Monday, December 31, 2007

Where, oh where, did 2007 go??

It was a fast and furious year, don't you think? It was for us, at least.

Moving from the old house was, I suppose, the most significant event for 2007.

It was also a very good year. My life seems to be changing. I'm getting different perspectives on life, on God, on living, on myself..........

I shall try and keep up with it all. I'm thinking many things through....regarding my walk with Christ. It's all good.

I don't like to end the year making a bunch of promises I know I won't, or can't keep.

So I shall end the year here by offering a prayer for my family, my friends, for a broken world.

I pray for God to continue his hold on my life and for him to transform me daily.

I pray for health and strength for each of us, in order to meet the days ahead.

I pray for those of you who are searching for "something" in your life, that you would find it and be truly satisfied and never feel empty or alone again.

I pray for all who have "pasts" that keep them there......for them to begin the journey out of darkness and into Light and Hope and Life and forgiveness and freedom.

God gives second chances..........and more........

May God walk close to us all in 2008..........

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sunday with Bob.

I feel blessed to know our retired Salvation Army Lt. Col. Bob Chapman here in P.A.

I say "our" because he has come to our aid many times with a message of hope and peace on a Sunday morning when Pastor Randall has been on vacation or away on business.

He and his wife Elvina are good, God fearing people who want the best for a hurting world. They live out their faith. I've seen it.

Living through the tragedies of their own family and coming out still preaching hope and love from a God who offers it freely, causes me to ask God for that kind of faith.

Faith that walks you through the death of a son, a daughter-in-law and two grandsons.

I don't know about you, but that kind of faith gives me courage to go forward in life.

It also gives me a great deal of perspective on the important things in life.

Family. That's what is important........I know, I've said that before on other blogs. But it's true!

This Sunday with visiting "Lt. Col. Bob", I received a whole whack of humour, plus a three-point sermon on the wise men/persons ;-) of the Christmas story in the Bible................which were the 3 F's......Follow (the star to the Savior).....Find(the infant Jesus and salvation) ..............and Fall (on our knees to worship the King of all creation).

Yes. It was a good Sunday with Bob!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Down time.

That is what today was. Being snug as a bug in a rug with Granddaughter as she got over whatever it was she had. A girl just needs her Grammy when her Mom isn't close by.

I missed going to the Soup on Saturday though. I'll hopefully get there next time.

It's been a very quiet day. Feet up. Blankets all around us. And between naps, DVD's were playing.

I think we all needed time to relax.

Funny how our bodies are made (mine in particular!!). When we begin to fight some kind of bug our bodies go into slow mode until we either sleep or get sick......or both.

I've been in slow mode for a few days now......and naps are the norm.

And it's already Sunday tomorrow.............seems like we just had Sunday a day or so ago.....

Friday, December 28, 2007

Home safe and sound.

The son is safely home in Winnipeg. How wonderful to have him here for a week.

The daughter and husband safely home in Regina. Such a blessing to enjoy their company too for Christmas week.

Granddaughter is with us for another week but has attached herself to a flu bug. Oh my. Grandma skills will be used (I'll just love her back to health).

But, we all had a wonderful time together and we ended the week with a rousing round of Scattergories! I couldn't even think of a color that started with "N"!!!

Now it's all quiet on the home front.

Oh, and we received a digital camera for Christmas. Now comes the many hours, days, weeks, months, dare I say years........ of learning how to use the confounded beautiful thing. First I have to buy a memory card thingy. I wonder if anyone out there gives helpful hints for dummies on how to upload/download (what's the difference anyway???), take pictures, erase pictures, etc. etc. with these babies.

I SHALL BE MASTER OVER THIS PIECE OF CRA....UHHHH....TECHNOLOGY, or I may just have to eat my new socks.

Now to catch up on some sleep before I get the flu bug too and get behind on my digital homework.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Practicing being lonely.

It's Boxing Day and I'm practicing being "family-less" again.

Family all went various ways today, visiting old friends and in-law family members, etc. and it's very quiet in the house, which only yesterday was a veritable buzzing bee hive of activity with noise levels far above that of today's.

It's quiet with only husband and I here.

I was thinking about Easter today actually. The quietness of the day here in our home, reminded me of how it may have been between the time of Jesus death and His resurrection. I think there were those that were stunned into silence because of the lost hope his friends experienced when their friend, Jesus, died on that cross.

But even before that, there were days of much activity in the hills of Judea.........crowds of people everywhere, wanting to hear what The Teacher was speaking about, wanting to be healed of their diseases, wanting their blindness gone, thinking that 'if only' I could touch him I would be made well. There was just a lot of stuff happening. Jesus must have been bushed and the disciples along with him.

The shouts of "Hosanna" only the week before, gave way to shouts of "crucify him". And so it was. The world became quiet. The disciples most likely didn't know what to do without the presence of their friend. They needed to take stock and carry on without him.....and they would. "The Comforter" came to be with them and stayed.....and has stayed with a lost world ever since.

That was my thinking today as the busyness of the Christmas season is over. Another day and everyone leaves for their own city their own homes. We get lonely for the ones we love but Jesus has left us his living Spirit to dwell within us to take our loneliness and enable us to move forward and be encouraged. We too, will carry on without them.

Good thing He also left us with technology of phones, blogs and web cams!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Something beautiful.

That's what I found this Christmas. Something so beautiful that I cannot possibly describe it.

The beauty is in seeing Christ in action. Seeing him unfold before my eyes the wonder of his miracles.

Watching son becoming something he has not been for a very long, long time. Content. Happy. Comfortable.

Watching children communicate on an adult level that has never been before.

Enjoying seeing love in action.

It truly is the most wondrous of Christmases.

So, on behalf of husband and myself, I would like to thank Jesus for the miracle of Christmas.

A miracle not only took place 2000 years ago in a stable in Bethlehem but one also took place in our home today.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

P a r............TY

It's one continuous party and it all began Friday night with the 'Open House at the Friesen's".

From then it's been one feast after another.

Today is no exception. Son has turned 24 today. Another feast of "ribs and ice cream cake for dessert" kind of day.

Twenty-four years ago today it was -40C something. Thick ice on the hospital windows, canceled Christmas dinner at our house until after New Years. Lots to remember that Christmas as my dad was in hospital too and very sick.

Twenty-four years. Son has been a good son, dare I say, an exceptional son......and continues to bless us as his parents.

Here's to you, Matt. May God do all he needs to do this next year of your life and that you would then be changed even more into his likeness.

Your family loves you! Happy Birthday!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

I'm different now.

I really don't like saying good bye to people whom I have come to love and appreciate.

I'm going on vacation for a few weeks and today was the last day that Bev and I will work together. She's a gem. She's gentle and serious and funny. She's intelligent and knows her job and does it exceptionally well. She's quiet with an infectious laugh. She's going on to something new, in a different building and she will make more money!! I know she will do well at her new job too. I will miss her. I know everyone will.

Funny how people come into your life at various times. We connect. We learn from one another. We become different people because we have met......and then we move on.

It's OK to do move on, that is, because life is always changing and becoming something new and offering us new experiences.

We grow too, as human beings when we allow ourselves to become a part of someone else's world.

I'm glad God brought Bev into my world. I'm the better for it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I missed a day.

Not on purpose, of course.

I just get on one of those migraine rides and I'm gone for a day.

Not too pleasant. I was thinking in the night when the pain was raging on and on and the ice bag was not helping that I should simply go outside and stick my head in the snowbank.

It sounded like a really good idea at the time, but in the light of day, now when I can think a little more rationally, I most likely would have seemed like one of those crazy people who go around outside in the middle of winter with little else on than a smile.

But sometimes a headache brings out the weirdness in people.....maybe it's the drugs.......

I don't like missing a day at this time of the year.

Every day around Christmas is so beautiful and people are so friendly and kind and caring, I hate to miss one of those kinds of days.

Guess I'll have to make up for it tomorrow.

Now, hopefully I shall sleep well this night and not be thinking of snow banks and actually WANTING to be cold.

See, to me, that's just weird.........must have been the drugs alright.........

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Yep. He uses our inadequacies alright!

Just for the record, I think Jesus loved the songs we sang in his honor this morning.

And not meaning to take over Pastor Randall's prophetic messaging (with Saskatchewan winning the Grey Cup, as he predicted) but between yesterday's blog and today, I had a bit of that thing happening right here.

When you begin singing a song, and you are supposed to be leading the congregation in said song, and you start waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay before you're supposed to, so that you end up singing what seemed like an ever-so-long time as a solo, which wasn't really that long, but seemed like it when you realize no one else is singing............ya, it's a great lesson in humility, just as I supposed it would be. Anyway, I did my best to help and that was all that was required of me. Onward and upward, I say.

Now, as Christmas approaches we, as a church, shall move on to other things like soup kitchens, ringing those bells for Salvation Army, giving to those in need............ and at home - baking, wrapping, cleaning and........waiting.

Waiting for our children to come home.
Waiting to see how they have changed.
Waiting for the candle light Christmas Eve service.
Waiting to host family and friends for Christmas dinner in our little, tiny house.
AND waiting to see how much room I will make for Christ this Christmas season.

It's my choice. God help me to choose wisely.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I just hope Jesus likes it.

A friend asked me if I would help her sing as she leads the Sunday Morning worship tomorrow.

I said yes.

I probably should have said no.

The pastor has been speaking about our gifts - spiritual and other types of gifts. My gift is not singing. I can kind of sing on tune. I really enjoy singing. I find the older I get, the more quickly I run out of breath. Not good for leading people in hymn singing.

So, in light of my inadequacies, tomorrow I go into worship with only one thing on my mind.....Jesus Christ and his worthiness.

I think he even takes our inadequacies and uses them to help us learn and grow and sometimes even become humiliated in the process. Because really, there are ever so many more folks within the congregation who CAN sing........... and sing very well AND actually knowing something ABOUT music.

I just needed to help out a friend, and so, "Lord, use my feeble singing efforts tomorrow to help lead the people in singing your praises...............praises that you will really enjoy."


Friday, December 14, 2007

Am I lucky, or what????

Here I was at our church Christmas "un-banquet", sitting at table with 3 gentlemen...uhhhhhum-m-m-m-m-m

One was Dutch-Canadian.....and very handsome.

One was French-Africian.......also very handsome.

One was French-Canadian......handsome too and rich (relatively speaking).

Then there was me.........

Our table had the highest bid for the dessert table so we had the privilege of choosing first.

We chose the 12" diameter coconut cream pie (with real whipped cream on top!)

Just how lucky can one girl get!!?????

And all the folks who attended the "un-banquet" raised $450. to go towards the Rainy River church building project.

It's good to be a part of something so much larger than ourselves!!! (although after eating all that pie, I'm not sure if there IS anything larger than ourselves!!!)

We even discussed the question as to whether God thought it was gluttony, if we were eating like hogs, in order to fund a good cause! It was unanimous......we figured it was not gluttony, only big appetites.

May God have mercy on us all..........and pass the cream puffs............

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Yesterday Trifle.....Today Saffron Buns

Being that one half of me is of English stock, I took great pleasure yesterday in diving into a lovely bowl of Trifle. One of the women at work brought it to our "Christmas Gathering Potluck". It takes some time to make one of those desserts too.

She set the bowl on the table, taking special care to find the right spot so it would be available to all.

Then came the LARGE spoon for serving (as opposed to a tablespoon which was nowhere in sight). We are hearty and passionate eaters at the Forest Service, by the way. So, I believe it was gone in the blink of an eye.

I just happened to be standing by the bowl when it was set down and was able to have a SPOONful. Delicious.

I sent her an email today telling her how much her Trifle was appreciated, even though it died a quick and gallant death. And I expressed how much I also appreciated the time she took to make it look beautiful with the upside-down raspberries all evenly spaced out and looking very red and inviting.

My mom used to make this, so it brought back many memories of polishing one of these off, together with my family, at one sitting. Happy days.

Then, today we celebrated Sankta Lucia Day. A Swedish custom. It was hosted by a dear friend who has done this for over 30 years....every December 13th.

The table was set with Swedish ginger cookies, various cheeses, butter, deliciously special saffron buns with raisins, coffee and apple cider......... with the Swedish candelabra lit in the corner.

It's a come and go affair beginning at 7 a.m. One of her daughters is there from Saskatoon to aid in the festivities. When several guests are seated with their treats, Mrs. B's granddaughter, dressed in a white gown with a red sash and a cedar wreath sitting atop her head (with lit candles) beautifully sings Santa Lucia.

It just goes to show you that people care about one another. They do special things for each other. They go out of their way to be of help to those they love.......and to those they don't love!!!

Christmas does that.

But what on earth kind of love makes one do things like that?

I believe it's CHRISTmas love. There is no other love like it......on earth, that is.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Simple Faith

I've been asked to respond to a meme. I first had to find out what a "meme" was so I could respond. I'm not an intellectual type as most of you know. I'm pretty OK with that because we wouldn't want EVERYONE in the world to be book learnin' types.

So, now that I found out what it is, I can my "simple" fashion, of course.

I believe that God exists. Not because I can prove it or anything but when I observe the local/regional/world gene pool, I know there must be something else, other than us, to make life happen. Really.

I enjoy reading about the universe with the planets and solar systems, the black holes and stars and how we, as people on earth are so very small in the scheme of things. There are a gazillion stars out there people. With multitudes of galaxies and they are all out there spinning around in their orbits, doing what galaxies and stars do best.........and the universe just goes on and on and on and on.........but here I am in the midst of it all, typing on a computer, on a cold winter's night and having faith, that is believing that God, whom I cannot see, is what he said he is......Creator. I don't know about you but I haven't met anyone yet who could make a star or a planet or a whole universe out of nothing. I believe God did though.

I know God exists because I've seen Him in various other tid-bits of creation. Take a flower. A rose. Have you ever touched it's velvet petals? Smelled its scent? Taken one apart petal by petal to the very centre of it's own universe? Seen them all together in a lovely bouquet? I don't know about you but I haven't met anyone yet who could make one of those beauties out of nothing. I believe God did though.

Then there's the whole conception thing. One minuscule egg uniting with one minuscule sperm and there you go. A person. A person with capabilities to grow and learn and become something of value to others around it. A person who is capable of love and hate and reasoning and thinking.........or the reproduction of any species for that matter. Totally amazing. I believe it has to be God.

Simple faith allows me to read Scripture and know that the words written are true for my life just as they were true for the writers of those Words. I don't know the ins and outs of who wrote what about Jesus' life, or exactly what year they wrote the words, or if the words got changed somewhat along the way, but because in those particular words within the Bible, it says, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made: without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness but the darkness has not understood it." John 1:1-5 I believe and have faith that those words are true and so I believe that Jesus was with God since the beginning, that he was Creator, that He is eternal and that true life is in Him. Sounds simple to me.

We can easily make our simple faith very complex, I think, too. People look for complicated answers to life's questions. I think it's as simple as saying "God, help me to have faith." Ya. It's that simple.

Anyway, faith allows me to believe in God, whom I have not seen first hand but, I have experienced the delights of his presence within me and I have seen that simple faith lived out in others lives as well. Funny thing about's available to everyone.

I know me, so I will most likely think more on this and perhaps respond with further thoughts as they get mulled over.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Whooooooooaaah Mamma.

Wheewwwwwww. See. Guess it's not so bad after all.

I'm still able to type. I can make my way around the computer pretty well.

I've not left my car keys in some wretched, forsaken, forgotten in a shoe or under a rug or in the china cabinet.

I can still see and hear reasonably well. My sense of humor is pretty much in tact. Just ask husband!!!

People were really nice to me today too. I had three renditions of "the song" sung at various intervals throughout the day.....morning (granddaughter), mid-day (co-worker duet) and night (worship musicians).

I received hugs, kisses, good wishes, and phone calls from various family members and friends.

I received cards and notes and presents and flowers, candy and clothes.

Spoke with daughter in Regina...... and a good conversation we had too.

Spoke with son in Winnipeg for good, long time as well.

Was taken out to supper by a very loving and generous Aunt.

I am so undeserving to receive such love but I accept it and appreciate all of it.

Thank you.

Perhaps I'd like to turn 60 again tomorrow. It just ain't that my way a' thinkin'........

And I would be remiss if I did not mention my dear mother today, who gave me life and put up with me, a colicky, miserable little baby the first six months of my life and taught me many things on my journey through those young years and into my teens. Patience. Acceptance. How to give love and receive it. Perseverance in the face of wanting to give up. The importance of God in my life. All this and so much more. Makes me realize my job as a mother will continue on until I breathe my last breath...... Ya, without mothers.......where would we be?????? (A rhetorical question ;-)).

Monday, December 10, 2007

December at our house.

Between husband, our two grown children and myself we have 3 of the 4 birthdays in December.

Just how did we manage that??!!!

Between Advent programs, Christmas socials at work (3), various church Christmas festivities (3), various other non-church/work functions(4), not to mention baking, shopping, decorating, and church meetings, we somehow manage to sneak in three family birthdays. So that makes 11 events or so, plus 3 birthdays equals 14 events in 14 days!

And I wonder why I'm just a little tired.

But, Something else is always in the back of my mind during December.

It's not only the preparation. It's not just the thought of the celebration. It's not simply the excitement. But much more than that..........

Ya, it's the OTHER Birthday being celebrated.

I'd really like to wish Jesus a very "Happy Birthday" in person, but I'll have to wait for the "in person" part. He'll just have to enjoy my thankful heart and the praises that I offer him......daily.

And I will enjoy all He has given to me....husband, family, friends, a home, a job....everything.

A great month to celebrate all God has given..........I pray I don't get lost in the bows and ribbons.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Today - Holiday Apple Muffins, Tomorrow......who knows????

We have a tradition in our home that we eat "Holiday Apple Muffins" with sweet white sauce, for dessert after our Christmas dinner..........a recipe from my dear Mom who began the tradition many years ago.

Tradition is good. There is a time though, that tradition changes. New traditions begin and the old ones are left behind, not because they weren't good ones but because life circumstances change, people change, and things just do not stay the same forever.

My dear Aunt came over for lunch today. She sat and looked at the decorated tree in our living room. She commented that all those old decorations will most likely get passed on down to our children as they have meant so much to all of which I replied that no, probably I will be the last one to use these decorations. Our children grow up, marry, have their own families and they have traditions and favorite things of their own. I will keep these decorations, for ourselves. When they come home, they will enjoy them but as for our children, they will have made their very own unique decorations, which have meaning to them as a family.

Yes, things change. Life changes. Our thinking changes too and the way we do certain tasks.

Life has a way of becoming new, with each generation. I pray I will allow that to happen without becoming an old fogey, wanting everything just as it used to be.......because that's just silly.

Anyway, husband says these "Holiday Apple Muffins" are the best he's had yet. Ya, when he was putting them away into a container for the freezer for me, he said "one just stuck to the bottom of the cooling rack and fell apart.......and what do you do with that????? Yes. Eat it of course." He's a pretty good tester for things like that.

But even these delicious muffins, as wonderful a tradition as they are, may one day be traded off for........oh, cheesecake or something just as decadent.

Tradition is good but it's not forever.

Saturday, December 8, 2007





The deed is done.

I think Jesus would like it.

The ever-green.

Twinkling. Sparkling. Shining. Beautiful.

I sit back with some hot apple cider and gaze at........The Tree.

Ornaments hand made by our children and granddaughter. Others given to us by friends and still others getting near 40 years old now.....all bring back memories, glorious memories.

So, I sit and listen to carols and remember the stories that go with those ornaments and thank God I am so blessed a person.

I anticipate all of my family sitting down with me and watching it just a few short weeks.

Friday, December 7, 2007

A hill to die on?

Those of us who have kids know the importance and wisdom of picking those "battles" on which to fight to the end and raise our standard high or die trying. It's not the actual battle that is important but it is whether or not we have thought through the reasons for having the battle in the first place.

Perhaps it just is not worth the effort. Dying after all, is pretty permanent and if we don't end up dying, well, admitting defeat is pretty humiliating. A lose/lose situation.

Do we choose the battle only because it is OUR way of thinking and so, we must win at all costs??

Do we, if we find ourselves in a position of authority, make decisions that are not very popular, and find ourselves getting angry because no one agrees with our decision??

Do we thoughtfully "reason with" the foe??? before everyone gets torn to pieces in the fray.

As I make my way through life, I realize I certainly would NOT have chosen some of the battles I fought........with children or others. It simply wasn't worth it in the end.

There really are more important issues in life than say, well, you fill in the blanks. Could be a lot of things.

As for me, I'll simply sit at home, pour myself a glass of beautiful raspberry wine and think about global warming..........................or poverty.....................or why people are know, important issues.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

We must be bonkers....but he's a beauty.

Who, in their right mind, would go Christmas tree shopping for a REAL tree on a Thursday evening, -23C with wind chill of -34C. Who would do that?????

And who would do that without wearing long, woolly underwear under their jeans plus two pairs of mitts, a hat on their head, a scarf around their face plus an extra sweater or two under their ski jacket????

I do think we're a wee bit bonkers, eh?? Sometimes Saskatchewan people do things like that!

The sales lady at Gaudet's Trees told us the beauty we picked out was "hefty". A 6 footer too.

He's all frozen and wrapped up at the moment but when we unleash his bindings, I wonder just how "hefty" he'll turn out to be??? 8 feet wide???? Should he spread himself out too far into the living/dining room, we may have a very intimate Christmas dinner AROUND the tree.

Might be nice............

I dare not mention the "pruning" word around him for fear he'll drop his needles. We'll stay hushed for now and hope one side of him is a little thin.

The tree. I think he'll be a beauty.

I do hope the "children" as well as old St. Nick will appreciate him.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

How do I buy Christmas lights....let me count the ways.

I asked husband if he would mind stopping at a nearby chain store to pick up some "white" indoor lights to weave around the green fake pine boughs over our archway in the living room.

He wasn't too enthusiastic.....but he went.....and returned.

I opened the single package up. Icy "blue" lights. Not enough of them. I did really want "white" and it looked like I would need two packages.

He wasn't too enthusiastic....but he went back......and returned.

I opened the first package. Oooooooooo. Nice "white" lights. Green strings. Yes. Pulled them out....all 35 of them.

I opened the second package - string #2. Nice white lights. Yes. Pulled them out....all 35 of them.........something looked different.

Well, would you look at that. Nice white lights. Yes. But the strings were white too.

That just wouldn't look right now would it??? White strings weaving their showy selves in and out of the green fake pine boughs. No. I would need the second string of lights to have green
strings too.

He's not too enthusiastic.....but he's going......back tomorrow. Hopefully, he'll come back with "white" lights with green strings.

It's tough being a guy......but really, have you looked lately at how many types of Christmas lights are available????? There must be at least 50!!! more or wonder his enthusiasm's waning.

I did bake butterscotch and chocolate chip cookies too, as an incentive. When he comes home from the Christmas light trips, he gets to "try out" one or two.

I'd say that's a pretty good deal.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Snow anyone?

Are you from a land filled with sunny warm days and starry warm nights...........palm trees and flowering shrubs.............A L L Y E A R L O N G?

Do you ever wish you could just cool off from all that continuous heat?

Do your eyes ever pine for spruce all shrouded in clouds of white?

Do you get bored with the same old lush, scenic green and yearn for a field of white sparkling diamonds?

In December do you watch "It's a Wonderful Life" and think, "If only my Christmas was as white as that one"????

Well then, if you're nodding your head frantically, do we have the place for you!

We have snow.....lots of snow, mounds of it just waiting for you to enjoy.

So, come to Saskatchewan - Canada!! Your days of scenic boredom will cease.

Oh, and bring your shovel.............or if you have a snow blower, that would be good too!

Monday, December 3, 2007

The lesser of two evils.

Not to complain, as I know of people who are suffering much more than I at this very moment....but, I've been attempting to define my head pain. Is it more..... or less..... than say, a broken toe. Or how about a festering sliver in ones finger, or even a gall bladder attack. Of course there's the regular tooth ache. Migraines are difficult little devils. Just when you think they're gone, they come back on you with a vengeance.

I think I will compare the head pain to a tooth ache.....throbbing, dull pain that's just always there. Annoying. Makes ones whole body feel a little off the mark.

When you've got both happening at the same time, I find myself choosing which one is the best one to have. I know neither are good to have but if I chose the lesser of the two evils, I think I'd pick the migraine. With that, at least you know it's going to be gone in a day or two and it allows you to sleep a good long while (after several Advil) with ice on your head.

With the tooth ache, well, you know it's just going to get worse unless you get to have the old root canal procedure.....and sister, that just ain't no picnic.

I'll go now and take drugs for the migraine and then sleep................. and THEN in the morning I'll have my root canal.

It's all still very do-able......if I want a reasonably pain free body, that is.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


They are so spontaneous and natural. I always look forward to the Family Advent program our church puts on each first Sunday in Advent for that particular reason, but not the only reason, mind you.

Beautiful to see everyone use those gifts. Tonight was a real treat. Voices blending. Musicians working their instruments like craftsmen (and craftswomen). Readers articulating. Children being children.

The "Jingle Bells" rendition was exceptional. Little Madeline singing solo while brother Luke shaking his "percussion" instruments like mad but making sure his part was know where it comes in:
Madeline: "Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way, Oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh..."
Luke: "HEY"
Madeline: "Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way, Oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh".
Luke: "HEY" (not needed at this point but he was on a role).

Makes one so appreciative of all the talents that are offered up to God via the Body of Christ!

Yes, the entire evening was a blessing. A blessing indeed.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Getting ready.

We're having guests for supper this evening. They are friends. We know them well. We enjoy it when they come over just to sit and talk and laugh.

I've been busy getting ready to receive them. You know, the cleaning, the preparing various things for when they arrive. Husband will do the Bar-B-Q thingy and I'll do the salad thingy.

Before I got up this morning I was thinking about all of that and how it really is what Christmas is about......the season of Advent, which begins tomorrow.

Advent is really about preparing to receive the Christ, once again, into our lives. A time where we clean up, as it were, on the inside, so that we are ready to receive Him. A time to do some reflection and perhaps some fasting, if that is what you are led to do. "Cleaning up for Jesus" I suppose we could say. Cleaning up and preparing for Him as we would for a friend, so that when we meet him face to face, it will be a time of enjoying a friendship that has long been established. It is good when we know Him, because after all, preparing for a guest whom you know really well is all the more sweeter. You seem to go the extra mile.

Advent, year after year, is a time of getting ready because one day we WILL meet him. I want to be ready for that moment.

So, Happy Advent (tomorrow). My prayer is that when husband and I receive our guests today, we are all cleaned and ready to give them our very hopefully, we would for any guest.

I have this one room though, that is still a disaster.....................I'll be working on it........

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Yes, excitement is building. This weekend, Advent is upon us.

As a church family, we always begin this Christmas season with a Sunday evening program and this year will be no exception.

It is good to do this. It is good to see people come forward and use their talents. It's what God would expect us to do, since it was he who favored us with those gifts.

Our gifts and talents change too as we progress through life.

When we are young, our voices are stronger, our lungs more resilient to holding onto the breath within them.

But when we get older our voices aren't quite the same and we run out of breath half way through a line we're trying to sing, but......our enthusiasm is still the same.

And when we get even older than that well, I guess it's just time to sit and enjoy the show! There is a season for everything under heaven.

These Advent programs are not just talent shows. No. They are much, much more than that. They are times that allow children to make positive and good memories for themselves. They will remember these times..........when they stood in front of the whole congregation and sang a solo (but were so nervous their legs wouldn't stop shaking) or were in a skit (and the backdrop fell to the ground) or told a story (forgot their lines half way through) or even went to the front to sing in a group (and tripped over the mic cords). All memorable. But better than that, we offered our gifts to the living God, the best way we knew how. It was a gift offered to the entire church too!

So, I'm getting pumped for this Sunday. Still much organizing to be done but it all seems to fall into place just before the program starts at 6 p.m.

Hope to see you there. There will be much excitement.

Oh, and there's still time for you to offer YOUR gift to the cause. Don't be shy. Give me a call.

If you make a mistake when you're on stage, we won't laugh. We may point fingers.........but we definitely won't laugh.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A caring person.

Usually when I think of someone who is "caring" I think of a person always going out of their way to do nice things for people, who go the extra mile for folks, who walk with you when you're down, who listen to you when you need to be heard and to have a spirit within them that speaks of compassion and encouragement.

Well, our friend Mildred, even in a wheelchair, was such a person. She was all of these things and so much more. She battled cancer more than once. Diabetes took both her legs. Pneumonia was a common occurrence. Yet she continued on caring for people.....with all of those debilitating things that would have done most of us in a long time ago!!!

Her funeral was a time to hear about her life and to celebrate all that she was to her family and friends. It was beautiful to hear her son-in-law give her eulogy. How many mothers-in-law can brag about that accomplishment - having an "outlaw" have the last word on her life. But it happened. Then her granddaughter spoke about her Grandma......and being a grandma of a beautiful granddaughter myself, that was more touching than anything else. I think at funerals, we tend to think about our own lives as well and about how we're doing when it comes to caring for people and where we are when it comes to how our spiritual lives are faring. We wonder. We know that a service like this will one day be for us.

Yes, a funeral is a time for reflection. It's a time to give us another opportunity to make a choice in life - to believe in the resurrection or not. To have faith in a God we can't see....or not. Mildred made that choice a long time ago. A good choice it was, too.

At the end of the day when my life is over, I would be honored to have someone say that I cared about them. That would be a beautiful tribute.

So, I will think about Mildred this week and in the weeks ahead. I will miss her. Not many people ask how my children are doing and tell me they are praying for Mildred did, every time I saw her.

I have been blessed, as my children have, by Mildred Donald.

Peace to her memory.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A new recipe.

It's the time of year to do "festive" baking.

When I arrived home, husband had found a new recipe - cinnamon/almond shortbread in a pan. I don't think it's like "sex in a pan" but we'll have to wait and see..............;-)

He'd like me to give it a try - the new recipe, that is. It looks good.

I think I will.

It's different baking in this new house of ours. I haven't yet found my comfort zone in the kitchen..............probably because husband is always in there cooking!!! I'll take over in the evenings and do the Christmas baking at my leisure. On second thought, maybe I should make that "sex in a pan"...........husband would be pleased...........

Before that, I had better get going and first make my good old standby - the (in)famous English shortbread - dear Mother's recipe......before I try that new one with the nuts and stuff added.

The eggs should be room temperature by now. It makes a difference, you know.

If you stop by, I'll let you taste a shortbread or two.....but maybe you should call first, just in case I end up making, you know...........that 'other' recipe..............

Monday, November 26, 2007

Has it come to this already??

Look. It's not yet December.

I have had to make a "to do" list........already!!!

Usually this takes place, you know, probably a few weeks prior to Christmas when everything gets a little crazy.

This year it's a month before Christmas.

I don't think I like that.

If I don't make my list each day of things that have to be done and places I must be, as well as phone calls I must make.......not to mention working 8-5 at my job......some things just slip away into the sea of forgetfulness. And since I don't like to forget important events like a root canal or baking something for the funeral of a great lady.....I'll just make my list.

Of course, there's always next year when people ask me to do this or that, I can say, "I don't really think I can manage to do that this time".....and hopefully then, I'll be list-free. (I CAN say that but most likely I won't. I know me.)

Yes. We'll start perhaps next year to ease off from tasks that would take away my festive "spirit". ;-)

In the meantime, I'm still looking for special numbers for our Advent Program this coming Sunday at 6 p.m. If you know of anyone who would be willing to sing, dance, play an instrument, tell a story, read a poem (all with an Advent theme, of course.....) just let me know.

I'll add them to my "list".............

Sunday, November 25, 2007


In relation to Pastor Randall's sermon today regarding the topic of gifts, I think I have found out what my gift is.

I think my gift is shoveling snow.

I like to take the shovel and heap up piles of the powdery, white, cold stuff.

I fling it here and there. I even flung it over the neighbor's fence. There was just no other place to put it. I like to think that when spring arrives my neighbor and I will share in the marvelous richness of the spring melt. I think I aught to tell him soon as I see him. Yes. I shall.

I figured I had better count the shoveling as a gift as it kind of coincides with all the praying I've been doing to get that snow falling in my yard. I am thankful for answered prayers and the sore back that goes along with it!

Now. Go Riders. At least I think this is the day they play their game.......ho hum.......

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Why do I give at Christmas?

Good question. I was thinking about that today. Of course, I give to those I love and Christmas IS about love, after all. It's all about God loving us enough to give us his only son........ to be born as one of us, humbly and humanly, to be born to do an extra-ordinary offer grace to a bunch of unruly, unforgiving, unrighteous people.

So, getting back to my question - "why do I give at Christmas?"'s because I've been shown by the Son of God, the one and the same King of Kings that was born in that un-Godly stable in Bethlehem of Judea, that giving is a good thing. Giving can be a miracle. Giving shows others what God's grace looks like. Giving because Christ looked upon the world and loved it enough to give all he had.....his life.

I don't pretend to be able to give a gift like that. But He taught me that when I give with that kind of love, the kind that overlooks faults, that loves unconditionally, that loves another because they are worthy of being loved as a human being, then I am doing what I was called to do as a Christian.

This Christmas I want to give.........because He has given. It just seems like a good reason.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Keeping cool amidst the "heat".

If I had to, I think I may be able to put out a of........

After being trained in the fine art of "putting out a fire", via a $60,000. simulator for such things, you may now count on me for your various class A, B and C fires as one who knows how to pull the pin, and squeeze the handle and spray the contents. Should I start running the other way, you may publicly humiliate me for cowardice.

It was all quite cool actually. While the simulated fires burned on a huge screen in front of us (complete with the sizzling and crackling) it was a very cool thing to wave the fire extinguisher hose in front of us and actually "put out the fire".............without a hair on our heads being scorched nor a whiff of smoke within the confines of the room.

Yes, for a hot procedure, it was all pretty cool.

We weren't given a fireman's badge though. Guess we have to be a little more brave to get one of those.

I'll just have to be satisfied with my "paper" saying I can simulate putting out a fire.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Sung to tune of, "It's a long way to Tipperary"

Ready.........S I N G......(for husband)

It's a long way to see my doctor!
It's a long way to go (to Saskatoon!)
It's a long way to get my face mask
And the sweetest sleep I've known.
Good-bye all my snoring
Farewell listless nights
It's a long, long way to see my doctor
But my O2 levels'll be right.

Husband is in the severe category for sleep apnea. That's bad.

Welcome to our bedroom Mr. ResMed! That's good.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"All I want for Christmas....

is this picture",.....says our daughter. She is a very passionate individual. She has always wanted to be a help to the underdog, the oppressed, and the down-trodden.

She has chosen this picture. A 1993 Pulitzer Prize award-winning photograph by Kevin Carter of a tiny, frail Sudanese girl, starving, barely making her own way to the feeding station a ways away. The vulture awaits the outcome of her efforts.

I understand her desire to have this picture framed and in her home. Some would think it insensitive, even repulsive. She however, is the type - sensitive and caring - that wants to be reminded of how much she has, how blessed she is and of how she can be of help to others....and to remind her too, of the injustices of this world.

Our daughter is a very special person.

This picture makes my heart cry and it reminds me that there are things, tangible things, that we CAN do for others.

Oh God, help us all to actively live out our faith.....and not just watch from the sidelines.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I'll give you 50 cents more.

That's what one of our customers said when he came to get chili today. He said he would pay the 5 bucks for a bowl of chili and 50 cents more if he could see "the Peelers"..... (do their thing). To which we fervently replied we were worth muuuuuuch more than that!!!!

Ya. We raised almost 160 bucks for "Relay for Life", the cancer fund-raiser event. Our infamous "Studs and Peelers Behind the Sheets" notoriety certainly went before us.

Three team members made a hearty chili....on a very chilly day, too. Some brought buns....other than their own and still others made desserts.

We had coffee and tea plus H2O.

It's fun to be a part of a great team..............speaking of..............Go Raiders....oh, guess that should be Go Riders...........well, go both teams.

And "Hats Off"(and that's ALL, just hats!) to the STUDS AND PEELERS!

We're off to a great start!

Monday, November 19, 2007

What's important?

That's a question I ask myself every single day.

People sit by my desk. Sometimes it's just to chat. To connect.

Not other times. There are times when it's totally a one-way conversation. It's alright though. I've said it before and I'll say it again. People need to be heard. People need to be loved. They need to be cared for and listened to. THAT is important.

It's good to know people trust me with their secrets too........even when they know mine.....

There are a few people who have walked with me through my "dark night of the soul". These people know me.......and love me - still, and continue to make me accountable. We all need that. It's how we grow and mature.

Loving someone in spite of their frailties - like God loved me, in spite of mine....................... THAT is important.

I shall continue to ask myself "What's important?"........and my work usually gets done by the end of the day, in spite of the daily "conversations".

It's people. THAT is what's important.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Answered prayer and aching back.

OK. This past Tuesday I was bold enough to admit on this blog that I was "thinking" about snow.

I "thought" about snow a lot actually.

Funny thing, just today, Pastor Randall said that we can get our spirits and minds in sync with one another to get something done. Our mouths don't necessarily need to verbalize those thoughts because, hey, God knows those thoughts anyway. (However, when we do reveal our thoughts out loud, we make ourselves known to others as to what is going on with our lives and in a way, we become accountable to one another by allowing our inner thoughts to be expressed verbally and in turn, be up for criticism and correction. Can be painful.....but always ends up being a time of growth for us................that was kind of an aside).

So, as I "thought" about snow last week, my mind really was tuned to my spirit. But you know, it is November and in November we can expect snow to happen. I hope people don't blame me for breaking a leg or wiping out and humiliating themselves in a public place or having to go the chiropractor in the morning.

Anyway, seeing that my mind was in tune with my spirit, and snow has been falling all day today and will into the night, I have been out shoveling the stuff. My arms are sore. My back needs something in hot water bottle, and I'm too pooped to pant.

Guess I have to be prepared for the answer to my prayers. I'll keep my handy-dandy live-in masseuse close by and I should be good to go.

After the Saskatchewan/B.C. semi-final football game, of course...........

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Color me glitter.

Husband and I went shopping. I was looking for know, the fake kind of pine boughs to go around the arches of our home.

We went from shop to shop. All I saw were either wrong color or too expensive.

We ended up getting two cheaper REALLY fake looking garland strands and one really fancy one that didn't look overly fake.

If this was our old house, I would get out hammer, nails, tacks, etc. whatever would keep those suckers from falling off the walls.

In our new little rented abode, there will be so such thing as hammer and nails or anything that punctures the plaster for fear a whole slab of wall may fall down. We don't want that now, do we.

So we found those new fangled hangers that stick on and are supposed to come off without the paint coming along for the ride. We'll have to wait and see on that issue.

We put up the hangers followed by the strings of garland. Looking good.

The fancy garland was sprayed with gold glitter. I swept. I vacuumed. I dusted and polished.

Dang glitter won't leave the place. It's in my hair, on my face, embedded into my socks and into the hardwood floor cracks. Looks festive though.........kind of "grows" on ya'..............

Friday, November 16, 2007

It's falling and I'm rolling.

Yup, the temperature is gradually falling a tiny bit each day.....colder and colder as we head for the deep freeze.

Are we up for it folks?

Get your woolies on, a scarf around your neck, fuzzy mittens, toque (if you're sparse in the hair department), warm jacket, thick socks, boots with grips and lining, a bulky sweater or two and you're ready to roll (literally) anywhere.

I do love the winter. It's the cold I hate.

So, if I follow my own advice (above), I should be in for a pretty good 5 months ahead!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What's funny??

I think in my "later-middle" years of life, I tend to not take certain things too seriously as I have done in the past.

For instance, someone saying something negative about me either to my face or behind my back. I used to be very upset about that kind of thing for whatever reason. These days, I find that if someone takes the time to actually have a conversation about me in the first place - bad or good - well, I feel I have just taken up their time with unimportant things that need not be said. There are too many people and issues of great value that COULD be spoken of but instead they have wasted their time on me. Pity, I say.

Then there are issues of hearing a story (a fairly serious story to the person telling it) and me, finding great humor in the whole thing. What's with that anyway? I suppose I've come to the conclusion that it is better to laugh in the face of adversity than to take it all too seriously. It's how you look at it, I suppose. Anyway, it's so much easier to laugh than not.

Speaking of something funny.......Did you hear about the guy who went into the restaurant and asked, "Waiter, may I please have a cup of tea without cream?" The waiter went to the kitchen to retrieve the tea but came back to the customer asking, "I'm sorry sir, we have no cream. Would it be fine for you to have your tea without milk instead?"


I know. I know. It's my sense of "English humor" coming through.........

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Would you like a scratch with your ticket??

A friend and I went for supper tonight (as husband has gone to take his last stand against the animals in the south). So, you know how those times go with a friend......too quickly. We had only two hours to catch up on everything plus eating our meals. (our booth was reserved for someone else at 7 pm)

It's so much fun being with a person you connect with.....with our hearts and souls and minds.

We laughed alot. Her story about coming home from the lake with her 2 cats in the vehicle, being stopped by the police for going through a certain color light, friend stopping her vehicle, rolling down her window to give police her I.D., cat jumping out of vehicle, friend wanting to get out and run after cat but thinking twice about doing it as she didn't really want to be charged with "leaving the scene of receiving a ticket", so had to run to cop car to tell them she was running away after her cat, cop following her, cop getting out flashlight to also look for cat, cop finding cat, cat scratching cop, cop yelling, cat fleeing, friend finding cat, friend trying to hold onto cat to get cat into vehicle, cop opening up vehicle door for friend to put cat in, friend loudly yelling at cop "DON'T OPEN THE DOOR, THERE'S ANOTHER CAT IN THERE!!!", cop quickly closing door, cop inconspicuously handing friend big huge ticket, friend climbing in vehicle with hissing cat.

Darn cat!!! Darn ticket!!!

Things could have been worse. The other cat could have fled the scene.

Stories like that really need to be on camera.

And since I didn't have any interesting stories to tell here today, I thought I'd mention hers.

I laughed long. I laughed hard. Oh, ya. I'm still laughing...........

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

No, it's not Monday. No, it's not Monday. Not Monday.

I keep thinking it's Monday. It's not.

So, tonight is Council meeting, as it's Tuesday.

I even had the Monday morning blahs today. That's totally unfair. It wasn't even Monday. It really fit in though with the news I have to have a root canal............

I should have had the Tuesday morning "yipppeeeess", because I only work three days this week as I get Friday off. So I'll have that tomorrow.

I'll think about snow and it will be a very good day, no matter what day of the week it is.

Yes. I'll think about snow.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Wow. I'm not used to being with young folks like I used to be. Four days with a teenager keeps me going........and going..........and going.

From movie marathons, to shopping, to a candle light supper of rye toast, fruit and cheese, to breakfast at Smitty's, to checking out make-up colors, to going to church, to listening to her play her flute "Beatles" numbers, to walking to Shananigan's for London fogs and cheese cake, to taking in "Fred Claus" at the local movie theatre...............I think we're both ready for a good sleep.

I am anyway.

Back to Regina she went. Now, of course, I am missing her and most likely won't see her again until Christmas. Think I'll start getting extra sleep NOW, before Christmas comes. Yes, that's a good idea.

It was so very good to have her here. What a blessing our dear Brittney is to us.

Lord willing, we shall get to see how her life unfolds. It's working up to a fine one.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

What's going on anyway, God?

Seems like everywhere I look there is something to read about helping others in need.

Perhaps it's God's way of helping me be more aware of that fact.....that there are people out there that need just the basics to live.

My world can be so very inward. Perhaps I need to expand it.

God, bring those things to mind, those things that I can do something about to change my little corner of the world.........or even the whole world........who knows.......but most likely it will be me who ends up changing. Seems to always happen like that. Guess that is what usually is necessary.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Taking a stand.

It's Remembrance Day weekend. There are stories on the telly about various battles and wars and fights for the independence of various countries. We remember these things, the cost that was involved and all those who took a stand against tyranny and injustice and continue to do so.

Canada, within her boundaries, has been free of war for a very long time. We are blessed people. We hear of struggles and fights for freedom in other parts of the world. Our school children these days are taught about the more subtle forms of oppression, those of the hidden agendas of large corporations to use the innocents and the desperate and starving ones for their own gain. Cheap labor makes big bucks. And, as innocent as we may appear and as oblivious as we may be to that fact, we are all, to varying degrees, a part of the scheme.

Today, I went shopping with my granddaughter. We went to one particular store, a new store that has opened up here in P.A. the last week or so. She gathered her items of clothing that to her, seemed appealing and headed for the dressing room. Out of the several items that were tried on, one stood out. I would buy it for her. It looked very lovely on her too. I held the item as we browsed through the shoes. We happened to notice that the little black dress was made in a deprived and down-trodden country, where, no doubt to both of us, the labor had been very cheap to have made this particular little affair. She said she had just done a project in school about sweat shops in "third world" countries and that was one of the countries that was mentioned in her project.

Here was a fashion-conscious 13 year old girl, making a decision. We talked about it. She wasn't sure what to do at first. This WAS a terrific looking dress, after all. She really liked it. Money was no object, as it wasn't too terribly expensive to begin with. But the nagging thought kept resurfacing about what was right and what was wrong. We talked about making a decision that would leave her conscience in good standing with.............................. herself.

The dress was put back on the rack.

Would it all really make a difference? What could possibly change by her decision? Would her not buying the dress change the lives for the good, of the millions who are taken advantage of in these difficult situations throughout the world? Probably not.

What would change..........would be her. She would change. She would take a stand against injustice in that one small way. I told her, that is how the world person taking a stand at a time........and it just goes on from there.

Her parents should be proud of the way they have raised her in the decision she made. I certainly was.

Good for you, my dear Brittney! The world needs people just like you.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Movie Marathon

On our mark, get set, gooooooooooo and get the popcorn.

Brittney and I are on our way towards the movie marathon of the year.....beginning, of course, with our most favorite "Grammy & Granddaughter" movie "White Christmas". Not sure if either of us will be awake past, oh, let's see, 9 pm?????? We'll see who outlast whom!

It's such a blessing to have someone so young, and vibrant and full of life around the house once again. I get to see many and various things that haven't been brought to my attention for getting a new cut for bangs like Hilary Duff or wearing cool, plastic, clunky jewelery, or fashionable glitter skinny tops or even the "off the shoulder" tank top. Perfect for a sleek and slim body such as hers but it may look like a rolled sausage trying to do the funky chicken if it were on me!

Anyway, on to the song and dance routine of Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen. How many 13 year olds actually WANT to sit with their grandmas and watch old movies anyway. Not many. We'll have fun...............

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I need to sit back a bit.

I'm now in monitor heaven. Twenty-two sizzling inches of screen and one whopping built-in set of speakers.

I think I need to add some extension cords though 'cause I'm having to sit waaaaaaay back to see the whole deal. Soon I'll be in the other room.........

The old one bit the dust....may he rest in pieces.

Now I feel like I'm on the Enterprise. I think I'll be needing a new ergonomic keyboard and mouse to complete the look.

Wished you could see this baby from my side.

Beam me up Scotty............but let me take my monitor with me, please.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I smell Christmas.

My nose had me going today and it was because Dave L. brought treats.

I was so busy that the scent didn't register until it was pointed out to me. Sitting on my desk was a basket filled with familiar things that looked and smelled like Christmas.

Nutmeg......cinnamon sticks....cloves............when I took the time to give the air a sniff, it all came to me, rushing into my brain like it was Christmas morning, 4 AM, my parents wishing so much for us to go back to bed. We simply couldn't do it. Much too much excitement. My brothers and I heading for the little dining room where, the night before, stockings hung empty and limp, now just a few hours later, were full to over-flowing, waiting for their owners to savor each precious gift......a very large red and white striped candy cane, a coloring book and new crayons, a Mandarin orange, an apple, various whole nuts, a mini-crossword game, some wrapped candies and a plastic mesh stocking hanging on the outside of the wool sock that was filled with candy and trinkets. It didn't really matter what we received, we were together, the five of us, laughing and talking and enjoying what had been given to us. We were given little but I remember the best part was being together and enjoying my family.

I miss those times. I miss the feeling of closeness with my parents. I miss seeing Mom in the kitchen, preparing the Christmas meal. I miss Dad sitting in his chair watching all of us with a huge smile on his face. He so enjoyed his kids.

That's what happened when I smelled that smell. Just in a flash it all went through my mind. Wonderful, beautiful, precious life-giving memories.........

And so, I thank Dave for his thoughtfulness. I'm sure he didn't realize it would do all that for me!!!

Noses are good for something (although a month ago when I was blowing it all day long, I wouldn't have said so!!)

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Magnificent Seven....or should that be One?

Ever watch the old movie "The Magnificent Seven", an Oscar-nominated 1960's western with Steve McQueen, Yul Brenner and 5 other guys? Quite the show. Four of them die as they help a Mexican town stand up and fight against bandits. They stood up for what was right and it was their desire to help those poor towns folk in need.

Last night, seven women met at the church. I figured since we were seven in all, that we could be known as "The Magnificent Seven", too. No, we're not gun fighters and we don't ride into town on horses, nor do we cuss and spit (not that I've noticed anyway). We do want to be of help to those who need it and we desire to do what is right and stand up against those who are oppressive to others.......and in God's eyes, we really are quite magnificent!

We meet every Sunday night to read a book together, to support one another and to pray for each other's needs. Right now, we're reading a book about Ruth....Ruth in the Bible, who was quite magnificent in her own right. She was smart, business wise, had confidence in what she could do as a woman and knew what she was about. It's been an encouraging book to all of us.

After reading a chapter entitled "Recognition", we prayed for one another and those we hold dear.

My Aunt Connie was included in those prayers.

Husband and I took same Aunt Connie to Saskatoon today so she could see her oncologist. She's had leukemia for several years now and her white cell count was back up a few weeks ago. The doctor wanted to check it out. Today, after the tests, everything appears to be quite normal!

The Magnificent Seven's prayers were The Magnificent One.

Thanks God.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

S N O W????

Remember that song in the 1960's by Dean Martin "I'm Prayin' for Rain in California"???


Pitty. It's one of two songs my husband "sings"....along with "Sink the Bismarck" by Johnny Horton.

Anyway, I'm prayin' for snow in Saskatchewan.

Just thought I'd let everyone know that in case, well, you know, in case it snowed in the night or something, you can blame and all those who also want snow.

I'm looking outside and it has that wild look......dark, cold and windy. It IS November. I love it.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A comment I hadn't expected.

At our outreach lunch today I overheard a conversation between Harvey, Vonda and Donald. It was strange to hear it. It gave me a new and different perspective about feeding the hungry.

Here I figured we had come to help out, by offering some food to folks that needed a little extra......and we had. But, this fact all of a sudden took a bit of a curve.....the three of them were talking amongst themselves about Africa and the tremendous needs there. They spoke of a TV show they had watched with the children dying of starvation and the people not having anywhere to go to get food or shelter. They were talking about others in need....others who didn't have what they had, who didn't have doctors to take care of their needs when they were sick, didn't have a soup kitchen to go to when they got hungry, didn't have a roof over their heads when the rains came or when the sun was oppressive. Ya, here they were, whom I thought were pretty down and out folks...talking about the needs of others who were much less fortunate than they. Go figure...........I wasn't the only one that wanted to help folks!!!

They realized how much they actually had and were very grateful for all that had been given to them, as they sat around the table and filled their stomachs and enjoyed each other's company in the shelter of the building.

Not sure if Donald, Vonda and Harvey's physical hunger has always been satisfied, but today it was and they were able to think of others needs. Strange how that chain of provision works it's way down the ladder. When we take care of our neighbor's needs, we set them free to offer help to other folks...........or at least, in meeting their needs, we might then allow them the freedom to think about what they could do for others.

I learned new things today about life and living it....and how I should never have preconceived thoughts of people. It humbled me.

Friday, November 2, 2007

That Christmas look.

I had a day off today.

We went to a store that had their Christmas isles filled with all sorts of delights. I took it all in. I touched the little delicate ornaments, played the music from the various turning Santas and bears. I savored the richness of the popular seasonal shades of red and green, the dazzling golds and silvers. I looked over the prices. Who's going to pay a hundred bucks for a standing bear holding a "Welcome" sign. I can do that for free.........not quite as cute, I know, but a lot cheaper.

There were lights of every kind. New energy efficient LED lights in various lengths....... but now, the white lights are way more expensive than the green lights. Who decided that????? I guess it's just supply and demand like everything else. Perhaps husband and I will take the middle ground and go for the red!

While on my journey down the Christmas Stocking isle, I passed a lady who was taking her time too, like I was. She had a sort of peaceful smile on her face and we exchanged glances. I recognized that look immediately. We were Christmas soul sisters. I think she recognized the same look in me too, as we passed silently by..........

Christmas does that to me. It makes me feel peaceful. I can't describe it quite, but it's just there. I want to be generous. I want to express joy. No time to waste being rude or argumentative. I will stay away from those things.

Christmas makes me feel so many things.........not just from material "things" either.

Christmas makes me want to help folks in need and to go about doing things for people without them knowing it was me. That's fun!

Tomorrow morning a bunch of us from Gateway church will do that. Feeding folks who need to be fed.

It will be even better than a walk down an isle sporting Christmas "stuff".

Lord, give me that Christmas look, the look that portrays "loving my neighbor as myself".

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

These girls I work with!!!

I really do think I am one of the most fortunate people on God's green earth.

The girls (I call them girls 'cause they're all considerably younger than me, so they all kind of fall into the "girl" category from my perspective), yes, as I was saying, the girls at work are so much fun to be around. They have so much enthusiasm, so much mischief, so much craziness in them and it all comes out at Halloween.

They not only dress up...........they act the part.

Dr. Butt came in this morning with her white coat, crazy mixed up hair-do, glasses, stethoscope, jar of petroleum jelly, rubber gloves AND beaker with yellow contents (I knew it was apple juice but others may not have!!). She was ready to do business........with an ooze of blood dripping down one side of her mouth........

Sister Mary Beaujolais, complete with smiling face, flitted through the offices carrying her delightful wire basket complete with her divine bottle of.......what other than Beaujolais and a glass plus several packets of little wine gums for her tea-tipping friends. Such an example of true angelic grace!

There was also the "DEButante", the gal who had shall we say, an "abundance", well, even more than an abundance, of most things, including pasties and bikini, all in flashy red. Coming from the "other side of the tracks", her long black hair down past her whatnots was a hit, not to mention the exquisite pink batting eyelashes and fishnet tights.

These women had a sense of who they were. These women knew what they were about.

These women had men blushing more than once...........and all in tremendously good fun.

So, a huge "thanks" and "cheers", to the girls at the Forest Service office who cared enough to give us their very best this All Hallowed Eve.

And all I did was dress in orange and black.

Think I need to find my inner self..............

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Ghosts and princesses, pirates and ghouls,
People love to dress up and act like fools.
Halloween's a comin', just around the bend,
Should yer' 'ead fall off, it's surely going to mend.

So get out yer' candy, gum and bags of treats,
For all those little scary folks walking down the streets.
Light up yer' pumpkin, put out the witches brew,
Boil up some bats and cats and make a foul stew.

I'll see you as the moon comes out, casting shadows long
Against the haunted doorways, where witches chant their song,
If you find a wandering soul who comes begging at your door's only me, asking for some more...........

Treats that is......heh heh heh........ya, I'm real scary stuff alright.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Whooooaaaa..........don't touch my bursa, please. If you do, I just might have to whack you over the head with a 2x4.

It's giving me all kinds of trouble. But "doc" says I'll be right as rain (anybody know what that term really means???? can rain be right....or wrong for that matter....or perhaps it should be right as reign.....or wright as rain.........or rite as reign.....or wright as reign.........oh, I do digress, the poor souls learning the English language!!!), so, ya, one shot and your good for the whole day or month even.

I've been reading up on it a bit. They can inject the bursa (in this case, my left hip) with cortisone (which also is a natural joint lubricant, kind of, that our body makes itself to keep those old joints movin' along without those creeks and cracks and snaps). The cortisone injection is a synthetic steroid that does the same thing as the regular "body-made" cortisone which normally would be given off into the blood stream, but the fake stuff gets into the sore point with a ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuu- ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh-ieeeeeeeeeeeeee needle.

So. I'm a big sissy. I can't say I like pointy things attacking my very own bursa. Would you?

On Wednesday, I'll go and bite the bullet. Doc may not have any at the clinic. I'll just take one of husbands. Ya, one of those big honkin' ones that fly through a huge animal at 800 yards!!! Good thing I've got pretty good teeth, otherwise, I may be lookin' to find my good friend, Dr. Linea.

God, help me not be be afraid and help me not to bite the bullet too hard.

I really am such a sissy.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


My body is so far behind it thinks it's ahead.

The weekend had so much stuff packed into it, I'm looking forward to my paying job tomorrow!

All that aside, Pastor Randall's sermon today had me weeping.....just sitting there silently weeping. The tears just a dam had broken. It wasn't all blabbering and sobbing and blowing nose kind of tears but ones that came from deep inside me, welling up and overflowing into my eyes and onto my cheeks and over my shirt. They just kept coming and I had no control over it.

I think it was once again, the realization that the God of the entire universe, the One who put the stars in their perfect place, who fashioned the orbits of the galaxies and planets, who designed and created a rose and a skunk, who blazed a sunset on the horizon and the One who has created me, a recipient of his great realize all of this, and then to think that He has seen fit to speak words of encouragement into my ears in the night..........the very same eternal God of all ages, the Jesus of Nazareth who allowed himself to be crucified in my place, to show me how love could be poured out in such an extravagant measure..............are you following my thoughts here, because I'm finding it so difficult to express this realization..................ya, it had me weeping.

It was good. It gave me once again a perspective of who I am in the scheme of things here on earth.

Thanks God..........again.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I'm baking for our Country Store that is taking place on Saturday, October 27 at Gateway Covenant Church here in Prince Albert - 1500 - 15th Avenue East. Door open 10 am 'til 3 pm.

Come and bring all your hard-earned cash. You won't be disappointed!

I usually enjoy baking, but this is the first time baking in the new house. I'm still finding my way around the kitchen, well, I know pretty much where everything is now but it's doing the actual baking. How can I position the mixer so that it's comfortable to stir in the ingredients. Where can I put my egg shells until I can get over to the garbage can. I'm looking for the almond extract. It used to be on the top shelf of the "Lazy Susan" (I really feel sorry for people who have the name Susan) it's on the bottom shelf. Oh, and I thought I had all my baking pans together in one spot. Here are my muffin tins in a drawer.....why are they there???? Oh ya, they don't fit in with all the other pans.

Now husband has the tape measure out. He's helping me cut up the goodies for the sale. But first he has to measure the chunks so they're all even. Then I can wrap and tie them all up with red ribbon.

Lord have mercy.............again today. Amen.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Was that you, Lord?

There are times when I wake up in the night, you know, for the regular "potty break".

There are other times I wake up like someone actually woke me up and I'm wide awake. Eyes open and watching. Ears open and listening. Mind working and thinking.

Last night was like that. I was having a regular conversation complete with a question and answer session. I'm thinking it may have been a God conversation because the thoughts seemed to flow one after the other and they seemed right somehow. Still not sure. I asked two people to pray about this with me, to see if it was Him speaking.....well, he wasn't literally speaking in an audible voice as husband didn't wake up or anything, so it's not like we had this LOUD conversation happening. It felt good and comforting.............ya, just another weird thing about me, I guess.

I guess we'll see what transpires. I know God does stuff like that but it just hasn't happened for ever-so-long.

I'll keep asking you about it all, God. I know you will reveal whatever your truths were from that conversation, at some point down the road.

I'll just wait it out.

I'm off to bed. Four hours of sleep isn't quite enough for this old bod' especially after working 8 hours and coming home and washing all the windows outside and then baking for the Country Store this Saturday. Tired......but a good tired.

Good thing husband had a lovely BBQ steak supper, complete with salad and coconut cream pie for dessert all ready for me when I arrived home. What a deer.....hee hee hee

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Yesterday's gone.....

It up and disappeared. No Monday. Zip.

Had I not had a migraine, I'm sure I would have experienced Monday.

But pain and drugs leave me less one day.

Can't imagine being on drugs all the time. I guess I wouldn't even exist, if my lack of a Monday is any indication.

So, experiencing Tuesday is really quite wonderful......even if I spent half of it at an Environmental Management System (EMS) refresher course!!!

On second thought.....drugs???/EMS????? drugs???/EMS??? Ya, I think the latter has one up on the former. I just can't think of what it is right now.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

If I were a rich man.......

Ever watch "Fiddler on the Roof"?

It's the story of a peasant Jewish man, his wife and five daughters living in Tsarist Russia.

It portrayed a regular Jewish family raising children when the world was in the beginnings of a monstrous upheaval in the life of Russia...............the result being changes that affected even their beliefs. I enjoyed too, the humor, the intensity of life and the male-dominated culture (with a few good women thrown in........ for their wisdom and wit).

Human beings cling to what is safe. We continually grab on to what is familiar. We don't like being thrust out of our homes, our country and all we have known all our lives and into the this family in the movie experienced.

The movie speaks of love. It shows how love can allow us to go into unfamiliar territory without fear. It shows love at it's very its unconditional very best.

In the midst of persecution, love still brings with it life and light and hope....and that truth is not just in the movie!!!

Oh, and it's a musical. "If I were a rich man.....da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, daaaaaaaaaaa"...........

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Late Thanksgiving.

Husband and I cooked two roasted chickens/scalloped potatoes/stuffing/wild rice/gravy for a Thanksgiving supper yesterday and took it to Tisdale today. Picked up Aunt Connie and we were away.

Oh and apple crisp and ice cream for dessert.

I think my brother was happy for the diversion. He's healing from heart surgery quite well. We visited, heard the whole story of the surgery adventure in Edmonton, took a walk around the block together and then when sister-in-law came home from work we had Thanksgiving supper all ready. Nephew came too. Great fun.

This was the very first time brother hadn't had a goose hunting license in 40 years! Pretty good record but there is a season for everything............even a season to not have a season.

The Big Dipper was bright and lovely in the sky as we traveled home.

It's great to be with family...............but I miss my children..............

Friday, October 19, 2007

So much food.

The birds have so much food right now. They twitter, flap, run, hop and bob all around the yard. They're eating it seems, all day long.

When they say "birds of a feather, flock together"'s literally true. Not only do they flock together, the various species have a hierarchy within the bird kingdom and exercise that constantly. When the robins are around munching, the chickadees stay in the background. When the chickadees are gobbling up the food, the sparrows are waiting elsewhere. They take their turn and know their place in the "pecking order". It's all so great to watch.

We put two new bird feeders out on the patio, so we'll be able to watch them from the kitchen window during the cold winter months......those that are able to stay and brave the temperatures when they fall to -30.

But now, in these fall days, they're all beefing up in order for them to either fly great distances, or for those who remain, to keep them from freezing up. They aren't eating from the feeders yet so there must be plenty of tree seeds and berries and even bugs, to keep their interest.

When the snow piles high, I trust we will remember to be their ever-gracious hosts and keep those feeders full.

Maybe husband and I have been watching the birds too much. We seem to be catching on to their "bulking up" methods.

Lord have mercy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

And a sack of spuds to feed the whole gang.

To be sung to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas".
Ahhhhhemmmmmm...............altogether now........

In my second year in 'Toba (ie. Manitoba)
My mother sent to me:
150 Hallowe'en treats.....
50 bucks in cash........
20 assorted Snapple's.......
15 jelly muffins.....
Several chunks of jerky......
a little grey Corsica.......
10.................................................................bags of sweets.........

4 pounds of dried fruit
3 boxes of nuts
2 bags of pretzels
and a sack of spuds to feed the whole gang.

Wonder how long it will last......and it's sent with love via Brandon and Brian.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Small town Saskatchewan.

Three of us from the office took a trip down south, to Cabri - 4 hours from P.A. It was our co-workers father's funeral today at 2 pm.

We were off at 9 am, John driving his '05 VW. Leather seats too.......nice.

Arrived at the Cabri Legion Hall with 7 minutes to spare!

Ever traveled down a grid going 120 kms.? Me neither.................

The whole town was there to say goodbye to their friend. The choir was seated at the front of the hall wearing their black pants, white shirts and red vests complete with Legion crest, and led us in the two hymns. Good stuff.

Mr. Charles Dodge was remembered in fine style and his remains were laid to rest at the Cabri cemetery.

There was lunch and coffee and lots of good conversation afterwards.

Then as quickly as we had arrived, we were gone again. Funeral bulletins in hand and an ever-present 60 km wind to push us back north, we were off.

Reached the little town of Kyle to fill up with diesel. There was an actual line-up at the counter in the little gas station and one woman commented on that fact. We wondered how often this would happen in a town of this size.

While leaving, the driver's side window took a header down into the door well. Good thing it was fairly warm out, as that made driving somewhat breezy.............

Arriving in Rosetown, it was decided to give said window a quick fix.

Out with the funeral bulletin for Mr. Dodge and with one person holding the window shut another stuffed Mr. Dodge's bulletin down the side of the window. It held tightly.

And we figured "Charlie" had finished his job here on earth.

The window stayed shut all the way home, so a huge "thank you" one last time to a grand fellow who was always helping others out.......and this time was no exception.

Oh, and we saw 5 live antelope, at least 100 million flying geese!!!!, several crows, one hawk, a mirad of road kill of various species............................. and one dead moose.

An eventful day.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The wrapping.

There are some people I know who think my sense of humor is "weird". So be it.

Today was the "wrapping of the deer meat" in our house. That's what happens after the hunt.

My job is to tear off pieces of brown freezer paper, tape the package after husband wraps it up and I then wright on the outside as to what cut of meat is know, so you don't grab a brown package thinking it to be a roast and your mouth is watering in the morning thinking of the wonderful roast supper complete with scalloped potatoes and carrots and salad for the evening meal- and you find out the darned thing is hamburger - which means sloppy joes!

So, for many years I have had that envious position of 'package writer'. I have learned to make a game of it, in fact.

There are various ways to enjoy ones work, I say.

This year when writing on the packages of "back strap" I wrote, "Back St." followed by "Boyze".
On the roast package, I wrote, "Deer Roast, Thanks for all you have given to our family. I'm sorry you came to such an untimely end." Another one said "Deer Roast, How are you doing down there. I know it's chilly, but you're such a deer to endure the hardship." Yet another, "Dear Roast.....See you at supper!" or "Rostenhooferburger - ya, sure, ya betcha".

Ya. It's all pretty funny - even for husband, who takes out a brown package from the freezer for supper now and then during those cold winter months and reads all my little comments. He likes that.......and laughs even!

Wrapping CAN be fun.

Friday, October 12, 2007

In the blink of an eye.

That's exactly the way life seems to be. When one is young, one tends to be busy with school, then more school, finding a mate, marrying, raising a family, finding a job, keeping a job and hopefully one day become "settled".

By this time, you're most likely in your 30's somewhere. You look back and say, "Whew!!" and "Ahhhhhhhhh, I think I'm finally where I'm supposed to be......but where did those 15 years go!"

Well, you no sooner give your sigh of contentment and you find you're 60! Where did those 25 years go???? Whoooooooah!

Seems like the older we get, life begins to be really least the "how" we live it part. Not only that but as we age, we become acutely aware of how quickly our lives have gone by.

Talk to anyone in their 90's. They'll tell you.

Mr. Charles Dodge passed away this week. He was 97 years old. Sharp as a tack. Pretty frail. A little deaf and not very good sight, but lived a good, long life. I work with his son, Carman, who spoke often of his dad, about his humor and wit, his love of nature, his spark of mischief and his dad realizing too, how quickly life went by..............and now it is over.

An old friend of ours passed away too, a week or so ago. She was only 49. Her funeral was a great celebration of a short life well lived.

No matter how old we are, it seems like we have never lived enough, when the end comes.

So, I guess I want to tell you, all of you, to appreciate one another, to forgive one another, to love one another and don't ever take tomorrow for granted. Life is going at a great pace, but it WILL end one day. Try not to have any regrets, dear ones.

Forgive, as Christ has forgiven you.......and love, as he has loved you.....

Life will be the blink of an eye.............

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The ups and downs of surgery.

Anybody out there have surgery?

It's really quite something to get over, isn't it!

One day you're ready to jump over hay bales.......the next you're sitting slumped in your chair wondering if you're going to make it to tomorrow. Quite depressing.

It's tough. Waiting for all those little damaged cells to repair themselves so you really can do the hay bale thing. It just takes time. After 10 and a half hours of heart surgery though, your appetite wains, you get light headed sometimes, you just don't feel quite yourself and you really NEED to.

Dear brother is getting impatient. He wants wholeness RIGHT NOW, not tomorrow or next week.

I tell him to sit a spell, think about life and the gift it is to breathe and live.

He says he can do that when he's 100. Right now he wants to do hay bales.

Continue to heal him, God. Help his "ups" to be more often than his "downs".

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

May I take a moment, please.

If you are a person who absolutely detests receiving a "Christmas Letter" from so-and-so, proclaiming in great detail the comings and goings, the accomplishments and achievements of their entire family, and it leaves you feeling totally inferior.............then stop reading now.

We have two "mature" students (children) taking university classes. Now I'm usually not one to brag too much about them, but they deserve a hearty congratulations.

Both received A's on their first mid-terms. Now some of you may be saying, "Well, big deal!" But for our kids, they haven't been students for some time.

With one of them, it was kind of taking up from where things left off....... more superior grades. Still working as well, but giving academia another shot. We're so very proud!

With the other, it was a huge accomplishment in that being away from school for nearly 15 years, you find you need to arouse those "brain muscles" once more, as well as gaining enough self-confidence to even tackle the school scene again. I was extremely proud when the phone call came announcing the marvelous grade!

It's scary stuff. University costs a huge pile of money. They want to succeed, but most of all, they desire to learn.

It's a gift to be able to watch your kids, whether they're older or not, find their gifts and their potential. I'm sure you would all agree!

May God continue to walk beside both of them.

.......That's all I have to say about that. (Forrest Gump)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Big sister is watching you.

To begin our work week, our office participated in a mandatory seminar on what to look for regarding fraudulent schemes when handling invoices or things to do with money.....things that may be "suspicious", that don't follow government protocol. We were taught to be aware of people who do "suspicious" things, or people who drive out of the parking lot with "extremely expensive" vehicles when everyone knows it's way beyond their means , people who are 60 or so and have worked at their jobs for a very long time, people who look normal but who are out to somehow pay their gambling debts.......and the list goes on.......all with government funds!!!!!

I'm nearly 60. Sure glad I don't drive anything but a '95 purple Taurus.

It was sickening to me. I wonder sometimes what we have become as a society. People take things that don't belong to them. People ruin their lives because they think they can get away with being deceitful. They look for ways to cheat and beat the system. They become greedy and smug and now as employees we are called to be aware of these kinds of people who work next to us.

What are we doing people?????

Yes, I know. We, as civil servants, are now at the extreme end of caution. I just hope the swinging pendulum doesn't whack us too hard on the head......although it may just knock some sense into some.

So, make sure to drive an old vehicle to work and try not to act too normal. I may be watching you.

Monday, October 8, 2007


It was a very unusual Thanksgiving in our home.

I know that families gather together at special times such as this. For a mother, it is somehow especially important to be with her children and grandchildren, sons and daughters-in-law,and of course, her husband. A mother enjoys just being with her family.

Well, today, this Thanksgiving Day, I was without my husband (who went hunting one more time), my son (who lives in Winnipeg) , my daughter (who is studying for mid-terms in Regina), my son-in-law (who leaves again tomorrow for NWT) and my granddaughter(whom I miss so very much). I was alone.............for the most part.

Not wanting to be outdone by loneliness, I picked up my Aunt and we went for breakfast to a nearby restaurant. The service was exceptionally slow as the server "forgot" about us. We finally managed to be served and we ate our breakfast an hour after we had arrived.....(and we left our server a $5.00 tip to let her know she was forgiven!)

Waiting all that time for our food was OK though. Together, we chatted about many things and got caught up on extended family members who had written to her and some who had emailed me. I enjoy her company. We laugh at each others humor and notice things about one another that reminds us that yes, we are both "Bensons"......... and all "Bensons" love to laugh; we enjoy a cup of tea after dinner; we live for sweets - we can eat huge gobs of jam on every slice of toast we consume; most of us are not very talkative in large groups; we have hair that does not co-operate with a brush; our eyes are very large and very blue; we are sensitive and shy, and we care quite a bit about others, I think.

So, in that encounter with my Aunt this morning, even though I wasn't with my immediate family, I was with HER and I thank God for her and all she means to me.

I'm also thankful for people who invite me into their home unexpectedly for tea and a chat. I enjoyed that very much today too. There are some folks I just don't get to see much and I'm thankful I was given that opportunity today to see Lauralea, to enjoy her humor and friendship.

It was a day to be a God who loves me, who provides for my every need and who sees to it that I really am not alone.