Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Jumping Around Like a Flea in a Fit!!

Yesterday a notice from our property management company arrived in the mail to let us know the water would be turned off here today between 8am and 4:30pm, to refrain from pouring any water down the drains, not to flush the toilets and to please "adjust your schedule accordingly."

Okay, no problem.  I could do my laundry/ironing on Thursday and Friday as planned and do the detailing of the car interior today, also as planned once I discovered today would be the last of the rain free days for working outside on it.  My husband and I filled up buckets with wash water, made certain we had sufficient bottled water to drink today, found a slop bucket and felt pretty prepared for me to be here with no running water for the daytime hours.

I headed out early this morning to do some banking, drove my husband to work and we giggled about the wonderful humour shown by his colleagues at a staff party last evening.  Returned home at about 10am expecting the water to be shut off and finding it still running just like usual.  Hmmmm.....could it be???  Hmmmmm....I wondered.  Sure enough, when I checked my mailbox there was a second notice from the management company letting us know that the date had changed for water cut off.  Now it is going to be tomorrow!

Drat!  It means I can't do the laundry then and I can't wait until Friday because we are heading out of town on Saturday and the clean clothes need to be ironed and hung up for a day prior to packing.  So, I detailed the vehicle before lunch as planned, quite happy that I was able to wash up properly afterward myself, then raced around collecting laundry from here, there and everywhere, hoping I hadn't missed something my husband desperately needs to be washed.  I don't enjoy doing laundry on a day as warm as this one because it heats up our suite so thoroughly, but at least now tomorrow I can do the ironing, not care if the water is off or on and it can rain outside as much as it wants to....IF it even comes before Friday. If it doesn't I will make a trip to the community library box after ironing and drop off some books I read over the past 2 weeks...quite a lovely walk under many old, fully leafed out tree branches. 

On Tuesday morning I thought I had my week planned out perfectly. Then I saw the forecast for rain at the end of the week and changed plans, then the first notice about water cut off arrived and I changed plans a second time, then the second notice about the water arrived and I changed plans again.  

Such is the life of a retired person....I have the freedom to change the details of daily life as necessary a good deal of the time. LOVE IT!! 

Did I mention the sweet time I had looking at and purchasing books at Chapters yesterday?  I have disciplined myself to rarely go near the place as there are too many interesting books and good deals to refrain from spending too much money every time I enter the building.  However, yesterday I calculated it would be just as inexpensive to shop there for a few books to read on holidays as it would be to use up gasoline by driving to the bookstore in Moose Jaw to utilize some of my credit dollars, wouldn't have to subsequently eat a restaurant lunch and purchase more pottery or what have you to make the trip worthwhile, plus I don't have to fight road construction between my home and Chapters like I would have to on the highway between here and Moose Jaw.  I ended up buying 5 books from Chapters at reasonable cost....oooh, brand new books!  I so rarely allow myself such a treat!  One of my favourite preparations for going on holidays is book shopping! It beats the heck out of laundry, packing and car detailing!!!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Hi Son! 'Bye Son!

Tonight our son is booking his flight to Calgary to coincide with our visit there. The cost of the flight will be our goodbye gift to him because he is leaving July 1st for New York. He has apparently pinned down a reasonably priced place to live, his sublet is ready to move in and he will be finished with his job. He has arranged emergency health care coverage for the next year. Once he arrives it will be time to follow up some job possibilities. It is an exciting time. We are happy for him. We have all ready started praying his border crossing will go well. We have heard so many horror stories it is difficult not to feel paranoid. We are all just trusting God to work out the rest of the details. Finally he is able to follow his dream and see where it takes him. It has been quite a journey, now the next step...

Monday, May 29, 2017

A Day of Good Accomplishments Around Here!

I so enjoy days like today!  Having my husband at home is always a good thing, but today he was feeling well, wasn't totally exhausted despite his present work schedule and he woke up early, feeling like getting something done around here.

By 8:30am we had all the bottles and cans in the vehicle to take to the recycling depot, as well as 3 or 4 old computers that have been taking up space in the basement and getting in our way of tidying up down there.  It was crazy busy at the depot, but we got into line and persevered until it was our turn.  We walked away with over sixty dollars, which we used to purchase a few grocery items at the new Superstore.  It was nice to have a little tour of the place, but the parking situation wasn't the best, even for a relatively slow Monday morning.  The store is in a complex with quite a few other businesses...including three restaurants....so parking must be quite an issue on weekends when all those businesses are particularly busy.

Then we took a trip to the Indian grocery we most like shopping at, but discovered it is now closed on Mondays. Good to know. Buying some decent "every day" tea will have to wait for another time. 

Off to the car wash, which mercifully was the most uncrowded we have ever seen it.  My husband was able to drive right into a booth and spend extra time sponging off dead insects from the front bumper and windshield before he started the coin wash.  No one else came looking to use the booth the whole time we were there.  It was great to feel unhurried and not be stressed due to keeping someone else waiting.

Another grocery store stop on the way home which netted us a big fat zero for purchases and we were back home by 10:30am, all the day's chores completed!!

We spent some time planning holidays, made a simple lunch and then I went for a walk while my husband was setting up the work project he wanted my help with.  A glitch with the info we had to use kept us at it substantially longer than anticipated, but eventually everything got sorted and we had good success.  I so enjoyed it.

Then it was nap time for my husband and video game time for me.  He was able to reinstall an old game set I used to enjoy that got completely fouled up when my last computer crashed, so I have been having a great time playing it and getting caught up to where I was prior to the crash.  Like most of the games I enjoy, the Jewel Quest games are just tic tac toe with some twists, but it is good mindless entertainment for me when I need a rest.

At about 6pm we decided we didn't feel like cooking so it was off to try a Chinese food restaurant we have never been to before. My husband was craving tofu and stir fried veggies and we ended up with a great choice in eateries:  Lang's on Broad Street near 11Ave.  I think it has been there since the time of Noah's ark! Seriously!  It is one of the last remaining open businesses in an ancient block of brick storefronts, most of them now empty.  It looks like a dump!  It looks like a place where the many old "rubbies" in the area would hang out after panhandling sufficient funds for a cup of coffee.  We weren't sure we even wanted to go inside, but the place has good food reviews, so........

What a pleasant surprise!  The interior is clean, renovated within the past 10 years and the menu is extensive, with a good combination of both western Chinese and Thai dishes.  My husband had stir fried veggies with tofu in a slightly sweet sauce and some decent steamed rice. The rice was a bit dry, but after eating plates of gooey steamed rice in other Chinese restaurants it was actually kind of a treat. The flavour was pretty good.  I ordered the chicken curry.  As it turned out it is a different curry than the one on the feature menu, although in the photos they look to be similar. Fortunately for my cholesterol, I ordered the one that does not use heavy cream and peanut sauce, although I suspect the one I did order was bad enough, so I made sure not to eat it all and brought enough home for my husband's lunch tomorrow.  The chicken was a bit chewy, but very flavourful. The peppers and onions and baby corns and celery pieces were all very fresh and properly cooked. The flavour of the curry sauce was amazing!  I spooned it liberally over the portion of rice I allowed myself and ate the mixture with a huge spoon! DELISH!!  I suspect my huband's original intention was to bring a larger portion of his own meal home than he actually did, but it was so delicious he just had to have a few extra bites before we left the restaurant. hahaha  The jasmine tea was mild and tasty and a good accompaniment to my slightly spicy curry.  The wait service was excellent. So are the prices!!  I don't remember the last time the two of us ate dinner for under thirty dollars and had so much food to enjoy!


Definitely we will return there the next time we are in the mood for western style Chinese/Thai food. 

We came home to watch some tv. I exercised that rice and curry sauce off for a full hour!

It has been a nearly perfect day together.  For the moment the outside of the car is clean and tomorrow I will detail the inside so it is ready for holidays.  I am glad my parents will finally get to see and ride in it as they were amost more excited than we were when we bought it.

Today all has been well in our little world.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Nice Summer Beer

My husband has never been one for flavoured beer.  He says the very idea give him "the willies", haha. Recently however, a friend introduced him to a citrus ale made by Great Western brewing company in Saskatoon: Radler Grapefruit Orange Light Beer.    He was suprised to discover he rather enjoys it and yesterday he brought home a couple of cans from the store.  Tonight I drank the feeble 1/4 cup that I am allowed to have and o wow....it is REALLY tasty!  The taste is crisp and light, the citrus flavour strong enough to taste but not strong enough to overpower the flavour of the ale.  We also like the lower alcohol content.  I have not missed beer since my diabetes diagnosis, but I am all ready planning to have a 1/4 cup of this delicious refresher once a month this summer on a really hot day!  

DELISH!!

A Rather Decent Sunday!

Today was a pretty good day, despite the seemingly never ending gale force winds of this week that continued howling today.

My husband took the service at our most recent former parish and it was fun to see everyone.  I have not been there in 6 weeks and it was a good thing to receive hugs and see smiling faces when I arrived....always a nice feeling to know I have been missed.  It was fun chatting with everyone at coffee hour afterward.  My husband tweaked his Ascension service sermon from last week and the new section was certainly pertinent to where this morning's congregation is at.  As one lady said to him afterward, "You are so animated and enthusiastic all the time when you preach that it makes me enthusiastic as well and makes me want to do all the things you talk about that we as Christians are supposed to do."  I was pleased for my husband to receive such a good report on his preaching skills.  A minister can preach every week for months on end sometimes and never know if anyone is really listening or cares about what is being said. That one encouragement will last my husband for a good long time.  

We went out for a salad lunch afterward at Original Joe's.  They are certainly consistent and as much as it irritates my husband to have to compliment any chain restaurant, teehee, he does have to admit he enjoys his meals there every time.

At home it was time for reading and a nap.  I did a little post-prandial exercise while my husband was sleeping, then grabbed my book and headed for the couch for a good long read. Two afternoons in a row have seen me reading in the living room. I almost never read books anytime other than after crawling into bed at night so I wasn't surprised that not long after I sat down I fell asleep! When I woke up I remembered why I try not to nap during the day....I feel ill for a good hour afterward, have all my life after an afternoon nap.  Anyway, I snapped out of it in time to make a dinner fit for a pair who are on low salt, low carbs, low cholesterol diets...ergo, a meal that was about as boring as sin, sigh....but we enjoyed it because we slathered some of our friend's home made kimchi all over it! hahaha  Boiled carrots with no salt or butter, a slice of dry bread and a bit of hot chicken made a wonderful base for the kimchi!  

For "dessert" we went for a walk over to my husband's office to retrieve some paperwork for a project I am going to assist him with here at home tomorrow.  It involves adding up several great long lists of numbers and I am a lot faster at doing that than his somewhat dyslexic self.  Doing it will help him and make me feel useful at the same time.  I can have it done in less than a half hour I am sure. I had my first tour of some of the renovations being done inside the building. Working around the heritage designation can be tricky, but they are managing to accomplish what needs to be done to maintain useable office space while sticking to the heritage committee rules. On the walk home we got a bit damp as the north wind blew in a few rain drops, but it seemed localized to only a couple of streets as we started back.  We walked right out of it and spent the last 8 minutes drying out in the continuing winds. The canker worms and tent caterpillers are starting to show up on the sidewalks and in the grass, so now there are new "squishy things" to watch out for when walking, not just bird poop.

The sun has been shining all day, with just a few rain clouds hovering about to the north. We had a bit of rainfall in the late afternoon that drew a fair number of geese to the puddles in our parking lot.  Two of the couples with goslings that we rarely see in our court showed up this evening....11 goslings in all. They have grown a lot in the past week. They are still rather downy, but are much taller and rounder in the body.  One of the neighbours was feeding them big chunks of white bread...God protect their digestive systems...please....but the parent geese saw us standing on our deck watching them, so none of them came very close to our place.  As of right now they have hightailed it back to one of the other courts and the path to our car remains poop free! YAY!  All that arm flapping and running toward them is paying off...at least with the "regulars".  They have started cutting a wide berth around our entire building now whether we are outside or not.  I keep telling the neighbours it is possible to significantly reduce the number of trips the geese make past our places if they are willing to do what my husband and I are doing, but they think it looks silly so they don't bother. Of course it looks silly, but we don't care. We care more about developing lung disease from the dried poo blowing in the wind than about looking silly. We are too old now to care what other people think. What freedom there is in that!

Well, another day is nearly done.  Tomorrow is detailing the car day, along with taking in the recycling if we wake up in time to go early before the depot gets crowded. We also need to book the last of our hotels for our travels next month. Although it is technically my husband's one day off this week, he will be plenty busy. Me too!  YAY!!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Lovin' the Lilac Sheets!

I'm becoming "girlie" in my old age. Sigh....

Last night as I crawled into bed, sandwiched between my cripsy new lilac coloured bamboo sheets and covered over with my lilac, white and pink comforter, I felt like a princess.  Ooooh, what a calming feeling new sheets and spring design comforters give to me. It felt downright luxurious, decadent even, to be resting so comfortably, so relaxed, so happy.  The news from our son has taken me out of "limbo land" emotionally and we can all get on with whatever is going to happen over the summer during his transition out of Canada.  Thinking about his decision, there in my bed of lilac, lulled me right into the most peaceful night's sleep I have had in some time.

I came so close to cancelling my order of the sheets.  It took weeks and weeks for them to come and I decided it was getting too close to holiday expense time to bother with the new sheets, but I am so very glad I went ahead and bought them.   

Two new sets of sheets on my bed in the past two weeks....sigh.....does crawling into bed each night get any better than that?

Nope! Aaaaahhhhh...........

Friday, May 26, 2017

So....the Boy Has Finally Made His Decision.......

Tonight we received the phone call from our son we have been expecting "any day" for the past few months:  this week he resigned from his position of 11 years in Vancouver and in July will be heading south of the border.  He will use his last few weeks of work to train personnel to replace himself and the former gallery director and then he is off.

Within a few hours of having handed in his resignation he found a reliable person to sublet his bachelor suite for the period of one year.  It is the same person who sublet the place for 6 months the last time our son was out of the country.  It means he won't have to store many of his belongings while he is gone.  Now he is getting ready to call his health care plan to set up emergency coverage and is figuring out the best way to see us before he leaves.  

We are going to miss him terribly and he is not the most faithful communicator at the best of times....talk about following in his father's footsteps!  haha  However, that is a detail we can work out with him. Friends of ours have not seen their adult children at all for the past 2 years as their kids have been working in a politically "difficult" country and could not return home before the end of their particular assignment. Their "kids" will be home for a few weeks this summer and then are returning to that rather scary place for another term.  At least our son is not anywhere near as far away as these people.  Communication will be far easier as well...when he remembers to communicate! 

Apart from knowing how desperately we will miss him, we are very excited that he has this chance to follow his dream.  He has given himself a pretty strict time line to decide if he is achieving the success he is after before returning home.  We are so proud of him for realizing that due to his age this certainly could be a "now or never" situation and what joy that he is going to give it a try.  He has all ready succeeded in our eyes simply by being brave enough to ditch his current, rather happy, life circumstance and take on a huge challenge. His father took on this big a change at the age of 50 and our son is considerably younger than that, so he has time to recover and re-establish himself back at home if things go awry. 

Congratulations son on your momentous decision to take a big step out in faith.  May the Lord continue to grant you peace and may you continue to enjoy every step in your life's journey!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

NOW I Know What That Shovel Is Here For!!!

A couple of months after we moved into this complex, a small shovel, bright red plastic with a nice wooden handle, showed up beside our back deck.  It sat there for several weeks and no one ever claimed it. Over the course of that first summer several of the neighbourhood kids asked if they could borrow it to play in the dirt and gravel piles. We not only told them they could, we also told them it was not our shovel and they could do whatever they wanted to do with it...take it home, break it over each others' heads, whatever....but the danged shovel kept returning to us. Finally, a year later, I understand why!

That shovel is God's gift to us and like so many of his gifts, this one went unrecognized and unused for too long.

The other day I noted one of our neighbours, a sturdy farm girl type university student, outside with her own little shovel industriously scooping up a huge pile of goose poop that had accummulated along her pathway to the car lot. She finished her task then walked the shovel of crap over to the huge garbage bin and dumped the whole works into it....bagless....just the straight scoop o' poop.  Aaaaaaahhhhhh.....smart move sturdy farm girl type....smart move.  I have been picking up poop piles with a special pair of rubber gloves, paper towels and small zip lock bags, cursing the waste of money for the bags as much as I have been cursing the management for refusing to make even the smallest attempt to remove the geese from the property.

We have done a great job ourselves keeping the geese away from our place, but tonight just before dinner a huge number of them showed up and were heading toward our place just as we were driving away to a church service. (Ascension Day, where Christians celebrate the ascension of Christ into heaven and the sending of the gift of the Holy Spirit upon the Church)

I knew there was going to be poop from here to tomorrow by the time we arrived home and there certainly was. Fortunately it was still light enough outside for me to don the rubber gloves and pick up the poo with that little red shovel that was abandoned at our place so long ago.  I walked the mess over to the bin, dumped it over the edge and walked away happy.  A wipe off of the shovel with a damp paper towel back at home and setting it up in a special spot on the deck for easy access for the next dump and all is well.  Other than the occasional paper towel, it is no longer going to cost me money and waste expensive zip lock bags to get rid of the stuff.

I walked all the way home tonight from the Ascension service...just over 3 km...so my husband could take our car and accompany the other priests to their favourite coffee bar and I wouldn't have to sit and listen to them as the only woman present. hahaha  Also I couldn't believe my good fortune that the threatening rain clouds didn't touch me with one drop of the wet stuff all the way home and the wind died down beautifully.  It was a lovely walk and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It gave me a chance to reflect on the sermon my husband gave tonight from Ephesians: that all the spiritual leadership gifts are given in measure to every one of God's people, not only to help them personally look more like Jesus, but so that the church as a whole can look more like Jesus....as I said earlier, we have not always been quick enough to recognize those gifts nor to utilize them to make the church more like the Saviour we claim to serve.  It was a good reflection for me at a time when I find myself between church families.

I ran so many errands today, enjoyed my day, enjoyed the church service and the long walk I wasn't expecting to have when we left home tonight.  I hope my husband is having a glorious time with his friends.  He doesn't have much time for personal friends so I am delighted he was able to take a bit of time tonight to socialize and enjoy some of them.

What Once Was Lost Has Now Been Found........

....saving us along drive back to Cypress Hills next Monday!  

On the one hand I am a bit disappointed to miss that drive together, but on the other hand, I am relieved my husband can avoid taking an extra trip that direction so close to our holidays.  Other than the hills themselves it really isn't a very interesting drive.

His glasses turned up this morning in a box of communion supplies in the trunk of our car.  How did they get there when the box of supplies is for the Synod office and has no connection to his last weekend's trip?  NO idea....but then we often find my husband's lost items in the oddest of places and he has no memory of why he would have put them there.  hahahahaha

Since we are now leaving on our trip 2 days earlier than planned I suppose I am glad of the extra day next week to get ready.   It will give us a morning to get our recycleables taken to the depot and get a few dollars from the bags and boxes of tins and bottles taking up space on our basement floor.

What a relief to know those glasses are safely stowed in my husband's home office on his desk!  YES!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

My Amazingly Healthy Mom!

Mom is turning 90 in November.  She just completed a huge battery of tests and went in to the doctor the other day for her results.  Talk about encouraging!

Her remaining kidney we have all been so worried about has improved considerably.  The numbers she wanted to see for her creatine levels (35-107) have come down over the past 6 months from 100 to 87.  While that is still a bit high, it is a definite improvement and she is very encouraged to continue her daily water drinking regime. There is something about that generation that makes them struggle with the idea of consuming straight water, but mom has overcome it all and is seeing success for her efforts.  The rest of her lab work showed all numbers well within range.

The one area of concern is that the electrical system in her heart has failed a bit over the past year...related to her age, rather than any specific problem.  It is possible that in the next couple of years she may need a pacemaker.  I cannot believe her amazing new doctor would even consider that to be an option at her age and I am most grateful that he recognizes her otherwise incredible good health.  He has told her and dad what symptoms to watch for and what to do if they occur, so she can get to the hospital for an assessment and possible surgery. Even at that the doctor doesn't expect anything to happen in the immediate future, but how wonderful he has warned them about this.  I feel good too that for once in their lives they have shared the possible problem with me instead of withholding the information.

Tomorrow she has the last of her tests: a bone densitometry and an abdominal scan.  I am not worried about the bone densitometry, but I am somewhat concerned about the abdominal scan.  She has had issues her whole life, but no doctor has ever suggested a scan. For the moment she is off all wheat and dairy products to see if that calms lifelong problems.  Combined with the scan maybe she will get some answers and some help.

So, if all goes well with the scan results, my dear mom should be with us for a long time to come and feel pretty well in the process.  Lord willing........

I Love It When Plans Seem To Be Working Out!

Things are coming together well for our holidays next month.  I am SO grateful.  Hotels are booked, friends are awaiting us, family are preparing lists of things we can do for them while we are together.

The whole month looked gloomy and boring up until the past couple of days when things started clicking into place.  To confirm our decision not to go to Vancouver this time around, our son contacted us yesterday to say he is likely going to leave for the States in July and will be working like a dog to train replacement personnel, getting subletters for his place, storage for his stuff and looking for a home in New York, all during the month of June. As much as he would like us to have our annual break by the ocean, once we admitted if he isn't available we aren't that interested in returning again to the coast so soon, he relaxed and is making plans to see us out here in the east on his way to the USA.  

The other neat thing that happened this morning is that the dread of that horribly monotonous drive from here to Calgary has been lifted.  Our former parish is in dire need of my husband's services the day before our holidays start, so we will be going there 2 days before the official start to our holiday season.  It means we can leave from there for Calgary on Day one of our holidays and take a much shorter route that has far less traffic and is at least somewhat easier on the eyes in terms of scenery.  We will pass through the Drumheller valley along the route and it is quite lovely there.  Slowly we are getting excited about the travel next month.   There are friends in Vancouver we will miss seeing, but we will have a chance to meet up this time with other old friends, in other places, who we haven't seen in several years.  

YIPPEE!! So far, so good........long may it last, right??? hahaha

Interesting Thought....a Little Eerie....and Kinda True!

"Your memory is a monster; you forget - it doesn't. It simply files things away. It keeps things for you, or hides things from you - and summons them to your recall with a will of its own. You think you have a memory: but it has you!"
--John Irving, "A Prayer for Owen Meany"

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Fun With Memory! Aiiiii yiiiiii........

My poor dear husband and his issues with forgetfulness...between himself and our son it is a wonder I can remember anything at all of my own as I spent so many years trying to keep track of all their material possessions every time they left the house. Sigh....

This time it is my husband's reading glasses:  it appears he has left them at the camp he was at this past weekend, 5 hours away!  Sigh.....  The next time we are scheduled to be in that vicinity is more than two weeks from now and they could disappear long before then, even though there are only 2 families in that area who would be likely to access the buildings during that time, o and vandals, who have made a mess in the camp a couple of times previously.  Sigh....

I planned to make certain my husband had his glasses and every other item on the list I made before he left home to go to camp, but he neglected to call me before leaving. By the time he called he was part of the way home, calling from beside the highway and hardly in a safe spot to start rooting through his bags and boxes to see if every small item was where it should be.  Sigh...... 

He feels terrible about it.  I feel terrible FOR him. Sigh.....

Guess we will be making an extra trip west very soon to try to collect those glasses....a week or so before retracing our steps at the beginning of our upcoming holidays.  For two people who detest that particular stretch of highway we certainly seem to set ourselves up for driving it far too often! We just can't risk leaving the glasses there for 2 more weeks, plus it would be most helpful for my husband if he could actually see his papers and computer screen at work.  Sigh.....

In happier news, we have been having a good day today.  My husband doesn't have to go into the office, although he does have a big meeting out of town this evening.  He spent the morning working on a final draft of the paper he had to write during his somewhat aborted study leave week, then took a break to accompany me to a bank for paying bills and a couple of stores for a new laundry basket, a new bear horn and a tissue box holder for the car as our boxes of tissues we keep in there seem to get crushed with some degree of regularity, making it difficult to snatch a tissue from a disintigrating cardboard box while driving.

Then we decided to have a date for lunch, since we were stuck indoors yesterday.  We enjoyed a meal at Lancaster Taphouse.  We haven't been there since last December.  I ordered my usual Surf and Turf small bites meal.  It contains more cholesterol than I should ever have at once, but for dinner tonight I am having a veggie salad, no dressing and a boiled chicken breast with lemon juice and Greek herbs added on for the reheating.  Sounds dreadful I know, but it tastes rather good once the chicken is "doctored" after boiling. The chefs at Lancaster Taphouse know how to cook beef properly....medium rare, not much fat left on....SO good!  There are only 2 large shrimp so not a big blast of cholesterol there, most of the cholesterol being contained in the strip of pimento cream cheese on top of the garlic potatoes.  O well.....again, so tasty.  There was a decent portion of grilled carrot and zucchini, along with a half ear of roasted corn on the cob....more veggies than I am served usually on a full portion meal elsewhere. For the enjoyment once in awhile of a lunch like that I don't mind at all eating plain green salad and boiled chicken for dinner!!!! 

Now we are home, my husband is back to writing his paper and I am going to get some work done around here.  After all the ironing I did yesterday and the amount of housework I accomplished on the weekend it is difficult to believe there is so much left to do, but there is always something!! 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Wonderful New Tasty Treat!

My husband decided to make lunch today.  I was working on a project upstairs and soon after he started cooking the most wonderful aromas began wafting up and making me seriously hungry for the meal.

He decided to make upma.  Upma is an Indian breakfast mix, basically seasoned cream of wheat...very fine grained.  It is combined with several oils: sunflower, rice bran, palm, soy bean and sesame, as well as salt, chick peas, lemon powder, green chili, ginger, sugar, curry leaves and mustard.  My husband added a touch of cumin, a handful of green peas and edamame and a light sprinkling of ground peanuts, then served it topped with crispy fried, dried onions.  O my...to DIE FOR....SO delicious!!!  It is of course very high in carbohydrates and fats, but I was so entranced by the flavour I ended up eating twice as much of those "baddies" as I should have.  Happy sigh....   

After lunch I exercised myself nearly to exhaustion to try to keep the blood sugar down, hoping the addition of the cooked green veggies would help the cholestrol count just a bit.  There is enough left for my husband to eat it again...twice...as  I don't dare eat it two days in a row.  

What a fantastic treat, cooked right in our own home. Yummmmmm!!  

Thank you dear husband for a chance to consume something completely different for a change!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Day Three....Nearly Over....YIPPEE!!!!

My husband just phoned to say he will be home soon...only a couple of more hours to wait!  YAY!!  Wow, I really missed him this weekend!  He will likely be completely exhausted when he arrives and be more or less useless tomorrow, but that is okay.  At least he will be here!!!  (BIG SMILEY FACE!!)

Based on the experiences of the past 3 days, it seems that being alone was God's goal for me for some reason.  That was certainly brought home to me this morning:  after dithering about all morning about whether or not to attend the nearest Anglican church, simply because I can walk there easily in 20 minutes, I realized if I went I could also take a bag of books I finished reading this week and deposit them in the community library box near the church.  How's THAT for a super spiritual hero giant reason to attend church...I know...right???? hahaha

O my.....crazy....the sermon was being given by a guest preacher, a woman I know, a colleague of my husband's that I have spent a fair amount of time with in the past year or two.  She gave her usual amazing sermon, but here is the weird part that makes me wonder what on earth God has been up to this weekend with all the isolation:  the woman did not recognize me!!  DID NOT RECOGNIZE ME EVEN THOUGH I JUST HAD ANOTHER GOOD VISIT WITH HER 3 WEEKS AGO!!!  I wasn't concerned about it when she was rushing about before the service getting set up while I smiled at her from the front pew.  It wasn't until she was finished and sitting silently across the aisle from me that it started to dawn on me that she truly did not know who I was.  While she was preaching she looked my way several times and I could see the gears turning in her head as she tried to remember where she might have seen me before, but eventually she gave up trying to figure it out.  During the passing of the peace I gave her a hearty handshake and blessing, which she returned, but still didn't know me.  Talk about bizarre!!!! A year ago we were travelling around the province together several weekends in a row.  We are not just aquaintances.  She is not the kind of person to hold something against someone and subsequently ignore them in public....in other words, she is an adult!  Her lack of recognition was totally sincere. WEIRD!

The priest did recognize me and after the service invited me to join everyone for lunch downstairs in the hall.  She pointed me in the direction of the stairs and down I went.  No one else was down there yet so I used the opportunity for a washroom break, then re-entered the hall and sat down at a table in the middle of the room, thinking it would be difficult to be left sitting alone that way.  Method in my madness...right?  Well....I sat...and sat....and sat. 15 minutes later no one else had  yet entered the hall.  I could see the table of food set out near the kitchen pass through window, so I knew I was in the right place.  I waited 5 more minutes and finally a couple of women came down and headed straight past me and into the kitchen to get the coffee urn put out.  Then they sat down in the kitchen and started to chat.  Everyone else in the congregation was still upstairs in the narthex visiting.  I wandered over to the kitchen to introduce myself to the two women who had passed me when they came downstairs, but didn't seem to see me wave at them or hear my greeting.  As I arrived at the window I opened my mouth to say hello and one of them stood up, waved her arm dismissively at me and said,"You can't start eating yet. The priest has not come downstairs yet to offer the blessing over the food."  She sat down again and I stood there gaping like a fish for a second before turning around and returning upstairs to see what was so fascinating up there.  Everyone was just standing around chatting, so I stood in the main traffic area smiling, but not one person made eye contact with me.  I stood there ginning like an idiot for just over 5 minutes, then bolted for the doors and headed home.  BIZARRE!!!!!  

Unfortunately this sort of situation happens weekly in too many established congregations of all denominations. We get into our little cliques and visiting ruts, don't pay any attention to new folk and do nothing to ensure they feel welcome...or in today's case nothing to prevent new person me from feeling like anything more than some kind of piglet trying to sneak food ahead of the crowd....which of course I wasn't trying to do at all.

I laughed all the way home.  My lack of impact on people I know is legendary, but for the preacher not to be able to place me is nothing short of shocking.  I will be seeing her at a staff get together in a couple of weeks and it will be interesting to see what she has to say when I tell her how much I enjoyed her sermon at today's service.  hahahaha  She will be as shocked then about my presence at church as I was today about her not knowing who I was.  She is very quick to deal with offenses, so that is how I know I as not being deliberately snubbed...on top of the fact that she is, as I wrote earlier, an adult.   

The beautiful day outside when I was walking made up for the odd morning at the church and I spent a happy afternoon doing my laundry, lifting weights and resting.  Now dinner is over, dishes done and I am waiting for the season finale of "Shades of Blue" to begin.  My husband will be happy to be home, happy I recorded some boxing for us to watch tomorrow and happy that the clean up weekend at the camp went fabulously, with many volunteer helpers!

So my weekend alone is soon to come to an end....YAY!!  Thank you Lord that, while I have no idea what I was supposed to get out of this down time on my own, there obviously was a reason for it and if you ever want to let me in on that, well...I wouldn't object!!  All in all though, I kept busy and things went well...strangely but well.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Day Two...All Through...Wahoo!!

I spent the better part of the day completing all the housecleaning after a bit of a sleep in this morning.  I finished up at about 4:30pm, ate an early dinner and did the minimum 40 minutes of exercise afterward.  After being on my feet all day cleaning I figured that was more than enough.  I did a lot of "extras" in today's cleaning and by dinner time I was rather tired.

Over dinner I watched the season finale of "The Blacklist" and thoroughly enjoyed it!  I will get to watch it again on Monday with my dear husband. Apparently History Channel is bringing back another season of our favourite "Alone" reality series starting June 8 or thereabout.  That is how I most enjoy outdoor survival experiences: vicariously through video recordings of other people actually doing it!  I also love "So You Think You Can Dance" as a fun summer show so I hope it is also on its way back to the screen.

After dinner and dishes clean up I decided finally to rent "La La Land" as so many people have told me I MUST see it.  Well....now I have.  I have to say I am most grateful to have only paid $6.95 for a rental as it did indeed send me to la la land.  Snore...doze....snooze.....  Maybe I simply wasn't in the mood but it didn't exactly grab my attention.  There were some pleasantly forgettable tunes and a few bits of excellent jazz, but the dance sequences seemed rather aborted throughout the film, perhaps because the principle actors are not dancers?  They waltzed together rather nicely, but didn't do a lot else. There were amazing sets and costumes for the larger cast of dancers but they too didn't get to perform much. There was only one short complete routine during the opening sequence and that was about it.  Blah....to be honest I spent part of the time paging through a new biography I am about to start reading after writing this post.  To me the film was pretty much a "should have, could have, would have been" kind of film.  It was obvious what the writers and producers were trying to achieve, but in my opinion they didn't quite get there...so close, but no cigar.  Whatever....I am happy so many other people got so much out of it and that it did so well.  At least there was no potty humour and not much in the way of profanity, no nudity....all pluses, but it was also rather insipid.  O well....

As far as being alone this weekend, thus far it has been a blast from the past:  I received a lovely phone call from friends in Vancouver Island and from Ontario and some delightful emails from my son and from other friends far away....it was just like living in our last parish...phone contact with "the faithfuls", yet nothing face to face for the entire last 2 days.  

I decided after I completed my housework to call my friend who was taking her driver's test this past week and if she passed, invite her over for a cup of tea.  I believe Ramadan starts next week and she won't be indulging in our usual cuppa' for the next few weeks until Ramadan ends.  In the process of trying to call her I accelerated to ludicrous speed on the whole experience of being alone all weekend: her cell phone number is no longer in service! hahahaha  I have no other way to reach her as I have no car of my own to drive all the way to her house to check in.

Okay Lord, for whatever reason this is not my weekend to socialize!  Okay, I get it, I get it all ready!   I will be interested to see if anything comes up in the morning to prevent me from getting to the nearest church service.  hahaha  That will be the next thing this weekend...........hahaha.

My husband called me again from the camp as he was getting ready for a very early bed time.  He and the volunteers all worked so hard today and he was exhausted.  Apparently he was going to tackle a large caulking project an hour before he called, but he remembered my warning to him to remember he isn't 20 any more and he is in bad shape physically as he hasn't started training yet for the late summer canoe trip, so he changed his mind about the caulking and will leave it until tomorrow. Good man!!

Well, time to go and read myself to sleep.  If I do miss church in the morning I have lots of laundry to do to keep myself busy for the day!

Not Mice After All!!

Several times over the past two weeks, right around the time we both head upstairs in the middle evening hours to get ready for bed and do some reading and emailing, we heard noises above our heads that we assumed immediately were due to a mouse or rat in the attic.  One of my dreads this weekend has been that the blasted thing would eat its way through the asbestos and through the ceilng drywall and fall into the suite, or that it would fall between the joists into the wall and eat its way in that way.  I HATE MICE!!  Also, I have no idea where my husband stored the traps when we moved in here with the mistaken idea that mice would not be a problem!  Duh!!

The one thing that puzzled both of us was that the noise and scrabbling about were not consistent.  They happened for about 10 minutes maxiumum every few evenings, with a few days in between, and never once during the day.

Well, last night it happened again, but I stopped long enough to listen more carefully to the sounds.  They were the same sounds as before, but didn't seem to be inside the attic...more on top of the roof....so I tossed on a housecoat and walked outside onto the front lawn to see if I could see anything unusual up there...maybe something that had been blown or tossed up there at some point, got stuck on a heat vent and made noise on the shingles depending on the wind direction. 

O my....there WAS something up there all right:  It was a big fat GOOSE!!!!!  I have never seen a goose scrambling around trying to keep its balance on any of the rooves of our complex buildings ever before.  This one's wide, flat, webbed feet were having quite a time getting a grip on the old shingles, what with the roof having quite a steep pitch to it, but the big fat bird was trying hard to keep its balance and stand up!!  O for heaven's sake!  

I laughed and laughed as it finally managed to get sufficient traction for a rather awkward take off back into the sky.

Dumb goose........ hahahahahaha

Friday, May 19, 2017

And the Icing On the Cake:

....is the phone call I just received from my husband!  He had a great drive out to camp, met up with the park director and the other camp clean up volunteers and all ready they have fixed some severe plumbing issues before they start on their list of planned tasks tomorrow.  So far it is all good!  Some of the other volunteers are parishioners from our former parish and he is delighted to see them and spend time with them once again.  The hotel restaurant is open so he doesn't have to depend solely on the food I sent along. Maybe he can have a treat for one of his meals as the food there is rather good!

I will sleep even better tonight knowing he is safe and all is well at the camp.

Day One...Over and Done!

If the rest of the weekend goes as well as today did I will indeed be one happy camper!  YAY!!

I hung around  home this morning until the mailman arrived with NO mail for me, not even the phone bill, so scrapped the idea of including a side trip to the bank on my long walk today, got myself dressed and ready and headed out for Cathedral district.  The great news to me is that my thigh muscles are finally healed sufficiently to  up my walking pace considerably over last summer and I made the trip in just under 40 minutes!  YIPPEE!!  The weather was perfect for walking: only about +15C when I left home, with just the hint of a chilly breeze.  I wore no coat, no sweater, just a short sleeved tee shirt and comfy cotton pants!  Decided to wear my proper walking shoes rather than my newish sandals.  I would prefer to keep them fresh and clean as long as possible while waiting for the hot summer weather when I will need them on to keep my feet cool.

The wind got up about a half dozen blocks from my destination lunch venue of choice, just enough wind to coat my bare arms with dust and whatever in that dust covers me with teensy red hives, but they disappeared after my first 10 minutes in Mercury Diner.  I decided to give the place a second chance after being extremely disappointed the first time I ate there a few months ago.  Well.......this time was no different.  The price was scandalous for the plain, not so terrific meal I ordered.  The grilled chicken burger was served on a rather stale white bun and the chicken breast was the skinniest piece of meat I have ever laid eyes on.  Sigh....  The good part was that the only condiments on the burger were a slice of tomato, two good sized slices of dill pickle, and barely enough mayo to be bothered with.  The bun wasn't even buttered...so the butter and mayo count were perfect for my cholesterol count!  I ordered a side salad with it and no dressing.  The lettuce was rather wilted in my little dish of salad and there was only 1 tomato wedge on top, but at least there were some good sized bits of grated carrot and purple cabbage so it was tasty enough.  A bottle of diet Coke was all I could find to have with the meal as I cannot tolerate the tap water here...my rather meagre fare with tax still came to nearly twenty dollars...higway robbery in my opinion.  I can pay the same amount for a fresher, LARGE, salad at Zam's, filled with as many veggies as I want to order and it is loaded with chicken shwarama to the point where I don't need any bread or buns at all to be completely sated after eating it. On the way home after lunch I noticed a little place I missed seeing on the way into the neighbourhood: Bobbi-Jo's.  The small sandwich board outside was advertising falfal and feta wraps, so that tells me there may be something more satisfying for me to eat there than at Mercury Diner.  There really isn't anything wrong with the food at Mercury Diner, it just is less interesting than what my little heart desires!

After lunch I hoofed it across the street to the Bernard Callebaut chocolate shop and purchased some wildly expensive chocolate items to take to friends and family next month on our holiday travels.  It was so much fun picking out things I know they all will like.  I picked out a few individual chocolates for my husband and myself for a treat.  When he gets home he will have a nut cluster, a honey-anise and a white raisin-wine chocolate to try.  For myself I purchased an orange oil infused leaf of dark chocolate to eat as my dessert today, then over the next few days I will be having a mango-peppercorn chocolate, a  nutmeg orange chocolate and an apricot jelly-lavender chocolate.  How exciting!  They are pretty light on the sugar, these wee candies, so one a day for 3 days will not be a problem.  Since I am alone all weekend, I am treating myself! haha

I tried to purchase a new clergy shirt for my husband at Burns-Hanley, also located in the area, but they had only black, white and bishop's purple in stock in my husband's size. The pretty colours he wants were only in stock in smaller neck sizes.  Very disappointing, but he can go in and order what he wants there next week.

Across the street to Iannone's I went to check out the sandal selection once again. SCORE!  Their spring order finally arrived in its entirety and I had a decent selection of SAS brand to choose from.  I found a lovely antique brown pair, not at all the style I usually wear from SAS, but just as comfy and with a bit of gold iridescence.  YAY!  So, my summer footwear is complete!

It was a most satisfying walk home!  The wind really came up though and as I walked past the many huge old trees along the route I could feel that crazy hive rash starting up again.  As soon as I got home I lathered up my arms in warm water and soap and it was gone within ten minutes.  O my....what a nuisance.  At least it doesn't itch!  Never had such a thing until we moved to Saskatchewan...there is something in the dust here, some kind of pollen or farming chemical or something that drives me crazy all spring and summer as soon as I am around vegetation and the wind is blowing!  Sigh.....it is just so danged UGLY! and so NOTICEABLE!!

I had a nice rest once I got home.  I discovered an old colouring book and bag of felt pens I "played with" in desperation the winter I was stuck inside with the broken hip.  So, I coloured a picture instead of sleeping as I feel so wretchedly ill if I nap during the day.  That was a hoot!  I can't believe I used that as a time consumer when I was incapacitated, but at least it was a break from reading and emailing.

After dinner tonight I had another surge of energy so dusted all the venetian blinds, and around the inside of the window frames, then dusted and vacuumed my bedroom and the upstairs hallway and stair landing and dusted all the paintings and Japanese knicknacks upstairs. I cleaned all of our computers and the light fixtures in the ceilings, vacuummed the bathroom mat and the furnace vents.  So, at least some of the work is all ready done before I launch into the rest of it tomorrow.  I will feel like I really got away with something when I wake up in the morning and resume cleaning!  

So now it is nearly 10:30pm and I need to crawl into bed and do some reading.  If I go for a walk again tomorrow after cleaning I may do another long walk to the second hand bookstore as I am nearly out of reading material again.  Buuut, the store here is such a disorganized and filthy mess inside.  I would prefer going to Post Horizons in Moose Jaw, but have no way to get there. The used books there are expensive, but they are in great condition and the selection is more what I want. I don't have to sort through massive piles of dusty bodice rippers, desperately seeking something worth reading. Post Horizons is clean and well organized, so I am happy to pay the prices.  I can usually find what I want there in a very short time. 

Well...we shall see what Day Two of this long weekend brings!

Okay...So It's The Victoria Day Weekend...So.....Now What Happens?

My husband just left for his weekend of diocesan camp clean up down in Cypress Hills Park.  He and our vehicle are both gone for a few days and here I sit....hmmmm.....what kind of weekend is it going to turn out to be I wonder?

Later this morning I am going to wander over to Iannone's Shoes in the Cathedral district. Depending on whether or not the phone bill arrives today I may take an extra long walk to the bank near Cornwall Center to pay that as well.  Either way I am going to try to time it so I can take myself out for lunch!  Facing a rather long weekend alone I am going to treat myself whenever possible all weekend!  Other than that long walk I have not had any success in making any plans to see anyone this weekend, so if nothing else this townhouse is going to receive the best cleaning of its entire existence!  I did have a plan to return to our former parish for a Saturday funeral of a former parishioner but the plans fell through last night.

Earlier this week I made a list of all the people I know around here and did some research to find out what they were doing this long weekend so that I would at least have a few folk to call if I was home alone.  I ended up with a big fat zero as far as friends who are NOT away or otherwise occupied this weekend!  haha  One friend is in Victoria, one is in Vancouver, one is in Italy, one is in Trinidad, one is in Toronto, one is in Saskatoon, one is in Red Deer, three are away at various lakeside cabins preparing them for summer use, one is babysitting the grandkids, two are working, two live out of town and they are not able to get here any more than I am able to get there, a couple of more are home but have family/garden planting committments and on it goes!!  hahahaha  UNREAL!  I may wander over to St. Matthews church on Sunday morning because I can easily get there on foot, so that would get me out for half a day for worship.....with a group of folk I don't know at all.  hahaha

Well.......here's to whatever wonderful things are going to happen, whatever they turn out to be.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Why I Love Teens!

I have always found teenagers to be the most fascinating people and I love them dearly!  One of the things I most enjoy about that age group is their certainty that they are the first to discover so many things and have no clue that most of what they are learning is old news to the rest of us.  hahaha

One of the most hilarious conversations I ever had was with two teenaged girls I used to know, now grown women with husbands and children.  They were 15 years old at the time. I overheard the two of them talking one day when they had no idea anyone could be listening in on their conversation.  They were discussing a particular sexual practise among young people that was making a lot of news in those days and each of them was discussing it as if they knew exactly what it was all about and possibly hinting to each other that each of them had given it a try.  I knew from the complete lack of factual information they had that they had no idea about any of it. 

So, since I knew them and their families so well, I stepped around the corner and invited myself into their discussion. It went kind of like this:

Me: Hey ladies, whatcha'  talkin' about?

Them (sagely and condescendingly): O, Mrs. B., YOU don't want to know about such things! (snicker, snicker)

Me: Well, actually I overheard a bit of what you were discussing and I think that you both need to know that in order to do that sort of thing you need to do thus and so.  Then of course there is a danger that if you participate in this you could experience this, that or the other thing and even put your lives in danger...but of course you all ready know these things..........don't you? 

Them (shocked!): Eeeewewww!!  MRS. B.!!!  We are so embarrasseed! How do YOU know about these things?  You are OLD!!!  

Me: Yes, I am very old indeed...older than dirt....therefore my brain contains the knowledge and wisdom of the ages.  If you need to know anything else about this particular subject don't be afraid to ask me because you really need to get your facts straight about all the things old people invented long before you were born, particularly practises that could harm you.

Them (rather subdued):  Oooooooooohhhh..........

I contacted both girls' parents that same day and told them about our little discussion. After they stopped laughing uproariously they all decided it was certainly time to have another talk with their daughters that went deeper than the basic "birds and bees". 

Teens.  So darned cute.  So sure they know it all.  Positive that every idea they come up with on their own is a totally new invention.  

Love. Them. To. Pieces!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Split Infinitives....teehee

I was searching for something in an old blog post this morning and it required reading several old posts.  O, how I do love using split infinitives! hahahaha

That is one reason I enjoy blogging...I can do that and it doesn't matter.  I am not writing a treatise or a university paper.  I am simply jotting down thoughts as they come to me.  How relaxing for me!

So, if poor grammar, the occasional whopping blooper of a spelling mistake, or other poor use of the English language drives you crazy, well then....I am sorry....I "am really, truly, sorry"....teehee teehee!!!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Passing Through.....

"We're all brothers and we're only passin' through....".
(Thank you Leonard Cohen!)

I was reminded of that song this week with the loss now of not only  one, but two friends.  Now an elderly parishioner from our last parish has passed on...a woman who dearly loved us, spent a lot of time with us and who cried when we had to tell her we were moving away.  She was 98 at the time of her death.  We will certainly miss her love and care of us.

Holiday plans kicked into higher gear today.  We have the guest suite booked at my parents' facility for the first week of our holiday and are just waiting to hear from friends in Lethbridge as to whether or not we can head there next for a couple of days.  If not, they may be able to meet us for an evening in Calgary instead while we are there.  My parents are very cute: so thrilled that I will be spending my birthday with them and are all ready planning bookings for fancy restaurant meals for the day. hahaha  Mom has a list of things she "needs" to buy that is several pages in length so I suspect we are going to spend every day driving around the city shopping. Hopefully I can get her alone for a few hours without Dad so we can talk about what is really going on with him and how she is feeling medically and about their lives in general.  My husband is great at taking care of Dad when Mom and I need an escape for a few hours. 

If all works out as planned we should have a week to 10 days at home before heading to Edmonton and area for the last week of holidays, so we can visit my husband's sister and her husband.  

I am amazed at the peace of mind we both have about not going to visit our son in Vancouver this time.  Usually that is the given and everyone and everything else has to wait until another time, but not this year.  Since our son has plans to stop to see us and his grandparents on his way to the States later in the summer, we feel free to admit we simply don't want to spend the money to return to the old haunts yet again, as much as we love going there.  It just feels right to take a year off. Perhaps it is because the 10 days we spent there last June were so absolutely perfect.  After all the times we have visited over the past 15 years, last year was the most fantastic time ever and perhaps that is a good way to end the holiday times on the west coast, at least for awhile.

Got my haircut today, followed by some window shopping to fill in the time afterward until it was noon and I could eat lunch at Zam Zam's.  O how I am enjoying those shawarma salads without the sauces and feta cheese.  PRAYING so hard that my cholesterol will come down sufficiently by July to be able to stay off the statins.  Of course my next tests are the week immediately following our holidays, a time when I have less control over my meals as a rule.  I guess this year I am just going to have to maintain a strict discipline and stick to salads and plates of hot cooked veggies with some protein and leave it at that.  At least I am enjoying eating good breads that don't have more than 2% saturated fats and no cholesterol and eating them without any butter or margarine.  

Tonight for dinner I was feeling uncreative and not much like preparing much of a meal, so I ate a big plate of hot veggies with a half a plain, boiled chicken breast and a tablespoon of picante sauce over the top.  Talk about simple....and simply delicious as well.

I have been curious as to how my sodium intake is doing as I have been suspcious that my ingestion has crept up in recent months, but once again today my BP at mid morning was 78/33, very average for me as when I am healthy it tends to be very low.  I think back to 3 years ago when it was up around 151/94 and can hardly believe it is back under control.  This afternoon it was in its usual mid day range of 116/74.  

I walked the 35 minutes downtown this morning, then sat for 40 minutes for a hair cut, then window shopped for 40 minutes, then sat for 20 minutes to eat lunch, then walked the 35 minutes home.  After dinner I talked to my parents for 45 minutes and was walking around and around the house the entire time.  Getting back to that kind of constant moving about now that my hip is better and my ankle is strong again, well, it is how I most enjoy life and it makes me feel great almost all the time.  The temperature for walking outside today was perfect: between +19C and +22C!  There was a bit of a breeze but for now the gale force winds are bothering someone else for a change!  The sun was shining in and around a bit of cloud cover so it wasn't too hot on my skin...what a perfect day!

Our relative with cancer is experiencing rather severe neuropathy in the hands and feet.  The doctor has cut the amount of one of the drugs by 25% in hopes that it will not worsen. During treatments and even at home, ice packs will be placed on the hands and feet to impede blood circulation to the nerve endings in the extremities in hopes that it will reduce the amount of poison in the chemo drugs from reaching those nerve endings.  If the neuropathy continues to worsen at the rate it has been happening, the damage could be permanent, so it is imperative to do all that is possible to prevent that. As a result, the extra 2 chemo treatments that were recently added into the schedule have been cancelled in order to preserve a decent quality of life without other permanent physical damage.  This doctor is extremely compassionate and understanding and has been marvellous with our relative.  We truly believe that God knows if the extra two treatments actually would have been  necessary and if not, then what a relief to have them cancelled. As things stand now, there should only be one more treatment after today's....in about 3 weeks. Praying that can truly be the end of it.

Although it isn't even 10pm yet I think I will go to bed now and read for awhile. All that fresh air and walking made me tired...a comfortable sort of tiredness that comes from good exercise and being out of doors in the spring.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Yummy Salad!!

I was tired yesterday so decided to keep supper very simple for our guests last night.  The chicken/veggie casserole came together quickly and easily, this particular family loves artisan breads smothered in butter, I had a plate each of sliced tomatoes and cucumbers as some members of the family enjoy one and others the other and they don't eat lettuce, so that made a greens salad a bad idea.  I had a dish of orange rind stuffed olives and knew those would disappear quickly, but what to have for another side dish....

I decided beans would be a good idea, so I opened and rinsed and dried a can of red kidney beans and a can of black beans.  I heated some frozen edamame to add in for colour, finely diced half a small white onion and mixed everything together with some freshly ground pepper and a dowsing of white balsamic vinegar. DELICIOUS and so very simple!  I ended up with a huge bowl of beans, but our guests ate the entire bowl's worth!  The casserole went over well too as I had so many chopped veggies in it along with rather a lot of sliced chicken in lemon juice and Greek herb mix. For a base I used a wonderful mix of quinoa and red rice and wild rice that we were introduced to by my husband's sister recently.  The little boys who ate that casserole were persuaded to enjoy the green beans, carrots, celery and peas they don't normally like to eat, because everything was chopped so finely they were barely aware of all the vegetables. hahaha Good trick with these boys, works every time! 

It was a good meal for our friends and other than the time it took to dice and chop the veggies, it was quick to produce.  Easy peasey!!

After supper we walked through the park across the street.  There seem to be fewer geese this year and the goslings have mostly hatched out, so we had a great time watching the little downy birds scattering about the park under the watchful eye of their parents. The lower number of geese made walking on the paths less of a minefield for poop bombs!  YES!!  Don't know if there are straggling late comers still on their way from the south or if somewhere along the line the geese were culled either accidentally by weather or deliberately by fed up town and city parks administrators, but it was a most pleasant first venture into the park last evening for us.  The boys played on the playground equipment while we old codgers sat and watched the fountain in the "lake".  

It was a lovely Mothers Day for me as I had a good conversation with my own Mom, my son called me and our guests brought me flowers and other gifts in honour of the day.  Wow!!  

Today I find myself rather unexpectedly alone and wondering the best way to spend my afternoon. My husband ended up with two surprise "play dates" today...oooh, he hates me to tease him by calling them that, hahaha....so he is off with an immigrant friend to introduce him to the lumber yards and hardware stores here, then off to the home of another friend who is turning his garage into a woodworking shop.  He is likely going out for lunch with his first friend and, unbeknownst to him right now, he is also going out for supper...with me! hahaha  I am happy for my husband to have two friends to spend some guy time with. 

I suppose I could spend some time reading after lunch even though there is always plenty of housework to do...I am like my mom, if I am not working at some specific task every waking hour between morning breakfast and evening dinner I feel lazy and decadent.  I do have Sunday's episode of "Shades of Blue" recorded and I could watch that.  Tomorrow I will be going on a long walk, so should conserve a bit of energy today by doing my exercise here at home. It is kind of nice to make a few last moment plans for myself!  

Well...off to locate something delicious for my lunch. There is a chicken breast left over from yesterday that didn't go into the casserole and I have a nice fresh loaf of rosemary bread and a head of butter butter lettuce in the fridge...yeah, sounds like great fixings for a sandwich! 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Spring Concert

Last night our choir sang its spring concert, our last of this season's performances.  It was a lot of fun and, according to my husband, had only a couple of small glitches.  What a relief.  He knows what it is like to have to work with volunteer adults and so he has a lot of empathy with our director.  One huge improvement was the performance venue.  Instead of singing in a grungy church basement we were in a large, airy space with lots of room to put up the tables for the intermission cake and fruit break.  While it was a lot of work toting heavy chairs out of the space and replacing them with tables and lighter chairs, reversing the process after the concert, vaccuming what seemed like miles and miles of carpet after the audience left and replacing all the heavy chairs in just the right spots, washing dishes, wiping and folding tablecloths, putting up and taking down decorations, emptying garbage bins etc., it was worth every minute of it.  We had a happy audience and we had the joy of knowing we finally were singing in a place with decent accoustics.  Our director and musicians are such a great help to our ragtag group of singers!

This morning I feel like I have been run over by a truck, so the meal I am going to prepare for our company tonight is becoming simpler by the minute, haha.  Fortunately they are good friends who are easy to please!  YAY!!  What was I thinking setting up a dinner party the night after a choir concert? hahaha  I guess it is partly because I knew it would be our last opportunity before our friends enter the season of Ramadan.  We won't likely get together much during that time since all our get togethers so far have been centered around food! haha

Tomorrow morning we have early appointments at the bank and possibly we will clear the recycling bins out of the basement...we have bottles, cans, old computers and other recycleables up the Wahzoo!  hahaha  Once we get things cleared out we may actually have enough open space to run the vacuum and do some general clean up down there!

My husband needs me to do some typing for him right now.  Yesterday he had a mini-tragedy as, despite his careful attempts at transferring some computer files, he accidentally over wrote the last few days of writing for his study leave final paper. He does have some decent written notes though so I am going to type as he dictates.  I wish he would do that all the time as it is so much faster than him trying to "hunt and peck" his way around the keyboard for hours at a time to accomplish very little in comparison to what we can do together.  His dyslexia is mild, but it certainly shows up when he is keyboarding.

The sun is out, the sky is finally blue again after a chilly, rainy week and I am looking forward to what the coming week will bring us.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Living in a Prairie Wind Tunnel

O my goodness it is windy outside!  The past two days have seen an onslaught of the infamous prairie winds.  I have to admit that while I find it fascinating, I also find it frustrating and annoying, particularly when I want or need to be outside walking here and there.  Like this morning: while I desperately need to wander over to the grocery store for some cereal, I find I am procrastinating...reading online newspapers I rarely read any more, wiping the dust bunnies from our computer screens and desks, blogging......

Our dress rehearsal last evening for our concert tonight was a wonderful time  until it was time to go home.  Walking into the wind to get to my vehicle was quite a balancing act and of course I was parked as far away from the doors of the building as possible! The wind is just as strong today and it kept both my husband and myself awake part of the night as we tried to decide if it was safe to remain upstairs in our creaking, swaying townhouse or if we should be running to the safety of the basement!

My husband had to go to a meeting out of town this morning so I hope it isn't a struggle to keep the car on the road...the one we have now is certainly heavier and easier to steer than our last little car.

Today I am conserving my energy for this evening's performance.  I made a couple of dumb goofs again last night...my mind was too distracted by the death of my old aquaintance and by a letter we received yesterday from one of the Anglican bishops in the South Sudan.  

He wanted to let us know that as he was attending a conference last week, there were mass murders occuring at the hands of rebel forces only 15 kilometres away.  All the work he has gone to in attempting to prevent the old tribal schizms from flaring up here in North America seems destined to fail as social media contact between South Sudanese at home and here in Canada is resulting in schizms among the various tribal members here.  While, fortunately, there is no open warfare occuring...yet...it is devastating to all of us involved in that community on a local level to see the roots of hatred starting up again after so much time and effort has been put into the healing of centuries old tribal war induced wounds.  Blasted social media....sigh.....  There seem to be no answers on the horizon for the South Sudan and the impact here in Canada and the USA among the refugees from among the over 60 tribes who were able to relocate here is going to be devastating if something is not done soon to end the wars in their own country. What a horrible mess....and only one of the horrible messes going on world wide.  I expect our "white person" involvement is not going to be welcome much longer here in the city.  It makes me very sad, but I never stop praying for miracles because I have witnessed a few in my life.

Off to shower and get over to the grocery store for some exercise.  Tonight is the concert.  That will be all until September.  It is going to seem very odd not to see those people again for more than 3 months in a row and just as I was finally starting to make some friends.  Quite a number of them have lakeside cabins and will be gone for weeks at a time all summer.  I will miss them.

Goodbye Friend

My friend who was admitted to hospital some time ago with meningitis has apparently passed away.  She was put onto life support, but her family chose to have it disconnected yesterday.  I think they were wise to do so.  I am very sad for her family as they are understandably devastated.  This dear woman was one of the first to greet me and take time to get to know me at the first Anglican church we attended back in Alberta.  She was an educator extraordinaire who gave me some excellent tips for my classroom music teaching.  She received practically every provincial award for educators that it is possible to get.  Her husband adored her and her film maker son always gave her credit for being his inspiration to achieve excellence.  A huge gap has opened up in the world that she used to fill.  Goodbye Dorothy, and thank you for everything!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Lee Is Back Home

Lee and his family thank you all very much for your prayers for his safe return to Canada.  He and his parents arrived home yesterday after some travel delays along the route. No doubt they are exhausted.

Lee is going to have some medical tests to see what triggered his loss of memory as to what happened to him overseas. He still can't figure it out.

Praise the Lord that someone found him, that he was admitted to a hospital in Thailand and that through the work of Christian missionaries and government officials he was able to get a new passport and return to Canada with his parents.

Blessings to all you prayer warriors! and thanks be to God!!