Wednesday, September 30, 2009

And the good news is....

I went to physio this morning and he worked on my right arm. He told me the reason that my elbow was bothering me so much was that something wasn't in alignment. It was a bit like an eye exam - which is better, here... or here.... now; here... or here - until he found the right spot. He pushed really hard while I moved my hand and - things stopped hurting! It's amazing!

I've been hurting for so long, I've forgotten what it's like to be pain free, but I think I can manage this. Now I have to do regular exercises to keep it working and I'm to go back on Friday, because he says it will go out again if he doesn't work at it some more. On Friday he's to work on my left arm and wrists.

Then, hopefully I can restart piano lessons.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


OK, folks, note that I have actually added a photo to my blog. This is a rare occasion, so you'd better appreciate the extra effort involved.
I thought I was retreated out - but regardless I went on another retreat. This one was organized by the Christian Schools Association and was for the student leadership teams at each school. It as a Dallas Valley again, but at their main camp instead of the Conestoga camp. I was the adult chapherone/leader for Western's team of six students. Again, it was an excellent time; the speaker was very good, and when I finally arrived home at 4 pm Friday, I slept until after 6 pm.

However, while I was there, I simply couldn't ignore the ripe chokecherries. They had been ripe two weeks earlier when I was there, and they were still ripe - a very few were past their expiry date. I picked 25 cups worth in about 2 hours, then yesterday I fashioned myself a jelly bag, looked up recipes online and proceeded to make a mess. I had a lot of fun too - but the whole thing is rather messy. I have ended up with 17 cups of chokecherry syrup, which I froze in freezer bags instead of buying canning supplies, and I'm guessing about 10 cups of chockecherry juice concentrate. I still have to bag and freeze it but it needs to cool first. I think I'll throw out the jelly bag - it's just a tea towel sewn in half with a casing for the string so it can hang from my cupboard knobs over the sink. A new tea towel is only about a dollar, so I think I can afford to throw out this one, rather than trying to get all the pulp out of it. Likewise, I think I'll discard the rag I was using for the counters and stove - and I have two shirts that are good only for painting now.

Ideally to do the whole thing properly, I'd like to have a food mill - like the one above - but they're not in the grocery stores. (I hear my mom has one, but didn't feel like driving to S'toon to borrow it).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday School

I think I started helping to teach Sunday school when I was about 11 years old. My mom was the teacher and she brought me along to help. I taught essentially without a break until I was 41 -when I decided that I needed to learn other ways to serve, and perhaps I was preventing others from serving in this area if I continued teaching.

It was hard to stop teaching. After all, I had done it for 30 years, and I felt incredibly guilty about it. I didn't stop totally - I continued to help with VBS in the summer. However this fall I'm back teaching again. I'm coordinating the Sunday School program here at church and team teaching with my sister Ruth Sunday mornings. I also help with the Wednesday night program at Daryl and Kristen's house.

I have decidedly mixed feelings about the whole thing. I love to teach. I teach for a living - and have for many years. I like to teach Sunday school too. However, it also means that I can't attend class for myself. It also means that I'm tied down - I can't easily go away for a weekend. It takes a fair bit of effort, and planning and all the rest of it. It also means that I don't really have a day off from teaching - I do it for a living Monday through Friday, prep for Sunday School on Saturday, teach it on Sunday; fit in marking and planning, etc. between times. I nearly always feel blessed when I do it though - I come away feeling refreshed and uplifted.

One of the things I found when I stopped teaching was that it forced me to grow in other areas. I committed myself to try new things. I would mix the sound, for example (traditionally this seems to be a male only role). I would greet, make the coffee, and pray. However, here in Regina, there's no need to have someone to mix sound, or make the coffee, or greet. I need to be careful now that I'm teaching again, that I don't stop committing myself to growth - just because I'm doing what is easy and familiar.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Arms

I've been having difficulty with pain in my arms since back in March. I stopped practicing piano, because it seemed to aggravate it. However, it seems to be getting worse. They ache most of the time now. Sometimes it hurts enough that I can't even push a shopping cart. I have been in to the doctor and she's ordered some tests - I'm supposed to go back next week. I'm mostly frustrated. I'm not used to hurting more often than not. I reminds me of Aunt Rose and how she never complained even though she was in constant pain. I've got a long ways to go.

I'd like to continue with my piano lessons, but my teacher (rightly) has told me that I can't do anything until I get the situation with my arms settled. I really miss making music. I can still sing, but I enjoy playing the piano as well. It sits and stares at me in my living room.

Retreat and Advance

The Labour Day weekend, the church here had a retreat out at Clearview camp in Kenosee Park. The last time I was there, I was in Grade 4 (I think that's just about exactly 40 years ago). The camp has changed a little bit since then. There are flush toilets and showers, to start with.

The entire retreat was delightful. It was very good getting to know my church family so much better, and talking about things of importance. It was also very nice that nearly everyone came - we missed one elderly couple (both over 75 years old), one couple with small children, and a few (very few) students. It is so much easier to get to know people when you live with them for a short while and eat with them, etc.

One of the highlights for me was I picked 2 gallons of high bush cranberries that are now in my freezer. I need to do something with them. I know how to do low bush cranberries, but the high bush have a seed, so I think I'll have to do jelly or something messy with a jelly bag. I've never done that before, so it can wait in my freezer for awhile I think. When I figure out how to do it, I may post some pictures.

Then Tuesday morning the entire school went out to Dallas Valley for the annual school retreat. We returned later on Wednesday afternoon. Again, the weather was fantastic and the whole thing was excellent. The chokecherries were also abundant and ripe; but although I love chokecherry syrup, I didn't pick any - I know how messy and indelible the chokecherry juice is.

After parts of six days of retreats - I'm retreated out. I am at heart, an introvert, and sharing with people for so many days was great, but I'm glad to be back home by myself.

School has been going well. I'm enjoying the Grade 9 class. I need to get my syllabus completed this weekend, but aside from that I'm on top of the game.