawberry shortcake dessert. The lamb chop wasn't a huge success as it was tough, unsure the escargot was completely up to standard, but the rest of the meal was apparently quite delicious. The entrees included lovely teensy potatoes, carrots and green beans and decorative swaths of purees.  My husband enjoyed thoroughly his half rack of lamb with the same mix of vegetables and a delicious beet puree in a red wine reduction.  He was thrilled to have a bowl of lentil soup with his meal.

I enjoyed the delicious Coquille St. Jacques but for the price another scallop or two, or another of the relatively large shrimp would have been appreciated.  The pre-dinner buns were stale, but were redeemed by the warmth that melted the garlic butter so evenly.  My spinach salad was very nice indeed, despite the overcooked bacon bits.  If it hadn't been for recent dental work I doubt that would have been an issue.  I LOVED the old fashioned vinegary dressing the spinach, chopped fresh mushrooms and walnuts, and hard boiled egg were bathed in.  It has been decades since spinach salads have been served to me with what I consider to be "proper" dressing!  Spinach needs that acidic "kick" to bring out its best flavour.

I had the brulee for dessert. Normally I am not a fan of brulees with fruit on top, but this one had a dollop of fruit compote adorning it and it was most tasty!  It was all I could do not to pick up the little dish and lick out every last bit of the creme! hahaha

My few complaints about the meal are just nitpicking.  It was a lovely dinner and my husband and I wouldn't hesitate to return.  I believe the most expensive single item on the menu was the $60 pound of lobster tails. The entrees ranged from about $22 to $54 and the appetizer prices ranged from about $10 to $15. I didn't even glance at the dessert prices...as soon as I saw the brulee I knew I would have it and shut the menu, so I'm sorry but I can't tell you what the desserts cost.  There are Greek platters for sharing, huge group sized caesar salads made at the table, many fish entrees along with an extensive selection of beef and chicken dishes, a few lamb dishes. 

So my husband and I have many tasty reasons to return to Memories the next time we are after an old fashioned, reasonably priced fine dining experience.  Thank you family for treating us last evening in honour of our special celebration days. 

As a special treat for us, when the server discovered the reason for our celebration, she brought 2 single serving bottles of wine to the table for us to take home, each festooned with ribbons and a hand written greeting on the bottles.  It was a nice touch and they are presently cooling in our refrigerator.

I think as much as the good food, I enjoyed Memories because of the attentiveness and attitude of the wait staff.  That too was a nice old fashioned touch.

So our meal last night was an extra special way to end our family visit.  We have plans now forming for spending time in Edmonton with them during our summer holidays as it has been awhile since we were last there.  Our holiday plans have been non-existent thus far what with our son likely by then to be no longer living in Vancouver, our usual holiday haunt.  Edmonton has a great many interesting things to do for visitors and residents alike that we have never taken the time to explore, so it appears this is the year to do that.

Well, today it is back to the reality of office work for my husband and for me it is back to laundry, bill paying and grocery shopping.  I had fun Sunday afternoon leading the vocal warmups at choir practise and am looking forward to next week's warmup leader and whatever that person has to offer.  We have a ton of paperwork from yesterday's bank appointment to look over as we try to parlay a few dollars into some kind of long overdue retirement fund.  We have income tax we need to get done soon.....and on it goes.

It was absolutely wonderful to have a break from the same old same old this weekend and just enjoy some family time.  We are now looking forward to our summer holidays more than we have been.  That month is no longer a gaping void in this busy year.

Thank you family for coming all this way to see us and thank you for everything you brought us as well...the tomatoes are DELICIOUS and we are  looking forward to trying the rice and quinoa mix.


Safe travels home! See you again soon!!


Monday, March 20, 2017

Possibly Great News For Dad! Here's Hoping..........

Received a most encouraging phone call from my dad tonight.  He was at his new doctor's office today for an appointment to talk about his complete inability to stay awake, his lack of an actual life, the accompanying depression etc.  Dad admitted that he has no more will to live.

The short version is that his new doctor is starting to wean him off all the hydromorph he has been taking for the past 4 years.  The hope is that in about 4 weeks time, or so, he will be weaned off it completely and the other hope is that he won't need more than an occasional anti-pain booster to help his spinal pain.  If the withdrawal is successful then there are at least 2 more meds that he will try to remove from dad's huge roster of medications and still others that he will readjust dosages for.  

I am delighted that this new fellow does not have the attitude that at dad's age he just has to live with having no life, should just accept the fact that he is old and going to die.  If he can restore any quality of life to dad, no matter how temporary it may turn out to be, it would not only help dad to cope, but remove a huge burden from my mother as well.

SO LORD:  I am asking for this one thing for my dad...to have some quality of life restored for awhile for both him and mom before it is time for dad to come to live with you.  If it isn't asking too much......Amen!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Nearly Ready.........Yawn......

Even I cannot believe how slowly I am moving today!  Last night I had a delicious meal at London Belle with my friend, a couple of glasses of pinot grigiot that mellowed me out considerably despite the quality of the wine being quite dreadful, and a good sleep to follow, but I am moving at snail's pace this morning!  Blaaaah!

I was so tickled that London Belle took a reservation booking for us, but I shouldn't have wasted my joy, haha.  When we arrived, there was no record of any booking, no clue which fellow would have taken the reservation and not a free table in the place! I was less than impressed, but my friend noticed 2 open spots along one end of the bar that had rather comfortably upholstered stools with back supports, so we nabbed those.  Glad we did.  It was very noisy in there last night, but sitting right beside each other we could hear ourselves talking, so that was a bonus over sitting across from each other at a table.  One of the older staff, a manager I believe, was louder than any of the young men who were bellering at each other as they bellied up to the other end of the bar, but we ignored him and the rest of the loud folk and had ourselves a great visit. The burgers and caesar salads were delicious and very reasonably priced. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

So this morning the bathroom is cleaned, my husband got away to his all day meeting with a decent portion of snacks to carry him through the day and I have had a relaxing hot shower.  

Hmmmmm....delicious wine, a good sleep, a hot shower....am I figuring out some reasons for my lack of speed this morning?  Hmmmmm?  Ya' think??? hahaha

Time to unload the dishwasher, finish deciding what to feed our family for dinner tonight with the salmon filets and do some singing practise.  This afternoon our company will arrive and my husband will come home and it will be a wonderful next few days together.

PS: it is to go up to +9C outside by this afternoon!  YIPPEE!!  The warmest day of the weekend and our daytime highs are to be just above 0 ALL this coming week!!!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Nearly Ready For Weekend Company

It's been a mad scramble the past 2 days just to accomplish the simplest shopping, banking and grocery buying before the rellies arrive tomorrow.  I seem to be on "underdrive" these days in terms of speed...heart related and I know when NOT to push myself.  However, all that is left is a good scrub down of the bathroom in the morning before they arrive and a trip to the liquor store this afternoon for some white wine, beer and a few bottles of Crabbies.  

The above zero temperatures have turned our remaining piles of snow out on the back lawn into a mushy goose poop filled lake that makes getting from our back door to the car nearly impossible unless we want to drench our boots and shoes in muck and water....sigh....  Our company this weekend is going to have to park on a side street, walk the long way around to our building and use our ridiculously teensy front entryway to access our suite in order to stay clean and dry.  O how I am hoping that the surveyor who was here a few weeks ago now was scoping out possibilities for redoing the landscaping on our particular lot.  Hope, hope, hope....in this case hope deferred will not only make the heart sick, it could make the rest of my body sick if something isn't done to get rid of the water and poop buildup.  Talk about disgusting......if moving wasn't so expensive and time consuming I doubt we would have signed another 1 year lease....and of course yet another drop in monthly rent for doing so was also rather appealing........

Well, best get at it......I need to do my hair so that I look somewhat human at least before I head out for the rest of the afternoon.

Tonight a friend from church is going out for dinner with me, so that will be fun.  It should energize me for finishing up the cleaning and rehearsing my choir music tomorrow morning before our guests arrive. I need to finalize as well which vocal warm ups I am going to use at Sunday afternoon's rehearsal.

It has been a busy and very good week!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Yeah.....Okaaaaaay.....Sigh......

I must be more tired today than I realized I was when I got up this morning.  Actually I'm guessing I should STILL be in bed.  I should not have tried to get up and attempt to function in the real world.  Sigh.......

Started the day off okay. Got our guest and ourselves fed with a decent breakfast.  Located some clean clothes to put on after the men left for their jobs and managed to get some make up on my face and my hair brushed out properly.  From there it was downhill all the way.

I was sorting out some taped tv programming when I remembered that my bus now comes to the stop outside my front door at 10 minutes to the hour and not on the hour itself.  At this point it was 17 minutes to the hour and I had to locate my coat and struggle into my winter boots, find my purse and keys and bus fare....where the heck did I stash my dish of bus fare money???  Ack!!  Found everything I thought I needed, then just as I was about the dash outside I discovered I had forgotten the 2 empty bottles for lens cleaner solution I needed to take with me for refilling....the main reason for busing downtown in the first place.  Off with the sand covered boots, raced up the stairs, almost fell coming down to struggle back into my boots and get to the bus stop.  If the bus had not been 2 minutes behind schedule, extremely rare for this route, I would have missed it.

I arrived downtown feeling somewhat frazzled, but at least I made it on time, AND I didn't completely fall down when I stumbled on an icy snowbank leaving the bus where the driver deposited me.  I continued stumbling down the sidewalk until I regained my balance, looking and feeling like the neighbourhood drunk!  Righted myself eventually and entered Cornwall Centre. First stop was Shoppers Drug Mart to look for some unscented Argan Oil for my fuzzy hair.  YIPPEE!! There were 2 bottles left on the shelf. I grabbed one, tested it for its scent-free status and got into a short line at the cashier.  I noticed as I handed the bottle over to be scanned that my hand felt slightly damp, but that could have been sweat after the near fall outside, right?  Wrong!  As I left the store, till tape wrapped around the bottle, (I refuse to pay 5 cents for a plastic bag), I felt more dampness running down my fingers and across the palm of my hand. Then I realized there was argan oil flowing freely from the bottom of the apparently cracked bottle and running not only all over my hand but down my coat and shirt and pantlegs.  A waterfall of argan oil was free falling all over me and all over the floor of the mall!!  I tore back inside, found the cashier right away and showed him what was going on.  He bravely grabbed the bottle and what was left of its contents and shoved it into a plastic bag.  He told me to go get another bottle.  Remembering there had been only 1 left on the shelf, I raced as quickly as I dared back over to the hair product section, rounded a corner into the aisle and there was the second bottle in the hands of another woman who was reading the ingredients list and hemming and hawing about whether or not she was going to buy it.  Aaack!!  Fortunately for me, as I stood there looking stained and stunned, she put it back.  I grabbed it so quickly her hair was probably blowing straight back, and returned to let the cashier know I had a replacement bottle.  

As I left Shoppers I walked over to a nearby chair in the mall to take out the plastic bag the lens cleaner bottles were in.  I took them out and zipped the argan oil bottle into it instead....just in case it too decided to start a late leak.  In the process I dropped both lens cleaner bottles onto the shiny, just washed floor and they flew in 2 different directions.  I grabbed my purse and took off after the first one, hoping the other one would be found afterward.  Fortunately for me a somewhat raggedy but very nice fellow saw what happened and chased down bottle number 2.  He actually handed it over without asking me for lunch money in return....Cornwall Centre is a great place for street people to congregate and they are not stupid. They know how to ask for assistance.  I thanked him profusely and started walking toward the optical shop. Then I realized one of my rings was missing from my finger.  O no....it is one of my favourite rings and actually worth some money.  I looked about all over the floor area where the bottles had scattered, I looked under the mall chair, I checked inside the plastic bag in my purse where I put the argan oil bottle....NOTHING!!  Sigh....  Drat!!  So, I sat back down and emptied all the contents of my purse into my lap.  There was my ring, wrapped around my key chain.  I couldn't get it off the key chain as it was so wound around.  How on earth can a ring do a free fall into a purse and without any assistance whatsoever, get itself wrapped around a key chain to the point where it is nearly impossible to remove it??? HOW??? HOW????  The good news is that I finally wrenched it off the chain and no harm was done to the ring. The bad news is that my key chain is broken and I have to buy a new one.  (Although surely my husband will have an old one stashed away in a drawer or in a box or inside a sock [!!!???!! Well...if you know my husband...] or in the sewing box, or somewhere in the basement...right???)  

I managed to get the lens cleaner refills without further incident, but I did notice the the clerks staring at my pant legs.. Oh double DRAT!!  In the confusion of flying bottles and missing rings and broken key chains I had forgotten about the now huge and still spreading argan oil stains on my clothing!  Sigh.....  I pretended nothing was wrong and skeddadled out of the optical shop as quickly as possible.  I then decided that since there was nothing I could do about my clothing, I might as well just ignore the stares from complete strangers (Like, we don't know each other so who cares, right?? Of course right!) and complete my errands.  With the cost of bus fare I wasn't going to return home without completing my tasks!  I looked in every possible store for pant hangers. No one carries them there. I even tried the Dollar Store and they of course did have hangers, but not pant hangers!  Aaaaargh!!!  Then I went over to Chatters to purchase some Joico Ironclad....the only product they had JUST sold the last bottle of, literally moments previous to my arrival.  So, no pant hangers, no Ironclad, stains all over my clothes and only some lens cleaner and argan oil to show for my trip...the trip where I darned near tripped on the ice!

Well dang it, the entire mall had seen me in all my argan oiled glory at this point, so I decided I would stay for lunch at Zam Zam wraps.  I was so disgusted by my lack of success in my purchases I figured I deserved lunch out!  My salad was delicious...until half way through I dropped my fork on the floor in the food court.  NOOOOOOOO!!  I was seated just around the corner from Zam's which is rather hidden behind  a construction project in the store next to it.  If I left my coat and salad sitting there while I went for another fork, either one or both would be missing when I returned.  What to do????  Fortunately for me, a nice man seated at an adjacent table noticed my predicament and said he would watch my coat and salad for me.  I decided to trust him as he was obviously an employee at one of the mall stores.  As I rounded the corner as quickly as possible to get the fork from Zam's, I didn't notice quite in time that the floor in front of their counter had just been washed.  I started to slide, bending over backward to grab a small railing along their counter so I wouldn't hit the floor.  Aiiiii yiiiiiii....I must have put on a rather spectacular performance because when I regained my balance and stood up someone started clapping.  I was too embarrassed to look around to see who it was. So, I regained my composure as soon as possible, grabbed a fork and sidled my way back to my table. The nice man asked me if I was okay, believed me when I said I was, then graciously left me alone so I could finish eating my now completely tasteless salad.    As I was putting my drink cup and fork into the empty salad carton to throw it all out in the bin, my other ring fell off my finger and landed in a small pool of tzatziki sauce I had scraped off the salad as there was too much of it today.  Both napkins I had taken from the counter at Zam's and my one remaining tissue from my purse had been used fully and were in the bottom of my drink cup, soggy and useless for wiping off my ring.  There was nothing to wipe the dressing on. To go and get another napkin at Zam's would have meant asking another person to watch my coat while I was gone as the nice man had finished his lunch and departed.  I couldn't put my coat on, or even pick it and my purse up at the same time without getting tzatziki all over the inside of the sleeve because my fingers were covered in sauce from pulling my ring out of the carton.  BIG SIGH!!!!  What to do?  Again, I figured at this point I had publicly embarrassed myself in the mall all ready between the stained clothes, falling bottles and dropping my fork on the ground, so who would care if  I popped both the ring and my fingers into my mouth and did my best to just lick the sauce off everything sufficiently to pick up my coat and head to the washroom to clean up?  Other than one lady who had been looking at me in complete disgust for several minutes, and who cares about her anway whoever she is, right...the other people around me pretended not to notice this performance.  Eventually I managed to discard the carton and its contents, gingerly put my coat over my arm with my one relatively clean set of fingers and got myself to the washroom sink.

As I left the washroom, my pants looking like I had missed the bowl with those darned oil stains all down the front, I decided I had suffient time before the arrival of my bus to wander past the kitchen supply store to look for a bowl to replace a serving bowl I accidentally broke yesterday...and that is another embarrassing story for another time.....and lo and behold so they did and for 50% off.  (Good thing as I really like the bowl but it was badly overpriced without the discount.)  I thought I was in good time to catch the bus home, but by the time the clerk returned from the back with a bowl that was in a box and had taken it out to make sure it wasn't broken or damaged, chatting at me as if we actually knew each other, I had missed my bus by about 20 seconds.  As I ran through the Enter Door instead of the Exit Door, nearly bowling over a young university student whose face was buried in her mobile phone, my bus was just pulling away from the stop.  Triple DRAT!!!!  A half hour to wait for the next one.  Back into the mall I went.  The good news is that I found 2 clearance sales and came home with a beautiful new brightly patterned summer blouse and a pair of white pull on pants, the twin of the other white pull on pants I got dirty just yesterday.  It is nice to be able to replace in dribs and drabs the summer clothes I had to get rid of at the end of last summer.  A lot of things had to go as they were so worn out.  Since it appears a lot of the stores have exchanged the wonderful winter pull on pants with a return to the buttoned and zippered front styles for summer, those white pull ons I found last week and again today will be worn a lot this spring. 

Eventually my bus came and I was able to get on it....after the driver kindly reversed his parked bus by a few feet so that I could find the needed two dollar coin I dropped under the front wheel of the bus as I was getting on. No, I don't know what happened. Maybe there was argan oil and/or tzatziki sauce still on my fingers, but it flew out of them faster than ten dollar bills at a clearance sale.  Sigh....what a nice man that driver was.  He saw what happened, looked at me as I looked at him in shock, reversed the bus without a word and watched me dig through the slush to find the missing coin. Fortunately it was still mostly slush down along that curb, not to much water yet, so I found the coin in a matter of seconds and didn't delay our take off...at least not by much.  Sigh.......my hands arrived home blackened with muck and I had to rinse them in snow water by my front door before I dared open my purse to fish for my keys. At least neither of my rings fell off in the snow! I managed to get into the house without tripping or sliding again, without dropping anything else, without finding any new source of spill with which to drench my person.

I just got my coat off and checked for dirt, my boots peeled off my sweaty feet...the temperature is above zero today and the sun was shining brightly on those itchy wool boot liners....and my purse contents put away before I could spill anything else from the argan oil or lens cleaner bottles, when my phone rang. Groan...now what??

Fortunately it was my newly ordained friend.  We had a great chat and I felt much better.  My oil stained clothes are soaking in Resolve and I will wash them in a few minutes.  

I was going to hop in the car this afternoon and go to the grocery store for some bread, but I think we will just live without it until tomorrow.  Just as well to stay home for the rest of today...just in case.....it HAS to be safer than going out again...well, if I can manage not to break any more dishes like I broke yesterday....right here in the house.....sigh......old fumble fingers strikes again......waaaaaaahhhhhh!!!! I need a nap!