Monday, June 11, 2018

Hope My Family Won't Be Too Disappointed

Ever since we decided to go and visit our son, all of my family members have been so excited for us, particularly about all the sights we will see and all the tourist attractions we will be able to enjoy.

Weeeeeellll.....we are not really going to sightsee.  Other than a couple of art museums, we are pretty loosey goosey about sightseeing...ambivalent even.  We are not going to any Broadway shows and likely won't even get much into Manhattan area.  Our "own" neighbourhood where our hotel is located is plenty interesting enough to explore on the day or two our son will be working.  We may not even make it into Central Park or on the Staten Island ferry tour to the Statue of Liberty.

Going to see him is the only priority for this visit and anything else we see will be an extra treat for us. 

We are not certain if or how tomorrow's historic summit meeting between President Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jung Un could effect our border crossing, the attitude of the people of New York over the coming week, etc. We don't know if the recent post G-7 Summit kerfuffle between the US president and our own Prime Minister will effect border relations or if it will be meaningless to one and all.

Whatever....it is our son who is the centre of this visit for us once we get there.  New York City has never been a place of interest for us, so no matter what we see, no matter how insignificant to the general tourist scene, it will be wonderful and exciting for us.

Thank you for praying for our flight times and our health and our safety.  Thank you for the encouragement that we should take this trip.  We will be in touch as soon as we get back.

PS Here is a Christian website I have been enjoying lately:
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sunday Is Becoming My Favourite Day of the Week

I am grateful for all that happened today!

Church was really wonderful.  The sermon was about being God's Viceroys: in other words, representing God in our care of ourselves, each other and the earth God created.  It was edifying and encouraging.  The music was particularly lively this morning and that is something I always appreciate.  Visiting before and after the service was deeper than the usual "Hi, how are you?" chatter and that was particularly good for my husband.

The wind was pretty strong when we came out of the church building, but I was still able to take a minute to converse with my favourite street guy.  The other fellow who waits for handouts is coming to the church before the service now, so between the two of them they have the panhandling covered for Sunday morning at that location. hahaha  They are both very interesting to talk to. 

I fried up some fish for lunch, but I don't think I will bother buying fish here any more.  The fresh fish isn't and the frozen fish can be fresher, but this batch wasn't at all fresh. Blecch!  I washed it thoroughly, seasoned it well, but the stale taste was still present and we didn't especially enjoy our meal.

About the time we had to leave for our out of town friends' house the clouds came up to signal the predicted storm.  The forecast has been dire.  The storm systems moving across Alberta yesterday that left such a mess from wind and heavy rain was coming this way and hitting a wind system moving up from the south east.  However, as we drove away today there was only a bit of "spitting" and the storm warning for both Regina and Moose Jaw had been lifted.  Apparently Regina got 15 minutes of said "spitting" and that was the end of it.  In Moose Jaw there wasn't a drop of rain, just some mild wind gusts that didn't stop us from eating our BBQ outdoors as planned.  We ate and drank, we played bocce ball, we ate and drank, we visited, we ate and drank, we prayed together, we ate and drank, oh and we ate and drank....there was a TON of eating and drinking.  I was so full it was uncomfortable sitting in the car to drive home. haha That kind of discomfort I can handle on occasion!!

If even half of my "month of Sundays" is this great every month I will be thrilled!  I have given up some hopes and dreams that I had in terms of church here and God has given me new hopes and dreams that I am all ready seeing fulfilled.  Amazing what happens when you just allow him to have his own way, right??  Of course right!  He's my creator. He knows what is best for me.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

3 More Sleeps

My husband is REALLY enjoying his holidays this year.  Today he was cheery as he began his research into what sorts of markets and restaurants are somewhat close to our hotel in Brooklyn.  We are staying in a Jewish settled area and there are some wonderful looking deli's and fresh food markets all within 2 to 6 blocks from where we are staying.  There are two synagogues of differing sects, one on each side of our hotel.  His delight in researching is starting to break through to me and I had some glimmers of excitement this afternoon.  I have been feeling completely overwhelmed by life for the past few months.  Developing an interest in travelling anywhere at all has been too much work emotionally.

This afternoon, as I was enjoying my husband's happiness about travelling, I think it finally finished sinking in that we are going to see our son.  It has been 18 months since we last saw him.  

As the realization is hitting me I am starting to get just a wee bit more joyful about this venture.   

Our son....I get to see him.  Who knows how long it will be before that happens again, so I had better be darned grateful for this trip!!! 

While I have been feeling peaceful about the travelling, it is kind of nice to actually feel a bit of happiness about it as well.

Please Pray For Our Friends

Hello praying friends and family.  We have some dear friends who have just suffered a rude shock with the substantial loss of some monthly pension income that was supposed to be guaranteed.  Over the past couple of years they have suffered some unexpected and unexplained serious health issues, losses of various kinds and now this punch in the gut.  Their faith is going to be tested through this trial and so please pray that God will make himself very evident in his dealings with them.  

My husband and I have been through this kind of nasty financial surprise so many times, but our friends have not had to face income loss this major before. To face it for the first time in retirement years is even scarier than when people are younger.  It is more difficult to work through mentally and spiritually.  None of us know why this particular pension has not been protected through government legislation. Court cases are akll ready pending. It is a royal mess and our friends are trapped in the middle of it.  

Thank you for your prayers. To protect their privacy I will call them Mona and George, just because I realize it is sometimes easier to pray using specific names. 

Thank you prayer warriors for all your concern for the people I love.  It is good to have so many family and friends who enjoy taking on prayer burdens for others. God bless you.

Getting Down to the Wire

My husband finally secured our shuttle ride from the airport to the hotel for next week.  To the best of our knowledge, we have done all we can do ahead of time to ensure some sort of smooth transitioning and travel on this trip.  I am still feeling irritated by the cost and I know it is because I still have residual stress from the rest of what is going on in our lives right now.  Most of my stress has been dealt with, but once stressed, immediately taking on pressure over every detail of life is a difficult habit for me to break.  I suspect that once we are actually in New York, I will be more excited than anyone. That is usually the case.  I was dreading moving to Japan years ago and that turned out to be the happiest year of my life thus far!  So....here's to breaking out of the day to day stresses and thoroughly enjoying myself and my family!!

Doing the laundry today so we can pack up the day before we leave.  I am so looking forward to our day tomorrow when we only have to enjoy the day, enjoy church, enjoy dining and visiting with some friends.  If the weather is as bad again as predicted, well, we wil just have to continue soaking up water with old towels on the basement floor and getting them dried and set up to spread out again before we go.  I have a huge amount of extra bedding that we mostly only have used for covering up furniture when we load up moving vans during our various moves. That will be a great way to cover the basement floor while we are gone.  A layer of sheets and two layers of towels should contain the disaster to some extent.  Knowing we are leaving our basement open again to more flooding while we are gone is not relaxing, but there aren't any other options. My husband considered spending today doing more patching and sealing of the basement walls, but they haven't dried out sufficiently for the products to adhere and there are three days of rain coming starting tomorrow. We woke up this morning to a world obscured by thick, wet fog.  Yikes...FOG?  On a morning in June???  HUH???  What is that all about?

Well, I have been wondering how to stow my rather heavy rain jacket in my carry on luggage and now I don't have to worry about it.  I will be wearing it to the airport as it turns out that is a rain day here.  Easy peasy....another silver lining for me! 

I have to make a salad to take to our BBQ dinner tomorrow, so after lunch I will wander over to the store for a few extra fixings to pad out the lettuce and cucumber and red pepper I still have that must be used before we leave.  I need a bag of prunes as well that I can take on the plane. They are such an easy snack for me and take a long time to digest.  I think I have sufficient filling for the pretzel bunwiches I am taking for my meal times.  This is the only time having diabetes is a real hassle.  I HAVE to eat a certain amount at certain times and since there will be no food available on the planes during my meal times it is up to me to take my own.  Well, at least I know I will be eating in a healthy manner!  Yet another silver lining.

"Singing I go along life's road, praising the Lord, praising the Lord.  Singing I go along life's road for Jesus has lifted my load."
(from an old hymn I remember hearing somewhere long ago.)

Friday, June 8, 2018

Down to a Mere Trickle

Well, it took many hours today, but the water coming into the basement has been mostly dried up.  The towels are all washed and ready to put down on the floor again Sunday afternoon before our next heavy rain and wind hits Sunday evening.  Sigh....

Where there is an underground trench from ancient telephone installations that leads directly into the worst of the cracks in the basement wall, there is still a small trickle of water draining into the pail.  Some of it was able to escape along the wall and behind the dryer before we realized it was still seeping, but the good part of that is that in the process of pulling the dryer away from the wall to mop up the water, my husband discovered the dryer hose had detached itself some time ago from the outside vent.  So, he was able to reattach it and clean up a growing pile of lint that has been accummulating back there for apparently some weeks.  That is a great silver lining to this messy situation.

My husband was very tired today and so was I after our interrupted sleep last night.  However, although we stayed fairly close to home all day, I was able to get out this morning for some errands, for a short walk to the grocery store after lunch and then after dinner tonight my husband wanted to return to the IMAX for the film we missed last evening.  It was like most of the other IMAX productions we get here: unsure as to what sort of film it was supposed to be; kind of a cross between an informative documentary and the story of a particular person/incident. However, we are glad we went.  We both prefer sitting in the small theatre with a very small audience for a short quasi-documentary film than in a big theatre for an overpriced Hollywood movie we rarely enjoy and in the midst of noisy patrons.

By the time dinner was over the sun finally made its late afternoon appearance and the temperature soared into the low +20'sC for a wee while.

Tomorrow is laundry day and if I get going soon enough I will have the clothes needing to be ironed dry in time to get that chore done in the evening.  Sunday will be a day of morning church and driving to Moose Jaw for a BBQ with friends in the afternoon.  Having a full day's break from thinking about and preparing for our trip should guarantee we get our packing done easily and happily on Monday.


Here's to a grand weekend before the rains come again.

Bad Storm = Bad Basement Flooding! Eep!!

We are both rather tired today.  There was a hideous rainstorm happening from just before 10pm yesterday until about 5am today.  The winds were so strong I was a little bit concerned we might end up with a small tornado and those winds drove the heavy rainfall right into our basement.  Aiiiii yiiiiii....the positive thing I can say about the whole experience is that we are into our 4th year of living in these run down townhouses and this is the worst flooding we have experienced.  Unless we get more of these types of storms this summer, and we certainly may, I expect this to be the worst water problem we will see here.

At 1am we realized we were not able to settle down and sleep with the pounding rain and winds blowing things around and making a racket, so we got up to make a pot of tea.  We decided to check the basement to see how our lines of towels were holding up with the leaking we knew would be occuring.  O dear....they were all soaked all ready, there was water pouring down from the middle of one of the basment walls like a small waterfall and pooling underneath the dryer.  Sigh.....  So, we are grateful to God that we were awake and discovered it or our entire basement would be covered in water this morning.  My husband found a 1 gallon pail to stash on the floor in the worst of the waterfall area and used a towel and a short piece from a wooden 2x4 to wick the water from the wall, down the length of the towel so it could then run down the 2x4 and into the pail.   We spun out some of the towels in the washing machine, dried them in the dryer and put them back on the floor, along with some fresh ones as back ups.  Then we came back upstairs at about 2am.  Fortunately we both fell asleep shortly afterward.

At 8am we were both up again and heading for the basement.  O dear....our line of defensive towels was most inadquate to prevent the water from spreading over to the bottom of the stairs where, thankfully, I have had 2 old floor mats sitting for several months.  They are thick and soaked up the water before it could run under the stairs and into some boxes we are storing there but that are not on palettes. 

By 8:30am we had the mopping done, the gallon pail emptied and put back in place, and my husband had wrung over 3 gallons of water out of the towels on the floor, by hand.  I got them into the spin cycle in the washer before I headed out to do a couple of errands and now they are dried, folded and sitting on the dryer lid waiting to be replaced on the floor once the rest of the moisture has dried up.  

It is not suppoed to rain again today, but I am looking at the sky and the colour and texture of the clouds, expecting the worst to happen.  Sadly, there are only two days of sunshine predicted before another three days of rain and on that second day we will be flying to the USA.  So, before we go I am going to put all our towels except two down on the basement floor, get a larger pail to replace the 1 gallon pail and set more towels and 2x4 slabs along the waterfall area to wick as much as possible into pails and off the floor.  There will be one gross amount of towel washing and drying to do when we get back a week later, but what else can we do?  The walls won't be dry enough to apply any more patching or sealant before we leave. Besides, the cracks in the walls are opening up so quickly now in the rain that it is no longer worth expending our own personal finances and effort into the project.  The seepage has progessed to leaking and now we are flooding. Time to give up on it.

One thing that has been cemented firmly in our sleepy minds today is that once our lease ends again the end of next February, we will not be signing another lease.  We will take the financial hit of losing our rent credit for a couple of months of month to month rental here until we sort out what we are doing.  About that same time my husband will have a better idea of what is happening with his job and ministry and we will have some clue, hopefully, about what is coming next.  Even if he is still employed full time here in Regina we will be moving out of this building.  The management has no intention of dealing with the leaking basements and I am sure the cost is prohibitive to any management company that wants to make a profit, because these cement basements actually have to be repoured.  All the landscaping for the entire complex needs to be ripped out and redone properly and that is not going to happen here.

So, we are very tired today, but we are not discouraged, just motivated to seek another place to live before next spring's rains begin.  The location has been so perfect for us and the neighbours have been grand. Even the management company has been helpful in some ways. But it is time to move on next year.  Wow, the time has flown past.............. we will be spending a lot of time in prayer over the coming months for direction for our lives.