Thursday, December 30, 2010

And now we have......

to......cough....cough....cough....cough....sneeze.....cough....cough....cough.....cough....take daughter to hospital.....cough.......cough.....cough.....she may be having.....cough...cough....cough....cough....a....cough..... cough.....kidney stone attack....cough...cough....cough....cough....or......cough.....cough.....cough...... a.....cough....cough ....cough....gall stone attack......cough....cough...but no beds in she comes writhe on .....cough ....cough.....cough... the floor and.....cough....cough....get sick.

Glad I'm......cough.....cough....cough....cough...not really.....cough....cough...cough.....sick....or it could be trouble....cough....sneeze.

Hope you're fine......

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The end of another life....

Our son-in-law's dad died today.  Jim McKeaveney was my age.  He had lung cancer....and was a smoker.  Not that it's relevant now, but I sit and wonder what his life would have been like if he had not smoked.  Perhaps not any different...but I do wonder....

It's difficult for his wife.  She will be alone...just like our neighbor, Madge, who lost her husband a week or so ago.  Death changes things.  The experience changes our life and the living of it for those who remain behind.  It changes our perspectives too, on a lot of things.  It seems to suck the very life we have, out of us and we're left with a shell of a body that wants to cry and wants everything to be as it was just yesterday....WITH the person who has just died.  We can't seem to wrap our heads around this permanency of death.  We see it happening to many folks around us but we're never really quite prepared for it happening to us.  Why is that.  As I've asked before, why are we so oblivious of the obvious?  I know we aren't supposed to walk around gloomily, as if it was our last day, but we need to be at least "spiritually aware" that life doesn't last forever.  We are never guaranteed 85 or 90 years of existence....we know that.  Babies die.  Children die.  Teens die.  Middle aged folks die.  We always want our lives and those we love, to be long and healthy and worthwhile.  But it just isn't always so.

Thinking on that makes me very appreciative of every day I have.  Seeing death, I become acutely aware of it's realness, it's existence and I am once more placed into the mode of grieving.  I walk through the all-familiar stages with those I love.

I hate to be insensitive, but death as I see it, is a true character builder....or it certainly can be.  It can build us up into a more faith-oriented person, or if one doesn't believe, it can make you a stronger individual.  I do believe it can do both.  Even when we are young, and experience the loss of a loved one, it can be to our betterment.  "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger", kind of mentality.

The death of Jim will change his family.  Since I believe in the hereafter, I believe his death has the possibility of changing their lives for the better. It will all be up to them though.  Jim was a good man...a handsome Irishman, no less (our son-in-law is very much like him!).  I always enjoyed being in his company, although it didn't happen too often.  He had a good sense of humour too.  I liked that about him.  He was quiet in his own way and a very private person.  He will be missed.  He loved our daughter too, like his own....and she appreciated him for who he was.  Those kinds of things can never be taken away.  And Brittney loved her pappa too!  She now must learn about the sting of death and how it feels and how to deal with it to cry and ask questions and be angry and afraid....all the things that death brings out in us will be experienced by her in the days and weeks to come.

I trust that any wisdom I may have gained, as one somewhat akin to death, may be used to be of help to my children.  May God allow it to be so.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas in shades of black and white....

Matt and Christian

Matt's birthday

Jory and Sara


Sleep in heavenly peace.....sleep in heavenly peace, Olivia

Joyce and Younde

Mr. Luke

The Lanoie grand-clan...

with gram and gramps

Shannon and Brittney...our sweet gals...

Emily and Tammy

Dave, Annette and fam

a bunch of folks talking:)

Jenn, Fiona and Brittney

O, Holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today...

Patrick and Matt

Then came the candles of Christmas eve at home...

and a turkey supper on Christmas day
Now I'm resting....

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I'm totally chillin'....

Life now is in the relaxed mode.  After church today, got home, put on my PJpants, ate a turkey bun and sat and watched (with Matt and a cup of tea) the 1961 version of the Parent Trapp with Haley Mills....and during this process he baked two whopping loaves of Sweedish Rye bread.

Supper.  More turkey.  More everything.

Yesterday was good though.  Carole joined us for the afternoon and Christmas supper.  She came bearing gifts for each of us!!!  How thoughtful of her.  She is quite a girl!!!  We were all so tired though that we just ate and talked.  No games.  Nothing.

The the evening ended with Shanon's car being slammed into as it sat parked on River street outside our apartment complex!  Now THAT will make Christmas of 2010 memorable.

And now for more visiting and reading and movies....or fall asleep....whichever comes first.

Friday, December 24, 2010

"Twas the night before Christmas...

and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that
St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled, all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar plums
danced in their heads
And mamma in her 'kerchief and I in my cap had just settled down for a
long winters nap.
(read the rest here: )

That's one story that will be read, I'm sure.

Another story is the account in the Bible in the book of Luke.....

"And she brought forth her first born son and laid him in a manger
because there was no room in the inn."

Yes, love came down at Christmas....

Blessings on your Christ-mas eve.....and peace and joy to you and your home.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Twelve loaves...but no fish.....

Matt baked 12 loaves of for each apartment in our complex.  I did up a card and he took them around and left them at each of the doors.

Brittney rolled out the croissants and I baked and iced them while she later went shopping.

The funeral was a good walk down memory lane and God was made known in that place.

Tomorrow another busy day....birth day that is!  Matt would like his father's BBQ'd ribs....well, not HIS ribs....but you know what I mean.  We will attempt to give him a special day in the midst of Christmas wrap and ribbons and special as he is to us!

 And there you have it.  Kids doing the baking and doing a great job too!  Perhaps we need to start up a "Bake Shop"?

Sleep well out there.....

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

We're on a roll...


Between Matt's adventures in bread making and my adventures in croissant making, we now have some food around this place.  A few more decorations were added to the tree along with some tinsel and it's looking good.

Tomorrow we need to do more shopping, attend a funeral, ice the croissants and wrap gifts.  The next day it's Matt's birthday....followed by Christmas Eve....then it's Christmas Day!

Tonight we had music practice for our Christmas Eve service.  Matt will play his guitar that evening too.  His abilities give our worship team a very nice depth and fullness and lends itself beautifully to the carols that are being sung.

If you have no place to go on Christmas Eve, stop by Gateway Covenant - 15th and 15th East at 7:30 p.m. and you will hear the Christmas Story in a new light.  There will be drama and music and readings and singing and many, many, many candles.  I believe it is the highlight of the entire church year, as far as loveliness goes. I shall help with the singing and Matt's music skills will be put to use, as well as many others...including our Brittney on flute and her friend, Emily on the djembe drum.  And to get us all in the mood, I figured it would be good to sing tonight.  How about.........Little Drummer Boy.....

"Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That's fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum."

(Little Drummer Boy - composed by Katherine K. Davis, Henry Onorati
and Harry Simeone)

Good singing......:)

'Nite all.......

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Our neighbor died last night....

It was one of those evenings.  Sitting around playing cards and the door bell rings.  Next door neighbor, Madge has a horrific look on her face as she speaks to people on her cell phone while looking straight at me.  She is calling the ambulance.  Ken and Matt rush next door to see if Bill can be moved but due to the limited space of the bathroom, they fear to move him in any way.  Ambulance arrives shortly thereafter.  Janice from one of the suites downstairs takes Madge to the hospital to be with her husband who has been pronounced DOA.  A few long hours later Janice rings our doorbell to chat and let us know that Bill had died and that Madge is still at hospital with one of her sons.  The granddaughter will stay overnight with Madge and arrive back to an apartment that will never again see her dear man, nor will they share their bed together as they had for decades.  She begins her life of loneliness, aloneness and the blink of an eye.  They had shared the day together....a whole lifetime together....and now one is gone.  One son lives here and he will be Madge's God-send.  He will help her and care for her and be with her as will her grandchildren.  But her dear Bill will no longer be a part of her life...her day...her breathing space.

Life is like that, isn't it.  We rush about like mad people, wishing for this, wanting that, making deals, and appointments and wondering where the next excitement will come from.  We plan for weddings and vacations and anniversaries and newly arrived babies....but very few of us get to plan for our funeral.  It's like we are oblivious to the obvious.  As the very cynical saying goes "we live....we die...and in the middle of those two, we rush around like mad fools".  I know I've said this before, but life really is ALL about relationships and how we deal with others.  It isn't about jobs or children or money or clothes or houses or cabins at the lake....although all of these things are wonderful.  It IS about our relationships within the context of all of these we speak to others, how we help them, our attitudes towards them...our relationship with them. 

I found myself lying awake for a long while last night, praying for Madge and her family, thinking and praying about the coming days and asking God to be present in that family.  Tomorrow we shall cook a turkey and make a supper to take over.  They will watch us to see if our RELIGION co-insides with our love for them.

May God allow it to be so.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

And the winner is....

For best decorated individual office:  Spiros Papastergiou

For best decorated unit area:  Rod Thompson's Science Unit

Some pics:

Congratulations to the winners!  Everyone had a terrific time decorating their areas for the contest.  No prizes, but hey, that really wasn't the point of it all.  We all took time to do something together and allowed ourselves some time to become better acquainted.  To my thinking, it was all worth every effort!

The managers hosted the afternoons potluck.  That also was very fine!  We managed to pick up Matthew from the plane in Saskatoon and join in the festivities.

More pictures tomorrow....or whenever I can get in this room to use the computer as it is now filled with son and luggage and guitar and.......ya.....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I had a visitor...

Yipppeeeeee.....Santa came to visit me!!!

I was so excited.  He sat by my desk and chatted and then left for the North Pole to make sure the elves were behaving themselves and keeping on track with toy production.  I'd like to have gone with him....

While we visited, I made sure to tell him I was pretty good this year....well, the usual I suppose...sometimes I was cranky (chalk it up to menopause), I was belligerent (chalk it up to menopause), I was tired (chalk it up to menopause) and downright stubborn (chalk it up to being married:)

Other than that, I think I was maybe a little kinder and gentler than I was last year.  I hope he noticed!!!

Here are some pictures he let me take of him.  He was going around to various offices to check his list to see if Val and Penny and Dave L. and Phil and Twila and Michael were as good as they said they were in their letters to him.  He knows stuff....but I think he was just "checkin' it twice" the song goes....

He disappeared after a little while.  Carole S. came to see me and said that she had missed him.  (Wherever she had been it had messed her hair up a bit....probably outside in the wind:)  She was so disappointed but I told her that if she'd been good, he'll come to her house Christmas Eve.  She hoped that would be true!

On the home front, I now have my apple muffins baked and the shortbread is done! 

Now to pick up son tomorrow...:)

Monday, December 13, 2010

It started off well....

The day, that is.  It all began with a St. Lucia breakfast at Mrs. A's.  Each December 13th she hosts this beautiful Scandinavian celebration.  Her granddaughter, dressed in a white robe and red sash comes to serve everyone there and sings her lovely song "Santa Lucia".  Candles are lit (this year the crown of candles were on the table as opposed to on her head) and everyone enjoyed the festivities and hospitality.

Upon arriving at work, I find two birthday gifts at my desk.  A beautiful bouquet of roses, compliments of my boss and supervisor.  Then a huge box all wrapped up sat ready to be opened.  It was a gift from my co-worker, Twila!!!  I realized the work that went into this gift and it brought me to tears of gratitude! 

I think I've said this before, a few times....:) but I know I work with the greatest people there ever was or ever will be...all of them!  Not because they sometimes give me nice gifts, but because I have a relationship with them where I believe they trust me with things...and I trust them.  It's a bit like my relationship with God, it's a two-way kind of thing.  I trust and believe in Him....and He also takes  chances with me, depends on me to some extent, to love others and care for he has done with me.  I know it's not quite the same, because God always initiates his love for me, kind of encouraging me, to show me how it's done.

Ya, anyway here is my day in pictures:
St. Lucia candelabra

Saffron and coriander buns and krumkake (ginger cookies)

Light for the winter solstice.

Mrs. A as our hostess.

My birthday gift from Twila!  All lit up...

One of a dozen varying colored  roses....another gift!

The entire office will enjoy this gift from a
Creighton employee...Ms. L.

One fellow's office...all ready for the decorating contest
to be judged this Wednesday afternoon.  His wife is a
great decorator!!!

After a full day of fun and frivolity...:) I went to Tracy's and got a hair cut...then on the way home stopped in to see daughter's newly decorated Christmas tree and her decorations.  Lovely!  I came away with some of hers and Brittney's baking too!  Yum!

I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

'Nite all....sleep well.  You may now sing "The Twelve Days of Christmas"!!!  It should be good to put you to sleep....:)