Saturday, November 16, 2013

HP will be the death of me...

That's right!!!!  Machines will be the death of me!

I have this piece of junk for a printer.  It's beautiful on the outside, nice and shiny.  It copies, faxes, emails, cooks up a great supper....prints.  Ya....prints alright!  It prints only in color.  Anything that is in black, comes out blank.

Off to the box store for new cartridges, thinking that was the problem.

We're talking HP products here folks!!!  Junk! Total Junk!

Went on the HP forum on Google asking the question..."why is my HP printer not printing in black?" Behold, I am one among many who are asking the same dad blamed thing and the only solution HP can come up with in response is, "Please unplug your machine" and "realign your machine by pressing this and that and this and that and this and that and this and that and this and that" and then, "press OK".  Nothing works.

You would think a corporation this large would have a simple solution to this problem, wouldn't you?  I mean, they must be dang millionaires/billionaires by now...especially if everyone buying their products have to pay $15. plus dollars for every cartridge they that's $60 bucks a shot for this printer.  See what I mean.  THEY ARE MAKING CRAP MERCHANDISE and I for one, will never again purchase anything HP....EVER AGAIN!!!!

I know.  I know.  I can use the various colors to print off documents.  I guess that's my only solution.  You would think someone at HP would have at least given folks that option, even if it's an obvious one...but NO...they don't even offer that.

See.  I'm really ticked off about this!  REALLY!  Machines are wonderful, necessary killer beasts.  They let you use them and just when you become dependent on them for their usefulness, they come in for the kill, slicing at your heart and leaving you wondering what hit you.  Ya.  Machines do that.  They do.  They're like a heartless lover who only thinks of taking what they can get and leaving you abandoned with no black print job!

I could go on.

Well, then there's all the paper that gets wasted not to mention your time and brain power.  I even called in the big guns...Matt.  He did all the looking and unplugging and Googling and such.  So, that's two people involved.  But then there was my special trip to the box store to purchase a black and magenta cartridge because the machine asked for them.  Ya, the crap products talk to you too!  So, after replacing those two cartridges, the black still didn't print!  So, then I figured perhaps it needed all the cartridges replaced.  Texted Matt and asked if he would stop by the said box store on his way home and purchase a new cyan and yellow an extra black one to have on hand....all in all, a $75. buck touch...PLUS TAX!!!  Yep.  That's why HP owners are sitting back on their fat behinds, raking in all my and millions of other folks' money.

Since retirement really doesn't produce much revenue, I may just think about going into production of crap merchandise myself.  At least it would be a lucrative business.  And I could wile away my days, twiddling my fingers, waiting for the cash to roll in from all my crap merchandise...and every now and then I could say something on the internet forum about my crap merchandise...I could say "Please turn your crap machine off and on again", while the cash flows in and piles up on my new Epson printer.

The end....

Saturday, November 9, 2013

My daughter speaks...

And this is how she summed up yesterday...a day with family...a day of reminiscing...

"We said good bye today to Eddie, my dad's brother. As we did so and as the day wore on MY family gathered all together later on (missing Brit) and reminisced of days gone by. We shared some good laughs of Uncle Eddie and it made me thankful for our time as a family and reminded me just how nice it was & still is to be able to share in each other's lives...time...which really is such a gift. It's hard, as I get older, watching my parents age, as I realize how short life really is in the watching of how quickly moments become memories before we have time to fully draw our awareness to our own presence in each time & place. I am lucky to have loving parents & an amazingly gentle brother alive who still love, as well as, offer me up endless amounts of patience, which in turn humbles me! Cheers to memories & families, with which none of us should ever have to go without!"

Yes, yesterday was special in so many ways and at so many levels.  Shannon summed it all up beautifully. She captured the importance of we need to appreciate it and use it for our good and the good of others.

I did appreciate our day...probably as much as she did, even in the midst of death passing by.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Death stops by...

Ken's brother passed away this week.  He was 80.  Although in the past few years, we haven't really communicated that much, other than a coffee at McDonalds, a few BBQs at our trailer or the last time, while he sat and received his kidney dialysis.  He wasn't happy with the way his life was...dialysis three times a week for 4-6 hours at a time or more.  He was a bit of a grumpy fellow most of the time...who wouldn't be!! But it seemed to be in his nature.  Some folks are simply like that.  He enjoyed an argument, thinking he was right all the time. One of the things he will be remembered for.

But there was another side to Eddy.  He was generous to a fault. He had that kind of nature.  And he loved giving his all to his grandsons.  They were precious to him and never failed to mention their accomplishments...a true and devoted grandpa.

Life wasn't easy for him after his dear wife, Lorna, passed away.  Half of him was it is for most people who have lost their spouse after having been together for a very long time. And his health was very poor. Diabetes.  Heart problems. Kidney failure.  It all added up to his death.

I remember (can it be nearly 50 years ago!) him lending his little brother, Kenny, his brand new car to take for a spin.  We were dating at the time and here was my boyfriend pulling into our driveway with this HUGE deep purple, 2 door something-or-other car with plush everything inside and little tiny lights all around the floorboard, not to mention stereo sound on the radio!  I was impressed....impressed that my boyfriend's older brother, Eddy, would lend him his most prized possession to impress me.  And as the years went by, there were times he would take us fishing in his boat, when we had none. Times when he and Lorna would allow us to stay in their cabin, when we had none. That generous spirit impressed me through the years.  He was a good man underneath his grumpy exterior!

I recall him too, when he was younger...30 or so.  He was a handsome fellow with blond wavy/curly hair and an infectious laugh.  He and Lorna made a nice looking couple.  He was always proud of his wife too, I think.  She was a highly trained and proficient Director of Nursing at the Holy Family Hospital and he enjoyed her extroverted ways as it allowed him more friendships.  Otherwise, he was a 'quiet' kind of guy.

His grandsons will miss him, I know.  And even though we haven't been close in recent years, we shall miss him also.  The good thing is that his bad health and having to be over.

May God gather him up into a much better place than this...peace to his memory.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Not sure if I'm quite ready for the snow to stay.  It hasn't arrived as I type but it's expected to lay us flat by Monday.  Don't get me wrong...I love the white.  I love to see it falling and then sparkling when the sun comes out again. It's all so...wintry and Christmasy.

The older I get, the more I can sympathize with folks who don't look forward to the long months ahead, filled with cold weather and leafless trees. I may just need a 'project' of some sort. I have some crazy notions and ideas but we'll see how motivated I can become.

But getting back to the snow...I believe it's something within me that gets excited about watching a snow storm.  I could sit for hours and hours and just watch it pile up with the wind whipping it wildly, giving it shapes with ridges and banks winding it's way around corners of buildings and vehicles, covering trees and fields and the storm a creatively beautiful mind of its own. Yes, a storm simply creates it's own beauty.

Tomorrow will find me sitting silently by the window...watching the beauty that will envelop us.

Sleep well.....

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bake it and they will come....

And they did.

People bought stuff they shouldn't be eating....and I was the number 1 culprit.

All for a good cause though.  It was the Women Ministries major fund raiser today and was, as usual, a great success.  Lots of hard work, many laughs, great visits and wonderful fellowship.  People bought up loaves of Sweedish Rye bread like there was no tomorrow.  The pies and butter tarts, jars of chokecherry syrup and dishes of date cake....all were bought and I know, will be devoured.

Some of our ladies were too ill to come, having colds and flu.  But the ones that took on great chunks of extra responsibility showed themselves, once again, faithful to the cause.

Here's how it all went.....

See, we CAN have some fun at church events:)  You can tell by all the smiling going on!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Flying by.....

Several weeks have passed since I've written here.  When they say that times does!

Days run quickly into weeks and into months.  I can barely keep up the pace.

This week has me in meetings, doctor appointments, husband's physio, Kid's Klub, worship practice and of course, baking for this Saturday's Country Store...10 - 3.  There has barely been a spare moment!  It's difficult when you hear someone casually hinting that I may be lazy...but I suppose that would be their perception of me.  I do admit that I may have a bit of a lazy streak in me, the one that wants to sit with my swollen feet up and watch some telly or read a terrific book...or connect here on my blog...or do some picture taking...or coffee with my husband....or checking out Facebook....or....ya....just doing the stuff that I do and enjoy doing.  So when I hear those misconceptions of my person, I get to rethinking all that I'm doing because maybe, just maybe I AM LAZY.  I don't think I am but perhaps they think I'm lazy because a lot of the things I do are not directly church related.  Pretty narrow thinking on their part, I would suspect and a bit judgmental too.  So, I shall go about my daily run-of-the-mill tasks, attempting to live more wholly for others (I find that one hard, too) and slowing time down so it doesn't fly by so quickly....guess that would take some kind of supernatural effort on my part.  If it works, I shall quickly get a patent.

Tomorrow will find us getting our blood work done for our doctors appointments next week.  I will also be packaging up all my baking and setting up tables at the church for the sale on Saturday.  We always have a good time at that sale...a great fund-raiser too!

AND, today we had our flu shots!  Got yours?

So, enjoy your night!  It is a gift that allows our bodies to catch up a bit with the busyness of life.

And yes, it's that time of year again...see, time really does fly!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

I'm ba-aaaaaaaaaaaaak........

Nope.  I'm not dead.  Haven't even moved away...nor have I been eaten by monsters.

That's been a four month drought here and I'm fearing any people who may have been following this blog probably have long ditched and left the premises, like I did.

I figured I'd just stop by here to say hello to myself and get the old "blog feel" back again.  Not sure if it will ever come back.  We shall see.  Certainly takes more effort than just looking at Facebook.  I have to get my old arthritic fingers moving again and my brain in gear.

Since June we have been on vacation, come home from same, husband had surgery for a hip replacement, granddaughter has moved to Saskatoon and son has come home for a nice longer-than-normal visit.  Some pretty big things in four months.

We experienced our first real flood when the rains came at Waskesiu.  It was an incredible experience!

After we got the rains out of the way...August was a beautiful month! And with the coming of September it just continued on and now into October.

Now to get husband walking again with his new hip and we'll be in business.  He seems to want to walk on that leg without his walker but the physio therapist will have none of that!  Easy does it, she says.  But through all of this, I have a new appreciation for the work of all health care workers out there not to mention single parents who have to "do it all"!  It's tough work...really tough work.  Physically exhausting. I can't remember ever being this tired, even when the children weren't sleeping through the night!!!  And it's mentally challenging just to stay on top of everything that needs doing.  Physically being care giver for this big husband of mine, doing all the household, laundry, dishes plus all the cooking and grocery shopping, driving to and from appointments, and not leaving him alone for any length of time....well, to be honest, I'm just not used to being in a 100% do-it-all relationship.  We have always split responsibilities during our 45 years of marriage and now at 65, when I'm beginning to run out of steam, I'm required to do the whole enchilada.  Not for much longer, mind you.  But ya, a whole new appreciation goin' on here!!!  Hats off to care givers and all single moms!!!!!  I salute you!!!!

So, we shall continue on with physio appointments and enjoy son's visit with us for another week.  It has been very good.

It's 9:30.  Off to bed.  I shall get more pictures up here too, as I have time.  Nite!  This was the river last evening...

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Time to pack.  Hit the road.  Leave the premises.

The packing has begun.  I no longer own a suitcase as my old one fell apart.  Now I shall use see-through plastic containers for my stuff.  Then I shall have storage containers upon our return from vacation.  A good less-expensive alternative to buying expensive luggage that will never be used.

Granddaughter will apartment sit for a time too while we're away so we're attempting to make space for her to move in here for a month or so.  I commented to Ken that it's a good thing we're adaptable but the older I get, the less adaptable I feel.

So we will simply pack up, leave and not look back until the first of September...unless we get into some kind of weather phenomenon at the lake, then we'll be back before anticipated.  It's happened before and I dare say it could happen again.  One year our camper got smashed in two by a falling spruce tree (and if we had been it the camper at the time, you wouldn't be reading this blog right now!!!)



Be prepared for anything.

By the time we leave for the summer we will have said farewell to son as he continues on with the tree planting contract in Ontario...then on to Toronto...and back to Boston area.  After that, we shall see where he ends up.

We have welcomed a new Congolese family to our church too, over the past few weeks.  Last night we held a "welcome" party.  They were totally overwhelmed by the generosity and love and acceptance and help offered by much of our congregation in one way or another.  The many, many gifts were a good indication of just how overwhelming it must have been for them!!!!  It made me feel that what I was doing was helping some folks right here in P.A. and not somewhere half a world away.  So, at one point, Jyselle the wife and mother of four of the children was saying thank-you in Swahili and then her husband, Bilile, would translate the Swahili into Lingala and Eric (who grew up in the Congo) would translate Lingala into English for all of us gathered there.  It was quite something.  We're learning a lot, as a group of church people, these days.  Serving others seems to be our theme lately...whether it's the community surrounding the church building or people who just happen to stop by.  Seems like we're starting to do things right in following the teachings of Jesus.

Now to continue packing.....I may post from Waskesiu at some point.  Perhaps download some pictures if I get a chance.  We're attempting to find a day next week to leave that doesn't have a rain forecast!


Ya....that's what I'm talkin' about!!!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Conversation...

The folks from Gateway held a "Conversation" today for two hours..which included a brunch, of course!  We're Covenanters after all.  It's one of the things we do best - EAT!

But the conversation was specific in a sense.  We needed to talk about where we are as a church and where we perhaps are heading.  Now those of you who work for the government know that this kind of task can be daunting and usually is.  No different for a church body.  We did a lot of thinking.  We talked a great deal.  We listened to each other.  We took notes. We had room to disagree, too.

It gave us much food for thought and gave the Vitality Committee a great deal to go on with regard to leading our church into a healthy, missional group of people.

We reiterated what we have come to already know....that Gateway is a group of people, directed by God's Spirit, who genuinely care for the church building and in the community. We care.  We love.  We act that care and love out in deeds.

So, what are some things that we don't know about ourselves.  I don't think we know or realize exactly how much of an impact we are having on our neighborhood...our children, our city.  We simply go about doing the things that are required of us.  Sometimes we are fearful.  Other times we feel totally inadequate...but we go anyway.  We do....anyway.  God's Spirit enables us as we do...and go.

The next steps of course will be the refining of what we are already doing.  Getting better at it.  Perhaps branching out into other avenues of the same ministry....all we need are willing hearts and hands and the jobs will be done....the Kingdom of God kinds of jobs like loving our neighbors, meeting their needs and those of their families.  It's hard work but is all worth it in the end...the end, of course, being the end of our lives as we know them.  But there will be folks to take up these challenges when we are no longer around.  They may be totally different kinds of challenges...they probably will be.  After all, Gateway is not the same church as it was when it began in 1947, or as it was in 1974 or in the year 2000.  We are a changing, growing, living entity where people come and go, where people are changed in the midst of that coming and going and where people can come into the presence of the living God.

It's all good...but ya....hard work....really, really hard work.  Loving takes lots of energy and time and so we continue on as a group of loving and caring individuals who allow themselves to be daily changed into the likeness of God.  As one gal put it today, if our hearts are turned towards God and our desire is to serve Him, good things will happen. (paraphrase)  And I totally agree!!!

Here we are, hard at work, talking and listening....

 There was food left over....imagine!!!!

 Some of us had naps:)
 Grandmas looked after babies.

 Some played "hide and seek".
 The adults did a lot of thinking...the kids just had fun.

New granddaughters were a part of the "Conversation" too!

So, you get an idea of what transpired for two hours today.  I think we are better people for having been a part of this conversation.  It was a place too, where new folks were heard and their opinions were validated.  That in itself, is worth gathering together!

I thank God for today.....