Monday, 24 February 2014

True Canadians

We have been busy lately so I have not been blogging.  We have been doing funerals and helping a new friend find a suitable place to live.  

And in between we have been following the Olympics.  Some of our friends actually got up at 4 AM to see the last game of hockey against Sweden.  We just told every one to NOT tell us what happened and then we watched it after I got home from church. 

We have not had a lot of snow locally, but this weekend on Vancouver Island they were dumped on.  The grandchildren woke up to a winter wonderland and ran out to make snowballs in their bare feet and pajamas.  



We also both had a bout with gastro-intestinal upsets that kept us low for about 8 days all together.  Unusually, for me, I got it first and was just reviving when I had to baby Old Man Watching.  So many of our friends seem to be in Mexico.  That might be a better plan for next February.

Now I will catch up on your writings.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

more winter

February is floating along.  It is the LONGEST month of the year in Canada.  Although last Monday was declared to be Family Day and it is a government holiday now too.  I don't know how I missed that as I do watch the news and listen to CBC radio. A long weekend in mid-February is a good thing in a cold country.
We had some gray days which I hate, when the clouds came half way down the mountain and hung there for most of a week.  I need to see blue skies and the horizon along the tops of the hills.  I can take the cold if the skies are blue.  
I did make a peach cobbler with some of the peaches I canned last summer.  They gave us a wish-taste of next summer.
But between the gastro flu that hung on for a week for both of us, and the cold, I didn't get out for much walking.  
A friend and I watched A Celtic Pilgrimage with John O'Donohue.  It was brilliant.  He was a former catholic priest and poet who led pilgimages to holy celtic sites in Ireland.  The whole thing was fascinating for me and my new friend from Dublin, Patricia.  It is worth watching if you can get the DVD.  

We have also been going up the mountain to work on the inter-church project of mosaic glass.  Actually some of the people who joined us to work claim to be agnostic.  We had good times working together and it was amazing how all the talk was spiritual.  I call this project "This is the Day That the Lord Hath Made".  The guiding artist just laughed when I started to sing.  Today the job was to install  them on either side of the hall entrance.  
It will be interesting to see how the congregation reacts as in the sanctuary the windows are all VERY traditional stained glass with metal fusings.  These are a little more abstract and the sun actually looks Aztec to me but is German influenced.  They are supposed to be consecrated tomorrow after the regular worship as the Bishop will be here to do our service.  Here is your sneak preview although I know some will hate it, most will be enthralled and I look forward to hearing from the A.A. groups that meet in the hall 4x a week at 8:00 at night to see if they like the privacy the new windows will give them.

Can you see the figure in the opaline glass?  Marina had that chunk of glass for 25 years and didn't know when she would use it.  I saw an angel in it and she soon had it broken down to rebuild it in mosaics.  The glue is still wet.  It is glorious when the sun shines through it.  It will take a few weeks for the glue to set and then we will see this figure more clearly as its glass is more precious.  I don't think it is an angel.  Others did.  It could be one of the prophets or even St. Alban that the church is named for.  I think it is just a welcoming figure singing the hymn,  "Come In, Come In and Sit Down, You are a part of the Family."       

I am so happy with this artistic glass work.  It makes my heart sing and will be a blessing back into our little village.              

Friday, 7 February 2014

Looking after a B/B

Snow-shoeing is a good way to get out of the house in the Canadian winters.  We all look for ways to keep away the Northern Depression, called SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Another way is to go south.  It was - 20 C. here this morning, but the skies were blue.  The landlords have flown off to a church convention, in Las Vegas of all places.  Everybody smiles and goes WINK...WINK.  But Circus Circus hotel/casino gives good Conference deals for church gatherings.  Still it does seem strange to advertize that. 
 The temperature in Vegas today was   + 14 C.  so they may not have used the pool.           
              I am not sure I could sleep in this garish bedroom.  The landlords will probably think it is a hoot.  It looks like a bordello to me, but then prostitution is not a crime in Nevada. 
The rides could be fun.      

Now about that Church convention in Vegas called Living Stones....

It is a Living Stones Convention for any of you who may know about this study group.  Some of the groups are coming from Iowa and Northern Manitoba Indian Reserves and Washington State, northern California etc. in colder parts of North America,

so it was a central place to meet. That made plane fares more equitable.  The countryside there looks much like here in the summer.

this is our river

So we are looking after the B/B business and house for a few weeks.  We get half of the take for changing the beds, mopping and dusting and cleaning the bathroom.  This is a fall picture.

 This is a summer one.

Yesterday morning Old Man made home-made multi-grain bread toast they left for us to use, with farm fresh eggs delivered every Wednesday.  
We love those tasty eggs and get some for ourselves too each week.  He poached the eggs.  They really taste so much better than store-bought eggs.  I also put out the landlady's home-made granola and jams and a good commercial yogurt.  We also devoured some fresh pineapple and banana etc. fruit in a dish with yogurt.  They have their own blend of coffee brewed for the business part of the B/B.  Let me know if you will be passing by here and I will give you more details on the delights of this area.  Of course at this time of the year the last guests, who stayed a few days, were gone all day to go into the hills to cross-country ski.

I caught a 48 hour stomach upset that did a better intestinal cleanse than any health food store dosing package could try to match.  It had been going around, so I guess I am not invincible.  At least the aches are over now even if the intestines are still rumbling.  The rumbling keeps moving further south, so I am assuming that this is a good sign.  I should be more like myself tomorrow.  However having to slow down has allowed me to finish a book that I was given for Christmas and was having trouble finding the time for finishing the last pages.  What a remarkable young woman.  She makes me feel insignificant.   I actually went back and read from the picture inserts, over again. I am not sure I understand this culture but she is their Super-Woman Defender.       
So I thank you, wee sweet, lovely Malala, for being you.  I admire you for telling your truth.

Monday, 3 February 2014

February...are you sure?

I realized on Saturday that I needed to pay the rent and fill in a new calendar with important things to remember.  Didn't we just get back from our Christmas trip?  I also decided to paint the bulletin board in
'little red wagon red' on the outside of the laundry room door to follow the flow of colours in the kitchen of the suite.  It was an old beaten-up place that needed refreshing.  

I keep a calendar there to refer to when doing boring things like ironing and folding clothes. This suite has a yellow and red kitchen theme that I would have never chosen for myself but am growing to love it.  The painting of 3 suns by a local artist, was already here and I grew to like it especially on grey winter days.
Rent-A-Daughter didn't like the cheap apple-patterned curtains I found at the dime store, so she ordered me some online that are more tasteful.  They should arrive this week.  The dishwasher should be installed soon too.  I also have a calendar in my bedroom and one in the e-mail on my computer.  And still I forget things.  I wonder sometimes how I could have taught early school for 30 years where I had to follow a precise plan for every 15-30 minute lesson of the day, and I didn't get off track.  Little children need to be constantly on the move so lessons need to be short and with movement.  Now I am older I guess, and not so aware of clock-watching.  

I needed to gather up some things to send for grandson, Nolan's, birthday to mail to him on Monday.  I always send another donation to his Education Fund Savings Plan but like to send a card with some gold chocolate coins and maybe a maze-puzzles book or stickers.
 He loves to get mail addressed to Master Nolan -------.  Included was a little blue book called "Why You Are So Awesome" which had 50 pages I had to write in.  His mom sent it to me as he has been a little down due to two boys who are bullying him with put downs.  The school is on top of it but it still happens, so his mom sent this little book for me to send him to boost his spirits.  It costs more these days to mail those things than to buy them.  Sigh.  I search for the lightest and smallest things to buy but ......  Soon he will be a teenager and cash will work fine.  I tried gift cards but then the mother has to take them shopping, so that isn't always the most unselfish thing to send even if it gets ME off the hook.  

Last Thursday I went up the mountain to the workshop to help with choosing pieces for the last panel of the mosaics for our community church.  
#3 is glued and ready for grouting but I was the only helper there to do the sky for #4.  I think it has too much yellow.  

We will fix it tomorrow when more folk are there to give some input.  Here is where we are so far.  The pieces aren't glued in yet so it will be easy to adjust.  There is an angel or a welcoming figure or a prophet or Moses in the white at the bottom.  We are not sure but there is an amorphous being in the glass pattern that we decided to keep.  Maybe when more worker's heads show up tomorrow we will figure it out.  It is in beautiful, pale opalescent pieces of glass.  It is all a fascinating project.  It has a life of its own that keeps telling us what to do.  Weird, I know.   It is hard to tell, below, as it is all sitting on white paper patterns where the artist drew blow-ups of what her vision was.   Tomorrow should be my last day of working on it and we hope to have it installed for the Bishop's blessing on February 16.