Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A birthday and a reunion....

Shannon decided that it would be good for all of us to gather together...my brother and his whole family and me and my whole family.  We actually pulled it off...no planning, no fuss, no muss.  It just so happened that everyone was "home" this Christmas so we traveled today out to Tisdale.  All five of us in Shannon's little VW.  Cozy:)

It was the first time we have all been together, complete with grand-children, in 23 years!  There was a time of getting to know each other especially after that long a time. My parents would have been very happy about all of this!  They were in my thoughts so many times today and it was all very nostalgic.

Ken had his 67th birthday today, too.  AND we found out that our friends Eric and Michelle had a baby girl today!  We won't forget THAT baby's birthday!

Here's our entire family.  One snap.  That's all it took (other than the first time when Matt couldn't get back to the group in time).  I figured at least one person would have been looking down, away, eyes closed or something...but no, the first picture and all was good!
A fine-looking lot we turned out to be, too!

Monday, December 26, 2011

In the midst of the calm...

I'm reading a book....and doing some serious thinking too.  The book is a gift from son. 

Well, we're eating leftovers too and watching a bit of telly and listening to some good guitar music.

Tomorrow another birthday...Ken's birthday!  We will celebrate the early part of it by going out to Tisdale to visit my brother and his family.  Should be fun.  I don't think we've all been together in over 15 years or more!

The fam
Sorry for the picture mess ups!  I need to get this fixed!

Well, enjoy your quiet time these days.  I surely am....

Friday, December 23, 2011


I've been getting many gifts lately.  My friend Tracy, gave me an angelic soap figurine scented with 'candy cane'. I received a bouquet of roses for my birthday from my supervisor, Penny and the big boss, Bob.  Three co-workers sang me the birthday song, my co-worker gave me a humungous box of truffles PLUS a quart of her infamous home-made dill pickles.  My children gave me two jars of Body Shop body butter, Kris Kringle popped into my Santa stocking at work $20 worth of gift certificates.  Another co-worker gave me vanilla scented bath salts for Christmas, one fellow gave us Belgian chocolates, another a huge box of truffles, Managers gave us truffles too.....and another co-worker made me a beautiful black, white and silver scarf (who thanked me for being her mom all these years!).  My Secret Santa plied me with delicious sweets each morning and ended up giving me a beautifully hand-crafted Intarsia box with a butterfly on the lid!

Ya, the list just goes on and on.  I feel as though Christmas has already happened:)

Makes one feel a bit special....:)  not to mention thankful for having such faithful friendships.

Today it was Matthew's birthday...28th birthday!  We went for breakfast together and had a rib/shrimp/lobster home cooked supper for him complete with lemon and whipped cream cake for dessert.  Pa and I stayed home while the youngins' went to "Mission Impossible".  Sitting through that would have been a mission impossible in itself!

And tomorrow is Christmas Eve.  Another round of good, family fun and eating and talking and eating some more....with several cups of tea in between.  Candle Light service at 7:30 PM at church...Gateway Covenant, if you want to join us...15th and 15th East.

Think it's almost time for bed.  Jellied salad prep in the morning!

Jesus....where are you??????  Please don't get lost in all the packages!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"Elroy, stop that!!!"

Elroy was a sturdy little fir with long, bushy branches that stretched out onto the path that lead past him and into the forest beyond.  Other fir and pine had to watch out for him because in his naughty moments he would spit out huge clumps of needles should they enter his space. It didn't appear to take too much effort on his part either.  He was always thinking up ways to amuse himself...and others....but others most often didn't find his little tricks all that funny.

"Elroy, stop that!", his mother would shout sternly to him.  Elroy couldn't help himself.  He simply had to have some fun, standing there all day.  He liked to stretch.  It felt good.  Often he would stretch out so far that folks walking past would trip and fall over his lower limbs and while getting up from their fall would say all manner of words that Elroy had never heard before.  Mumbling, they would smell the aroma of fir gum which had attached itself to their pant legs and coats all the while attempting to remain somewhat dignified. 

Now and then people with big machines would come into the plantation with snippers and pruners and saws and clippers, attacking his friends's branches with abandon.  Not his though!  He wondered if it would hurt much to have his branches pruned but no one ever complained about the procedure so he figured when it came time for them to do his branches, it would all be good.  Maybe it tickled!  He would wait and see....

"Elroy, stand up straight!  You know you won't grow to be tall and strong if you don't keep your trunk straight!"

"OK, Mother." as Elroy pushed himself up high and made all kinds of sounds as his branches would squeek and slide silently up into the twinkling night sky above them.  His mother said many good and helpful things, things that would make him a stronger and better fir, so he listened intently and followed her wishes.

And Elroy grew.  The other trees around admired him.  He stretched every single day.  He grew taller than any of his brothers and sisters and his mother was proud of what he had become, a fun-loving, caring fir tree.

One night on the dark, cold plantation, he felt a chill, something he couldn't quite explain but it was something that ran through his branches, all the way to his upstretched leader.  He wanted to ask his mother what this extraordinary feeling was all about, but he didn't want to wake her.  Elroy took good care of her and each night she huddled and slept peacefully under his strong trunk.  And as she slept, he looked up to find an unusual light in the dark sky....a light so bright that he wondered what it could be.  Elroy had heard songs being sung about a special heavenly kind of light but he figured this couldn't be that kind of light....but he wondered nevertheless.  He hadn't seen one quite that bright before. And then before he could spit another needle, he heard it.  It sounded like a bunch of folks singing.  Limbs stretched up and over all the other trees in the field.  He needed to see what was going on but nothing was visible in his line of site, at least. Nothing at all.  The music continued on....he could hear the words...."Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace, good will to all people!"  The melodic voices blended and joined into one as Elroy rested and finally slept in a heavenly peace.

Was it a dream?  Elroy was awakened suddenly to the buzz of trucks and saws and many people hovering around him.  The sound he heard in the night was not at all like the sound he heard now.  It must have been a dream, he reasoned.  A beautiful dream too, he thought to himself.

Now he was being pruned and trimmed and he could hear his mother silently weeping beside him as the saws and snippers whirred and clipped.  She told him that this was his very special time and was being prepared for what he was destined to be.  His trunk shook...his limbs quivered....he was beginning to topple over but was caught up in a net.  "Motherrrrrrrrrrr", Elroy called out before he was wrapped and  hauled onto a truck that awaited him.  "Don't worry, Elroy.  This is what you have been waiting for, all these many years!"  She would remember Elroy's branches as a young fir, their softness, their sweet aroma and the gentleness of her dear fir son snuggling into her branches as a tiny seedling.  Mother knew where Elroy was going.  She had heard stories about a place that was being prepared for him, a place where he would wear beautiful garments, where he would be a prince, of sorts.  She also knew that when it was her time to leave the plantation, there would be a place for her as well.  She would be there too, with her son and she was excited to know that this would not be the last time she would see him.

Elroy arrived.  Many people cared for him and took great pains to see that he had enough water to satisfy his great thirst.  Then came his robes...all golden and beautifully adorned with red on his top branches.  It was a nice place, a heavenly place and he knew this was what his mother had been speaking to him about...a place of peace, and rest and beauty.

What was that???  Music!  It was the same music he had heard as a fir on the plantation that dark, starry night.  It was louder this time...much louder, and even more beautiful.  A light shone too.  At first he didn't really know what the light was.......but then, he knew. 

He knew the light was for him and the words being sung were for him...it was a party...ALL FOR HIM.

Elroy was happy.  He saw things that he had never before seen and heard music that he had never before heard.  It was hard to take it all in...but the party continued...and the words that were sung spoke about heaven and rest and this beautifully perfect place.  He would enjoy it all. And the chill that he had once felt back on the plantation on that dark, starry night swept over him again and again and it was very good.  Here, there was no darkness, only the warmth of the Light.

Elroy had reached his resting place and would wait patiently for his mother, and siblings and friends who would eventually join him.  But for now, he would simply sit, all adorned, and watch the Light and listen to the songs....songs about a Baby being born and about angels and shepherds and joy and peace.  It was a day of true celebration.

"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned."  Isaiah 9:2

May your Christmas, like Elroy's,  be filled with the Light of God and the blessings of peace on earth, good will to all!!

In memory of Elroy Linton... (Twila, my friend's dad)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Another week has almost slipped by and I'm reeling from the pace of it all.

After a day of "Ugly Christmas Sweaters" at work, and a doctor's appointment in the afternoon where I find I have Achilles tendonitis in my left foot, then supper and an evening of croissant baking with Brittney (watching "White Christmas" and drinking peppermint tea and eating cherry cake while croissants are rising), I find I am at a loss for words as to just how tired my body is.

So, we shall end on that note...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Monday, December 19, 2011


Not only is Advent a time of preparation, it is a time of waiting.


Always waiting....

In long line-ups as we finish our shopping....

In traffic as people hurry and scurry to their next "Scheduled Christmas Event"....

And we wait for the celebration, the birthday celebration.

We'll be celebrating the birthday of a man named Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah.  The One the prophets spoke of in the annals of history.  He was coming into this ordinary, messed up, chaotic world to show folks how living should be done.  Unfortunately, we have not paid too much attention to this Messiah.  We don't seem to be able to catch his rhythm of life....the "doing to others as you would have others do to you", the "putting others first" bit, the "giving up of our selfish selves to be of service to others" kind of thing.  He has shown us how to do it but we just don't seem to catch it.

Oh, sometimes we manage to give a halfhearted attempt at doing good and we really catch on to what Jesus was telling us, but then our tongues get in the way.  We talk about this one and that one, we become unforgiving, we spit out curses like venom and expect to have good results of our "doing good".

Wrong.  Won't happen.  I've tried....and dang, I fail every time.

There is something that goes deeper, much deeper into the very core of our soul that God offers to us.  It's from another realm, another dimension I think.  It is the world of Spirit...unseen, alive and life changing.  How it works is a mystery to me...but it involves making conscious choices, of looking beyond ourselves, of taking up with a Messiah who is looking for radicals to change this world into something more useful and beautiful and, shall we say, more environmentally friendly.  We are the ones left here to care for it all, are we not???

Anyway, getting back to the waiting thing....we're waiting in our house too.

Waiting for Brittney's exams to be finished Tuesday so she can come over and make croissants with me.  Waiting for Matt to arrive home on Thursday to stay for a month or so.  Waiting for Shannon to have some time off to join in whatever we will do as a family, over the holidays.  And so we just wait...

Wait for promises to be fulfilled in the coming of Jesus, the Christ.

We did some waiting last week too at Kid's Klub.  We waited on tables for 70 helpers, children and their parents. It appears everyone had a good time, too!  Dave got all spiffed up and waited on everyone, serving turkey and dressing and helping in the kitchen.  He's a good influence on people around him.  I liked his tie:)

So, waiting can be a good thing.  Let's try to do it patiently and expectantly....full of hope.  It's how to change the world a bit at a time:)

Friday, December 16, 2011

I'm behind....

In most everything right now!!!  People would like to see the pics I took of this event and that event in order that so-and-so can see them.  Pictures are pretty powerful tools, alright!!

Here we go.  First was our Branch Meeting where our very own Forest Service pipers, piped in our Honour Guard.
My friend, Carole, is the only female amongst the group!
Here they are left to right:  Bryan Frazer, Darrell Hanson, Marty Ferguson,
Chris Brown, Carole Stewart and Michael McLaughlan.

Other than the one Scandanavian (Hanson), they sound like a wee bi' o' Scotland, ta me, laddie!

Nite all....perhaps I'll have enough moments in my day tomorrow to share more events!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It all started with a birthday...

The birthday itself was good.  You know, you turn another year older, you look in the mirror and say, "Yep, another year older alright...few more wrinkles, several more bulges, sags, and bags, but overall, I feel good!"

That's how the birthday started out.

We had daughter and granddaughter over for supper and birthday cake with cards and presents opening and the like.  It was a party!!  Small...but a party it was, with the four of us.  The birthday song was sung and candles were blown out for another year.

THEN came the tree decorating.

Have I mentioned previously, over the past years, how much we are in need of a new Christmas tree stand?
No????  Well, if I haven't mentioned it here, I have mentioned it many times to various 'persons'.

I digress....Shannon, Brittney and I began the tedious and fun project of tree decorating.  The lights, the old, tacky gold garland, the many old trinkets and balls and home made creations of bygone days when children made home-made decorations.  All went on the tree.

Just when we were about finished I stood back and began watching, ever-so-slowly the beautifully lit and decorated Christmas tree begin to head north.  I reached out and grabbed the Balsam fir with a firm grip around his trunk.  Husband began his diligent work of attempting to 'fix' the old tree stand with various chunks of wood as leverage around the tree stand.  It wasn't working.  We lifted the tree out of the stand and back into the stand and after 10 minutes or so of trying to get the tree to stand alone we decided it was a futile effort.

Away went husband to the nearest store.

Meanwhile, Brittney and I are left holding the tree, literally, all lit and decorated, while husband does a quick trip to nearest box store to save the day.

Half an hour and four tired arms later, a new tree stand is placed not so gracefully in it's rightful spot.  In goes tree trunk.  Perfect.  New tree stand holding decorated and lit tree and two happy women who can now let go of said tree!

But while husband is off on his stand trek, Brittney and I have loads of fun making crazy, zany and unflattering faces into her blackberry camera.  Much laughter peeled through the living room while Christmas carols played on and our arms began to be numb from the weight....well, a bit of an exaggeration, but it was tiring!

So, that was a memorable moment, shared by a granddaughter and her Gram and Gramps.

Brittney held on while I took pics.  It just got better after that:)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Opposites and splashes of red.....

I'm thinking of my two grown children this night.

One is at a staff party where there will be fun, chatter, great food, smoothe drinks, and most likely a great deal of laughter and frivolity as they celebrate the season together.

The other is a very long way away, sitting alone, no chatter, not much food, just water and entering into a time of deep meditation...a 24 hour meditation marathon.

Both of them making individual choices of where they want to be in life and with whom and how they will go about doing those things.

It's sometimes difficult watching, but I trust their judgment in what they are choosing.  I think both of them have a great deal of maturity in dealing with life so in that, I can relax a bit:)

It's been a day of baking in our place today.  Five fruit cakes (with brandy), four iced cherry almond cakes, three cherry bars, one pineapple square.....and a partridge in a pear tree.....heeheehee

I'm pooped and am off to dream land with visions of sugarplums dancing in my head......


Decorations are going up too...and cleaning...and vacuuming....ya, the list just goes on...and on...and on....

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's Christmas Charlie Brown....

And our office has a tree in his honor.  We all like it because of it's imperfections.  I think a tree cut right from the bush has a great deal of character.  It is forced to grow in it's own unique way because of outside variables of which it has no control.

Kind of like us.  We grow up in a particular home, some of which have a good many positive influences and we become self-confident and satisfied with life while other homes give us "side effects" where our imperfections become a real part of us, ones we simply can't hide from the world, but make us who we are nonetheless.  Either way, when we stand in front of the window, dressed up in our finest duds, we are what we are, imperfections and all.

And here is one such tree...

Our friend and co-worker from Creighton, Donna Lundquist, sent all of us a beautiful Christmas bouquet today too.  Simply divine and festive...

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....everywhere you go......

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The PAR....TAY.......

Great meal for the most part, super conversation with friends, funny little games, music and watching my boss and his lady friend on the dance floor (far out!!!)  A good time was had by all but with this cold, it exhausted me...
The newest married couple-to-be...Christine and Jeffrey:)

The young folk table!

Now for more parties....:)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Thinking random Christmas thoughts....

I'm beginning to panic.  House needs a good cleaning.  I have no baking done to speak of.  A couple of presents have been bought. No tree yet.  Not one decoration is up.  Nothing.  Zero.  Nada.  No thing.  Zip.

Then I get to thinking about all this hoopla.

What am I celebrating?  Why am I celebrating?  Do I need to do all this stuff?

It's a birth that I'm celebrating.  I'm celebrating that birth because I believe the birth of that baby changed the course of history and I am a part of that history...as is everyone else on earth.  There are some things that God has done, I believe, because he has needed to get our attention.  This birth caught the attention of the people of His day too...King Herod, according to historical accounts, feared his kingship would be eventually taken over by this baby they called Jesus, so he had all babies two years of age and younger in Judea, murdered.  That's a pretty reliable account of the importance of the birth of Jesus, I should think.  The stories have been recorded and passed down through the centuries and this Christmas we will again recount that story...the birth of a baby in Bethlehem of Judea....a Baby God thought important enough to be born into a world of darkness.

God is still trying to capture our attention.  Jesus shows us a way of living, of becoming more than we think we can be, of making a choice to change into something better.  Every Christmas we remember that story of Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and kings and stables and angels..... and how Jesus came into the world as a light, a way, a path.  We can choose to walk that path...or not.

I think a lit path is much easier to follow than one that takes me into the darkness.

So, in that, I shall put up lights this Christmas as a reminder that we have a Light to follow as we walk through the darkness, a Light that will bring us closer to God.

And the answer to the question "Do I need all this stuff?"...ie. decorations, trees, food, presents etc. etc.....probably not; but then again, I'm a sucker for parties.  I love to get things all ready for guests and treat them royally!  I love to celebrate with friends and get all spiffed up and let them know they are loved!

I'll do that for Jesus on His birthday too.....let the party begin:)

"Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace, good will toward men."

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A missing Sunday...

When I don't get to church to worship and see my friends who are there on a Sunday morning, I feel like I have missed out on an important facet of my life.  Sunday is a day of reflection, of connection, of seeking, of renewing my strength and a time of worshiping God.  Not only that, it was my friend Grace's birthday today!  Dang.  So, that's two important birthdays I missed this weekend.

I just slept off and on all day long for the past two days.  Yikes...I really must be tired.  I could feel myself kind of withdrawing from things, even though I knew I had certain responsibilities, but I just couldn't help myself.  It just happened and I suppose this being sick is the culmination of a very busy past few weeks....I just simply shut down.  Bodies are funny that way....they know things.....;)

Spent some time in prayer for my friends who are sick with cancer, having operations, grieving, disappointed with life, making important decisions....the run-of-the-mill kinds of human events.

I'm off to bed.  Don't think I'll make it to work tomorrow either.  I think I need another day to get these antibiotic pills under control and my breathing back to normal. 

Sleep well, friends.  Another week is upon us and we begin the second week in Advent.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Just breathe....

A cough began at work yesterday mid-afternoon.  Just a cough...cough...cough.....

No runny nose, fever, sore throat, sweating....just a cough....cough.....cough....cough....

Not sure what that was about really, other than it kept up it's pace all through the evening.  Managed to get to bed with a bit of cough....cough....cough....medicine and I slept well - until 1:43 AM!!!!

I kind of scared myself...me with my claustrophobic tendencies and all.  I awoke with a start.  Tried hard to catch my breath and the more I tried the more I panicked.  So, I got up quickly and began walking and taking slow deliberate breaths, trying to get air into my wind pipe.  I was pretty successful in that except I felt it wasn't what it should be.  The air just wasn't going in like it should and my cough turned into a fierce mechanical-sounding bark.  And the more I coughed, the more difficult I found it to breathe.  I new it wouldn't be prudent to drive myself to the emergency room, so I woke up my poor sound asleep man.  Off we went to the hospital at 2:15 AM.  And my day ahead had been planned out beautifully but on the way to the hospital, I knew those plans would not come to fruition.  No breakfast out with husband, no ringing Salvation Army bells at Superstore with husband, no 90th birthday party at Amy's on Second, no shopping, no nothing. 


The ER nurse got me on some oxygen, then some Ventelin, next an X-ray and the doctor gave me some pills and refills for my puffers.  Back home to bed and breathing much better.  We slept until 11:15AM!!!!

I stayed in bed for most of the day and have begun to feel somewhat better.  But I have never had bronchitis come on that fast in my entire life!!!  Ten hours from a tiny cough to almost not breathing .

Thank God for nurses and doctors who care for us!  I appreciate them!!!

Not to mention husbands that take mid-night trips to emergency rooms with their wives...YAY!!!

My man outdid himself today and took over many of my responsibilities....ringing those bells for two hours, getting Communion ready for tomorrow's service, etc. etc. etc.  He's a good man, yes he is!!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Going deeper...

We're financially supporting son a bit as he enters into a Meditation Marathon.  He feels this would be of great value to him as an individual, to go deeper into himself where there are no distractions of "things" or emotions or feelings...to go to a place devoid of all but Spirit.  I'm attempting to understand his perspective and to come to a perspective of my own as he delves into places I have never been.  I believe they are good places, just not ones that I am used to yet, places that challenge my own perspective on life and spirituality and everything in between.

This is not an easy project!

I shall follow him and not set my mind against what he is doing.  I shall support and encourage where I can and then perhaps learn from him some new thoughts that I can grasp and use to better myself and others.

Matt is out to make a difference in this world, one learning experience at a time.  I think what he is doing is more than commendable....it allows me to see some (as in 'many') inadequacies in my own spiritual journey and since we are here on earth to be vessels in God's hands, I need to do this daily....and to encourage others along the way also.

So, his journey is taking him on a Meditation Marathon next weekend.  He has a donation page on Facebook if you wish to support him financially in this endeavor...

It's a great cause...as he searches out life's answers....and most likely finds more questions......

Our prayers go with him....

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Good times...

We celebrated the first Sunday in Advent....the Sunday of Hope.  Candles were lit.  Carols were sung.  Music wafted through the sanctuary like a sweet smelling offering to Jesus, the greatest example of hope that is offered to this hurting world. He showed us a way to live....and he left it to us as to whether we would follow.

In the evening, the youth of our church hosted everyone in a short program, followed by delicious desserts and games of skill:)  It was a full day....so full, I think it all did me in (as the saying goes).

Advent is also a season for preparation.....preparing our hearts and minds for the coming of Christ into the world.  His life reflected light....and the darkness has not been able to put that light out.  So, in preparation for the coming of Jesus into my own life, I have decided to take some time for fasting and praying and thinking and reflecting.  Our senses are heightened after a certain point in a fast, when that "hunger pang" period of time is diminished and a time of "awareness" begins to take over.  It is very interesting to be a part of that process.  I'm not sure of the physiological aspects of it, but mentally and spiritually it becomes an intense time of "seeing" more clearly.  It seems as if we can take on more of our friends hurts and burdens and take them as our own.  It becomes a time of easily asking for forgiveness and accepting it, where we are able to love without judgment. It changes me on the inside.  I know I don't constantly reflect those changes outwardly, but at least they are evident where God sees.  There is so much more changing I must make and realizing that keeps me in a state of humility of what God has done for me and of the things that need revamping....which, after the last few days, I realize are many...

Here are a few pictures of my weekend.  First, there was a birthday party.....

Then the Advent Program happened in the evening...
Lin spoke about the Inkeeper in Bethlehem...

Virginia played devil's advocate....put up more lights,
buy more stuff, etc. etc.

All in all, we had a lot of fun and the food was most excellent!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A day...

We had a leisurely morning....well, until we got out of bed at least:)

Breakfast at A&W, spoke with a few friends there...

Rushed over to the Co-Op to see if we could get one of those free car timers that Sask Power were giving away....too many people so we didn't even go in.  Husband said he didn't know why he was going to get one anyway as we already had one:)

Off to look for purple or mauve candles at Adam's Book Store on Central.  It's the first Sunday in Advent tomorrow.  The colors of the Advent wreath are purple (mauve) for three Sundays -  "Hope", "Love" and "Peace", one pink candle for the Sunday of "Joy" and a white "Christ Candle" in the middle for Christmas Eve.  I found mauve ones that will have to do.  I sent poor husband off to look for purple candles every day this week.  He phoned me at work to say he found some mauve ones and I said that that color would be quite adequate if there were no purple ones anywhere.  They were reasonably priced so he brought home a bag of them...some for home too.  His mauve and my mauve are two very different colors.  His mauve is a "burgundy" shade of red whereas my mauve is the lighter color of purple...like lilacs, I told him.  A color conversation ensued with words that included  "stubborn", "teachable", "refuse" and the like.  He was a good sport to have gone to so many shops to find his "mauve" candles though.  If he had known what color "mauve" was to begin with, he would only have had to go to the first shop!!!

The afternoon was spent in good conversation with daughter.

So, I think tomorrow morning is all set.  Practice at 8:30, prayer at 9:15, worship at 10 - 11 and the evening the Youth will host an Advent Program...with dessert to follow....and games!  If you're wondering what to do on a Sunday evening, come on out.  It should be quite entertaining!

Sleep well, friends.....

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Between meetings....

If you work 8 to 5.....

then eat supper from 5:30 to 6:30...

have a meeting or practice of some sort from 6:45 to 9....

get ready for bed and zonk out....

you barely have time to floss!

Tomorrow it will be work plus a HUGE birthday party for a friend who will turn the big FOUR O!!!

He's 40 today actually....happy birthday Yaounde!

I'm off once again to have a chat with Mr. Busy.  I may have to hit him over the head with a 10 foot candy cane!

Monday, November 21, 2011


They're at the door again.

You let them in for a moment and they stay.

I told Mr. Busy I had no time for him today...and did he listen?


But I let him stay so it's my fault.

I did get a Sunday Worship Service planned though so his visit wasn't a total bummer.

But I know he'll be back tomorrow....and Wednesday....and Thursday.

Some days I just can't say "NO!"

Think I'll just take some time out though to pray right now...for Win, and Pat and Penny and my family. 

Hmmm...I don't see Mr. Busy anywhere.  He must have ducked out when I mentioned the "p" word:)  He knows he can't compete...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The 'Busy' Family.....

Busyness can be our enemy I think.  We want to do good things.  We think about those good things.  We go over them in our minds....and we agree with ourselves that, yes, they are good things to pursue. 

And then one little thing after another comes and knocks on our door.  These little things need to be addressed and so we invite them in.  We sit with them and chat and give them our time.  Then the next little thing comes and we do the same thing....again and again.  Those little things didn't give us their name when they knocked but we find out later that all those little things names were the same...Mr. and Mrs. Busy, their family and kinfolk.

We didn't want to be impolite so we gave them our attention.  After all, they had great stories to tell as to how their wants were important.  And I sat with them, nodding my head in agreement. Yes, I can do that.  Yes, I know how important and vital that issue is.  Yes, we can help you out with that....and on and on and on....

When we collapse into our beds at night we realize how much time has actually been given to the Busy family.  When I realize just how much time has been afforded them, I see them for what some of them they really are.  They have become my enemy.  They really don't have my good at heart.  They simply want my time...time that can never be given back. 

I need to become a bit more savvy and discerning when it comes to listening to all of them.  As I say, they all are worthy of my time but I cannot possibly do all of their bidding or nothing will be accomplished.  I must learn to choose wisely to which ones of the family I will offer my time.

They all clamor for it but I shall put my foot down.

At the end of our book study tonight we spoke of taking time out for God.  It seems that for many of us, that Busy family even horns in on the moments we would like to reserve for God.  We read the 23rd Psalm a few times too which speaks of God "making" us lie down in green pastures.  We really don't seem to be able to do that for ourselves with any great ease.  We try.  We fail.  God knows we need to lie down.  We just let that Busy Family have their way with us but God says that he makes us lie down in green pastures.  He knows what we need and why because he knows we allow that Busy Family in every time they knock!  So, to help us with that he makes us rest.  I like that thought!

I really hope He makes YOU rest this night. And in these days of pre-Christmas everything, be on the watch for that little knock on your door.....maybe you shouldn't answer it........

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fun and games...

There was fun to be had too, at Kid's Klub on Wednesday.

Action.  Excitement.  Discipline. 

One seems to always lead to the other:)

The T-shirts were a huge hit.  I'll have to wear mine too next week.  The glitter first had to dry;)

These kids have found a home in which to have a lot of fun.  Along with the fun, there are rules to obey or they aren't allowed back for a week or so.  Just how it is.

Life is like that too.  We can go along having all kinds of fun until a few rules are broken and we end up having to be accountable...to ourselves and others.  It can be an opportunity to improve how we live or we can deny our mistakes and go on making them.

Same as the kids at Kid's Klub.  No different.

So, when we mess up, let's not get in a huff, shrug our shoulders and turn away like those 8 and 10 year olds.  Adults should know better.  If we face our inadequacies, our stubbornness and our immaturity, we can become better people.  If not we continue to be inadequate, stubborn and immature.

But as the old saying goes, "Oh, to see ourselves as others see us!"  THAT could be scary.....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Silence of the lambs....

Just that scary title reminded me of the beauty of a quiet home without 25 excited and boisterous children.

Walking into the apartment with absolutely no noise was nearly deafening.  The lambs were nowhere to be seen or heard.  They all had returned home from whence they came.

Kid's Klub was a T-shirt making Family Night.  Over thirty T-shirts had their 'Kid's Klub' transfer ironed  on and then their own colorful decorations followed.  Quite an evening!

It wasn't easy getting them all sitting quietly together for a group picture.

I even tried my hand at ironing on the logos:)

Other than that little boo-boo, it was a fun night....lol

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Some sound advice....

on a cold and windy night....

And if you happen to be over ohhhhhhhh......say.....60....you can sing along....;)

Button up your overcoat,
When the wind is free,
Take good care of yourself,
You belong to me!

Eat an apple every day,
Get to bed by three,
Oh, take good care of yourself,
You belong to me!

Be careful crossing streets, ooh-ooh,
Cut out sweets, ooh-ooh,
Lay off meat, ooh-ooh,
You'll get a pain and ruin your tum-tum!

Wear your flannel underwear,
When you climb a tree,
Oh, take good care of yourself,
You belong to me!

Button up your overcoat,
When the wind is free,
Oh, take good care of yourself,
You belong to me!

When you sass a traffic cop,
Use diplomacy;
Just take good care of yourself,
You belong to me!

Beware of frozen ponds, ooh-ooh,
Stocks and bonds, ooh-ooh,
Peroxide blondes, ooh-ooh,
You'll get a pain and ruin your bankroll!

Keep the spoon out of your cup,
When you're drinking tea,
Oh, take good care of yourself,
You belong to me!

Don't sit on hornet's tails, ooh-ooh!
Or on nails, ooh-ooh!
Or third rails, ooh-ooh!
You'll get a pain and ruin your tum-tum!

Keep away from bootleg hooch
When you're on a spree,
Oh, take good care of yourself,
You belong to me!

And that's about all I have to say for tonight.  I thought the advice was pretty good anyway.....

Sunday, November 13, 2011

the Eagle????has landed.....

so the saying goes.

This fellow perched himself on the old flower pot and one at a time, picked out peanuts to store in various trees.

 I peeked out the window when I heard him screeching and snapped as best I could.  Quite pretty...and noisy!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

It was a day...

of snow...

and showers... (baby, that is)
 meet Miss Ellie...
 and her cousin, Austin...(just like a guy...sleeping through the parties)

 meet Ellie's and Austin's folks....

A double shower for Marcus (and Alison) and his sister Molly (and Aaron) who both had babies born in September! 

It was good to share in that joy...the second of the day.

The first one, of course, was the 10+cm. of snow.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eleventh year.

Don't know that those numbers indicate anything of great significance or value but I suppose if one were the least bit superstitious, one might go out and buy a lottery ticket or something like that.

We didn't.

We did however, chat about things today, things that are of value and encouragement to one another.

We spoke too, of how sometimes things we say can be misconstrued by another just because we present our thoughts in a certain way.  Nothing really can be done about that, other than attempting to correct the person in what your intentions were....but if a person is thinking in a certain way about what you said, the thought pattern is probably there and won't be broken no matter what you say.  I know this all sounds vague and confusing but it is difficult being misunderstood.  Misunderstandings can cause hard feelings and that is not my intention.

I don't know.  I guess it is my fault for not being more direct and clear.  One part of our church Behavioral Covenant is to communicate clearly and completely.  Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I could have been and perhaps I expanded on my thoughts more than I should have.

I don't express my thoughts all that often to folks but when I do, I feel they are important enough to allow myself to be vulnerable with those thoughts and to actually verbalize them. And so I shall live with the consequences of that.

Oh well...blah....blah....blah....I'm just going on about nothing.

On a different note, I remembered my dad specifically today...his willingness to die for a cause that he thought was important.  He didn't die....then....but he was willing.  My dad was a very good and gentle man.  War was not who or what he was about but he was amongst the millions who gave up a part of themselves so we could live without fear.  I think that is pretty significant.

Sleep well...snow is approaching on this night of elevens.......

Thursday, November 10, 2011


This past week has had me reeling....for various reasons.

Extra busy at work....followed by helping and meetings and thinking and praying and finally.....exhaustion.

Normally, going to the dentist is cause for a bit of anxiety.  Not today.  I gladly took those needles and being placed nearly upside down.  It was a rest!!!

I will be walking around with my head leaning more to the right now that I have two gold teeth on that side.  So don't make fun of me when you see me like that.  After all, my teeth will be worth probably a lot more than yours:)

May the God of peace watch over your night and keep you safe and warm...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A sense.....

I really enjoy it when I sense things....correctly.  Going into a church budget meeting can be pretty daunting but for the past few days I sensed that this would be a good meeting, one in which we could all sense God's presence.  I think that happened this evening.

It is always good when we can go beyond what we think is doable, giving us a sense that we are depending on God to provide for the church's needs.  Whenever we can offer a 13% missions budget to the congregation, I think that is a very excellent indication that God is in our deliberations. 

Figuring out what to do with the congregation's Sunday offerings is a difficult task, but I really believe when the "living on the edge budget" is presented to our congregational Annual Meeting, they too, will see how God is at work in our midst.

There were some other really good things about the budget too, but those will have to wait to be mentioned at a later date.  There is no limit to what we can do when we all begin to tithe our resources.  Over the years, we have found again and again that we just can't out give God.  Living off $9. of every $10. we make shouldn't be all that difficult, right?  But it takes us a long time to really believe in this truth....and we thank God he has patience with us until we come to this point.....and beyond.

Tonight, I believe I shall sleep well.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


24-Hour Precipitation Outlook

  • close to 5 cm of snow from Saturday Overnight to Sunday Overnight
Not much more to be said for that statement.

Got your scraper, brush, shovel, mitts, toque, boots, scarf, hooded-jacket ready?

Not to mention winter tires, plus your usual array of emergency trunk accessories - sand, candle, snacks, blanket, hazard signs, flashlight, batteries, and a huge slab of Toblerone chocolate.

As the Scouts always say "Be Prepared"!!!

Hope your night is ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssnowy:)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Worth a lot more...

Yep, I got a 45 cent per hour pay increase, not to mention my new capped tooth will be gold-filled.

I'm going to be worth a lot of money at this rate.

I just hope my children don't count on much financial gain after we've left this old earth.  Husband and I figured our mouths will be worth a lot more than all of our possessions put together.  A bit scary to think of but a harsh reality of life.

Just goes to show you how much we depend on material wealth.  If we have loads of cash to hand over to the next generation, then we're considered good solid people.  If we don't have that kind of cash, we're considered duds.

But I would like to change that perception, right here and now.  We may not leave our kids a great or even a good amount of money when we die but we hopefully have left our children the things that money can't buy....memories (hopefully good ones), appreciation of the gifts we've been given, a good sense of who we are as people, and hopefully a faith that will one day sustain us in our time of need.  Can't buy those things.

So, low-income old age...here we come.  Perhaps not having a lot of money will put our children in good stead as they progress in life too.  You learn lessons of trust when you don't always depend on the god of money. God is their provider and I believe they have learned that.

Nite all.  Even if we aren't in the 61% of Canadians who will have a winter in the "south", we're content with what we have....and by many people's standards, that's a whole load of stuff.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

In a fog...

My poor head has been in some kind of drug-induced fog since my double root canal yesterday.  A few pills to calm me down before the procedure then a few pills afterward with codeine to take the pain away plus four needles to numb the area during the procedure.

I made it to work....I think....but by 2 PM my head was on the desk and I was flat out sleeping...but only for a few seconds....I think....the phone rang and I was shaken into reality.  Scary stuff.

I actually got up with the alarm too this morning, although I really could have slept for another 8 hours, I'm sure.

Needless to say, I'm ready to slide into those comfy warm sheets and hit the pillow.

Perhaps I will experience more of tomorrow than I was able to experience this day.

Monday, October 31, 2011

It bit me...

Yep, after I was all smug and everything...I managed to acquire a flu bug.  Thought I would be good and not get it this time.  Haven't had flu for a couple of years.  Guess I must have been a bit run down.  I'm on the road to recovery now though and will attempt work tomorrow morning....just in time for a root canal in the afternoon.

It's just one jolly time after another, eh?

We put our little lit-up 'pumpkin head with a witch hat' on our balcony tonight for any little goblin that happened to wander by our apartment building.  It's different not seeing the little ones all dressed up with their costumes and moms and dads standing close by to catch them when they trip.

Brittney's picture (and several others) will be in the Herald tomorrow.  She was one of the 101 Dalmatians at Carlton High School today who was captured by the photographer.  I'm sure she was the most lovely of all the Dalmatians there.....:)

So, Happy All Hallows Eve....tomorrow is All Saints Day!  I shall be thinking of all those dear saints who have gone on before and who have positively affected my life....Dad, Mom, brother, aunts, uncles, friends...and many of whom I won't meet until I get to where they are!

Now go and brush your teeth....you've been eating much too much candy tonight!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

One more time...

I'm going to try this sleeping thing once more.  Perhaps tonight I'll make it past 3:10 AM without waking....and remaining awake....:(

We received our flu shots today too!  Now I can face those flu bugs with a bit of confidence.

Nite all.....sleep tight....dont' let the flu bugs bite!!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I suspect it is the fact I'm having to take thyroid pills is the reason behind my insomnia.

I sleep really well....'til 3 AM.

Then it's tossing and turning, fluffing up the pillow, counting sheep until about 15 minutes before the alarm goes off.  That really is annoying.

Wonder what this night will bring.  As I type, my eyelids are slowly closing.  Had better run and have my shower before I fall asleep in this chair.

And it's "Relay for Life" Cookie Day at work tomorrow.  We made some pretty fine puffed wheat squares.  If you stop by, you can have one for a buck.....good cause and all.

A subtle reminder that it's 60 days 'til Christmas.  My name doesn't have any ornaments (above).  Hope I wasn't too bad a girl!

Sleep well...I hear ice pellets on my window....:)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Death aftermath...

Experiencing the death of a loved one can be bitter-sweet.  We will them to stay with us...and yet...because of their constant suffering we will them to something better than this life affords. 

And death can allow us to become one of the ones who knows first-hand of it's sting...it's unbearable pain. 

We can't take a pill to make it go away. 

We can't run away.

We can't busy ourselves into forgetfulness. 

The pain is constant and it strikes harder in moments of sweet memory.  We can't make those memories leave us either and most often we don't want to...it's really all there is left. 

A bed made for two that now holds one in loneliness...a chair at the table is empty...the laughter, the jokes, the quirky humour, the teasing....gone.  We find ourselves left with one tangible thing.  We remain alive....and alone.  Our hearts keep beating.  We swallow some food to nourish our miserable bodies.  We attempt to have a sense of being normal again but find that sense is illusive.  We need it but we don't really want it...not yet.  We don't want to be normal just yet because we think being normal means leaving all those feelings of our loved one behind.  In fact, we get to feeling that our lives will never again be the same.  And there is truth to that. The person who has died has left a huge gap in the life of the family.  There is no one who can fill that void and we don't want anyone even trying. 

Crying is exhausting and yet it becomes our way of beginning to heal the pain of loss.  As days go by, the feelings of loss wash over us like huge ocean waves...uncontrollable, drowning us in our own tears, smashing us down again and again until we think there is nothing more. 

Weeks pass. 

We hear someone laugh and we find we are able to not cringe at the thought of such things amidst our sorrow. 

The sun peeks in through the window and we notice it's warmth...it's not gray outside after all. 

We are able to have a conversation with another without tears pouring down our cheeks.

The pain becomes less and the memories become more vivid.  We think of our loved one with a smile on our lips instead of weeping. 

Yes, the aftermath of death is painful and it hurts to our very soul but we find eventually that life begins to take us to the next level of being human....we have experienced death and know.  We have become one of those who can go on to help someone else in their pain.  We learn to sit and listen and hear the stories of the one who has gone.  We learn that life will not always be as painful.  We learn empathy.

Our faith can bring healing too.  There is a "peace that passes all understanding".  It is when we allow God to carry our burden of pain and to allow him to walk with us through the valley of the shadow of death, that our burden becomes lighter. 

Jesus said "Come to me, all you who are weary and brokenhearted and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  To me, that is the best possible remedy for "death aftermath".

May my friends be comforted this night with the peace of Christ and by the fellowship of those who love them in their time of sorrow.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Time for bed...

It's been another full day.  Church and a class following.  Baking a bit this afternoon. Darning a "family member's" sweater, book club this evening all kept me busy...and it's supposed to be a day of rest!  Think I'm not quite into the practice of "Sabbath". 

And Elroy has now passed from this life to the next...a sad time for his family...a good time for him.  My boss's mother died too this past week.  So there will be some heavy hearts at work and there will be time made for these grieving friends.

May God go with you into the night, helping you to sleep well and peacefully.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The remains of the day...

Say, that's the name of an exceptional movie staring Anthony Hopkins...a must see!!!!

After a good day, I find myself in somewhat of a melancholy mood.  The stress of the past week is over and I find myself appreciating the "little" things in life again....good health, my family close to me (most of them!), driving to Elk Ridge for breakfast, seeing the tamaracks in their yellow coats, having coffee with a good friend, animals wandering about, the hues of autumn becoming less and less vivid....and the warm, brilliant sun in a soft blue sky.  I appreciate these things so much!  God has been merciful to me!

During my day I also took time to remember folks who are suffering and sick and recovering from illnesses. May God in his wisdom have mercy on each of them.  Life isn't always a bowl of cherries; sometimes it has a few chunks of rotten peaches and pears thrown into the mix.  But we take the good and discard the bad and we still have a pretty good fruit salad!

The sun is beginning it's decent as winter approaches.  The shadows are much longer...only 60 days until the shortest day.  But the building where I work is constantly displaying those beautiful shadows which I attempted to capture Friday morning as the sun rose.

Then this morning we headed to Elk Ridge for breakfast.  A co-worker's sister was being married there today as well.  The chairs were all set for their big event.

On our way back we stopped to watch this foxy fellow with his enormous bushy tail.

It was a very good day.  I pray you may say the same....