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'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'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'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'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....

Friday, October 21, 2011


Ya, I'm already missing those luscious green leaves and grass.  They've bit the dust.  To think we won't see that shade for yet another six plus months makes me want to put some new pictures on my walls....of greenery and flowers.

I will turn to these pictures and many more like them in the weeks and months to come when the temps dip down to -35C and snow and frost blanket the earth here in Saskatchewan.....'til next spring.....

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Results are good...

In a sense I can breathe more easily!  The results of my endometrial biopsy were good.  No cancer.  Doctor was very concerned and I was too.  I think worrying takes its toll on folks....

In another sense, I can't breathe more easily with this dang head cold.  Last night around midnight I tried to get comfortable enough to breathe and finally I took a big pillow and stuffed it under my head on top of my other pillow......ahhhhhh......breathing relief.  I slept well after that.  Antibiotics should begin to kick in soon too.

I feel a restful weekend coming on.........night all.....zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Oh, and God, please be with Elroy this night....he just may be with you very soon but I guess only you know the exact time.  Thanks.  Amen.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Is it a cold????...

Just not feeling normal today.  A bit of  nausea, low-grade fever, sore throat....another day in the life of ME!

I could sleep and sleep and sleep....

Ya, good idea.  I think I will.....zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Country Store...

It was a good sale today.  I wasn't involved like I usually am but I managed to sell some good baking and have great conversations with several folks.  Our Conference Superintendent, Jeff, was passing through P.A. too, so he stopped by and had lunch and visited with a few folks and the pastors.

One of our church women, whose daughter contributes to our sale each year by sewing many wonderful items, did so again this year....except this year, besides sewing various articles to put in the sale, also sewed every woman working at the sale, a beautiful bib and beige.  I'll show you some pics...

Tracy, Marg and Marian unknowingly model the new aprons.

The tables were full of delicious choices!

Ken, Linea, Sara, Janet, Supt. Jeff, Seth and Stacia 
gathered around the table for tea and a chat.

The Youth had their own table of great items, too!!!  
I bought some of Pastor Stacia's lovely hand-crafted cards:)

It was a good day but I had to come home and rest....

Friday, October 14, 2011

Country Store...

I've been resting up for tomorrow when the women of our church host the city at their Country Store.  Baking (and good baking too), crafts, and a luncheon (sandwiches, dessert and coffee).  It's always a great way to serve the community and to meet all the regular attenders who have been coming to this event for many years.

Hope we will see some of you there, too....from 10 AM to 2 PM.

People who attend say it's one of the best of it's kind in the whole city!  I think those people may be right:)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Artsy friends...

I have many good friends who would be in the category of what today is known as the "artsy-fartsy" group of folks.  Not sure where exactly that term originated but it's there nonetheless.

A couple of them, a mother and daughter, went on a trip to Italy together last year.  They took some fabulous pictures and got a real feel for the country.  They also paint.  So, when they returned from their trip they began painting some of the photos they had captured.  Not sure how the rest of the story went, but as far as I could gather, a lady asked them to put on an Italian art show in her coffee shop in the little town of Birch Hills, just south of Prince Albert.  They accepted....and a great amount of work began.

Friday night last, we ventured out with two good friends onto a rain-slicked highway and drove to our "Night of Italy".  Candles were lit, table cloths on the tables, Italian music serenaded us and gave us just a taste of what it would have been like to actually be there.  And most importantly, they were there to greet us as we entered the tiny shop...with their art interspersed along each wall.  Beautiful work.  Explosions of vibrant colors and detail of the mom's paintings while the daughter expressed subtle, full hues with a more abstract feel.  I loved all of them!!!!!  Such talent.  I was so proud of them too...using their gifts to make the world a little better place to be.

Here are some of their works....if they show up here....

I think that's all I can get up on here.  But you get an idea of the caliber of professionalism here.

And it was a truly warm and fun evening, with cakes, biscotti, punch and coffee and great friends to share in the excitement of the event.

Thanks so much, Alecia and Mary Jane!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Get enough...???

If you are queasy about female anatomical stuff and a tad sensitive about discussing these issues, this blog post is NOT for you!  Go have a cup of guava juice and some celery instead!

It's what I asked my doctor following today's procedure of snipping parts of my female inner-most parts of my being.....I didn't want to say uterus but I guess I will:)

Having an endomitrial biopsy is not the most fun thing in the world....but it's doable.  You just take deep breaths, do some counting exercises while trying not to scream out, scaring the poor little gal who is his assistant who has taken to a chair before collapsing on the floor. I apologized to her afterward for not being the epitome of bravery for her faint of heart senses but it was the best I could do.  After all, women have this done every day, right?  I need to work on bravery.

The doctor, by my calculations as to just how many times I had to hold my own head in a vice-grip and take deep breaths, did get enough tissue for the biopsy which will be whisked away for further scrutiny.

The big deal began last night when I took pills that would make this procedure more "accessible", shall we say.  One just wonders about the things they are prescribed, especially when one reads the little papers that come with the medication.  "May cause severe cramping."  "Used for abortion procedures."  You begin to get the picture when the long-forgotten menstrual cramps begin in earnest, keeping you awake long into the night...and even when you do fall asleep, you are dreaming of trees falling on your mid-section and you're unable to move...or something biting at your middle as you attempt to run know, stuff like that.  So that's how the night went.  Then came the morning.  Oh my.  I didn't think it could get worse...but it did.  What the heck were these pills doing to me anyway.  All I can say is....well, I won't even say it.

When I walked into the examining room at 11 AM, he asked me how I was feeling.  So, I asked HIM if he had ever taken those pills he, of course not.  He has no bloody idea what it feels like. (No pun intended)!

Through all of this, I do recall having this procedure done...oh, probably 15 years ago.  It was painful then, too.  But this time, the doctor had to make sure he got enough tissue.  Three snips and I'm down for the count.  For a few moments I really figured I was going to lose it, but looking at that poor nearly-fainting girl holding the tray of "utensils", I got my stiff British upper lip going and dug in for the long haul. 

Thinking about it now, 15 minutes of pain really is nothing compared with the pain some folks I know are enduring at this very moment.  So, I thank God for small mercies and people who upheld me in their thoughts and prayers during the day.

Now for pills to stop the cramping and everything that goes along with THAT....only four more days to go.  By Monday I should be feeling pippy.

So, that was my last 24 hours in a nutshell.  Managed to have brief stints of sleep this afternoon, without dreams of being beaten up and eaten alive.  All good.

Let's go and have a good sleep tonight.  That was enough fun for one day, in my estimation.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October mists....

When I saw the Weather Network this morning telling us there was fog on the river, I went out the door with Mr. Olympus on the ready.  I did casually mention this fact to husband so he wouldn't be too surprised when I yelled "STOP THE CAR!"

Driving by the boat launch area he pulled right in and down to the waters edge we went.  I jumped out and took a moment to enjoy a misty morning on the river....and snapped a few shots.  Oh my.  I wished I could have stayed until the sun came out but alas, work awaited me.

I think it was worth the diversion...IF they show up on this blog at all....:(

Picture #3 isn't coming out here.  Oh, maybe I'll put it up on the top....ya......

Monday, October 10, 2011

Another busy week ahead...

Good thing I did some baking today for our upcoming Country Store this Saturday!  Tomorrow is a church Council meeting, Wednesday will be tests and Kid's Klub and another meeting following, Thursday and Friday we will see how the test results are...maybe I'll be in Saskatoon, who knows.  Saturday, of course, is the big bake/craft sale at the church.  Throw in 8 hours of work at my daily day job and I feel tired already.

I was still thinking about our time with the family yesterday and how much work my sister-in-law did to make a beautiful meal and to make us feel welcome, as usual.  They are like that, my brother and his wife.  No put-ons, nothing phony...just real people who treat their family well.  I feel blessed.  Wished Matt could have been there, too! 

 Helen and Garry

 Helen and Raelene
 Raelene and Shannon

 Kylie and Brittney

 Rovelyn, Kelly and baby Taylor

Me and the little beauty, Taylor

And our little extended family just keeps on expanding with little ones springing up!  A true blessing!  

I pray for God's special presence during this week of busyness.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


It was a day spent with we hadn't seen in quite a long while...and one member whom we had not met yet!  If these pictures even show up....


Ken and Kylie

Seems my pictures aren't uploading or downloading or whatever....they aren't showing up on here.  I'll have to do more posting tomorrow....nite all.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The wait...

Normally I have patience to wait for things.  But some things I wished would just happen quickly already.

The results of tests have placed me in a position to have "further investigations" quickly as possible... then be referred to a specialist in Saskatoon.

So, here I wait.  Wednesday will not come soon enough.

But, God is in it and whatever comes my way, I shall walk the path...and learn once more the art of patience.  Makes one so much more empathetic.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Sunday.  I shall lead worship and gather the men, women and children together to offer our thanks to God, who gives us life and sustains us in the midst of trials and sorrows; who encourages us to go on.

Then we'll head off to Tisdale for a mini-reunion with my brother's family and to meet the new member of our clan...Taylor Rosa Benson!

God is good....all the time.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Great flapping goose wings, Batman!!!

There are perks to traveling out-of-town on a fall day, even if it is to get some tests done!

As Saskatchewan is a major fly-way for the goose population, it was a great sight to once more see migration in action.  Geese everywhere!  Snow geese, with their color-phase relatives amongst them, the Blue geese.

Husband is quite used to me yelling "STOP THE TRUCK", while traveling down the road at 110 km/hr.  Last I checked though, we may need a brake job some time in the near future.

The fields were like a snow storm had hit.  We managed to find a little spot to drive off the highway and I "crept" up on the flock.  Well, crouching as low as I could with a bum knee anyway.  I clicked as I progressed.  Up and over the rise I came, Mr. Olympus in hand, surprising the whole gang.  They were squawking and honking and making all manner of "frightened to death" sounds.  When they saw me coming at them, up they flew, with a sleigh full of toys and St. Nicholas too.....oh, I think I should wait a little longer for that story...but it rhymed!!!

Here they are as I stood in wonder at the sight of them....

We continued on down the highway and got to the point where they had all landed a few miles away.  They sat on the road, covered it actually, so I got out of the truck and walked towards them.

Aren't they just grand!
And the noise....much worse than the Batmobile!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Our Relay for Life  "Studs and Peelers" team had a raffle for an Ohio Buckeye tree.  Today we picked a name from a coffee can and our big winner was a Forest Service employee from Creighton, Donna Lundquist.  She happened to be in the area today and picked up her prize...a lovely shedding tree:)

Here are some team members, L->R Dave Stevenson, Nadine Penney
Twila Gola and the winner, Donna Lundquist.

Then at noon, another winning event took place.  It was a retirement luncheon for two over-thirty-five year folks of the Northern Support Services, Stan Mamczasz (it took me a good many years to be able to type Stan's name without looking!!) and Dianne Gervais.  It was good to recognize their service to the government and to join with other folks to celebrate their accomplishments.  I trust their retirements will be fruitful and filled with fun and good health!
Stan and his wife.

Dianne and her husband.

This evening was Kid's Club....we crafted bracelets with beads and bells as a precursor to the story of Isaac and Rebekah.  I began to tell the group of pre-schoolers the story of Abraham sending his servants to his home land to find a suitable wife for his son, Isaac and how the servants had to travel by camel over the desert to go and find Isaac a wife (Rebekah was found for him!!!).  So, I had a picture of this camel walking in the desert.  I showed the class the picture and asked them what the camel was walking on.  "His legs!", was the first comment.  I was hoping for "sand" as an answer but instead, I got what I asked for!!!  They are just too funny!

The day has ended with a long phone conversation with Matt and texting with Shannon.  All good.

So, besides work, it has been a busy day.  Nite all.........

Monday, October 3, 2011

A week of thanksgiving...

I'm attempting to be thankful for various things as I progress through my anticipation of the coming weekend...Thanksgiving.

It all boils down to people.  Oh, I can be thankful for my job, my beat up old vehicle I drive to get me from point A to point B, my coat to keep me warm, water to drink and food to eat.

But when all is said and done and the dust settles on the ole' parched prairie, there really is only one major thing to be thankful

I wonder how many times I've blogged on this very subject, the one on "relationships".  Probably too many to count and yet I keep saying it over and over again...if we don't have relationships with others, we really don't have much.  When I'm pushing up daisies under the shade of the ole' pine tree, I hope I will have left this place knowing my life made a difference (in a good way) to at least one person.  Not much to ask.  But I could be a positive influence to that one person, and if that person left earth the same way, having a positive relationship with another person and it just kept on and on, that would be very good.  That must be how we make the world a better place, by leaving a legacy of something positive.  Just leave all those mean, negative, selfish things behind!

So, today I shall be thankful for the people in my life.  I am a truly blessed person because of them....and so, I thank God for each of them.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A deer...

Well, that's meat for the freezer.  One deer, so far....and we thank God for his provision.

It will be a week of cutting and trimming and packaging...for husband, at least.  As for me, it will be one of 'those' weeks.

Here's a picture of a cake daughter baked and brought over.  We cut into it and kept a few slices for ourselves but shipped the rest back to their house.  It even had a lovely blue bow!

And it tasted just as good as it looked!!!  She used my mom's recipe...:)