Saturday, September 29, 2007

I remember.

It was 33 years ago about now - 9:30 pm when I said good-bye to my brother, Dale, for the last time on this earth. We don't know when that moment will be, do we.

Had I known, I would have said so much how much I loved him and how important he was to me. I would have hugged him tightly, for a long, long time and looked into his eyes, so I would never forget them - their blueness, and their sincerity and their gentleness. I would have stroked his hair and held his hand and kissed his cheek.
I would have.

But life doesn't always give us those opportunities. So, I hugged him quickly, thanked him for the great guitar playing that night as he played and sang the song,
"Lift Jesus higher, lift Jesus higher,
Lift him up for the world to see.
He said, "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me".
We waved as he went out the church door, guitar in hand, huge smile on his face..........and he was gone.

The following morning, September 30th at 9:30 his heart gave out and he died.....died as he was teaching a grade 11 English class.

Today, 33 years later, I went to visit his grave. And Dad's and Mom's as well, right there beside his. It was cold. Bitterly cold. Cemeteries always seem to be that way. I swept around each head stone, took away the old flowers and replaced them with some pretty, new ones for the winter months ahead, as I do every year. My dear Aunt was with me...........she helped with the sweeping and remembered her brother, my Dad.

The rain began to fall, washing the head stones and mixing with my tears.

It's a long time to miss someone......but I know it won't be all that long before we see one another again. Heaven will be ever-go-grand.

Peace to his memory.......Frederick Dale Benson - December 17, 1952 - September 30, 1974.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The mattress remembers.

We bought a 3" memory foam mattress a few weeks ago. It's a wonder! Ya, it's a wonder we didn't buy one of these babies sooner!

It sits atop the box spring and pillow-top mattress. I have to kind of give a little leap to get up on the thing, but boy, when you get up there it's like being on a cloud. Ever-so-soft, especially on those old arthritic hips. The body kind of sinks in and it's all comfy and gentle-like.

The box it was wrapped up in said it had a memory. Hope it doesn't remember too much...... like how much a body weighs and such. I wouldn't like that spread around hither and yon.
A good memory is great for an elephant but for a mattress?????? I'm not sure about that.

I may have to de-program the thing.

In the meantime we'll just have to get a good nights rest on the foam and forget it even has a memory.............on second thought, who's it going to blab to anyway...............

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fear, Drugs & Violence

These three, fear, drugs and violence, appear to work as an ominous threesome. They enjoy their positions of power and look forward to being together at every opportunity.

Fear can find itself wondering alone on a dark street, looking for a home and taking fierce pleasure in finding one. Drugs comes out of the secret place where darkness and hopelessness sit silently in a corner waiting..........and finds fear waiting, in the one who wants to belong, the one who needs a refuge..........somewhere...........anywhere......nowhere..........

and violence follows.

Oh God, help those whose lives are given over to despair.
Rid our city of the things that would destroy her.
We pray, in Jesus Name.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Peachy Pear.

Tonight it was pear jam that was cooked up in the confines of the Kent kitchen.

Pear is perfectly peachy for positively all people at our place!

One batch had to be redone......and all you who make preserves, knows what that means!

Yes, even the Kents make mistakes in the kitchen.

Actually we make many mistakes in varying degrees and in various areas of life but this one night husband and I shall keep it to the kitchen..............;-)


Monday, September 24, 2007

A very long day.

Coming back to work from being away for a week is like being sent into the eye of a tornado. I sit at my computer and quietly read my 140 emails while all around me people are hurrying to this meeting or that, some actually running out the door to meet a deadline (hope they get along, deadlines can be so demanding).

After this very long day at the office, I arrived back home to a wonderful husband-cooked meal of shrimp stir fry and sweet and sour pork with rice and sauce. For dessert, apple crisp (apples from our tree outside) and pealed and cooked by my dear "90 something" Aunt. Isn't it wonderful to have people care for you?

Now is the time of year for the making of jams and relish and pickles. Yum.

So, following the delicacies of supper, husband and I took to making up a couple batches of peach jam. Although he had all the peaches pealed and mashed, ready to go. Just a matter of stirring and pouring and readying the jars and the clean-up afterwards. It's fun to work together in the kitchen.......well, most of the time. There are times when I stay clear.

I spoke with my brother Garry a few minutes ago who was discharged from hospital in Edmonton today. He's beginning his recovery and made it as far as Red Deer. Two-plus hours is far enough for one day. His voice sounded weak but it sounded so precious to me. It will take a few days before they embark on their journey back to Tisdale.

I shall head for bed soon and "count my blessings instead of sheep" to quote an old song sung by Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby in "White Christmas".

Oh, and Lord willing, we'll be enjoying our Christmas eve candle light service 3 months from tonight.

Yes, it was a very long day and I feel totally blessed indeed.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Talk.

I really don't like talking very much. If I need to, I will, otherwise I have a shyness about me that lends itself to my desire to be quiet. I think I would far rather listen. People seem to have a great deal to say, don't you think? They need to express someone. Some folks verbalize well and I like hearing what they have to say. Some are a bit more awkward about that for various reasons but I find that what they have to say is just as important as those who wax poetic regarding any and all things.

I think praying is like that. Some folks can speak well when they pray, others cannot. Some like formal liturgical prayers, others like informal, personal prayers. However we pray, God listens and God hears.

I'm thinking on these things today in response to Pastor Randall's sermon. It was taken from the Common Lectionary for September 23 from I Timothy 2. In that letter from Paul to Timothy, one of the things he encourages Timothy to do is to pray - he doesn't give specifics as to the "how", so we may assume that we should pray in whatever way we can, whether it be in words spoken, or words read from books, singing, dancing, playing music, art, working, running, all these things, we can speak to our God through his Holy Spirit.

And it's not only the manner in which we find ourselves praying, it's also about who we are praying for. Paul in his letter says we should be praying for the leaders of our country, those that run our cities and towns - all those who are in authority as heads of governments, whether we agree with their politics..............or not! We are called to pray for our enemies! Try that one. I must confess, I have not done well in that area. I have been critical and perhaps sometimes even rude. I need to change my ways.

I wonder too, what would happen to our city, right here in Prince Albert, if many people began to pray. Seems like an insurmountable task, doesn't it? The needs of our city are so great. But, if we asked God about it, could P.A. become a drug-free city? A place where all could find comfort and peace? Where young women could find safety and a sense of who they are in God's sight? Where all types of addictions would cease? Where children could walk and run and play in safety?

The Apostle Paul encourages us to pray, however we wish to express ourselves.

Since God is a faithful God, the results can only be positive...........

Pastor Randall said so much more than that, but those are the things that struck me today.


Saturday, September 22, 2007


All week I've been reading, resting, watching a bit of telly, drinking tea and swallowing pills.

Today's visit to the doctor finally had me forcing my case........... and antibiotics were prescribed.

But it was good this week to be warm and safe and under soft covers. I really don't think many of us get enough rest or sleep, do you? If it were up to me (and it is), I would sleep a minimum of 10 hours per night. I'm not a night owl, nor am I a morning person. Which leaves me to think that I must assuredly be a mid-day person. Ever heard of that??? I'm at my best from 10 am to..... oh, probably 4 pm. All the other hours I'm either winding down to sleep or gearing up from sleep. So, if I sleep 10 hours, work my best for 6 hours - that leaves 8 hours for other stuff - visiting, reading, meetings, errands, being with husband, etc.

There seems to be a major problem with that.

I work and get paid from 8 am to 5 pm..........

All this figuring...........this is what happens when you stay home sick for a whole week. Ya just get waaaaaaaaaay too comfortable and perhaps a wee bit lazy and you get thinking of how you actually DO spend your time.

I'll go now and do some re-adjusting of my hours.

Perhaps if I actually make myself get to bed in order to GET 10 hours of sleep, my mid-day productivity time could increase 3 hours or so.......... hmmmmmmmmmmm.....yes.


Friday, September 21, 2007

The book I'm reading.

It's entitled "The Real Mary" by Scot McKnight who happens to be a professor at our Covenant Seminary in Chicago - North Park. He talks about the mother of Jesus.

I enjoy how he writes. He speaks in lay terms for folks like me, who haven't had any formal Bible training.

The book, for the first half, talks about what Mary must have really been like, in terms of most likely NOT being the sedate, sweet, gentle person we identify with in Christmas card pictures and famous paintings and Hollywood movies - and why. It was difficult for any woman to be pregnant BEFORE marriage in those days. The Law said she should have been stoned to death. BUT the angel Gabriel came to Mary announcing her pregnancy by the Holy Spirit, and telling Joseph to keep her as his wife, not to mention the glorious announcement to the shepherds to go to Bethlehem to see the new king. Angels. I believe they play roles in our own lives, more often than we know!

He talks too, about Mary's relationship with her first born Son, the One who was wrapped in swaddling clothes; the One who, as a child, had important people come a very long way to give him gifts; the One who had his parents come searching for him in Jerusalem at 12 years old, only to find him teaching with wisdom in the synagogue. I do believe, as the Bible says, that Mary pondered a great many things in her heart, as Jesus was growing up.

The one strange thing that McKnight speaks of is how Mary, naturally, was identified as Jesus mother and how their relationship had to change because Jesus was more than just her son, He was the Son of God. She had to, as Jesus grew up and began his ministry, put her faith and trust in Him - like all of us must do. I had never really thought of that aspect before - how she had to change her thinking of Jesus as her son in their family, to Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God.

That would have been tough.

Anyway, lots to think about and ponder. I'm looking forward to the second half. It would be a great book for a discussion group.

So thanks, Linea, for sharing your book with me!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Another day in para-dise(ase)

When you get up to go to work in the morning and your husband "highly recommends" that you get yourself back to bed and when you call work to let them know of your intentions and the "big boss" answers and he says you sound terrible and that you need to stay home.....I guess that's a fairly good indication that you're not well enough to be in the presence of others.

My desire was to be at work but who wants to spread their germs everywhere.

I stayed home.

And I missed another meeting tonight too.........the time when the whole congregation gathers to discuss things. I have obligations. I needed to be there to take minutes of the meeting.

I guess sometimes our "obligations" must come second. We need to take care of our bodies.

It was a good day for some great talks with God. About our children, their struggles, their dreams, their desires, their futures. About friends and their relationships with their own children. About my brother in hospital.....and friends who are sick. About my cousin in Texas who has breast cancer. Our granddaughter - for God to watch over her.

Stuff like that.

I slept alot too.

Not a wasted day, in my books!

Hope all the "thousands" out there that read this blog are healthy too.............;-)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I missed prayer time today. Figured I should stay home one more day from work with this sinus head cold.

Saw the doctor too, as I felt it begin to slip into my chest. He said to try "Reactin" and so I did. I hope it begins to work soon as I really do believe my head is on the throws of a cave-in. How ones body is able to produce such a huge abundance of mucus has me I'm waiting for this "mucus annihilator" to do it's work. Can't you just picture those little armor suited guys, with a big red "R" on their chests, fighting their way up to my sinus cavities, routing out all those little green guys.....and with one enormous bellow of air from the lungs, the little green guys fall by the wayside via my awaiting softie tissue. And a huge cheer goes up by the normal nasal masses.

Heh, guess I should have put a warning at the beginning of today's blog:

"WARNING: Not to be read by people who have never wiped kids runny noses".

Funny isn't it, how the cleaning up of children's bodily fluids makes us pretty good "cope-ers". You know the experiences I'm speaking of...... the diapers that are not always in the best of shape when removed, the throwing-up-in-the-night-on-all-the -sheets-floor-wall-P.J's experience, the constant nose running when the teeth are trying to poke through, the bathtub time with "extras" when the plug is pulled, the gashes on the head with copious amounts of blood spewing forth......ya, those kinds of messy things. They make us stop thinking about ourselves. We go ahead and start to clean up our child's mess without a thought to our own comfort. We clean up the mess because we love.

Love allows us to do unusual things sometimes for those we love.

No, don't worry. I won't expect husband to wipe my nose!! But I really love it when he brings me tea................

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I lit a candle.

With this horrible cold that has entrenched itself into my head, I have been awake a fair bit of the nights lately.

Last night was no exception. In fact, last night was quite busy!

Clock said 3:42 am. My eyes were wide open. I was trying to get comfortable and then hopefully, be able to sleep more. The cold was taking it's toll.

Then, the strangest thing happened. I closed my eyes a while later for perhaps 3 seconds and reopened them. I closed them again. Reopened them. Nothing was registering. We have a night light on all night.........I'm claustrophobic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It all happened very quickly. Husband had taken to the other room to sleep a few hours earlier, as my constant coughing/wheezing/snoring/sneezing must have been too much for him. Good thing too.

In my claustrophobic, hysterical state, I leaped out of bed and took the few steps toward the east window, banging my arm on the dresser and my foot against the clothes hamper, all the while grabbing for the cords that would open the blinds allowing in the much needed light from outside. It didn't happen. Oh, I got the blinds open alright but no light came in. Nothing. Black.

I could feel my heart beginning to race. Not good. I needed to find a match. Where did we put those danged things when we moved here. I couldn't remember. And I've never tried to walk throughout this new place in the dark. The old place, I new by heart. Here it was a grope and fumble and stumble kind of search. And I didn't want to wake poor husband.

Yes, well, it was extremely dark, my heart was racing, I frantically needed to get air, my foot and arm were throbbing from the bedroom incident and I needed to find light. ANY light.

A car went by. I raced towards the front window and the lights of the car were the only lights I could see anywhere! It went by far too quickly. I was stuck there. How far were those table legs and couches and plants and cabinets. Not a clue. Off I went yet again, groping and fumbling my way into the hallway. No major mishap this time.

I could hear a beep.....beep.....beep.....beep.....beep.....beep. What the heck was that???? I WAS NOT going to go and look for the noise but I knew I needed to. It could have been the alarm system. Yes. I do recall that happening before. But I still needed a light. This called for excessive action. I awakened husband.

What???? Huh?????? Where?????? He'd been finally sleeping deeply but I needed to get him to help me find a light. It was panic by this time. I managed to say "I need a light"!!! His reaction probably could have been "please don't start smoking again after 30 some years......not now, in the middle of the night!!!".....He only said "what do you need a light for...just flip the switch". So, in his grogginess and my growing terror, we somehow managed to communicate with each other that no, I wasn't smoking and yes, if I didn't have a light on pretty soon, I'd be running outside, somewhere, some place and in my PJ's too!!!

He found his pants which carries a lighter (I should have thought of that) and FLICK, there was light. I quickly found a candle and my breathing began to slow and I didn't feel like I was turning into some kind of "case".

Away I went back to bed, and with candle in hand, I placed it on a glass plate atop the dresser. Into bed. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Now to sleep.

What if that candle fell over and started the place on fire. I would never be alive to forgive myself. Back up. Recheck the candle. It sat firmly in place. No worries. Back into bed.

Head hit the pillow.............beep........beep.....beep.....beep.....beep......beep. We never did figure out how to turn that dreadful alarm off. The clock above my head ticked out the seconds. I counted. Yep. Every 60 seconds those 6 beeps would announce that the power was out. So instead of counting sheep, I took to the ticks. I started making up little songs and short poems. I imagined doing the two step or exercising.

With a huge hummmmmmmmmmm, the power came back on. Good thing too. I was running out of imaginative scenarios. Blow out the candle. Back to dream land.....but not before a bathroom break, fixing my sheets, taking some cough medicine, and one loooooooooong nose blow. Where does all that stuff come from anyway. I just blew my nose 20 minutes before.

Tonight, there will be a flashlight under my pillow.

Monday, September 17, 2007

My Brother.

I have a brother, Garry, whom I love dearly. It's just the two of us left in our immediate family. Father and Mother and kid brother, Dale, all gone home to glory.......quite a few years ago now.

Even though he lives in Tisdale, and we don't always manage to see one another a lot, he's my big brother, and has had many health issues over the years. He keeps on going though. Tough. Gentle. Kind. Sassy. No-nonsense kind of guy.

This past Friday he had major heart surgery. Edmonton University Hospital took him as a special case. As of last night he was still in the intensive care unit. I spoke with his wife, Helen, about it all and she reported that the doctor who did the surgery was a man the University had managed to acquire and most likely is the best heart surgeon in all of Canada.

I know it was all in God's plan.

When Helen asked the surgeon how long the operation would take, he told her "it will take as long as is necessary, depending on what I find there."

The operation was ten and a half hours long. The worst case, by far, the surgeon had ever experienced or seen. He wondered how Garry was still alive. Major cholesterol and hardening of the arteries was the reason for such an extremely long surgery.

My younger brother didn't have the opportunity to have that surgery 33 years ago when he died of too much cholesterol in his body. We have come a very long way in surgical procedures for this condition in the last few years.

Garry is now lying there, in ICU, with tubes everywhere. Some have been removed and they will continue to remove various ones as his body begins to function once again on it's own. His electrolytes were out somewhat, causing his heart to fibrillate, so they are giving him medication to take care of that. Veins from both legs (groin to ankle on one leg and groin to past his knee on the other leg) were used for new bypass veins and a pig valve was used to replace his aorta.

Now the healing will begin. When I recall my father having the same heart surgery in 1981, he said the leg pain from the vein surgery was more severe than his chest staples, where they worked on his heart.

I will ask for your prayers for Garry, for complete recovery, so he'll be able to walk without being out of breath, and to play golf and to hunt and play with his darling twin grandchildren.

I shall not be complaining about my head cold which keeps my Forest Service employers in business as I use box after box of softie tissues on my running nose. I shall just cough and blow and cough and blow...............and sleep, and ask God to watch over my dear brother, who probably at this point, wishes greatly to even be able to cough and blow...........and sleep.

Thank you Father, for our bodies, which are fearfully and wonderfully made and for doctors whom you have given to us to make us well.

Tonight, I am sick, but grateful.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tara - Part III - "The Retriever"

Tara. She was quite the cat alright.

She, like many cats, was able to retrieve. She liked paper balls, you know, the kind you rip up and scrunch into a ball and throw.

She wouldn't just run after the wad of paper, catch it and then play with it.

She was a true retriever. She'd bring it back to us. Hold it in her mouth and drop it right by our hands.

Sometimes the game would last for several minutes. Throw. Retrieve. Throw Retrieve.

And it could be anywhere. If she heard the paper crumpling, she'd come running. Living room. Bathroom. Bedroom. Yes, she was good at the game.

She would once in a while bring other stuff too. But paper was her name to fame in our house.

It was the middle of the night. Time didn't mean too much to her. She would come and go through her "cat hole" in the basement at whatever time she felt she needed to curl up on our bed.......or play.

Through the distance and confusion of my almost deep sleep, I could hear her muffled entrance into the bedroom. She meowed.......I could hear her, but through my grogginess I wasn't quite sure of her intentions.

Oh yes. It was throwing time the middle of the night yet!

I wanted to be a dutiful servant and so I did what any dutiful servant would do. My hand went down over the side of the bed, grabbed the paper to heave it to the other side of the room.........

Somehow the warmth of the "paper" woke me up just enough to let out one enormous, blood-curdling yell........

A still warm, dead mouse was in my hand.

Oh, the joys of having a retriever.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tara - Part II - "Stub Tail"

Yes, I was talking about our Siamese, Tara, the first cat that lived with husband and I .

Our first house, as I mentioned yesterday, had the "cat hole" in the basement window.

No fuss. No muss.

One day, we walked into the kitchen to find, not only Tara eating at her dish, but her new found pal, a grey male with a stub tail. She had brought him home through the special door, to meet the parents.

He was well-mannered. Wasn't noisy. Kept himself clean. Played outside with Tara without TOO much howling and carrying on. We figured him to be part Manx, a special stub tail breed. He kept coming in through the "cat hole". We kept feeding him. We thought him to be a stray of course, but certainly didn't want to take him to the vet to be put down. He kind of grew on us. What was another mouth to feed after all and he had that "special breed" look to him.

So, we decided to keep "Stubby". He was loved greatly and Tara had a special affection for him. We did notice though that he began to "spray" outside marking his own territory and we told him that it was totally unacceptable to do such things. If he wanted to stay with people on the "right side of the tracks", he was going to have to change his ways.

He didn't. So, we did.

We did not want an un-spayed male in the presence of a lady. Tara agreed. Off to the vet he did go and after a few snips, became our lovely neutered, gray, stub-tailed male cat - "Stubby".

No sooner had we brought him back home from his expensive hospital stay, the darned thing ran off. We couldn't find him anywhere. And all that hard-earned cash was just spent on making his life, what we thought, much easier and much more comfortable. Now he was gone.

We mourned. Tara mourned. She was not to be consoled. Our new friend of the family had left for parts unknown.

We accepted his leaving and went about our normal lives again. Poorer.....and wiser.

Husband went next-door one day to meet the neighbors. In the corner, on a lovely soft blanket lay a real beauty of a gray cat that looked vaaaaaaaaaaaaaaguely familiar.

It was Stubby, OUR CAT!!!!

Husband was estatic!!! He was about to go running to gather up his dear Stubby, when their children called to him by an unfamiliar name, " Pete......." to which he responded by poking his head up, stretching and purring.

It actually was the neighbors cat.

Husband said not a word to that family. I'm sure they wondered where the poor thing had been for those several months and why he wasn't very "outgoing" anymore.

We often wondered if he was a "special" cat, one they would have used for mating.

Guess we'll never know...........and Stubby never, ever returned to discuss the matter with us. His mating days were over and I'm sure he was feeling the effects.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I'm lonesome.

I think husband and I both are lonesome for our cats.

I think about them a lot as does he. We remember the times when they made us laugh and smile. Times when we thought they needed us, which weren't many. We've had many, many cats over the years.

Tonight I was thinking about and remembering our first Siamese, Tara. We hadn't been married too long when we brought her home to the suite where we resided.

She was a loner. She ruled. Especially us. One night, after we had moved into our first house, we were having a ladies meeting and entertaining the women of the church. All was going well. Of course in this house, we had made sure a "cat hole" was made for our convenience in the basement window where she could come and go at her leisure. Anyway, getting back to the ladies meeting, all were gathered in the rather large living room. A small hallway which also included the door to the basement, separated the kitchen from the living room. I happened to be in the kitchen with a good friend when I saw Tara come through the basement door into the kitchen. She sounded funny, like something was stuck in her mouth.

It was stuck alright. The mouse was still alive....tail hanging on one side, head on the other. She walked proudly.......strutted actually, ready to present her offering at my feet.

I could have screeched. I really had that desire. And I needed desperately to do a lot of running. I forced myself to make wild and hysterically soundless movements to my friend, who had been raised on a farm by the way, and didn't find a little mouse to be of any concern whatsoever. I, however, had visions of the dearest of all cats, turning to the right when she came up from the basement.........into the room filled with some not-so-understanding females, dropping it in the midst of them on the 1974 red shag rug while women, old and young exited my home in record time. I still thank God for that mercy..............since I was in the kitchen, she turned left......wheeeeeeewwwww.

But as Tara dropped the not-very-dead-but-still-running-mouse on the kitchen floor, my friend must have seen my white, gasping-for-air face and my jumping-high-on-a-chair-legs. She opened the basement door wide, ran after the little scurrying creature on it's way to the basement and freedom, conked it on the head (at least I heard something go whaaaaaahhhhpppp........), picked it up by it's skinny tail and tossed it in the garbage outside.

I regained my frail composure and I continued on with the the tea and crumpets.

Stiff upper lip and all that you know.

Nothing was said to the gathering.

The cat hole was condemned a few days following the incident.

I think the story got out a few years later. I'll bet some of them were wondering who actually put the mouse out of it's misery. Were they thinking it was me, the one who had made their special open-faced buns with her very own mousy hands?????

You know how stories get around.

Tomorrow, perhaps I'll tell you another "tail" about Tara.

We'll call it "the friend that became a part of the family"....... Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Discipline to go on.

When is it that our past, as abominable as it may have been, becomes a tool to be used for good.

There is so much living that goes on between these two events that one day, in the midst of a circumstance, you find that you're beginning to use the memories of past mistakes and wrong choices as sign posts or markers of how far you have come.

If I hurt someone irreparably and had to live with the consequences of my actions it would be a very difficult road to walk. Repentance and forgiveness would have to take place. Months and years would go by. My life would go on. I would change inwardly. Most people wouldn't even notice the change. My close friends would notice. Yes, they would notice because they would see how, because of God's grace and forgiveness, I had learned to be a different person. More disciplined. More aware of my weaknesses. Yes, much more in tune with my frailties.

My life would go something like this. Each time I made a right choice, there would be a marker put up. Each time I chose to be taught a new lesson, another marker would be placed and perhaps a lesson would be learned that I had not chosen! Life would continue. New things learned. My need for God would grow more and more deeply. All those markers would be set out on the road I had traveled and I could look back and see all the various things that had happened to me, in order for a marker to be placed.

I know most of this probably doesn't make any sense to anyone, but it does to me. I guess that's all that matters when it comes to trying to put down ones thoughts. It makes sense to me.

Anyway, I got to thinking about all of this today as Pastor spoke about discipline in our lives and how we need it. How we chaff and pull at the constraints that we perceive to be upon us but in reality those turn out not to be constraints at all. I think they turn out to be like finding the yoke that Christ speaks of when he says to, "put my yoke upon you and learn of 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." We tend to get so tied up in ourselves and trying desperately to free ourselves, that we forget that Christ didn't intend to tie us up and bind us. He said the yoke was there to help us. Not hinder.......just as the discipline is there to help us, to keep us in the rhythm of life, so that those rhythms become forces that help us to grow and learn and gain wisdom, not to bind us.

Discipline. It's necessary.

Pastor also read from Proverbs 5. The writer tells us to stay away from those things that would hurt us. We need to do that. We need to be aware of our surroundings, to look back on those sign posts of our lives to see how far we have come. The markers that said "TROUBLE", should be there for our good and we should be aware of why it was marked that way in the first place. We need to remember those markers and recall how those "trouble markers" have actually helped us along the way.

Another thing...............when we find ourselves trusting another human being with our frailties, we begin to learn how to be accountable. That's hard. Being accountable for our actions to another, makes us almost too human. That person will see us at our worst and that's hard on the ego. It's humbling.

Accountability............and humility. Also necessary.

Why are we so bent on destruction. Why do we insist on doing those things that would harm us. We need to stay completely away from those things that would destroy us, whatever those things would be. Greed. Lust. Jealousy. They destroy.

The Bible offers us words of life and instruction. We need to heed them.

Isaiah 32:3 "Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed,
and the ears of those who hear will listen."

These were simply a few thoughts that were mulling over in my mind today.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Getting to know you and seeing stars.

We were invited to a BBQ. It was at the home of a co-worker (manager) and friend. He and his wife have a lovely large acreage south of town.

Many co-workers were there also. It was good to meet the wives and the husbands and get to know them personally, so that when some of them walk into the office where I work, I can recognize them and call them by their first name.

It makes a difference I be able to call someone by their first name. It shows that you have taken an interest in them as people, to remember their name.

The host and hostess were gracious. A ton of food was served. Host took kids old and young on a hay ride around the back 40. There were cats and kittens to play with and husband and I took advantage of that special gift.

The yard was beautiful. The lit up pond sparkled in the night sky. Geese flew overhead. Sparks from the outdoor fire rose and danced their way upward, mingling with the noise of laughter.

I count it a gift from an awesome God to enjoy evenings like that..........fellowshipping with friends and gazing to the heavens where a trillion stars splash the velvet blackness of night.

Our God is an awesome God.
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power and love
Our God is an awesome God.

Friday, September 7, 2007


Yes, excitement is rising in our home. There are signs everywhere. Little and sometimes long conversations on the phone. I here him talking downstairs in "his room". Various articles of clothing begin to pile up. Maps are studied.....more phone calls. Getting presents ready to offer the hosts, some sausage, some wine..............

Yes. My fellow Canadians. It is hunting time in Saskatchewan.

Husband is beginning his yearly ritual. The hunt.

Look out all you antelope, elk, deer of every kind, moose and bear!

I find it quite amusing to watch grown men get giddy. They smile. They strut. They talk animal. Yes, that's what I said. A separate language altogether. They call one another up. They go on buying sprees for mmmmmmmmmmm.......let's see, bullets, targets, a new camouflage suit, with matching gloves and hat, face paint, skunk oil, long underwear and sturdy boots with laces. There is probably lots of other stuff but these are the articles I have noticed. All matching.

After he had returned from his spree, I had been downstairs ironing, like a dutiful wife........came upstairs and walked into the bedroom to find my dear guess it, all dressed up in his new camouflage suit with the hood up, exclaiming, "Can you see me???? Can you see me?????" I darn near fell over laughing.

I mean, how many men would put on a "fashion show" just for their wives........ya, well THAT was a rhetorical question.

I have to go now and get on my teddy...............and I don't mean bear...............

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Do I sleep or do I not sleep....that's the question.

Well, of course I would opt to sleep. Who wouldn't want to. So, in that sense of the question above, yes, most of us would take the opportunity to sleep..........especially at night.

But taking that question literally, do you actually "get to sleep"...... not "get to sleep" if you get the meaning there.........well, that was the question the doctor asked husband today for his sleep apnea appointment in Saskatoon. So I was there to answer the questions. I mean, who knows if they stop breathing when they're asleep, right? You need someone who is right there beside you in the room to take notes and do the counting, right?

Pick me.

For a long time now, if ever I do wake at night, perhaps to take a bathroom break, I end up counting. Not sheep either.

First, I count how many breaths husband takes compared to my breaths. He takes three and a half while I take two.

Then when his breaths become inaudible, in other words, when he stops breathing, I begin to count...1...2...3...4...5..6...7...8.....I move the sheets and he begins breathing again.

Breaths become inaudible I begin to count again...1 ...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...10.....I pull at his pillow and he begins breathing again.

Breaths become inaudible I begin to count AGAIN...1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9....I give him a little nudge and he begins breathing again.

Good thing I'm not a light sleeper. I have gotten so that I can get back to sleep in the midst of husband not breathing. I'm not a hardened old woman who doesn't care about her man. Oh, no.

But on many an occasion I have asked the Lord to do the breathing for him 'cause I need my sleep too. Hope I'm not being selfish in that request.

Truth be known, I'm kind of used to the routine but poor husband is just plain tuckered out by morning..............and that's mostly from not breathing..............heh heh heh

Doctor says there's a machine that will help him with his breathing at night.

Not sure if I can get used to a machine in bed with us. I'll keep y'all posted.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A day that's the pits....

Having a migraine is a more ways than one.

Living slows to a very awkward crawl.

After the several doses of Advil, comes the total exhaustion.

But you know, I just cannot possibly function when that constant pain is there.

It bothers me a stay home from work..........for a headache. I feel like I let co-workers down and I simply don't like that. It's not the kind of person I want to be. But nevertheless, these huge surges of pain engulf me and I'm forced to stay home with an ice pack.

Days like this, I thank God for an understanding supervisor......and a dear husband who brings me tea and toast in bed.

Tomorrow shall be better.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A free ride.

Yesterday, being Labor Day and all, we went for a ride in the country.

Beautiful. Leaves putting on new duds of shimmering gold. Some have met their fate and fallen from their homes and will now become compost. They will all follow this ritual until the branches stand bare before the howling north wind. But while they still carry around their golden garments, they charm us into thinking all is well.

We outsmarted them. We knew they'd be changing their looks, so we figured we'd enjoy them while they were still pretty.

The fields showed off their long locks too. Swaying and blowing gently with the warm south wind, waiting for the swather to come along and lay them flat. They were ready. Their kernels were ripe for the cutting. We watched them perform their last hurrah!

We, husband and I and Aunt Connie, walked down the country road. Listening. Feeling. Hearing. Smelling. Seeing. The quietness was calming.....and deafening.

A marsh was just ahead. The coots flapped, and swam and scurried along the slough, hiding from us, the intruders, who would watch them in their private quarters. Frogs croaked. Bulrushes strutted their brown velvet coats. Green heads quacked and talked to the rest of their kin. I think they were telling their children of the trip they were all planning in the weeks ahead and how they had better eat their wheaties or they wouldn't make it.

We stopped at the ferry crossing waiting for the "ferry girl" to allow us to drive ahead. On we went....bump.....bump.......stop. I remember in the "olden days" when the current carried the ferry across the river and the only thing that could be heard was the rippling of the water and the cable ferrying us across. Not any more. Now it's "brrrrrruuuuummmmmm" and a big, noisy engine takes the ferry across and pretty fast too. I think I still enjoy the slow, quiet ferry of long, long ago.............

It was a memorable day. When the snow flies and the north wind takes over this part of the country, I will remember the ride in September when nature showed us her beauty, and all for free.

God does things like that. Gives us unexpected pleasures. Everything he offers us is free for the taking. Everything. No charge. A free ride.

But sometimes we don't even bother to get into the car.................

Monday, September 3, 2007

And they're off..........

Three guys in a white truck. Off to Winnipeg. Broken-down van awaits the surgeon's knife tomorrow..............and all shall await the dollar value of the surgery.

One fellow will stay in residence at Providence College and therefore, had to take with him the "necessities" of life. Watching the transfer of belongings from van to truck I found quite amusing.

Articles that were carefully packed into the back of the truck were guitars, speakers, amps, various electrical "things", green garbage bags with clothes and bedding, boxes and boxes of books, bike, suitcases filled with I'm not sure what, and backpacks also filled with I'm not sure what. There must have been food there somewhere too, I'd bet my left-over banana cream pie on it.

Girls have different priorities regarding what and how they pack. At least I know their clothes wouldn't be in green garbage bags!

Enjoy those classes fellows. God is ready to challenge you.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

It's about these vehicles.....

Vehicles in general can be such a pain in the keester. (Oh, look, "keester" is underlined in red which means it's spelled wrong but I didn't want to say "pain in the a--", and well, "pain the butt" didn't sound quite harsh enough).

So, as I was saying, we depend so much on these gas-guzzling machines to get us to our destinations, don't we. Those fortunate enough to be able to buy a new one right off the lot, don't seem to live with the same kinds of dependencies as those of us who buy someone else's problematic mechanical left-overs.

Husband and I often purchase "government vehicles". Some have actually been pretty good. Others questionable. The brown Tauraus we had was handed down to son who drives now in Winnipeg. A month or so ago, while on a trip to Minneapolis, son and friends, on their way back home to Manitoba, had to literally push said Taurus over the bleedin' border. When I heard the story, it sounded like a movie out of the "Cold War" era. You know, where young university-aged men go fleeing to the border, but their car konks out just before they get there and the agents are hot on their trail. Out they get, pushing on all four corners, agents closing in with their mini machine guns all ready to blast the bad boys before they reach "the line". Anyway, back to reality, they got the vehicle across the border and had to have it towed to Winnipeg. There it sits awaiting the mechanic's touch along with the touch of a $1,000. bill!

Son comes home for a visit with friend Greg this past weekend. When they go to leave back to Winnipeg, getting as far as Melfort, an hour away, Greg's vehicle begins to make serious noises, serious enough to make them stop and call home. "What do you think we should do?" Away goes Greg's dad, picks them all up in Melfort and brings them back to Prince Albert, tow truck brings home vehicle (on a long weekend where no garage is open) and they sit and wait. Greg's brother, Mark, is supposed to begin classes Tuesday at Providence College, Greg and Matt have class registration on Wednesday...........and to make it all happen, it all depends on a vehicle to get them to their destination. Crikey!!

The truck husband and I bought to pull our new trailer and for husband to use hunting, hauling tools, and carrying various manly instruments, went in to the garage for a physical. It was making wretched noises on our trip to Regina a week ago, so much so, that it had me asking my Heavenly Father to keep the vehicle on the road and not to have the wheels fall off any time soon. While mechanic looked at this lovely truck on the hoist, he yelled over to husband to "come and look at this, man, I've never seen ball joints this bad, and you pulled a trailer with this?? and took it on the highway????!!!, wheels could have fallen off!!!" $1,300. later..........

I love vehicles. They get me from point A to point B. No more. No less.

When they start causing havoc in the trenches and the bank account, they are to be cursed..............

But, since God doesn't look too kindly on cursing, I will just say "thank you Lord, for the extra day(s) I have to spend with son." I am blessed indeed!