Saturday, April 30, 2011

A sunset....

Not just any ole' sunset either.

This one was pointed out by granddaughter.  Yesterday, while watching the evening Royal Wedding session, she happened to walk by the computer room exclaiming "Gram, come and see the sunset!!!!!"

And so I went.  The sunset is lovely, but it's the fact that it was she who noticed it.  I think perhaps when I leave this world, I just may have placed into my children and their children, the love and the beauty of some degree.  The seed is there for it to grow, at least.  As it did with me, my love for God's displays just grew out of sheer enjoyment of what is available to us in every season...and in every moment of every day.  Beauty is everywhere, all the time, changing and evolving into more heights of loveliness.

Here is what she and I saw:

Once the trees flush, this scene will become somewhat obstructed...but for now, look at the pinks and purples and blues and golds all reflected in the fast flowing river (click on pic).  It looks as if it slowed down a pace or two just so it too could enjoy the sunset.:)

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Royal Wedding...

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge i.e. Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales (I heard one commentator call him) and Catherine Elizabeth Middleton were married today.  I arose at 5:30 or so as I couldn't sleep.  Managed to see the "balcony kiss" live!  Throughout the day the highlights were shown again and again but never did manage to see the whole entire wedding ceremony repeated..

The table was set with my fine Petite-Point China that had been my grandmothers and I retrieved some fancy napkins from the cupboard.

As everyone else seemed busy with other things, granddaughter and I sat together and enjoyed the wedding highlights and ate a very British breakfast.

I baked fresh scones which we ate hot with jam and butter.  Good coffee too. 

I took pictures.  I lost those pictures.  Somehow.  But the table with Brittney sitting at it, China cup in hand and sitting tall and beautiful will be forever seared in my memory.  We sat and watched more of the same in the evening.  It was good to be able to share the Royal Wedding Day....with her.

No pictures....but memories will have to suffice.

May God watch over Will and Kate....until death they do part.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Retirement of a Grog....

Husband and I went to offer our best wishes to a co-worker of mine...Dick "Grog" Jiricka.  He's been with the government for 35 years....a great deal of history, knowledge and wisdom leaves with him. It was good to hear tributes to this very fine fellow.  An outdoors man par excellence!!  His last main contribution to the people of Saskatchewan and beyond, was his co-authorship of a book entitled, "Eco Sites of Saskatchewan" or something to that effect....Dick knew all of the Latin names of each plant in the book!  He is an amazing, fun, organized, generous, intelligent and good man and he will be missed!

Some of his former co-workers came to wish him well too.  It was a great evening.....except having to wear that blasted brace near did me in!!!

Here are some pics of the evening:

 The Moore family.

MC Michael....and Val.

 Some of the guests.
 Mr. and Mrs. Jiricka, Sr.

 Resident poet...Rod Thompson.
 Val, Andrea and April sang a tribute to Dick to the tune of
"Try to Remember"
 Executive Director, Bob, reading message from the Minister.
 Father and son.
Dick had the last word:)
I can say that I have been honored and very fortunate to have worked with Dick....a good man, indeed.  May God watch over him in his retiring years.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What else is new???

It was a physio day!!!  Knee swollen again and he had to massage the liquid out.  The pain of it all:(

I was discouraged.  NO exercising!  Ice knee 3 times a day!! Elevate leg!!!  Use leg brace for walking!!!!!!!!!!

I felt like crying.

But then I got to thinking about our friend, Ernie....and my discouragement quickly faded.

A bunch of church folk  have offered to sit with him at home for a few hours each or two people at a time.  His wife needs a break.  I keep thinking of what it must be like to be living my last days...but we have been praying that he has no pain and.....he doesn't.  Just sleeps...and sleeps. God watches over him, I know.

Brain cancer is a wretched thing.

So tonight I shall be thankful for today.  It was a day where I sat outside  for a bit with granddaughter in the plus 20 degrees and enjoyed a few rays and her blessed company where she took my mind off my misery....while husband ran errands. 

Poor Ken has another bout of Bell's Palsy now too.  This time it's the right side of his face that is affected.

We're a great pair!  Yes, we are...

 May long weekend '09 Waskesiu.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I like spring....

Hmmmm....guess I've expressed that many times before.  But spring is so fresh and new and gentle and it smells good...kind of like a baby.  I am awaiting the first thunderstorm though.  Those are long as they don't come with tornadoes.

Our car is now home from Winnipeg where son had been using it.  A very long story to that....but it involved someone hitting the front bumper (to match our back bumper which was hit while in P.A.), him being stopped by the police in Winnipeg and an ultimatum to either fix it or get it off the road.  He chose to send it back to Saskatchewan. A quick, timely decision was made and a friend who had been visiting in Winnipeg, drove the 'wreck' back....with the comment "It sure drives a lot better than it looks!"

Today, the afternoon was spent attempting to clean it up.  Son and friends who worked a lot in construction (in cement/concrete and mud-laden areas of Winnipeg) used the car a great deal...shall we say.:)  It needed a good scrubbing!

So, the afternoon consisted of a heavy-duty shop vac, gallons of water, soap, broom and dustpan, rug shampooer, Armor-all and a lot of elbow grease.  On with the tensor bandage to the knee and away we went.  Had to stop several times to give the poor knee a rest or a stretch and hurried home for some ice when the whole procedure was completed.  That was almost 3 hours of hard labor, but we figured it was better for us to do it rather than paying the car detailing place $140. bucks!!!!  Now poor husband has the wretched task of attempting to wire up the front bumper so it doesn't look too bad.  Oh well, get some nice red duck tape, a few bolts and a bit of wire and it should be good to go...and it will match the back bumper!  As my dad always used to say, "As long as it gets you from point 'A' to point 'B', that's all that matters!"  And God did say he would provide for all our needs....not all our wants!

Have a good rest this night!  I get physio in the morning...more electrodes and ice!!!

Gee, and my friend, Val, turned 50 today....and I wasn't at work to see her in her red boa and tiara!!!
Here she is a year or so ago with her Santa hat and Christmas light bulb earrings. What a gal, that Val!  I wish her every happiness for the next 50!!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Back one step...

I was going along with great gusto for the past few weeks.  Knee was cooperating well and I was doing what I was told.

Yesterday, while helping with the singing during the Easter service, I stood there with no crutch, no cane...just me!  In front of the microphone.  The children all came up to help with the singing at one point and while I stepped back to allow them in, **C L U N K**.  My knee did a very bad clunking thing.  Into the mic I softly said something like "Aaiieeee" and quickly placed my hand over my mouth.  Some folks probably thought I most likely hit a wrong note (again) and I tried to cover it up!  Others may have just wondered...????  But it only took maybe 3-4 seconds.  That's it!  I looked longingly at my cane propped up on the pew ahead of me but I really didn't want to make more of a scene than I had already.

Smile.  Sing.  Participate.  Worship. Keep going.

I could screech later.

But there was a lunch to go to at Waskesiu.

I managed the rest of the day but night time brought out some serious pain.

Today, following physio, I was back at the icing....and NOT the sweet stuff either!  Back with the tensor bandage and the leg elevation....and no exercising for three days!

This whole knee injury scenario is getting old......and really fast.

Travis, my physio man, tried to encourage me by saying it wasn't really a setback, just a little bit of something to overcome.

Yes, I shall overcome.....some day! :(

Speaking of overcoming....I snapped a pic yesterday of two crows maintaining their territory by overcoming the bullying tactics of a raven.  The entire scene went on for several long minutes, each crow attacking the raven from either side as well as above and below.  The raven was persistent and wouldn't be scared off by two crow upstarts.  When a crow came from above he turned himself upside down in mid-flight to fend off his oppressor.  Several minutes of that though, had him heading south!  Quite entertaining...and the crows fortitude gave me courage to keep going in the midst of trials!!!

How are you handling your trials today....I'd say try some icing!!  Sweeeeeeeet!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Christ is risen...


It was a wonderful day of celebration!!!!  We came together to acknowledge the resurrection of Jesus, the Christ!  The day began with a "sunrise" service on the river bank at 7.  Then breakfast at the Lanoie's, just across the street until 8.  Home to change clothes and off to music preparation at 8:45 with the Easter Worship service at 10.  At noon we headed to Waskesiu with daughter and granddaughter for brunch and a time of enjoying nature.  Home for a rest....and hopefully a good night's sleep.  It was a joyous day!

Here's what the day looked like:

 Misty morning as the sun rose.

 Those that braved the early morning on the banks of the river.
 Afterward, Linea had goodies and coffee for all.
 The kids had loads of fun!
 Church began with a "walk about" reading the praises of God's people.
 Tracy and her committee had the sanctuary the most beautiful
I had ever seen it!
 Massa, Yaounde and Eric sang in Lingala.
 Kieran was a Scripture reader...and so well done!
Kayla was another excellent first-time Scripture reader!
 Entering the tomb!  - very cool:)
 Children from Kids Klub had decorated flowers and butterflies for our walls.
 People wrote what they were thankful for.
A color feast for the eyes!
"If I were a butterfly...I'd thank you, Lord, for givin' me wings!"
 The Easter candles burned brightly surrounded by pussy willows and palms!
 The many lilies wafted their scent and trumpeted their joy!
Waskesiu Drive has water and road  issues that hopefully, will be fixed before we arrive!
 Thick...and solid....still!
  The 'Trading Post' was open...of course we had to stop:)

So many people worked very hard to make this day one of joyous celebration and reflection.  Too many to count, actually.  It's amazing how gathering people's gifts together can turn into something beautiful.  

Happy Easter.....Christ is risen....He is risen, indeed!!!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Feel like a celebration????

Tomorrow we will commemorate the greatest of all Christian celebrations...the resurrection of Jesus!  As we gather together at various places the world over, we will remember Jesus and how he followed God right to the end.  He became an example for each of that we also could follow God and his desires for us.  But how far are we willing to much of the 'good news' do we really want to hear?  Guess it's all up to me.....and you.

The church is all set.  Everything decorated beautifully.  The worship and songs are planned.  All is ready. God will be praised tomorrow and I trust he will enjoy our efforts. We will celebrate Jesus resurrection from death to life.  I keep asking myself if I am up for the task of living out how Jesus wants me to be...a question I need to ask daily.

So, should you feel up to celebrating, I would invite you to come and celebrate with us at 10 AM Gateway Covenant Church...or 7 AM on the river bank - 11th avenue east and river.

Perhaps this Easter will be life-changing for me.....and you.

"Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen!" Luke 24:5,6

Friday, April 22, 2011

The time between....

I've heard many people speak regarding the time between the death of Jesus and his resurrection...the time from Friday to Sunday.

I was thinking about that myself today.  What do people do after their dreams and hopes are smashed and laid bare to rot.  What do we do when someone we love so much....leaves.  How do we handle death at all especially when we have been a part of that person for a good long time.

There is death all around every turn.  We read obituaries in the paper every day.  Perhaps today, over 2,000 years ago, the Jerusalem Times would have printed something like this:

Local Hero Put to Death
Jesus, the Nazarene and local hero, was tried before Pontius Pilate today and sentenced to death by crucifixion.  Those in attendance appeared in favor of this decision as their shouts of 'crucify him', could be heard on many of the side streets as far back as Market Street.  It was recounted by many bystanders that members of the ruling army, rolled dice and fought over who would get Jesus clothes before he was taken to his place of death.

Jesus, it had been said, was one to criticize his own people at various times throughout his short but vibrant three year career as local evangelist and preacher.  Those closest to him had great hopes of this man becoming a savior of the people of Judah and overthrowing the current Roman government.  In an interview, one of his supposed disciples denied these claims or even that Jesus was known to him.  Others who were interviewed had expressed their gratefulness for Jesus healing their family members of leprosy and palsy and they were looking forward to his continued ministry within the community here in Jerusalem and were greatly saddened to hear of his death.

Many stories about this man have been reported at various times in this newspaper.  Some of these stories have claimed Jesus to be "Savior", other stories have identified him as the "Lamb of God"...he himself had been a self-proclaimed "Son of God".  With these many claims, we shall await the decisions of the local Roman government as to Jesus true identity.  Nevertheless, he has sent quite a stir amongst the people of this fair city and beyond!

There will be no tributes to Jesus by his family, nor will there be any formal service at this time. Burial took place today in the tomb of a family friend.

Sunday's a comin'!!!!!  Sleep well....

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New life....

Spring.  Easter.  Birth.  They all have the common denominator of "new life".

New life conjures up all kinds of thoughts like water running, eggs hatching, flowers blooming, farmers planting, longer days, warmer evenings and new and improved ways of thinking.  It reminds me of my blessings of being alive and my ability to enjoy life.

But even in the midst of these 'new life' thoughts, comes a harsh, yet simple reality.  New life brings with it, its very own end result.....death.  Life  Death.  They are totally dependent upon each other, totally inseparable.  Like the old song says, "you can't have one without the other."!  I was reminded again today of how close the two are when I was told that the mom of one of my co-worker's had died.  Not expected.  One moment she was living, giving, loving, breathing and the next, she was not.  She passed life on through the birth of her life, and they, in turn, have passed life on through their own children. Life...and Death.

And this week, as we delve into the old Biblical/historical narrative story of this man, Jesus, we look once again at this concept of 'new life'.   Jesus offered everyone new life, a new way of thinking, a new way of being a human being, a new way of living.  It seems very odd though, that he should, in the midst of all the hoopla upon his coming into Jerusalem, be killed.  Very odd indeed.  But God gave us this example of Jesus to follow and he said that we should follow Jesus teachings, those things he talked about when he was around crowds of folks.  God made it very clear.  But like Jesus disciples, we really don't get Jesus teachings most of the time either, if the truth be known.  We stumble about, making poor choices, bad decisions, wrong turns and not really thinking about this 'new life' stuff.  We sometimes make feeble efforts to change our behaviors or our attitudes.  We at times make room for others, to love them and care for them.  Often times we don't.  We're big, fat failures as human beings.....a great deal of the time.....according to what Jesus taught anyway.  Sometimes, we are so bold to think we actually have the answers to all of life's questions.  Oh woe, to all who think that way!

And when we think about Easter, how God gave us a way to have 'new life', in the sacrifice of Jesus, well, sometimes, like his disciples, we don't always get that either.  But it is something that is offered to us every moment of every day. New Life.   We can take it...or leave it.  When we take it, we think on things other than ourselves, we become selfless and thoughtful.  When we leave it, our ego takes over and we live for ourselves and our families only.

I know I should have written this post in the personal "I" format, but I know too well that all of us have failed and have "come short of the glory of God" as it says in the Scriptures. If we think otherwise, we lie to ourselves.

But God is a God of second, third and tenth chances.  He forgives and offers 'new life'.

God wants our attention. Jesus story tells us that!  He gave us an example to follow and it's up to us to get up off our butts and follow.  Jesus examples are leading the way. 

New Life.  It's for everyone!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Yes, even a Sunday worship service has music practice!  And we practiced tonight for our Easter service coming in a few days.

So I snapped a few pictures of some of us making great music together.  Of course, I couldn't sing PLUS take pictures of everyone, so I opted to sit and snap....rather than stand and sing (much easier on the knee)!  There was fun to be had, too!

We gathered as a team to practice singing the songs for Easter morning worship service.  Virginia, Massa, Yaounde, Eric, Janet, Birdie and I.  The two fellows from Congo, Massa and Yaounde and their friend from childhood, Eric, will also sing some songs in Lingala.  In the Congo, Easter Sunday is called "Big Sunday" and their service goes well into the  afternoon with much singing, drumming, praising and worshiping God.  I think I would like to experience a service like that!

We shall attempt to make this Easter Sunday as memorable as possible for those in attendance and as praise-worthy as possible for The King (uhhh...that's Jesus, not Elvis, by the way...trusting I have not been blasphemous).

But Maundy Thursday (sharing and remembering Jesus last supper with his friends) and Good Friday (Jesus death on a Roman cross) still have to be taken into account...before the celebration of Resurrection Sunday!

I wanted to do something during sacrifice something even if it was something small....I have given up eating lunch.  I know...not much, eh?  Toast for breakfast and then eating a healthy supper with no snacking in between.  Not much, but to me, when food is in the equation, it is a sacrifice of sorts.:)

And to top off my day, this blasted computer did something really peculiar and made me wish I could kill it with something heavy and sharp and pointy.  I opted for pressing a bunch of buttons...

It continues to do weird stuff.  All I did was attempt to download Internet Explorer version 8 and the whole thing went to hell in a hand Easter basket!  Bummer!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Now it's ultrasound...

My physio man, Travis, is still attempting to remove the bursitis/swelling from above my knee cap in an approximate 3 inch diameter area.  Quite the feat!  The bruising is still evident but not near as bad as three months ago!  Improvement is happening.

So, today he tried ultrasound on that particular area.  He will continue with this procedure again on Thursday.  Meanwhile, I continue to do my exercises to strengthen my entire right leg and hip...which, I'm finding, also includes my back.  Woe is me! 

I find it totally amazing that one small area of the body can cause so many difficulties in so many ways we function....walking, for instance.  This learning to walk again, is really creepy....not to mention humbling.:(

So, I look forward to the day when all will be "normal" again and one foot will go in front of the other with no pain, or wobbling or having to lean on something...when I can once more drive a vehicle or sit in one spot for longer than 10 minutes without pain happening, when I can take the stairs and even run...well, I won't get too greedy in my wishes....I'd go for a fast-paced walk:)

In the meantime, the weather is heating up and getting us all ready and grass and leaves.  At our apartment, a very healthy growth of lovely yellow dandelions grace the front of our building.  It's color, at least!  And the snow continues to make it's humiliating exit.  Can't be too soon for me.  It just has no manners as to how long it should stick an unwanted guest.

Have a great rest and dream of what's to come....

Celebrations are close at hand.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The chat....

Today was a day of "chats" with the children.

Shannon had prepared a lovely brunch for us and we ate spelt pancakes with blueberries and bananas, roasted spuds, scrambled eggs and fruit....topped off with chocolate/almond coffee.  She is a great her father!  Then we were drawn into granddaughter's homework assignment...the two World Wars and how they began and why, plus the causes of the Great Depression and how those events were similar to today's economic woes.  Of course, her answers were all in French!  So while the three of us conversed, she made notes "en francais"....that lasted a few hours.  It was great!  These two young women are entertaining, intelligent, beautiful and fun to be with!

Came home and rested a bit in the afternoon.

Then came Matt's Skype chat in the evening.  We talked about our old car, which he is presently using, how the police stopped him and made him take said vehicle immediately into a garage to see if it was actually road-worthy and if it didn't get fixed in two weeks,  it would be taken off the road!  We talked philosophy - religion and faith; of living life and what was involved in relationships; of  plans and hopes and dreams......and his "Easter package" we sent, which included (his father's newly-made) deer jerky, smokies, pepperoni plus several bags of various Easter candy, a Bart Simpson chocolate figurine and a new striped bath towel!  That chat lasted over an hour and a half. 

It was a very good day.  Our children can be of great encouragement to us!

I also took a special phone call from Madison, Wisconsin, yesterday.  It was a gal that hopefully, one day soon, we shall meet:)

These kinds of solid, profound and stimulating conversations are one of the things that make life really worth living. 

I thank God for these dear ones!