Saturday, 30 November 2013

Advent starts tomorrow.  There are only 25 days left until Christmas.  I have done all my shopping by buying food for the hungry in other people's names.  The donations come with a card explaining the gift and how it will enhance the life of struggling people around the world.  I will mail those cards with my Christmas cards.  I purchased a fish farm, seed potatoes, rabbits for breeding, chickens, art school supplies etc.  The gifts are meant to be worked with to improve their families' lives.  I match the gift to the recipients' favorite passions.  

This year we are meeting on every Tuesday evening of Advent to have a de-stressing time and focus on the reason for the season. 
 Our wreath at church is like the one above.  I know that purple is a royal colour but still it startles me every year when we are thinking red and green.

I did my tenth day of antibiotic IV and they debrided the dead skin on my hand which was really gross looking but much healthier than last week.   Praise the Lord for modern medicine and anti-biotics.  Even though I don't like them I was desperate with the pain.  I hadn't had any antibiotics for 20 years so it was probably safe to use them and the alternative was removing the finger....not an option, thank you very much.  However, I won't rest easy until they are all worked out of my system in a few days.  
  It is not quite this gross now as they debrided the dead skin this morning and it is all red and shiny underneath but the wound is healed.


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Reasons I Have Been Silent...3 whammies

#1   ....  I am under Dr's care for IV antibiotics daily at 11:00 and have a shunt in my left hand.  I poked myself in the right pinkie and it got infected badly with a lotof pus and swelling.  I had 4 sleepless nights until the antibiotics kicked in.  They are being aggressive hoping to not have to cut off the finger.  It is an annoyance wandering around with two bandaged hands Inline image 2and not being able to shower clean the house properly. I can't go to any parties either.   I haven't been out for my walks as I seem to use up too much of the day with medical 'stuff' - I am being polite there. The left hand is bandaged to protect the IV shunt they left in and the right hand has the wound so needs drainage pads and protection.  I managed a shower today by putting my hands in bags and taping my wrists. 

  Inline image 1    Now my hair is clean.  I wonder what I am supposed to learn from all this?  It annoys me to not be able to crochet as I can't watch TV, even the news, and just sit doing nothing.  My brother sent me some current DVDs most of which I have enjoyed, more so than the mindless drivel on TV anyhow. "The Words" and "The Promised Land" were thought-provoking. I went to church Sunday morning before going to the hospital but wore a big black wool poncho cape to hide the bandages and help to avoid questions.  When folk do ask, I put up my dukes and make boxing moves and ask, "Wanna fight?"

#2......Then our renter who was doing a 'rent-to-buy' said he is buying a different house that has more room.  I think he may be annoyed as we didn't accept his offer which was $20,000 below our rock bottom price.  We don't want to give it away.  But we really do want to get rid of the responsibility of a home.  We said we would wait until the tax assessments came in to counter-offer in the Spring.  So here we go again looking for a renter.  I think we will list it with real estate and just get rid of it.  But I don't want it empty in the winter and don't want to move back in.  We are happy in this wee retirement suite.  The RV hasn't sold so we are storing it for the winter up at a friend's acreage. 

#3 .... Our pickup is starting to have problems too but we can't get a new one until either the house or RV sells.  The clutch went and that cost $1000.  That was whammie #3.  However I am upbeat and trusting it will all fall into place.  

 We are supposed to be going to  ON on Dec 10.  until the 29th.  It has been over a year since we have seen the grand-daughters.
I hope they can clean up this infection and I don't have to go to Kamloops to have the finger and pad removed or any other plastic surgery, as our tickets on West Jet are non-refundable.  I hate hospitals and all medical stuff.  Typing is hard.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The Hills are Alive With the Sound of Winter

I try to walk for an hour a day.  It is part of trying to get my bum knee more flexible.  I had a bad left-leg break in the 80's when jumping off of a combine while harvesting barley.  Then last year I fell off of a 3-step stool while cleaning windows at our house for a new renter.  That blew my right leg.  It has been 11 months and of course as they were opposing legs I have had a lot of pelvic bones out of alignment and other leg problems from being off-kilter.  Pish on all of that but the walking is really helping me now that I am not using a brace/crutch/cane anymore.  So my walking each morning goes out the front door and takes itself away.  This week I tried the "Slough Road".  It starts at the old firehall.
The slough is where the teenagers party and make out in warmer weather.  I didn't get that far but started thinking about terminology.        

My dad embarrassed me by saying, "No Spooning" to dates who picked me up in the 50's.  It was such an old fashioned word.  He embarrassed me.  We said 'necking'.  What do kids say now?  It was all so much more innocent then.  Spooning has a whole new meaning now as does 'making out'.  That is not the same as necking or spooning.  We didn't have birth-control so were forced to be more restrained.  The thoughts that go through my head while walking probably don't interest you, but can you tell me the modern equivalent for 'spooning'? 

It had been such a mild fall so to actually see snow on the far hills was a bit of a shock.  

I continued down the river road and smelled sweet sage bush odours and heard eagle calls and flushed some quail.  Then I smelled stinky fish and realized the rocky shores of the Thompson River would be having spawning salmon bodies at this time of year.

Then the next morning I looked out my window and realized winter really is here.  The snow had come down to the valley.  Goodbye to the kayaks until the Spring.  They are tucked away under the eaves of the workshop.  
I am wishing that Old Man would like to take us to the desert in the RV to boondock on the dessert for a few months.  We are warm in our little retirement suite, but we both like outside doings, a lot, and can see they may be curtailed again as we come to grips with being in Canada in winter.  We are in one of the milder areas but California's hot spring campsites are calling to me.  He just got too old for the long drives down to the south of the USA.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Bits and Pieces Again in our village

I have been attending a Tuesday night study session at the chapel of our local church.  Alcoholics Anonymous meets 3 nights a week with their various branches in the hall attached to the west end of the chapel.  So to have space for us, and help them be anonymous, we meet in the chapel, lock the doors between us,  and we just turn the pews backwards to face each other and add a few chairs if needed. 


It amuses me for some reason to see the pews backwards but if you aren't at the back you can't see the power point screen so have to shift for any video blurbs.  Tonight we were so very impressed with the ideas/thoughts of Father Greg Boyle, who is RC, Jesuit, and works with gangs.  We watched a video of him being interviewed both before and after the Discernment time tonight.    Father Greg Boyle is a modern day saint and has so much wisdom to share.  And his wisdom is so peaceful to hear and accept.  We are working on a PROFILE to present for the process of hiring a new ministry worker who might like to join our mission.  (part time as we are a small congregation in the west of Canada)



I have an Irish pillow that says,  

"May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be at your back."

I buried one just like this with the remains of our last dog who died in 2003.  Then my Rent-A-Daughter found another identical pillow and gave it to me, making me cry a few years later.  Last week she found a card that had the same quote on the front, plus the next verse.  It has been 10 years since we buried our last dog 
( with a pillow like that under his head)

Wagonburner is such a sweetheart to find this card and take the time to send it to me.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

November 11.....every year....Lest We Forget

As a child we called this day Armistice Day.  I still say that actually, but the more modern terminology is Remembrance Day.  Armistice doesn't seem to be in our more-modern vocabulary banks.  I have learned from other bloggers that it is called Veterans's Day in the USA.  The labels don't matter.  That we spend time each year to think about those who died or suffered to let us live in freedom, is what we are thankful for.
Even as children we would stop at 11:00 AM in our skipping games or scrub baseball and bow our heads to be quiet for a minute or so.  I remember stopping during a skipping song..." Christopher Columbus, sailed the ocean blue, in 14 hundred and 92, and the waves kept getting higher and higher......."  We stood still at about 11:00 as called by our dominant girl skippper, and waited until she started the rest of the skipping chant.  Children did their own rituals in the olden days.  Is that a good thing?  It was all very serious to my pre-teen girlfriends and me, and we believed our prayers made a difference in this wild world.  

I am listening to stories now on CBC about under-age soldiers who got accepted to be 'old enough to fight' in our armies.  The median age of the 'Old Enoughs" was 14 but the researchers found one boy who was 10 when he was accepted.  Boys had many good reasons to try to join up....alchoholic abusive fathers on the farm, domineering parents who worked the children too hard, or children with fathers who had been killed already and needed to be avenged.

Even Old Man Watching decided to follow me this year to go up the street to the village cenotaph.  The veterans (that could march),  the cadets, the cub scouts,  and RCMP etc.  paraded around the village streets back to the cenotaph.   

The service was across the street from the Legion.  Our Anglican Deacon, Lois Petty, who is also the Legion's chaplain,  did the prayers and a compassionate and touching story about how young the German boys looked on the last day of the war. 
Different groups and individuals went forward to place their wreaths at our wee cenotaph.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

I am sighing and crying

The enormity of the disaster in the Philippines and area hit me in church today, during the Prayers of the People led by Angus.  He even had to stop to collect himself.  The damage and pain is just unimaginable and the total number of dead just keeps climbing.  
1000 was bad enough after the first reports a few days ago but today Angus quoted 10,000.  I have tears in my eyes for the pain those families will have as they grieve for their lost children and parents.

I have blogger friends who teach there or are citizens.  They are not answering my e-mails to tell me if they are survivors and how their families are.  One minute I am sad and then I am mad and I don't have any answers for how to help, except the Red Cross is a good place to start donations.  What a horrendous job the aid workers will have trying to go in and help those communities that have been almost destroyed.  Global Warming?...... I wish I knew the answer.  Can you see all the different thoughts going through this man's brain?

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Bits and Pieces

When looking after the grandkids we did one of our usual autumnal crafts.  We went outside to find the prettiest leaves and then ironed them between wax paper sheets and old cloths/towels.  Then we hung the trimmed wax paper with sealed-in leaves in the dining room windows for a surprise for the parents when they came home.  Crafts take time and are good for bonding.  They also make parents ooooh and  aaahhhh about how clever their children are.
I have some other pictures to share that amused me or delighted my eye.  First is my grand-daughter who fell asleep in her bath, her dad was close by, and so he called us and we took pictures.  Sometimes the excitement of Halloween just wears a girl out.  I don't think she got a story book reading that night.  She was actually snoring while under water.

Then we came home to Ashcroft and more work being done in the backyard to upgrade the patio and fire escape stairs as this is still a Bed and Breakfast upstairs so needs that for fire regulations. 
  The chunks got hauled away in wheel-barrows and the cement truck arrived in the alley behind the house.
The men worked fast while the cement was soft, and we watched the process and pretty soon there was a new smooth cement area to our back door that will be much safer to use, for us and anyone.
I am impressed with the smoothness of their trowelling.
Now it is time to rebuild the stairs.  That is my bedroom window in the upper picture, where I sit to do computer stuff and look out up to the empty hills (I will lift mine eyes up unto the hills) and to watch the birds at the feeders.  The new
stairs have been cut but the mess is still on the lawn.  "You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs."  That proverb came to mind.

Rock n Roll concert

I decided to go to the local concert last night.  I am glad I did.  I don't really like loud rock but this was good, and to play to her small town audience she also did an old Hank Williams and a Patsy Cline song, revved up a bit.  I liked her own composition about her fondness for Guns and Knives.   She is from the north of Canada and works as a cook in the fall at a fly-in hunting camp.  I doubt she is a vegetarian.  Below is part of the ad and poster info.

Miss Quincy the Showdown ..not to be missed !

Miss Quincy 02Winding Rivers Arts Performance Society presents another fabulous Dessert Concert on Friday November 8th at St Albans Hall in downtown Ashcroft. The 2nd show of the Season will feature the Vancouver based blues, rock trio, Miss Quincy The Showdown. 

Tickets are now available at ; The Ashcroft Bakery, Natures Gifts and our new location - in Cache Creek at The Jade shop. 

Miss Quincy The Showdown is an all-girl dirty blues rock n' roll band based out of Vancouver. You’d better hide your sons and lovers when MISS QUINCY and her all-girl rock n’ roll band THE SHOWDOWN comes to town. Channeling Joan Jett and the early Stones spending the night together in a Tarantino movie, Miss Quincy doesn’t fit the classic girl singer/songwriter mold and The Showdown isn’t your average all-girl band.
You won’t find them singing pretty pages out of their diaries, instead you’ll find them starting a party everywhere they play by getting down and rocking out with raunchy roots blues and straight up rock n’ roll.
Miss Quincy has recorded 3 full-length albums and spent 5 years touring non-stop across Canada and Europe. 
It isn't my normal musical fare but was a fun evening and the desserts were wonderful.  I am more likely to be listening to Gregorian Chants but it is good to branch out.  I also got to talk to some folk I hadn't seen for awhile.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Finally Halloween is Here

"Finally, Halloween is Here!"   is a quote from our grand-daughter as she ran down the stairs outside the front of the house to start collecting candy just as it started to get dark on October 31.  She had her costumes for weeks and just was so excited.
We left home on Wednesday October the 30th so we could take the ferry to Vancouver Island and watch the grandchildren as they experienced Halloween.  We both hate doing the freeway and city traffic through Vancouver but we only got honked at twice.  There is a lot of construction going on so it is hard to figure out which lane we should be in this month.  You think you have it figured out from the last trip, but its WRONG.

After a 9 hour trip we arrived safely and got lots of hugs and kisses.  We had eaten on the ferry so it was an early night.  The grandkids like to tickle my toes in the morning.  But 6:00 comes too early for me now that I am retired.  They both climb into the bed to get warm as it is cooler in the basement guest room.  Their parents went off to a Diabetes Gala they work on that includes a silent auction.  They raised $120,000 for research but also had two days at a lovely beach side resort.  

We got to have the grandchildren all to ourselves.  I enjoyed the whole visit. 

We went to the school for the costume parade and dancing at 9:00 in the gym.  The older classes buddy up with a younger class for many activities.  So the older and younger Buddies class went into the middle of the gym to dance to songs I remember from the 50's like "The Monster Mash" and "Purple People Eater".  Eden was so excited that her K class and her buddy class in grade 5 won the dance contest.  It was about school spirit not choreography.  Eden dressed as a mermaid riding a dolphin. 

 Nolan was a Mario character from a video.  He has the big polka dotted head in this chain dance.

My daughter in law signed me up to take a group of kindergarteners through a series of stations. The favourite station was pumpkin bowling.  Eden went back to it twice. That was fun to watch as there is no way to make a pumpkin roll in a straight line. 

Then in the evening they left to go to their friends' neighbourhood to collect candy and watch fire works while by a campfire.  Eden put on a second costume.  She was a good witch with lots of sparkles.
Nanny was left at home to answer the door bells.  It got boring after a while so I started doing some tricks on the treat-seekers.  I had big kids late in the evening so I went to the door and said, "It is lovely that all you folk are bringing me candy and reached into their bags to take some out."  There was a chorus of "What?"  before I put them back and added some miniature chocolate bars.  As they were leaving they were still saying, "WHAT ...  WHAT  was that all about?"   Then a group of pirates came and when I opened the door I said, " Pirates....pirates are thieves, so I will just take some of your loot and return it to its owner."  That brought stunned looks. Well I had to amuse myself somehow.  

We are back home but it will take me several days to rest up.