Sunday, April 29, 2012


I love wine.  I can't drink it much because it (1) makes my gout act up (white wine) and (2) gives me a migraine (red wine).

So, really I'm hooped.  I'll never become a "wino" that's for sure.  You won't see me sitting on some curb side, hands shaking, cup in hand for 'donations', smashed to the gills.  At least that isn't in my foreseeable future as a retiree...thus far.

But over the years I think wine has been given a bum rap.  We have thoughts of what I have just mentioned, of those poor souls who are addicted to the stuff (or anything alcoholic) and have met their demise because of it. And it can have negative results if we aren't careful to drink in moderation and sensibly.

Jesus spoke of wine.  Well actually, he not only spoke of it in his parables, he did some fancy fermenting right there at a wedding celebration he attended with all of his friends....and his mom.  Everyone was having a great time after three days of celebrating and then his mother announced to him that there was no more wine for the guests.  Now that would be embarrassing!  So, after berrating his mom a bit, telling her that he didn't think he could do anything about the situation, and knowing the bridegroom and how that would make him feel, Jesus just took some jars, had the servants fill them with water and "voila"!.  The party was saved...on so many levels.  The master of the banquet didn't have to face humiliation and was quite impressed that the groom would actually save the best for last (most grooms would dish out the best stuff first and save the poorer wine for last when everyone was pretty much 'over the top').  Also,  Jesus began to show his disciples that he was made of stronger stuff than what they had once everyone figured the groom had saved the best wine until the last which was very nice of him. 

Anyway, there it  Good wine.  Superb wine.....for those not too drunk to appreciate it!

OK  I'm getting to my point here.

Our church has chosen the story in Luke 5:37-39 to be "our story".  The parable is about not putting new wine into old wine skins because the old wine skins will burst if you do.  No, Jesus said.  We must put new wine into new wine skins. 

New wine, I am told by my friends who are wine makers, continues it's process of expansion and so we must take that into account when bottling the wine.  We don't use wine skins much any more but if we did we would need to be careful about finding new skins for the new wine in order for that continuous process to take place.  The 'expansion' of the new wine.

And what has that story to do with our church story????

I would attempt to explain it thus....the new wine would be considered as being God's Spirit.  It goes about working in the lives of people....but only when the people have hearts that are ready to receive that Spirit.  Our hearts must be pliable enough (like new wine skins) and ready for that expansion process of the Spirit.  In other words, the newness of Spirit must team up with the newness of our hearts to change us into the exact shape the Spirit intends for each of us.

When that happens, we change.

But, we say, the old wine tastes much better!!! So why on earth would we even want new wine???  Good question!!! wine = Spirit of Christ
.....old wine skins = our hearts that have become hard, not pliable, unable to change it's shape, too comfortable with all that good old wine inside it.

You put that new wine into that old wineskin and skin disintegrates!  Just doesn't work.

Beginning to get the picture????  You put that new Spirit into that hard old heart that has no inclination to change it's shape and it doesn't have a chance. It's wrecked!  But put that same Spirit into a new pliable heart and you get what the Spirit intended...a heart ready to be molded and changed.

As a church, we have found ourselves to be in a 'comfortable' zone.  Everything is just as we like it.  Bills are paid, money in the bank, doing some good things with outreach to the neighbourhood.  We're enjoying a sense of satisfaction...of enjoying the status quo. We're just sittin' around enjoying glass after glass of that good old wine!!!

But that is NOT where Jesus said we should be.  In fact, that is the very worst place we should be.

We now need to move forward.  We need to become vital and missional and healthy as opposed to sitting on our laurels/backsides.  Sounds like work....

And that is exactly what it is that is required of us.  To change.  To get up and get moving...ahead.  Our hearts need changing in order to get the required work done.  Oh, we can do it on our own, without the help of God.  No problem.  Clubs and societies and groups do it all the time.

But there is something different when the unseen world takes over and gets things moving and changing and improving and going forward.  It is how new wine works in new wine skins.

That was quite a bit to say about wine....sleep well....and 'cheers'...:)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

It's spring...I need sunshine!

OK.  I've been patient.  Waiting for months on end for warmth and greenery outside, I am quickly losing patience.

And as much as I absolutely love the snow...until January, it is now time for spring to take completely over and rule the roost.

Supposedly that includes having the sun making itself known and in view.

And as much as I may complain these days about spring not coming fast enough for my liking, I continue to look at that attitude as totally futile and childish. 

The weather, which apparently is the most talked about topic in Canada, just keeps on doing what it does best....being weather and running the world.  It has no controls.  We want to make up it's mind and we wish it were warmer, cooler, windier, calmer, drier, wetter...everything that it isn't.  How stupid is that!!!  The only thing we CAN do about the weather is enjoy it, whatever it brings..or if it brings crazy stuff then we can take cover!

I think, especially those who may be control freaks,  we find it hard to accept things about the weather only because it is the ONE THING we cannot control.

So, on we go.  How did you enjoy the rain today?  A bit wet, I'd say, but summer is coming!  See, I'm getting a bit better about accepting uncontrollable things as I go.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Adieu, bon voyage, bye-bye...

More folks leaving...some for good.

People at work....retiring.

Friends at church....moving.

Daughter and granddaughter....flew away. (but returning!!!???)

It's all a bit surreal...I know I'll be in that group very soon....49 days to be exact.

Here are some pictures of those moving on....

Jenn will spend the next year in Norway!

Win (centre) moves away to Alberta.

Brittney & Shannon...touring for a few days and then who knows!

And life just continues on it's merry way with nary a care for who goes where, what they will do or who will be missed.  It matters not whether a person will just takes them by the arm and escorts them to new and beautiful experiences.  Life is like that.  We just have to be gracious enough to allow the changes to take place whether for us....or others.  It's all good.

Enjoy your rainy weekend out there.  April showers are supposed to bring May flowers....eventually.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

That was much too fast....

And I'm not talking sex here folks!

It's the weekend I'm talkin' about!  One thing after another happens all weekend long and's Sunday evening.  Sundays are always exceptionally busy with worship practice starting at 8:30 AM and it's just like a steam roller after that until we get home.  All good, mind you. 

Today was wonderful.  We had a potluck dinner after church to honor our dear friend, Win, who's moving to Alberta this week.  I'll post  some pictures when my desk top comes home again.  She is like my mom/sister....not sure which.  She's much younger than she is, if you know what I mean.  She relates well to all generations and proved that today.  She wanted one of my pictures for a keepsake so she picked out a few the other night when she was over and asked me to pick one out for her.  Naturally, I chose the one from Prospect Point at Waskesiu!  She loved it.  I put it in a rich-looking wooden frame without matting and it looked pretty fine...most importantly, she thought it did.  We ate together and enjoyed a good afternoon!

Son just Skyped from Winnipeg.  His tree planting boss is picking him up in the morning to head southeast of Winnipeg to get the job done.  He's hoping to make some good cash.  He also said it will be strange being the 'senior' person in the tree planting entourage...but along with being the senior, you get to stay in a hotel (as opposed to tenting).  Although tenting will be done on the next job in a few weeks from now.  Good thing he likes the outdoors!  I told him to take along a bear opposed to a there such a thing????:)

So, it's work again in the morning.  Can't believe I have only 7 or so more work Mondays to endure!

Tomorrow we are having a BBQ at daughter's....yay!  Supposed to be "hot" tomorrow too!

Hope you're all sleeping with those windows wide open and enjoying the spring smells and sounds (cars screeching, tires peeling, people yelling....ya, the stuff that spring in P.A. is made of).

Thursday, April 19, 2012's already Thursday...

Dang, the week goes quickly when you're busy.

My desktop computer is going back to it's creator tomorrow....small 'c'....and I will have to wait for repairs to be made.  It's difficult working with this laptop because I don't have any pictures downloaded onto you're stuck with words only.

At our women's book gathering last night we decided that we would meet for coffee every other week until fall.  Fall we will begin the reading of "The Hunger Games".  Talk about social justice!!!  Looking forward to that.

Now it's getting ready for this retirement thing.  Trying to think of folks who may wish to come to the party.  If you are one of those persons, just give me a call at work and I'll put you on the list:)  953-2221  You won't want to miss it...should be a blast!  So, whether you're a former co-worker or Joe Blow down the street who just wants to attend a party, ya, give me a call.  A great place to meet new folks or just mingle with old friends!  Having said that and now sent out this universal invitation, just hope 500 people don't show up as there's only room for 150!...or so.

It's a lot of work doing one of these retirement parties, so I give my supervisor a great deal of credit for doing so much work on this...and others, of course.

Anyway, if I haven't seen you in years, that would be a good indication that you should attend.  It's probably going to be a heafty $30. a person though.  But hey, what's thirty bucks in the scheme of things?

Off to bed now....with visions of sugar plums and retirement details dancing in my head....nite....

Ya...I didn't put the date of the'll have to call me to find out:)

Sunday, April 15, 2012


I continue to find it so interesting how the decisions we make in life can change not only the course of our own lives but to a greater degree, the actual course of history!

Yes!  It's true!

When we decide to go to this or that school or university, that will change the course of history.

When we decide to drink tea instead of coffee at breakfast....that most likely won't change the course of history much....unless we drank tea with poison in it, and we would end up at a hospital that didn't know what to do with us as the hospital didn't have an antidote, so we got really, really ill and they decided to send us to another hospital further away, where we managed to recover and there we met a person who was doing a study on anti-viral drugs which seemed to interest much so that we decide to go into research to find drugs to help folks who've been poisoned also.

Strange scenario, eh?  Ya...but really not so strange when you hear the stories of other people and how they got where they did.  It usually boils down to one particular decision that we make and it actually does change the course of history....who we meet, or marry, or the children we have and the friends they come in contact with or the interests they have while growing up.....all little decisions but can turn into having some very significant results!

Not sure what got me talking about that but it most likely had something to do with discussions I had with our children today......decisions that are made and the resulting implications.  Good decisions too, I believe.  Son's girlfriend has made some significant decisions also that will most likely affect her life in the next while.  We see decisions which are made and it's like a great weight is lifted from a person's countenance.  A good feeling and a good decision I believe, has been made!

I think it's nearing bedtime.  Work tomorrow too.  I wonder what decisions will be made tomorrow that will change the course of history....or change how I live my own life. 

Time will tell.

Nite all.....I've decided not to have tea before bed....the result would be my not having to get up in the night.  A good decision....not earth shattering....but good, nonetheless!

Friday, April 13, 2012


Husband, attempting to shut down computer, hit the 'hibernate' button and the entire monitor shut down.  Not sure what to do about it. 

Everything looks to be plugged in but not having a monitor, I can't see anything to do anything!

Good thing I have this laptop so I can Skype and blog and check FB.  Not that these things are vital but they are important!  I have wandered off into the realm of 'electronic communication' and it scares the old nail polish right off my toes!

Maybe if I simply leave my desktop alone for a week or so, it will have had second thoughts about letting me see what is on that monitor.  I'll just let it stew for a bit.  I'm convinced it has a mind and that mind is out to beat me.

Oh, and today I watched Casablanca in celebration of it's 70th anniversary.  So I shall close with the last words of the movie by Humphry Bogart, "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
I love that movie!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Time out....

I just took a time out.

I've been tired and so have gone to bed between 9 and 9:45 all week.

That has given me between eight and a half and nine and a half hours of sleep EVERY NIGHT this week.

I feel better for it....hence, no blogging.

It's beginning to feel like a winding down of sorts at work.  Attempting to get things in order.  Making sure supplies are in abundance so no one has to do that kind of thing for quite a while. Having some important discussions.  Two co-workers will retire before mid-June, when I do.  Retirement functions will be the "in thing" it appears, for the next several weeks while government goes into 'restructure' mode.  I've said it before, but I believe this is the perfect time to exit stage right.

We also heard yesterday that a retired co-worker from Meadow Lake is going through some tragic circumstances.  His son was killed in a car crash this week.  So very sad.

We never know how circumstances in life will change us....what is in store for us from day to day.

On another note, we now have in our possession documents that belong to the Government of Canada.  They have said we can take these documents with us wherever we go in this world and that they have confirmed the fact that we exist, that we live right where we actually say we  live, that our faces look pretty much the same as portrayed on these documents and that our signatures really belong to us BUT if we don't behave, they will take our documents away.  Hope that doesn't mean that we won't exist.  You never know with governments these days!  (That's a joke, for anyone reading this who may work for Canadian Immigration)! I really don't want to get myself into trouble before I actually get myself out of the country.  That would be a pity!  I'm pretty impressed with my new passport though!

I'm off to bed.  Was supposed to be at a meeting tonight but had something more important to accomplish so I begged off my responsibility as a committee member for this night.  Sometimes there simply are things more important than meetings!

Tomorrow is a day off and I am looking forward to it with great gusto.  Only 5 more EDO's left!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The past while....

I've been busy.  WE'VE been busy.

Many events have taken place over the past week...good things.  Pictures were all a part of it!

Lent and Palm Sunday presented the royal purple in the sanctuary.

Twila made chocolate covered peanut butter eggs for Relay for Life cookie day.

...and Cynthia had to try one out:)

Then there was a retirement function.....

and we recognized Corny Budd for over 35 years of service upon his retirement.
Here he stands...a very 'typical' pose and smile of a man who will be greatly missed.

The Moore Family graced the Forest Service office, where Robert works.
The children are growing....very quickly!!!!

...and such a handsome Corbin, complete with smiles!

Marin kept my camera very busy....
just look at those lashes....

I managed to get a bit of a cute!

Saturday, Shannon presented this version of a strawberry short calories.....
Brittney & Shannon with "the desert"!  Sooooooo good!

Of all the Sunrise Services we have ever had on the river bank
THIS year was absolutely the coldest....ever!  Little Austin thought so too:(

There was a continental breakfast afterwards at the Lanoie's.

Here's the congregation Easter Sunday morning from my vantage point.

It was a dedication on Easter Sunday with baby Elikia
and all the grandmas....and great grandmas.

Michelle, Eric, Kimia and Elikia in front of the
beautifully decorated church front.  Tracy did a great job!!!

So, that was my last several days in a nutshell.

Today, we went out for brunch with the girls and we brought a waif along with us.  I'll see him at work tomorrow:)

Then had over an hour conversation with Matt this evening and a quick hello to Thais, his lovely lady friend.

We are a blessed people....yes, we are. 

May the hope of Easter renew you and give you a new sense of the possibilities of what God has in store for you.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Now or never...

The stress of this early morning is way too much for this post-menopausal woman!

Up at 6.  Turn on both computers.  Get to the campground web site....sitting on the ready to reserve our camping spots for our summer vacation.

Sounds simple, right????

Being a fairly good typist, I had my sites reserved in no time.

Husband, on the other hand, had a difficult time with things not having the administrative background as I do.

Typing and things are difficult for him.  And the site didn't recognize his email address for some reason....perhaps it could be because he's never used it:)

Well, as of this afternoon, we have three glorious weeks from end of June to middle of July plus almost four glorious weeks from middle of August to beginning of September....all in the same spot.

Now, it's the middle of July to the middle of August we're having difficulties with.  One week in one spot.  Hitch up huge trailer, move to another spot for a few days.  Hitch up trailer move to another spot for another few days....ya, doing that until the middle of August.  But I won't think about those middle weeks.  I shall concentrate how fortunate we are to get camping spots for the beginning of summer and end of summer. 


It took at least 10 and a half months off my lifespan....I just know it.  I'm sitting here at work, exhausted.

I think we may need to look further afield for camping spots in the future....maybe....possibly.....well, OK, probably not.  We love Waskesiu too much, I'm thinking, to do anything as rash as going elsewhere.

So, being as tired as I am, I figured I'd blog on this thing this afternoon during my "coffee break" because I know I'll just crash when I get home tonight....well, after our Maundy Thursday Communion service, at least.  And, of course, I wanted to let you all know we were fairly successful in achieving our camping spot goal!

Tomorrow we shall think about more serious matters such as sacrifice and love and grief and expectation and hope.....the things of Easter .

Blessings on your evening....

Tuesday, April 3, 2012



It's nerve wracking!

Waiting for Thursday morning at 7 a.m.

Along with thousands of other suckers, I'll be up and waiting to attempt to get a camping spot at the Waskesiu trailer park via the Internet!

That's not so bad.

Husband is also attempting to do this thing on my laptop. He doesn't type....oh my.

So, I shall try the desk top and he will try the will be a dance of sorts.  He will try for some particular dates and I shall try for other particular dates.

We'll see how it all shakes down.  It just might be groovy, man.

It gets dicey when they are ALL reservable sites though.  So, if you don't reserve a site on Thursday morning at 7 AM, you're camping, no vacation, no nothing.

I suppose if worse came to worse, we could avail ourselves at the Narrows campground...without the amenities of running water and nice know, like the 'good ole' days':)

Nite all.....

Sunday, April 1, 2012

That's rain!!!

I wore sandals to church.  I couldn't help myself.  It's April!!!  But it turned out to be a joke of sorts on my part.  We were invited out after church by a very special lady.  She has always been very special to us so the fact that we were invited by her to share a meal out, meant a great deal to us.  So it was a matter of walking through the pouring rain through the parking lot with my sandals and then through the mall parking lot while the rain drenched us both....and my poor sandaled feet!

But the company during lunch was worth being wet for.  We chatted and caught up and shared our children's lives a bit.  She is one of the most encouraging people I know and I feel I have learned so much from her over the years of our friendship.  She was a teacher in her excellent teacher too!

She told us her news too, about moving away to be closer to her family.  She felt it was the right time. So, she will be gone from P.A. by the end of April.

Another person leaving my life.  Seems like that is what life really is about isn't it?  Either us leaving variouis people or others leaving us....not forever or anything, although it may just be that too.  We are constantly in flux...moving, changing, learning, preparing, coming and going.  We really should never become too comfortable because change is inevitable.  Our friend will be making some great changes too but knowing her, she will continue to be the great encouragerer to others as she has been to us.

May the Lord bless her and keep her, the Lord make his face to shine on her and be gracious to her, may the Lord turn his face toward her and give her peace....

And may the rain of this day wash away our sorrows as we face this "leaving" thing...once more.