Thursday, December 23, 2010

You deserve a break today

I took Bram to the airport yesterday morning for his 8:30 flight - so we were there by 7:15 or so. That's all well and good except when we arrived we found out that his flight actually left at 6:30, so we should have been there at 5:30. As it's just a very few days before Christmas, the ticket agents weren't holding out hope that they could find him a seat at all on any other flights, but God was with us and he got the last seat on the next flight to Calgary. In Calgary he was able to make his earlier connection to YK. He phoned me last night to let me know he had arrived there safely. It cost me an extra $75 to change his ticket; Merry Christmas, Bram.

I slept in until 6:30 this morning, and didn't actually get up until 7:00. I cannot deny it, I'm a morning person. I have a few Christmas presents to make today, and need to do laundry, but am pretty much ready. Off to S'toon tomorrow; Rose works tonight until 8 pm.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Ruth and I have attempted to start a new Saturday morning routine. We started a couple of months ago, and we haven't been totally consistent about it, but we both really like it when it does happen.

What is the routine, you ask? We make up our week's menus, then bright and early Saturday morning, when the grocery store is pretty much empty, we go and get the week's groceries. Then we head back one home or the other, and make up as much of the menus as we can in advance. We generally make up several marinated salads or salads that will keep for several days, and maybe part of a main course or two.

For example, this week we're making up a broccoli salad (really very nice, with broccoli, sunflower seeds and grapes); a marinated vegetable salad, coleslaw forever, and home made chicken strips (chicken breasts cut into strips, dipped in egg white and turned in a mixture of cornflake crumbs and bran flake crumbs, then baked - none of the fat, all of the flavour).

As both of us work full time, we love the opportunity to get some of the needed chores done together - sharing the effort makes it a pleasure instead of a chore. In addition, we get to visit with each other and share what's going on in our lives and in our families' lives - as well as news about the extended family. We also love having our week's menus planned, so when we get home from work we know what's for supper - and that part of it is already prepared in advance. We love that we save money doing this, because we only purchase what's needed on the menus, and it also forces us to keep our fridges cleaned out. Even better, lunches are much healthier and cost less as well. Ruth usually uses some of the premade salads as part of her lunches. All in all it's a win/win situation.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Well that was disappointing

Bram and I drove to Moose Jaw yesterday. Mom Thiessen has been discharged from the hospital to a nursing home there and we were going to visit. I had phoned the night before and visited with Darlene and found out which nursing home, which room, etc. So when we arrived at the nursing home, I was prepared. However, there was a big sign up in the lobby of the nursing home saying that due to an outbreak of enteritis, one entire wing of the nursing home was closed to visitors. Of course, it was the wing that Mom is on. So we weren't able to even see mom. We did leave a card for her, but it was a disappointment.

Instead we drove out to the farm and visited with Doug and Darlene a bit. Bram got to have a quick snowmobile ride while Darlene and I visited. Then we drove back to Regina.

We'll have to try again another time.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


I decided it would be nice to have granola in the house so I went by the bulk store (always an experience in temptation) and picked up ingredients. I can't just buy granola because all granola is made with oats, and I carry an epipen just in case I come in contact with oats.

In any case, I bought spelts flakes, kamut flakes, rye flakes - to replace the oatmeal. I also purchased thompson raisins (becuase I prefer them to sultanas and when I was at the grocery store last week they only had sultanas), craisins, dried blueberries and dried apples, for the dried fruit. I had to cut the apples into little chunks, so I didn't much of use that. Then I got pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds (both unsalted) and I already had sesame seeds at home, for the seeds. I also put in shaved hazelnuts.

All I had to do then was to decide on a recipe. I was going to look online, until I remembered that I had picked up a Harrowsmith cookbook at a garage sale - and I was sure it would have granola recipes in it. I was right, it had several, so I just picked through them to find something that looked appropriate. The only ingredients I didn't have or didn't substitute for that would have been nice to have was wheat germ and flax. However, Bram tends to be really sensitive to wheat germ, so maybe it's nice I didn't have it. The recipe I used is called "Al Taylor's Granola", which is kind of interesting. I'm waiting for it to cool now so I can see how it is.

I haven't caught a mouse for two days now - and haven't caught one for three of the last four days. Maybe this means I'm close to the end of them. I sure hope so.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Anniversary

It's Rob and Melissa's anniversary today. Al and Nancy's was just over a week ago; Walter and Faye's around this time too. November is a good month for anniversaries in my family (the harvest is either in by that time or there's no point counting on it). It was my anniversary last Thursday. I remembered several times in the days preceeding it, and then didn't think of it until late Saturday. Lloyd and I were married 21 years ago, and have been separated for just over two years. For the first time, I didn't spend a lot of time arguing with myself in my head; maybe if I had said this, or done that... It felt really good to not have to do that.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Resume procrastination now

Report card marks are due in Monday morning by 9 am. I have several hours to spend finishing up marking. Yesterday I took my van in to get new tires. It meant that I spent five hours at Walmart! If I had had a laptop, I could have spent those five hours marking! (This is the only time that I have wished that I had a laptop). As it was, because I'm still recouperating from a really bad cold, I came home afterwards and went to bed. Then picked up Rose when she got off work, and came back to bed. Today I don't have that luxury - must finish marking! However would love to be back in bed right now. I still have a bad cough, it hurts to breathe and no energy. Aside from that, I'm doing fine.

Took my parents to the airport yesterday. They're off to Florida with Walter & Ruth for a few days in a time share followed by a cruise. They're back in Saskatchewan December 12. I hope they all have a wonderful time. Dad's finished my front hall closet. I'll paint it in January when Rose isn't around, as she's so sensitive to chemicals. Rose is thinking she'll go up to YK for part of January as she'll be done her university classes and she's upgrading her Grade 12 for the next semester and that won't start until Feb 1.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

More mice

I opened the dishwasher this morning to put a dirty cup in and a mouse greeted me. I slammed the door shut and started it, but when my mom checked later, there was no sign of it. However later today mom also saw a mouse in the dishwasher. So Dad's stuffed the air vent with stainless steel wool and hopefully they can't get in there any longer. So far this week, there's been a mouse a day caught in a trap. I'd like to be done with mice!

The Dance

You’ve seen them in movies,
the long line of girls in leotards
working at the barré, as their teacher
walks along, adjusting their positions;
changing the angle of a wrist here, a foot there,
until they know the positions with their bodies.
When I play piano, I want my fingers to dance on the keys.
My teacher therefore helps me to adjust the angle of my wrist,
the position of my foot. She reminds me to not tense my shoulders and
adjusts my hand and body posture until my body knows the positioning.
Then the dance can resume.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Key troubles

Rose has been missing her main set of keys for about two weeks. I supplied her with a second house key and she promptly lost it too. And a third. I was now out of keys, so I went and got three more cut. However, yesterday Rose cleaned her room and found all but the first main set. Last night she found that set in the van.

Now, to be honest, Rose hadn't been able to clean her room because the light burned out and it took a great deal of doing to get it changed. I was finally able to figure out how to unscrew the globe, but not how to put it back. My parents are supposed to be up to visit today, so I'm sure Dad can do that for us. In addition, the armoir in her room tipped over and it took two of us to set it back. Once we had done that, she was able to clean up her room and find all the missing keys.

Ruth suggests that we change to a pushbutton front door lock. She really loves hers. However, our front door lock is strange in that the knob not set the standard distance from the edge that most knobs are; so we're locking the door with a deadbolt, because we can't replace the knob without replacing the front door.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


It’s a love/hate relationship.
The regular tick sounds so comforting;
a steady rate, a steady pace.
Tick, tick, tick.
However, when I try to match it,
it seems to dance around –
I can never quite catch the rhythm.
Too fast... no, too slow – arrgh!
The metronome – my enemy.
Tick, tick, tick.
When I finally do go in time with it
my playing improves so much.
The missed and wrong notes
seem to vanish with the effort spent
matching its steady pulse.
The metronome – my friend.

The good news is

I was able to get someone to come out to see the boiler It ended up being after hours. It was also a very easy fix; a wire had come loose. Ten minutes on his part. Half an hour at after hours billing on my part. Oh well; my tenants have heat and we're all happy. He taped down the wire so it shouldn't happen again. (Last time I had it serviced - just this fall, the wire also came loose too easily).

Rose and I went out last night to W - we needed socks. I swear they vanish into black holes. The rule is... they never sell the same kind you bought last time, so you can't have a whole bunch of matching ones. Ah well, we do have socks again.

While we were there we also bought groceries (it still seems really weird to me to buy groceries at W) and a variety of different mouse traps. At Superstore they only sell the traditional wooden ones (2 for 69 cents) - which may be cheap, but the smarter mice figure out how to get the bait without getting caught. W sells a much wider variety. I got glue traps (which we used all the time in New Guinea), two different types of plastic ones that snap down like the wooden ones do and ones that they go inside of so you don't have to see the mice after they're caught. We set them all last night - I want no more mice! Found one little tiny mouse this morning in a glue trap. Lying there, still alive, quivering. I'm sorry, but I have a hard time feeling sorry for vermin. I set the trap outside so it can freeze to death. It was caught right by the very edge. I wonder if I can use a drywall cutter and cut off that part of the trap and reuse the rest of it? (Am I being too cheap here?)

Monday, November 22, 2010

This weekend

There was a quiz meet this weekend in Regina. Western had two teams competing; one in the B division and one in the C division. The C team was in third place going into the elimination rounds, but was then eliminated. The B team was in fifth place going into the elimination round, and ended up in third place overall! All of the quizzers did very well and can be commended. Three of our quizzers ended up in 2nd, 11th and 13th place overall in their respective divisions. That's a very satisfactory result.

I had a phone call this morning at 5:45 saying there's no heat in my four-plex. I'm waiting until 8 am so I can call a plumber. Of course it's bitterly cold out and I'm feeling very badly for my tenants. I hope it's something fairly minor.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Mom Thiessen has been transferred to Moose Jaw hospital. I'm glad for her; it will be much easier for the family to get there to visit her. Darlene's surgery went well and Kalina and Graham are back from Mexico. They apparently were out snorkeling when the hotel blew up.

This weekend is a quiz meet here in Regina. It's also the regional playoffs for volleyball. I have two quizzers that are in both volleyball and quizzing. However, because they've got a really good chance of getting to provincials in volleyball, I may not see them at all for quizzing. We'll have to see.

Leslie, Loopie and Bayley are back from PNG. They came over for supper last night. It was good to see them and visit with them, but they were still pretty exhausted from the flights. I hear on the radio that it's -25 this morning - what a welcome back to Canada!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

More poetry

I remember the poems from my childhoood,
"I think mice are rather nice" - and Bobby Burns'
"Week, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,"
but it's different when they're in my kitchen,
In my food, running across my floor.
Mice aren't the least bit nice -
I want no mouse in my house.

The far north is known for cold and snow,
But Regina beats Yellowknife for wind.
Wind-whipped snow, making it hard to see;
Check the road conditions before you head out.
Drifts in the driveway, swirling snow on the highways
Winter conditions exist. Drive with care.

Piano Frustration
Thursdays are my weekly humility lesson.
It keeps me young (at times, I feel like I'm six again,)
"Count the beat", "Pay attention to the notes", "listen!"
Things go much better when I practice more -
there's no way to hide what I have or haven't been working on.
This past week, what with going up to the hospital to visit,
And the rest of the demands on my time, my practice time suffered.
I could tell. Sorry Lore. Next week will be better.

That incredible sinking feeling
My chair behind the circulation desk
Sits higher than most office chairs –
Which is a good thing because
The circ desk is higher than most desks.
However high I may start out,
I gradually sink, until I end up typing
With my hands near my shoulders.
It allows me to go on a short trip
Without ever moving from my chair.
It also forces me to get out of my chair
Regularly, because I can only get it to
The top again by standing up.
Well, they recommend that you move
Around and stretch regularly if you’re working
In a sedentary occupation.
My chair ensures that I follow recommended

Quiet Please
The stereotype of a librarian
is a spinster with her hair in a bun,
horn rimmed glasses and a stern demeanor,
shhhing everyone who comes in.
Marion the Librarian.
I understand that depiction.
It's quite the balancing act between
being a welcoming space where
students can hang out and
having the space too loud
for students to study or work.
Some students seem to operate
with their personal volume
set to LOUD.
Some classes seem to operate
that way as well.
I do more shhhing than I care to.
On the other hand, I have students
who come to the library who would never
be there if all you could do
was sit quietly
and read a book.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Update on Mom Thiessen

Bram and I were up to see Mom between five and six pm. She's doing much, much better. She was just finishing up supper; it was a regular meal and she cleaned her plate, her head was elevated and she was very awake and "with it" although still in a fair bit of pain.

The doctor did one of his flying visits through as well. He said it would be at least three months before she was totally healed and that if we wanted, they could transfer her to Moose Jaw when a bed became available there. He warned, however, that it could take some time for a bed to become available in Moose Jaw.


I've been writing poetry because I teach creative writing this semester, and I don't want to require my students to do something that I don't try myself. Here's my latest efforts:

My mother-in-law broke her hip
this weekend, and travelled by
ambulance first to Moose Jaw, then
to Regina. She had surgery last night.

It hurts to see her hurt like that.
Lying there in the hospital bed, she
didn’t look like herself – white face
surrounded by white sheets.

Tremors from Parkinson’s and pain
shaking her arms and hands,
helpless, with little hope, wanting
the small comfort of having her hair
combed and arranged.

All we can provide is small comforts.
The touch of a hand, sharing a prayer,
our presence – such little things when
what we want is to remove the pain.

It’s painful to share with family; what
happens next? What plans should we
make? Do you need a place to stay?
Sharing the pain makes it more bearable.
Sharing our love with the pain.

Rider Pride

I had forgotten until I moved back
How all-important the Riders were.
Sunday was a playoff game.
People wore green everywhere;
In church, in stores, on the street.
Driving past the stadium, it was a sea of green.

Later, cleaning windows, we had regular
Updates by texting. They’re behind,
they’re ahead, 12 seconds left... game tied.
Even buying gas, allowed us to get an update
From another customer – they won
In double overtime!

That night checking facebook –
My niece in Korea was also following the game –
listening to internet radio.
I don’t own any “rider gear” –
And I’ve never been to a game.
Am I really from Saskatchewan?

Fog on Saturday
White tree limbs against gray sky
Ready for Christmas

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Grandma Thiessen

I was up earlier than usual for a Sunday morning - helping Al and Nancy do the windows at The Gap, when my cell phone rang. It was my nephew, Ben, stating that my mother-in-law had fallen and broken her hip. They had taken her by ambulance to Moose Jaw and then she was transferred to Regina General.

Rose went up right after service this afternoon and spent over two hours with her. I went up a little later. Mom was coherent at that time, but in a great deal of pain. We went up a little after 7 pm and the nurse told us that they had just taken her into OR. That's all I know for now, but I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Of mice and (wo)men

Well, although we got that big hole in the cupboard sealed up, I still have mice. We've searched through the house, and have found two more large holes - one around the pipes in the furnace room and one around the pipes behind the washer and dryer. These are not the small little holes you might find around normal plumbing stacks - say the size of a quarter - these are closer to being a foot square. My brother-in-law and I have a date this morning to see if we can seal up all the holes.

He was asking me whether I'd consider having a cat. Not unless it was the only possibility. I'm not a cat person, and I really don't want a pet. So we'll work on sealing up the holes first.

Friday, November 12, 2010


My grandfather fought

in the “war to end all wars”,

and celebrated the first armistice

as a prisoner of war.

This “solemn day of remembrance”

became years of remembering, as at the

end of his life, he relived his time in prison camp.

That first great war did not end all wars,

our young men and women still die overseas

in wars that we don’t understand. How many of

the survivors will live out their lives, unwillingly

remembering combat; comrades lost in battle, the fear,

loneliness and danger – trying to cope in times of peace

with skills honed for battle. As age wearies them, will they

be condemned to fight once again for peace in their own lives?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Birthday to my nieces

It may be Hallowe'en - but no one's come to my door yet. I lived in an apartment for the past two years, so wasn't too surprised at no one coming when I lived there, but am kinda hoping for some little guests tonight.

It's also Robin and Joyce (or Joyce and Robin)'s birthday today. I remember when they were born because I was in PNG and didn't get the letter announcing their birth until nearly Christmas - so they were just about a month old before I got to find out if they were male or female. They were nearly two before I saw them for the first time.

We had planned to drive to Moose Jaw today and do a tunnel tour, but Rose forgot and allowed herself to be scheduled for work; so we'll try to do it another weekend instead. Rose has midterms starting tomorrow.

My parents were up for Friday and Saturday and my dad plugged the 4"x10" hole where the mice were getting in. I'm very grateful. Now I need to pull everything out of my cupboards and wipe it all down with bleach water. (However that can wait for a day or two).

Rose brought a mask to church with her this morning, and so was able to stay for the entire service despite the perfumes. I'm delighted. She doesn't like looking "different" but it does work. I noticed that she brought the mask to work as well, so we'll see. I had bought the masks so that I could clean out the cupboards where the mice have been; so it's good to see that they can have more than one use.

Rose and Bram went to the Hallowe'en party last night at the Student Centre. Rose had showered and was in pj's and a robe; so she made herself a cup of tea, borrowed my slippers and went as a "not a morning person" - was very believable too. They apparently had a fire alarm in the middle of it; set off by the smoke machines, so they all had to go outside for a bit. She went barefoot outside because I told her she couldn't wear my slippers outside. She had locked her shoes in Bram's locker, and then walked barefoot home again because Bram had already left.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday morning

Last night I had the family over. Made homemade buns, borscht and pigs in blankets. There were about 17 over; all the Pradzynski's, the Friesens and the Steiners as well as Tate, my kids and Betty. The food must have been ok because everything went. I saved behind two pigs in blankets for Betty to take for lunch today because she had helped make them.

Because of the snow yesterday, I had a big drift in my front driveway, which Ruth got stuck in. I suggested to several of my guests that it would be really nice to have the driveway shovelled - and eventually it happened. In a way I'm grateful that Ruth got stuck there or it might not have. Everyone seemed to think that someone else could do it better.

After supper I took Rose and Bram out to get winter outerwear. Got Bram outfitted. Rose is planning to wait until Bram flies back to YK in two weeks and get him to bring her stuff down from there. Until then, she can borrow from mom. So I bought myself some new boots so she can borrow my old ones. I also looked for a different snow shovel but everyone's sold out.

It was -15 when I woke up this morning but has warmed up to -11 the last I heard on the radio. Rose has caught the bus to work (wearing my ski jacket and boots). I need to leave for work myself, and Betty is probably just waking up. I've just finished cleaning up from last night - what's impossible for me to do in the evening becomes very simple in the morning. Luckily I didn't have piano lessons this morning because I don't have an extension cord to plug in my van yet. The one I had last year seems to have disappeared with the move.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Welcome winter

Winter arrived today. It was lovely weather this past weekend; but it started snowing this morning. The snow was really heavy this afternoon. I shovelled the driveway after I arrived home from work but you would never know it. Rose came home from her night class 20 minutes after I got in from The Party and she couldn't see my footprints. She was 10 minutes late for her night class, even though she took the early bus, because the busses were going only about 5 mph. She said the bus hit the centre boulevard several times; it was just floating on the snow.

It's a heavy wet snow, with lots of wind. Rose just pointed out that there's a tree across our back deck; felled from the snow I assume. It's not a really big tree, but it doesn't really belong there. It can wait, however, for daylight. I can hear the wind whistling outside the skylight in the dining room.

Betty is really amazed by the snow. She says where she's from in China they may get snow twice a winter - in January, about 5 cm worth. We have a little more snow than that.

We had a feast evening at The Party tonight. We had about 27 kids; several extra adults (parents, aunties, etc.) and lots of helpers. We're really grateful that so many people were able to come out despite the weather.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lazy Sunday afternoon

It's a quiet afternoon. Bram has just gone back to the dorm, after playing on the Wii for awhile; Rose is working, and Betty is in her room. I should be practicing piano or doing some lesson planning, but I'm not - yet.

It was a short week this past week; Teacher's Convention was Thursday and Friday in Calgary. The keynote speaker was Josh McDowell - who was excellent. The workshops I went to were very good as well. The van ride to and from Calgary was a little long, but I got some good visiting in with my coworkers.

This morning Rose, Bram and I went to Glen Elm church instead of our home congregation at NorthWeest. This is primarily because Rose gets a migraine headache every time we go to Northwest because of the perfumes people wear. She ends up sitting in the hallway until after communion, and then walking home. I want my kids to be part of a church family - and I don't feel sitting in the hallway and enduring service allows her to do that. She still had a headache at Glen Elm, but it was much better. Bram didn't like the music as much (they've gone instrumental), but I feel that that's a cultural difference. God didn't ask us to attend the church that made us feel most comfortable. So, I'll have to discuss it more with my kids - I'm willing to change churches if it means that Rose is able to attend without being ill. It would be a wrench; I've attended Northwest since I moved down here over two years ago - but I can adapt.

After service Glen Elm had a soup and sandwich lunch as a fundraiser for a Zambia mission. We fed Rose there, dropped her off at work, and then Bram and I went and picked up Betty and went to Ruth's for lunch. Both lunches looked very good.

With the cooler weather in the fall, I have mice that think my house is a much warmer location than the great outdoors. They come into one of my kitchen cabinets. So I purchased steel wool to put around the pipes and hopefully block them from coming in from the crawl space. However, when I was in the cupboard, I found that there's a huge hole - about 10" x 4" around one of the pipes. I can't block that with steel wool - so I'll have to get someone to come over and nail a board over it. Bram's very good about setting and emptying the mouse traps for me. We generally catch about one every three or four days. (We caught one this afternoon). I have to keep reminding myself that mice are much better to have than rats. (I'd rather not have either though).

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday evening

Yesterday was a really busy day. It was the annual food drive for the food bank and I had agreed to drive students and help with that. That took from around 9:30 to 3:30. I was mostly driving, but also helped carry bags, etc. Then I had a rest, because I was tired. Around 7:30 in the evening, I was thinking, "I really should practice piano", when the doorbell rang. It was Kirk H, with the teen group - they were doing a progressive games night. I knew about it, didn't I? Well, actually I didn't, but I invited them all in - I'm glad my living room was tidy, and we played some family feud. I kicked them out just before 10 pm because I had to go pick up Rose from work.

Rose has been working a lot more hours. We both have mixed feelings about that. More hours is good, financially, but it's harder to stay on top of her classes. In addition, they have a big display of laundry soaps and bounce, right by the checkouts, and it gives her a really bad headache. She's written a formal request for them to station her at a till as far as possible from it, but it really hasn't helped. She's going to phone the store manager tomorrow and see if that will make a difference.

Bram made supper Saturday night. He's taking a food studies class in French by correspondence - and this was one of his assignments. I was happy for him to make supper, but it wasn't really like I sat back and did nothing. In some ways it's more work to help him than to make it myself, but I'm glad he's learning how. He made a shepherd's pie casserole, with mashed sweet potatoes on top instead of regular mashed potatoes. It was quite good.

Report card marks were due in Friday morning, so I was at work bright and early - 6:30 am so that I could finish calculating them and get them entered. However the program wasn't working properly, so they never did get entered. Hopefully the program will have been fixed (whatever's wrong with it) by tomorrow so I can enter them before school starts. Every six weeks I vow that I'll stay on top of the marking, and I never do. However, maybe next six weeks will be different.

The weather continues to be wonderful and warm. My yard, front and back, is covered with leaves. This may be because there are 18 trees in my back yard, and three or four in the front. We've raked several times, and have bagged lots of bags, and I don't know that you can tell. I supposed I should go back at it again, but the idea doesn't exactly thrill. Maybe we'll go for the natural look.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Giving Thanks

Lectureship weekend at Western has just ended. We had a smaller crowd than usual because there were so many farmers still getting their crops in. However, the Lectureship itself was excellent. The theme was "Reclaiming Social Justice" and the guest speaker was Dr. Ken Greene from Texas. It took me awhile to be able to understand him clearly because of the accent (I had to listen with both ears), but he had a series of powerful messages. I really appreciated the class sessions, however. There were three different class times, and each time we had a choice of three classes - and they all sounded so interesting, it was hard to decide where to go. However, they were all thought provoking, and hopefully, action demanding as well.

One of the highlights of Lectureship, for me anyway, was Thanksgiving dinner. I hosted it and invited all and sundry to come. (Go to the highways and byways and compell them to come in). I'm not sure just how many we actually ended up with here, but I'm pretty sure it was between 45 and 50 people. We had a really joyful time, eating and sharing together. Towards the end of the crowd we had run out of potatoes, turnips and veggies, but I pulled out a pan of lasagne from the fridge and we continued on.

Daryl had those of us in the living room (about 35+) share, if we were comfortable, with an example of a powerful answer to prayer. And the sharing was wonderful. We sang a little bit together, and prayed together and ate together, and the whole thing was great.

I have to say that doing a turkey dinner is one of the easiest ways to host a large crowd that I can think of. I started the turkey the night before and roasted it from frozen (Ruth taught me to do that, and I have to say, it certainly makes it very easy). When I got up in the morning I peeled potatoes (I did my dutch oven full, and I maybe should have done two pots full), pulled out a bag of frozen veg's to dump into a pot, and put two boxes of stuffing with water, etc, into the slow cooker. That was it for meal preparation. When I got home after service, (and I did skip out on the last 15 minutes or so), I started the potatoes and vegetables, and Rose and I finished tidying up. Rose had come home after communion (she was having trouble with the fresh paint fumes in the building), and had done a large part of the cleaning up already.

If I was doing this again, I'd splurge for a proper roasting pan. I used the large square open roasting pan that came with the oven, and while the turkey fit in it, all the juices didn't and they ran out of the oven and down the cupboard and over the floor. I ended up washing the kitchen floor three times before everyone arrived.

I am so thankful to have a house that I'm able to host such a large gathering in. We had over 30 people sitting and eating in the living room, and there was room for all. The kids sat around the table to eat and after they ate they played with the Wii and other toys in the family room. I think I need to tap shoulders to get some more toys for when I have large gatherings, but we all managed. I am also very thankful to my nephew, David, who did a large part of the inviting of people. That's one area where being an introvert like I am isn't helpful - and I'm so thankful that he was able to invite so many people to come. I'm also very thankful to Rose, who even though she worked all afternoon and all day the day before, came home from church and worked straight through cleaning up and tidying up. I am so blessed to have my kids here this year.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Well, I guess you can be too busy

I did a major oops yesterday. I can laugh about it now - in fact, I laughed about it as soon as I realized what I did. It's just hard to comprehend how I could have done that. Let me give you the background story:

I take piano lessons Thursday mornings from 7 am to 8 am. They're in University Park, which is way across town from where I live and work. I'm supposed to be at work by 8:15, but obviously I'm a little late on Thursdays. I'm usually there by 8:20, but it depends on traffic. Yesterday was one of those days.

Rose had phoned me at about 5 to 8, interrupting my piano lesson. So then my lesson went on a little after 8. When I left Lore's house, I was already talking on my cell phone because I had to arrange for a plumber to go by my 4-plex, and he had told me to call him at 8 am to make arrangements. I had to get that call out of the way before I could drive. I then got into my car, got into traffic and was speeding my way back across town. When I got to school, I had to park at the far end of the parking lot. I dashed to the library and go there just before the first bell rang at 8:25.

I went upstairs (the library has two levels) to teach my class, then I noticed that my shoe seemed to be untied. That's when it hit me. I wasn't wearing lace up shoes! At least, I hadn't been when I left the house this morning. I was now. They weren't my shoes! Lorna has her lesson right after mine, and I had stolen her shoes! Mine were still at Lore's house across town. I phoned and made my apologies and we'll swap shoes back next week. (Poor Lorna, my shoes wouldn't even fit her. Her shoes are much too big for me.) I had to phone Rose to bring me another pair of shoes to wear at school.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Evening

I haven't been feeling well all week. Nothing major - just blah - I'm having a lot of trouble just staying on top of the classes I'm teaching, doing the TL thing; being a parent, etc. I finally went online with my class tonight - I'm over a week behind. Oh well, I'm doing what I can when I can. I hate being behind but at least I'm trying. It's not even 8 pm and I'm wanting to go to bed.

My parents were here Saturday. My dad, bless him, changed my locks for me so that the deadbolts now all have turnbuckles on the inside. It was a fairly major job because the old locks had a smaller hole and he had to redrill the hole for the new locks. In addition, he hung my towel racks in the bathroom (so we all have our own towel rack now), fixed the three way switch in the hallway so it works (he said it was miswired when they built the house in 56), told me what I need to do to get my toilet fixed and what screws to buy to mount my microwave. He also hung the hook rack I purchased at the front door so that we can hang up our coats when we enter. I am so very grateful to him. Mom helped me finish canning - I made apple butter and cranberry jelly (from the high bush cranberries I picked at Kenosee). I love it when my parents visit. They left after service this morning. They're on their way to Calgary now to visit with my cousin Jim who's walking the west coast trail (he's done the Appalatian trail twice).

Still on my to do list at home:
Minor stuff:
- get my microwave mounted (it's a above the stove microwave but is sitting on a counter right now) - I'll need help for this; any takers?
- get my toilet fixed - I can likely do this on my own
- hang my knife rack in the kitchen (a 10 minute job for someone else - an impossibility for me)
- finish putting the captain's bed together in my spare room (Rose and I worked on this for about 2 hours and we almost got the three drawers put together; we've got a ways to go to finish).

More Major stuff: - all of this will need someone else to do it for me
- the beam that runs under my furnace apparently isn't supported, and needs supports on both sides. When they installed the furnace (in the past few years), they cut the beam and never supported it. This is a fairly important must do.
- build a front hall closet (I've got the space for it, and I can't believe an architect built this house and never put a coat closet in it!) I want to have a bookcase on the back of the closet for my piano books. Not an essential, but would be very nice to have.
- Put a shower in my half bath - which means remodelling both bathrooms - stealing some room from the main bathroom for the shower, and putting a new vanity in there, moving both toilets and sinks. (This will wait for at least a year until I can afford it.)
- Put a half bath in the strange closet near the back door, and move the washer and drayer there out of the kitchen. (This will also wait for at least a year until I can afford it.)

If I'm making a wish list, I'd also like to remodel the kitchen, but that can wait until I win the Canadian Living annual contest to remodel your kitchen as that's the only way I can see it happening. Currently all the appliances are original from 1956.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Back in the saddle again

It only took about 10 days, but I have internet and phone service again. Life is good.

I haven't been home much though, to use and appreciate it. It got fixed Friday at noon. There was a church retreat Friday night through Monday morning at Kenosee. Got back home around noon. Had a school retreat yesterday and today. Got home around 7 pm. (I was home earlier, but I had to give me key out so that I could get my kitchen taps fixed, so didn't have a key and Rose wasn't home. When I picked up Rose from work, she needed to run some errands, so we didn't get home until after 7.)

However, I'm back home again, the phone works, the internet works, and my kitchen tap works. In addition, Rose is registered for her classes at the U of R and has her texts. I got an email from my prof saying my class started today online and I hadn't check in yet - so that's my next task. That and practicing piano; piano lessons are tomorrow morning. I can't say I've gotten a lot of practice in this week though. I should also do some preparations for tomorrow's classes that I'm teaching, at least if I want a good day teaching, I should do that. I guess that means that my evening is mapped out for me.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Packing Continues

Rose and I set ourselves individual goals each day. I got a fair bit accomplished yesterday. We got the majority of the boxes we had packed moved to the van, so that we can actually see the living room again. I got all the places contacted for change of address and hook-up (gas, power, phone, water). I cleaned out the microwave and scrubbed it down. (I've got a halo for that one!)

Rose was really wanting to take her electric bike for a ride. Unfortunately, it was pouring rain for most of the day yesterday. However she did get the battery in place. Then she had to use the key to lock it in place and the key got stuck. So when the Pradzynskis came over in the evening, Walter helped her get the key out. But then the battery appeared to be dead. So she charged it overnight. But it still appears to be dead. It's a little frustrating, and she doesn't know what to do next. I don't either. Any suggestions?

My goals for today are to get my bedroom completely cleaned up and non-essentials packed. I'm not planning on packing my closet or dresser - I'm just moving a block after all, and I can pull the drawers out and put them back in at the other end. But I'd like to get the assorted clutter dealt with.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Well, it seemed a good idea at the time

Last fall I went camping three times in a row. Once was at the church retreat at Clearview camp; then as soon as we came back from that I went with the entire school to Dallas Valley. After that the school leadership team (student council members) went to a retreat at Dallas Valley. The high bush cranberries were ripe at Clearview and the chokecherries were ripe at Dallas Valley. So I picked berries.

I made the high bush cranberries into jelly, which stayed in my fridge until I finally threw it out. I made the chokecherries into syrup, which I put in freezer bags in the freezer. Bad idea. Every single bag leaked.

I have just finished cleaning out and defrosting the freezer. The bottom half inch wsas chokecherry syrup. Not nice. Not nice at all. Especially since I'm really too short to reach the bottom of the freezer. I had to balance on my stomach with my feet off the floor and my head halfway down. Not a lot of fun either.

However, the good news is that that nasty chore is done. Next time, I'll can instead of freeze. In my new house I'll have room for canning.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Packing and moving

I've signed nearly all the papers for my new house. Ruth hasn't received the instructions from the other lawyer yet, but I've signed everything else. I've made arrangements to sign for home insurance and life insurance on Friday. I still have to make arrangements for water, gas, power, phone, etc. (Tomorrow I think.)

Rose and I have started packing. We did around 15 boxes yesterday. Small boxes because they're books. That's her manga collection. It's a start, I guess. We've got lots more to go. We need to pick up more boxes. I'd like to get all the rest of the books packed today (my music, my books, the rest of Rose's books, etc.)

Yesterday we priced out furniture. I'm moving from a two bedroom into a four bedroom with both a living room and a family room. I'll need more furniture. I'd like to find some really good garage sales for bookcases though. We'll need several more of those.

In the meantime there's also lots of moving going on at school. The halls are full of furniture moved from one place to another. I've been marking stuff in the back room of the library to either go or stay. Things are pretty chaotic over there. I'm glad, in a way, that I'm really too busy to help with that. I'm putting in an hour or two everyday, but that's all. As Rose pointed out, there's not much lifting I can do anyway. If I lift very much at all with my right arm, my elbow goes out of alignment.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Have no anxiety about anything...

But in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving make your requests to God. Phil 4:6

Sunday I went over to the Pradzynski's for lunch. When I was getting ready to leave in the afternoon, I couldn't find my keys. I finally ended up borrowing their extra set of keys for my apartment so I could get back home. This evening I went back to their house to search again. We searched and searched... and couldn't find them. I knew they had to be there - but where?

Finally, Walter said, "Let's just stop and pray about this." Immediately after that, Ruth picked up a fabric shopping bag from the floor; it jingled because my keys were inside.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Today is my parents' 57th anniversary. That's pretty amazing. I also heard that my niece, Robin, is now engaged (in Korea). Yesterday was the anniversary of when I separated from my husband. Some anniversaries are nicer than others.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Busy Week

I'm almost finished my course. I have a final assignment due this coming Wednesday (that I really need to do more on than just be thinking about it) - and then I'm done.

It's been fairly hectic as usual. (Who said that teacher's have the whole summer off?) In addition to working on my class, I spent most of the week down in S'toon. Rose, Bram and I left Saturday and Rose and I got back last night. We put Bram on the plane yesterday for YK. He`ll be there for a very short while, then fly down to burn camp and after burn camp`s over, it`ll almost be time for him to come down here for school.

We spent most of the week at my brother John`s house. I had my tub refinished (and it looks really good!). The stuff to do that is a two part epoxy, and it has to cure for five days before you can use the tub again. In addition, Rose is extremely sensitive to chemicals - so we couldn`t do it and stay in the apartment. So I invited myself down to John`s, and my neighbour downstairs painted the tub for me. It`s really cool - worked very well. You can`t tell that it`s been refinished at all; just looks good, where before it looked horrible.

Before leaving for S`toon, I put an offer in on a house here in Regina. I`m still scrambling to prove for the mortgage company that I have the funds to do this, but I have a conditional acceptance, which makes me happy. I have a few more hoops to jump, but things look like it`ll go through, Lord willing. If so, I get possession Aug 26. Most of what I`ve been doing this morning (in between working on my class) has been getting the paperwork in order for this deal. More on this if it happens.

While at John`s, he needed to go to Regina for a day and then up to PA the next day, so the kids and I babysat his one-year-old twins for him. They`re on a really tight schedule, but in many ways that made things really easy. Just follow the list. They play together really well, so it wasn`t too hard keeping them entertained. Harold is walking, while Sasha only walks a step or two if he doesn`t notice that`s what he`s doing. He really prefers to crawl. To balance things out, Sasha swims, while Harold doesn`t. He also eats more. Harold prefers a bottle, and cries if you feed him. Sasha will eat any given quantity. Neither one is talking yet.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Busyness? or Procrastination?

I'm really enjoying my summer session class. I'm learning lots. We've rearranged the days that we're not to be responding to the online class discussions; so that our down days are the weekend. That's great!

I took Rose and Bram with me to S'toon on Thursday. Rose was able to see her friends, and I just logged onto the computers in the public library for a while to keep on track with my class. I took the rest of the weekend off.

Friday Rose, Bram and I helped Ruth in her office. We shovelled through the accumulation of paper and files. Rose and I went back Monday morning to finish up. Her office looks much better.

Saturday was the first day of Mission 6:10; which is a cooperative effort between Western Christian High School, Northwest church of Christ and Glen Elm church of Christ. It also involves a large group from Greenville Oaks church of Christ in Allen, Texas. I've put Bram in the dorm so that he can experience the whole experience (also because a two bedroom apartment is really small for two teenagers of different sexes, plus myself). Rose and I are helping daily.

Sunday afternoon we put on a carnival in the park on 7th and Pasqua. This was the kickoff for our VBS, which started Monday. It was very hot and sunny. We had a good time.

Yesterday was the first day of the VBS. It was also in the park. We had 67 kids come out; everyone had a lot of fun! We're expecting more kids today.

Now, with all of that going on this weekend, and Monday, it means that I didn't work on my class or my assignment at all. It's partly being very busy. It's also partly being really good at procrastination. My goal is to spend six hours on it today. So why am I starting by updating my blog?

Monday, July 19, 2010

To do list

I emailed my latest assignment in to my prof last night. I caught up on the webmail related to my class this morning. However, because there's over 30 students in the class, I'm caught up for only about an hour or so. It takes a lot of time just to read other peoples' comments, check out their links, respond back to them, etc. I feel for my instructor though; she's the one that has to go through all of the assignments and mark them (some of the web tools that students used as part of their assignments take 20 minutes or more to go through), while keeping up with the web conversations.

Things are getting ready for VBS. I have a few emails to respond to for that as well. The park is booked; we met with the city this morning; I've got the info we needed for the building permit and temporary facilities permit in order to put up tents for the VBS. I've put a phone call in to an insurance broker about insurance and am waiting for him to call me back. I have a supplies list, and need to get supplies before the end of the week.

Bram is sick with a really bad cold. He was complaining of having chills this morning and is lying down swathed in blankets right now. It's about 78 in the apartment right now, so I think that likely means he's running a fever. He's been running through tissues like there's no tomorrow. I think he used up a new box yesterday. Hopefully rest with plenty of fluids will help. I also hope that neither Rose nor I will catch it.

Rose hasn't had too many hours of work, but is working this afternoon. I'm trying to encourage her to get changed into her uniform so she can go.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Update on Dad

Dad was discharged from the hospital Saturday. They ran every test imaginable; cat scans, mris, ultrasounds, ekg, a lot of blood work, etc. The conclusion was he didn't have a stroke; he didn't have a heart attack; he likely has a viral infection that gave him extremely low blood pressure as one of the side effects.

I was able to drive up to S'toon yesterday and see Dad and Mom. Dad is doing much better but still ires easily. He's glad to be home though. They've changed some of his medication, and have told him to see his GP to follow up.

Now one funny thing is that Dad's GP (the same one we all had as kids), has got to be well into his 80's. He was practicing during WWII!

Dad and mom say thank you to everyone for their concern and prayers.

Friday, July 16, 2010


My parents were up last week to work at the apartment. Dad's had this idea to put in a central cooling system - a non-standard type of airconditioning for years, and so he started to put that together last week. They didn't finish it however so were planning to come up this week to finish the job.

They started out Wednesday morning from S'toon. Dad wasn't feeling really great so he asked Mom to drive. They got as far as Kenaston when he asked mom to pull over because he felt like he was going to be sick. They sat at the side of the road for a bit, then dad went unconscious. While unconscious he vomited.

Mom turned around and headed back for S'toon, seeing as the hospital there was much closer than Regina's. They went home first so Dad could shower and change, seeing as you never know how long you're going to be waiting in Emerg. Mom phoned and found out that RUH's emerg was really backed up, but there wasn't much of a wait at City hospital. They went there and were seen to right away.

The doctors have admitted dad to St. Paul's hospital. They're running tests to see what caused him to go unconscious. He's on antibiotics because they think he's developing pneumonia from aspirating vomit when he was unconscious.

That's all the news I have so far. I'll update you when I have further news. We all crave your prayers.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer Session

I'm taking my first class towards my M.Ed. it's a Teacher-Librarian program through the U of A, all through distance ed. This course is called "Inquiry-Based Learning."

It's a good class. I'm busy everyday, reading, responding to other people's comments and making my own comments, pondering, etc. I had my first assignment due the first day of class, and my next assignment is due this coming Monday at 9 am. I just got my marks back for my first class and they were good. I'd like to always have good marks, so I need to continue working hard. Generally I spend about 2 hours a day working on my class. Most of that time is spent on-line.

I'm not sure I'm through the pondering process yet, to be able to complete that assignment. Actually I'm pretty sure I've got lots more reading, pondering, etc. to get through. The good news is that nothing I do in this class is wasted; it's all directly related to the teaching process. It's a good way to spend the summer.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Now What?

I was to my niece's wedding on Friday. It was very nice and I got to see my in-laws and lots of family on the Thiessen side. I also saw Lloyd although we didn't speak to each other at all.

Lloyd and I are exactly in the same place where we were two years ago when I left. We're still not communicating and I still don't have a separation agreement. I don't know what to do about it. I cannot communicate directly with him without a mediator or something like that - and we don't have anyone to communicate through. However, it's not possible to have a separation agreement without some kind of communication.

Since I left in August 2008, we have had about 6 e-mails back and forth, four letters sent by my lawyer (which cost me nearly $2000), a one-hour meeting with a counsellor a year ago, and that's about it. Lloyd sent me an e-mail in February, which took me until April to even open and until May to respond to, suggesting an e-site for a separation agreement. I agreed to that but haven't heard anything back from him since.

I'm tired of being in a holding pattern. I don't know what the solution is though.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Last weekend I went to Saskatoon with my sister, Ruth, and her husband. Spent most of the day with my parents. Had a good visit with all. While in S'toon, my mom mentioned that she had found the bread recipe that she had used the whole time we were growing up. It made either 16 loaves of bread, or 12 loaves and 6 dozen buns.
She used to make up a batch weekly.

While I currently live in a household of two; and most of last year lived in a household of one - and 16 loaves of bread is far beyond my current needs, here's the recipe - for old time's sake.

White Bread - makes 12 loaves and 6 dozen buns.

1 cup warm water
2 tsp sugar
1-2 TLB yeast

Stir sugar into water and add yeast. Let stand 10 min.

4 quarts warm water
1 cup sugar
1 cup oil
10 quarts flour
2 TLB salt
2 cups skim milk powder

There were no other instructions; we knew what to do - just needed the proportions.
If you want to make it with half white, half whole wheat flour, add a little more yeast.

It was good bread, too. And, as mom pointed out, you got good strong arms kneading the dough.


School is almost over! I'm finished marking all my students' exams, just have to input their final marks into the system. Tuesday is my last day. Grad was yesterday, and it was lovely. The weather was nice too - not too hot and no rain. (To be honest, we had rain yesterday morning, but grad was in the afternoon, so that was ok.)

I experimented this morning, and my hair is almost long enough to put up or to french braid. I'm getting it cut this week, so that will take care of that.

I've been working on a couple of new pieces on the piano. They're almost at the point where I can play through them without annoying myself.

I am almost finished reading the two books I need to have finished for my summer session class. I have almost started writing the papers that go with them. (That's not as strange as it seems. I mentally map out my entire paper before sitting down and writing it. Have always done it that way.)

Rose and I went to the little greenhouse about 2 blocks from our house this week. We bought three raspberry canes (well, two raspberries and one tayberry), a large potted tomato that has tomatoes on it that are almost ready to pick; some swiss chard and some rhubarb. Everything we purchased has something red about it, I see.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Thunder, Lightning and Rain

It's raining out right now; with thunder and lightning. I love the sound - we very rarely had thunderstorms in YK and I love the spooky feeling it gives me. Like it might be dangerous... but not really.

We really didn't need more rain however. I had arranged for the lawn to be mown this afternoon but had to cancel it because it couldn't be done in a rain storm.

Rose is at work, but hasn't been feeling too well. Hopefully she'll be feeling better when she gets to work. I'm to pick her up at 10 pm.

I showed the downstairs apartment this evening. Hopefully they'll take it and I won't have to worry about advertising it. We have another possibility as well - and it's first come first served. There a couple of spots where I'll need to touch up the paint before they move in; and the bathroom ceiling needs to be painted. That's fairly easily done - I think I need to buy the special paint for ceilings though; the paint that doesn't deteriorate in high moisture conditions.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Count down

There are only two more teaching days of school left!!! Grad is next Saturday. Then there's just the windup stuff; getting texts put away, generating a list of books still missing, etc.

I'll be happy to see the end of this year. I had a very challenging class. I had a couple of students missing for most of this past week (and they were the challenging students) and things went so much more smoothly, it was like a night and day difference! One of them was back Friday and yes, we noticed. I've got my final exam made up for the English class I teach, but still have to make up one final for the Christian Ethics class I teach.

There's a group from Cabot, Arkansas, that has come up to volunteer their time at Western every year for the past five years. They've been up this week and I had them over for supper on Thursday. That forced me to get the house cleaned up - this is a very good thing.

I'm planning on going to S'toon with Walter and Ruth today. Walter will insist on driving which means that I can get some reading done for my summer session class. I can also visit with my S'toon family. That's also a good thing.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


It's not raining today. That probably means that I should mow the lawn this afternoon. Unfortunately I can't get Rose to do it because she's working today. And I can't ignore it until Monday when she's not working, because it desperately needs mowing.

The countdown to the end of the school year is on us. Final exams start June 22, which means that there's only seven more teaching days of school. (Yes, I don't deny it - I am counting the days.) This has been one of my more challenging years and I will be happy to be on the far side of it.

I have my books for my summer session class, and I'm halfway through reading one of them. I need to get them both read and a paper written on each before July 5 - I've got lots of time. Yeah right, I need to get to work on that.

Rose commented to me last night that except for when she was training, she's worked over 20 hours each week at Safeway, so that's a good thing. Much better than her job in Yellowknife. She usually works four days a week. We've been enjoying each other. She's ahead of me right now because she spent her last day off cleaning her room and I need to do that with my room now. (And the rest of the apartment.)

I had my piano recital on Friday. There were 12 of us there - four teachers and our students. Everyone had to perform, even the teachers. We all did fine. It's good to have that over with though, and I'm done with piano lessons until the fall. So last night I started working on my new pieces that we'll be working on in the fall. That was also fun.

I think it's time to get ready for service now.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thankful in all circumstances

We had a beautiful sunny day yesterday. Finally got my bedding plants in. They're all vegetables. Rose got the lawn mowed. She'd done the back lawn several days ago then mowed the cord, which made it really hard to finish the front lawn. I borrowed a new cord from the Pradzynskis and we got it done last night.

Thanks to all the work on the sewer line, the front lawn's been dug up way too many times. This means that there are way too many dandilions. Rose dug up a bunch after she mowed the cord; had a pile close to knee high - and it didn't seem to make a dent. We have some poison to spray them with, but that's going to wait for awhile.

Today's the annual school camping trip. Last year I tented; this year I'm wimping out. The forecast is for rain, and I'd rather sleep in Marlene's camper than in a tent. I'm sure we'll all have a lot of fun despite the rain.

Unfortunately, I didn't have a rain coat - so went out to the Sears clearance store yesterday on my way home from picking Rose up from work. Got myself one. I figure that's essential for camping. I'm ready to go now.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

When it's going well

I really love it when my piano practice is going well. When my fingers do what I want them to and I'm making music. That generally only allows me a week or two of fine tuning before my piano teacher suggests that we retire that piece and move on.

I really hate starting new pieces, when I don't have the music in my head yet, much less my fingers. It's so hard to motivate myself to practice as it doesn't seem to work at all.

I am taking part in an adults-only recital on Friday, June 11. Most of the pieces I'm working on - whether they're for the recital or not - are at the "ok, we can give them a rest" stage. This means that I need to be choosing new pieces. I find this part really difficult.

Luckily, I have one piece that's about half-way along in that progression. It's an Invention by Bach. I think Nancy or Ruth (or both) learned it, probably about 40 years ago - because from the first time I tried it, it sang in my head. It's very familiar, which makes it so much easier.

However, that's only my List A piece; I still need to pick a List B (classical), List C (romantic/impressionist); List D (20th Century - YUK) and two study pieces. Oh yeah, and a supplementary piece. 1 piece selected, 6 to go!

However, let's not forget that I also need to work on all that technical stuff. Scales, chords, arpeggios, chord progressions, harmonization, transposition, sight reading and ear training. The ear training is easy - the rest? Not so much.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Long Weekend

It's a long weekend but Rose is working everyday so I'm not planning on doing anything but veg a bit. Rose needs me for transportation, so I couldn't go very far anyway. Bram's supposed to bring a bike down for her when he comes the end of June and then we'll both have a little more flexibility.

My goal for today is to pay bills and order my texts for my course. I've felt all week that I've just been rushing from one thing to another, but I think that's primarily because I was busy all last weekend so didn't get my down time. I need down time.

I already practiced a little piano this morning - I stayed in bed until 7:30 (didn't actually sleep in as I woke up at 5). Rose got up to tell me that she wasn't planning on waking up until 8:30. I really can't feel that repentent though. She slept most of yesterday when she had the day off, so couldn't go to sleep until really late last night.

DeVon (my nephew, Jennifer's son) mowed the lawn for me Thursday. That's wonderful. It had been looking so bad, and I just couldn't find the time. I tried suggesting to Rose that it could be her responsibility, but although she's not working full time she is working 30 hours a week, and that's pretty close to full-time. In addition, she finds the warmer weather a real challenge - it takes awhile to adjust to the climate. DeVon then went and mowed Ruth's lawn yesterday, and he's scheduled to mow another teacher's lawn this afternoon. He's happy to be making the money, and we're all delighted to get the lawns mowed.

Lewvan Drive has been closed to one lane while they work on the roads. There's no access to Lewvan from 4th. This makes life interesting for anyone wanting to get to either my house or to Western. You have to know how to make the detours.

If you've checked Western's website recently, they now have a new letter up stating that things are going ahead for the next year. The official announcement to staff was Thursday and it went up on the website that evening. That's good news for all of us. You can read the letter for yourself - I've tried to include the link three times, (and I've done this before without any difficulty) but it doesn't seem to want to let me this time. It's on Western's website - the left bar near the top says "announcements" and it's the first one.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

OK, it's been awhile

Sorry. I've been incredibly busy lately. What's been going on my life?
1. Education wise - I'm now officially enrolled in the U of A Master of Education (school libraries) program by distance. My first class starts in early July. My first assignment is due the first day of class. I guess I need to get on the ball and get my texts ordered so I can get my first assignment done.
2. Work related - only 5 more weeks of school! I'm still finding my class very challenging, but I will survive. Things go better with lots of prayer there.
We had our final quiz meet of the year (Western always hosts this - and it was great.)
3. With my church family - I just participated in a tremendous workshop/weekend ReVision. Very intensive. It's on how to be a more missional church. It will take me awhile to process all of it, but I have a lot of chew on and grow with. It's always good to be challenged like this.
4. With my family - Rose has a job at Safeway in Southland Mall. It's an hour's bus ride there, but most days I can either drop her off or pick her up, so it's only a long ride one way or the other. They've guaranteed her that she can have Sunday mornings and Tuesday evenings off (so she can help with The Party). There's not many employers that are flexible like that and we're grateful. Bram's registered for Western for the fall (as is Rose), and I'm looking forward to having him here for part of the summer as well. I haven't seen him since Christmas and that's really been too long.
5. With piano - I'm participating in a recital (adult students only) in early June. Trying to get enough practice in so that I don't embarass myself. It's coming, slowly but slowly. I'm learning a really nice jazz arrangement of Jesus Loves Me, plus several baroque pieces. (I really like baroque).
6. Physically - I haven't had much trouble with my arms for several months but they're acting up again, so I think I need to go and have a massage. That tends to help as much as anything else. Ruth and I are trying to walk around the park every morning, which is good for both of us, both physically and socially/spiritually.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I looked out my window and what did I see?

Snow flakes falling...
It's been years since I've taught cradle roll, but I do remember the songs.

I think it's time to give thanks in all circumstances.

I had our maintenance guy turn down the heat in the library last week because the temperature was rising to 28 or 29 in the heat of the day. I think we could likely see our breath in there this morning. I'm wearing corduroy and long sleeves, but I keep a sweater in the library which I think may be worn today.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cheap Puzzle

I was at the dollar store the other day. (Seems strange to call it that when a large proportion of what they sell is more than a dollar now.) Anyway, I saw they had a collection of 500 piece puzzles. I really like 500 piece puzzles. They're challenging enough that you can't do them at one sitting, but easy enough that they don't take over your table for weeks and weeks.

Having said that, I don't like these 500 piece puzzles. They're cheaply enough done that there are many pieces in the same puzzle that have been cut with the same die stamp - which means that it's possible to put it together wrong and have all the pieces fit correctly. Occasionally, even the pieces that do fit together correctly have to be pushed on to get them to fit. Rose and I have been working on it for a couple of days and have everything done except for the sky - just under 60 pieces. This is the frustration part of any puzzle - but especially when the pieces don't necessarily fit together right at the best of times. It may be time to abandon it and put it back in the box.


Courage isn't doing the big showy stuff. Sometimes it's just doing what needs to be done, even when it's difficult.

Communication is difficult for me - that is, two-way communication. I love to blog; but frankly, that's just putting my feelings out in the open. However, talking on the phone, that's hard for me. Always has been. Even checking my phone messages is hard. (This may be why my mailbox is always full, if you're trying to get hold of me.) It was a really big step for me to buy a cell phone - and I generally "forget" to carry it most of the time.

However, tough stuff has to be done sometimes. I'm replying today to an e-mail from Lloyd that he sent back in late January. It took me until just a few weeks ago to even read it. Then I had to get up the emotional strength to reply to it. However, all procrastination has to come to an end. Here I go. One baby step at a time.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Wired Again

Last Saturday Rose and I discovered we had no internet. However, it wasn't until Thursday that we discovered we also had no telephone. It's entirely likely that they went out at the same time but we hadn't tried to phone out before that and so hadn't noticed. The repair man finally came and fixed things last night.

Rose went through more withdrawal than I did. She finally went downstairs and got the code for the girls' internet so she could use their laptop. I was really missing my scrabble games, but not much else.

We didn't, however, get any phonecalls in the evenings this week. I didn't think anything of it, but it was undoubtedly due to the lack of phone service.

It's good to be back online again, however.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Rush, rush

I felt all week that I've been rushing from one thing to the next. Tuesday is always a busy day - I start with piano lessons across town at 7:15 am. I end with The Party sometime after 8 pm. I've started a daily writing activity with my English class that has to get marked everyday (that's how I spent my last half hour). I have covered a couple of extra classes, and have a test to make up yet before this afternoon (maybe at noon?). It's been good to be back at school, but I'm looking forward to the weekend.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Glasses

My new glasses have arrived. The second pair is ready, apparently, but I have no time to go get them today. Maybe tomorrow.

I think they look good. They're very comfortable. I'm still adjusting to the different strength of the bifocals, but it's not too bad. I find it interesting at work - some people have noticed immediately. Some people look at me - what's new? And some people have no clue.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I woke up this morning with the feeling that someone had driven a spike through my right eye into my head. So I've taken two extra-strength ibuprofin and I'm hoping that it'll subside so that I can do my work. It's been a half hour, so things should have kicked in, and I'm still pretty miserable.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

And the latest news....

Is that I have been recommended to be accepted to the University of Alberta's Teacher Librarian Distance Learning program! (That's not quite the same as officially accepted - the website still says decision pending; but it's pretty close.)

I've talked to a person at U of A and I can take a summer session course from July 6 through August 11, which also sounds very interesting. So I'm hopefully setting things in order to do that as well.

I'm excited, and apprehensive, and all of that.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday afternoon

It's Sunday afternoon. Rose is doing the Biblical thing - and like Eutychus she's sleeping. I had a short nap and have been practicing the piano a little bit and need to go on to lesson planning and marking.

Rose had a tough first week here. She started with a sore throat on Sunday night and by Tuesday was quite sick. It was primarily a cold, but it was a major one. She was feverish part of the time, and definitely not up to doing anything. So all of our plans, like to go to Eyebrow and visit and to go the spa in Moose Jaw had to be put on hold. Maybe another time. Thankfully, although I do have a cold, it's not a major one and I am not feeling sick at all.

By yesterday Rose was well enough that we were able to run errands together. We now both have cell phones. She has bus tickets and bus routes and timetables so that she can find her way around Regina.

We had an incredible wind storm in Regina on Friday. Wind gusts up to 100 kmh; they closed the SGI building downtown because of fears of structural problems caused by the wind; trucks were blown off the highway and several highways were closed. It was a good day to stay home. It's cooler today; was below freezing this morning, but it's much better than it was Friday.

So Rose's goal next week is to job hunt and to find out what are her best options for classes next fall at Western. If anyone knows of places that are hiring, please let her know.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Rose flew down to Regina on Good Friday. I've got her mostly settled in now, and job hunting. She's wanting to go to Western in the fall. We both have come down with sore throats though.

We drove up to Saskatoon Saturday for Easter. Celebrated Easter out at Al and Nancy's with just over 20 other people. A very small crowd, but good to visit with everyone. It was a great, relaxing visit.

Yesterday was spent running errands. (I'm planning on doing that a lot this week while I'm off school.) I've found the cheapest place to purchase my glasses, and need to go back today to get them fitted. Had a repair man in to see a microwave in one of Dad and Ruth's suites, and then Ruth and I went and purchased a replacement. We need more groceries seeing that there's twice as many people eating here now, so Rose and I got groceries last night.

Ruth and I went walking this morning. It's warm enough and dry enough out that we've been able to walk outdoors again, instead of in the field house. It's actually very beautiful in the mornings. We really enjoy our walks. Part of the morning routine is saying, "I set out my camera and forgot it again!" though.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My eyes are dim, I cannot see

I just had my eyes checked this afternoon. I've been having trouble seeing my music when playing the piano. Then I priced out glasses there. I do have bifocals but need a different prescription there too.

To put this in perspective, I had laser surgery about 10 years ago. I went five years without glasses and am now back wearing glasses again, but with a much smaller prescription. It was definitely worth it getting the laser surgery.

However, with the frames I picked out and the lenses they recommended, it would be just under $1000 for those glasses. I think I'll look into other options. Maybe have a pair of glasses just for playing the piano instead of bifocals. Currently I always take off my glasses to read anyway. Anyway, I'm going to explore all of my options before I drop a whole bunch of money.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


It was Homecoming this weekend at Western. It wasn't my honoured year, but because I work there, I was there for much of the weekend. I really enjoyed it. Frankly, I enjoyed it more than I did two years ago when it was my honoured year.

To start with, I got to see my parents and all of my siblings this weekend with the exception of Walter (who lives in YK) and Randy. (None of us have seen Randy for about 15 years.) That made the weekend special, but that was only the beginning.

Secondly, I got to see a lot of people that I haven't seen for years and years and visit with them. That is the point of Homecoming after all; and it was very nice.

In addition, I had some really good meals. Ruth was at a trade show Sundy morning, and invited me to lunch with her there. It was very nice. I also was able to spend time with my parents and Glenda for a couple of meals.

One of the fund-raisers this weekend was a car wash. I got my car washed outside, and vacuumed inside. That was wonderful!

Finally, my parents stayed with me while they were in town. This is a special pleasure. Not only do I get to appreciate my parents, but my Mom helped me tidy my kitchen and my dad took apart my Roomba (vacuum cleaner robot) and it works again now. Unfortunately, both my mom and my sister Ruth are fighting losing battles with a cold, and I'm afraid they might have shared. We'll see in the next few days.

Now I need to spend the rest of this evening doing some prep work for school tomorrow. I need to prepare a test for my Christian Ethics class and plan for my English class. If I was feeling really saintly, I'd do some marking as well, but I think that will wait for another day.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

When easier isn't necessarily easier

I'm still doing quite easy pieces in piano. I've moved up from Grade 3 to Grade 4. Last year I was doing Grade 7. However, I'm finding it very challenging. I'm to play the pieces I'm working on with the metronome - exactly with the metronome, and with the correct dynamics. We discussed why louder is always faster (you strike the keys faster to make them louder), which means that you have to have more space between the notes if you're playing louder.

I'm back to working on technical stuff too. I had to stop for a long time because of trouble with my arms, but I seem to have that licked for now. One of the things I'm supposed to work on this week is to take any major scale and play it with the metronome set at mm 100, one quarter note per beat for one octave. OK, that's really easy. Now, without a break, play two octaves of the same scale with two eighth notes per beat. That's fiendishly hard. I'm still struggling with that. I'm also back to working on triads, arpeggios and dominant 7th chords - all with a metronome. Also chord sequences I, IV, I, V7, I - of any of the scales I'm working on.

I like working on the technical stuff - it's very calming; you just get in the groove and go. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find "the groove" for the scale work with the metronome, but am working on that too. I do find that I have to do only a little bit at a time - 10-15 min. max, or my arms start objecting. That's also ok.

Monday, March 22, 2010

How Nice!

I had the transmission replaced on my van. Just picked it back up tonight. Now, instead of praying that I'll actually end up at my destination with a vehicle that still operates, I have a vehicle that runs almost silently! I could get used to this very easily. What a nice change!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Long Day

It was a very long day today. I went to work shortly after 6:30 am. That's because the final marks for report cards had to be in today and I still had a bit of marking and calculating to do - not to mention entering the marks into the program. I was done by a little before 8 am.

I taught all day - in fact, I covered Marlene's class for her right after lunch. (That was interesting; my "let it be a challenge student to you" swore at me.) At 4 pm we had a staff meeting that lasted until after 5 pm. I was home from 5:20 or so until nearly 6 pm, when I went to The Party.

We had 36 kids at The Party tonight! That's a record. We generally average between 18 and 21 - I don't think we've ever had more than about 27. It was pretty busy but things ran very smoothly. That's definitely an answer to prayer because it can be very hectic at times. I always do snack (don't provide it, but serve it). We had enough. It was a bit like loaves and fishes though - we have four rotations and I was cutting the snack in half for the last rotation, but then we had enough for everyone to get two halves. (Oh me of little faith).

The Party ends at 8 pm. I drove some participants home, then went by the library to return some books, picked up some KFC for supper (yeah, at 8:45) and was home shortly after 9 pm. That's a long, long day. I think it's time for bed. Piano practice will have to wait for another day.

Monday, March 15, 2010

OK, Robin - this one's for you!

I had the strangest dream last night. I was in a really big store - had groceries, clothes everything. (That could have been because I checked out the new Super Walmart last night). Anyway I ended up buying three pairs of new shoes because they were such a good price. I bought one black pair, one white pair and one brown pair. They all had high heels though (and I never wear heels). Anyway, it was strange. I never buy shoes unless my existing pair has totally worn out. I never buy heels when I buy shoes and I hate shopping in super large stores. Go figure. So anyone want to interpret this for me? Maybe it means I need to go visit Robin!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The next generation

OK, both my mother and my sister have talked to me because they both have granddaughters attending the youth rally this weekend at Western. Yes, I'll go over, (I need to go to work and do marking anyway) and I'll keep an eye out for them. I'm sure they'll be fine.

It's kind of strange to think of the next generation coming here though. It was strange enough to have nieces and nephews attending, and my own kids; but to have my grand niece old enough to attend? (OK, to be honest, she's only old enough to attend youth rally; she's got several years before she'll be old enough to attend Western yet).

I had a couple of challenging days again this week. Just got off the phone talking to a mother this morning. Still looking for some behaviours to change. The good news is that there's only 3.5 more months of this school year to get through. By the grace of God, we'll get through it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Well, it was worth a try

I just realized this weekend (although, technically I knew quite awhile ago) that it is both Youth Rally this weekend, and Bram's off on two weeks holidays. I thought maybe he could fly down for Youth Rally and fly back a couple of days later. He'd already told me he really wanted to spend his two weeks holidays in YK as he hadn't spent any holidays there but I thought it was worth a try. I'd really like to see him, even if, for Youth Rally he'd be staying in the dorm.

However, he reiterated that he'd really rather stay in YK. I'm disappointed, of course. I likely won't get to see him before the summer - but I did get to see him at Christmas, at least.

I'm still praying that he'll come to school here next year - although that's still uncertain as well.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Well, that was interesting

I babysat for Ryan and Rachel last night. Rachel tried to nurse Emmet before she left, but he wasn't interested. However, for the last hour or so he definitely wasn't happy about life in general. I was able to distract him for awhile by practicing piano (one hand at a time, holding him with the other hand), but when that paled, there was no consolation to be found anywhere. Definitely not with a soother! Emmet has a particularly piercing cry - almost a scream. I recognize it; I remember my brother Robert had the same cry, and I believe my son, Bram did too. It doesn't make it any more pleasant to recognize it.

Thankfully, Rachel did return, and peace was restored.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sometimes when I practice

It seems like I'm going no where - that I'm not improving at all, that I'm continually making the same mistakes and why am I wasting my time. Then other times when I practice, everything seems to fall into place and the music sounds like music. Tonight was one of the latter experiences :) which makes me happy. My hope is that the more I practice, the more I'll have experiences like tonight instead of the frustration. In any case, that's why I stick with it. Maybe I'll go back and do some more practice.

And the news is...

That my application for Grad studies has progressed from "application incomplete" to "decision pending". Hopefully that's good news. It at least means that I've done everything I can.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pain and Promise

I visited on the phone this morning with my sister-in-law in BC. She phoned to let me know that she was separating from her husband - my husband's brother. I hurt for her, for her kids and for her husband. We visited on the phone for well over an hour. Although the particulars are different, we share so much with the disfunctionalities of our marriages, the pain that both of our husbands have due to their childhoods and how that has been manifested in their lives. Both of us are hoping that we can break the cycle of pain and abuse so that our children don't have to live with it as well.

I hurt for her. I know where she's at now, and I pray that her road will be uphill from here.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Love your neighbours?

Sometimes it's a lot easier to love your neighbours than others. This morning at 4 am when there was a group of teens outside my windows having noisy fun - it was difficult to think any loving thoughts. It was also difficult an hour later when someone was trying to wake up someone in the neighbouring 4-plex by repeatedly honking his horn. The things I'd love to do for my neighbours at such time (like call the cops) - would have required me to admit that I was actually awake and get up and find a phone, so I didn't. After all, it's just sleep, and as it is the weekend, I'll get to do that later. Just not when I'd like to.

The good news is that it must be pretty warm outside if the teens are congregating in the wee small hours. Spring must be coming!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

And two steps back

Whew! Had a really rotten day at school yesterday. Sent a student out of class first period - he got "lost" on the way to the office. Talked with him before last period, how was he going to behave - before I let him back into class. He said, "I dunno. It depends on what you do." I responded that that wasn't good enough (behaviour can't just be reactionary, he has to proactively decide to behave) and sent him to the office. He got lost again. However his sister is also in class, and she was upset because I kicked him out of class before he even did anything, and marched out of class as well - taking her best friend with her.

The three of them wandered the halls last period, doing their best to play hide and seek with any staff looking for them. I'm supposed to stay at school until 4 pm daily, but ended up going home right after class yesterday. I had no oomph left.

So, the three of them will be in in-school suspension today, in three separate locations. Hopefully I'll have a much better day today. Pray for me (and for my challenging students).

Saturday, February 13, 2010

One step forward?

Just got back from Teacher's Convention in Edmonton. It was great - but a long drive there and back. Am very thankful that Mark did the driving. Stayed with Russel & Milessa in Edmonton. I don't think I've visited with Milessa for over 10 years so that was also good.

I checked my e-mail when I arrived home and found that I have a response back from U of A. I did finally figure out (with help) how to submit my registration and pay for it. This was the response from the person who handles registrations stating that I had to submit all of this other stuff. Now the only thing is... I have submitted all of that other stuff already. In fact, I've submitted it directly to her - and have a response back from her stating she's received it. So, is this just a form letter? I guess I have to wait until Tuesday, when I can e-mail her and check what she has received and what she still needs to receive.

I had a real craving for poached eggs this morning. It's not quite the same when you poach it in rice milk instead of real milk, but hopefully it'll be better for my insides.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Semester

The new semester started Monday. I am teaching Grade 9 English and Grade 9 Christian Ethics. I'm also supporting/co-teaching Math 11 and Math 21. I'm still finding the Grade 9's a challenge; Monday was a horrible day but today was much better.

Today is Bram's birthday. He's down in Florida with Rose and Lloyd. I really miss my kids.

I had my piano lesson this morning. Went well I think. I'm still working on Gr 3 stuff instead of Gr 7 stuff - but we're moving on to Gr 4 for March, Gr 5 for April, Gr 6 for May. No... I don't think I'll do the Grade 7 exam in June though.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

A little frustration

I have now jumped all the hoops necessary to apply for graduate studies at the University of Alberta except paying the registration fee. It's not that I haven't tried to pay the registration fee. It's just that I can't figure out how to pay it. I e-mailed my contact in the grad studies office and she sent me a link - but the link just states that you must pay before your application will be considered. But nowhere can I find anything that says "input your credit card number here" or anything like that. I guess I'll e-mail her again tomorrow and try again. You think they'd make it easy to give them money!

Snow Day

It's taken a week, but I finally have my van shovelled out and drivable. The first step was to get it shovelled out. There was so much snow, and it had hardened to concrete so that I couldn't shovel it out. It would have taken too much out of my arm, and I have had enough trouble with my elbow going out of joint that I wasn't going to risk it.

Then, once my van was shovelled out - I had a flat. I finally got it pumped up enough that Saturday morning I was able to go and get it fixed. I had a nail in it.

That meant that I was finally able to get my banking done. Some of the banking I've needed to do for over two weeks, but I had to get to the bank while it was open to deal with a real live teller and I was away last weekend. It feels good to get some of the "must do's" done.

I had a piano recital Friday. I did ok, I think. This past week at school has been exam week. I got the exam made up for my class and marked. I still don't have final marks calculated for that class, but I'm confident I'll get it done. I don't have much more to go on that. I also got the second semester planned out (roughly). I'm teaching Grade 9 English (still) as well as Christian Ethics 9 (for the first time). Tomorrow's the first day of classes for the second semester.

Bram turns 16 on Tuesday. He and Rose and Lloyd are in Florida for 10 days. (Must be nice, eh?) What a rough way to celebrate your birthday.

It has also warmed up a bit. I just don't function as well at -25 or colder as I do at slightly warmer temperatures. I makes me wonder how I managed in Yellowknife as long as I did. I guess you do what you have to. However I find it really hard to do much more than go to work and come home when the weather's colder. I'm very thankful for the warmth - it's a balmy -15 this evening.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A weekend to remember!

I took Western's Bible Quiz team to Russell, Manitoba this past weekend for a tournament. It was a hectic weekend. We left Friday immediately after school, arriving in Russell around 6:30 pm. After registration and the official welcome, the tournament began. We quizzed until 10 pm, then met our billets. The boys were billetted north of town about a half hour away, while the girls and I were billetted east of town, about half an hour away.

Saturday things started bright and early at about 8:30 am - which meant that we had to leave our billets before 8 am and were up much earlier than that. We quizzed until 3 pm, then got organized to pick up supper and take buses out to Asessippi to ski. We skied until after 8 pm, then bussed back to Russell for a worship service. Things finally wrapped up at around 10:30 or 11 pm.

Although I had the van for the girls, my billet met us at the church. It had been snowing steadily all day and he wanted to make sure that I could follow him out to the farm. Visibility was poor, but I didn't have to worry, because he told me to just follow his truck out of the parking lot. So I did.

Unfortunately, another truck pulled out in front of me and I followed that truck! It wasn't going in the right direction, but by the time we figured that out, we were several miles in the wrong direction and had totally lost our host. I am thankful for the power of prayer and that my memory of driving out there the previous night held. Although there was lots of snow (no wind, thankfully), and it was pitch black out, I was able to find my way back to their farm - where we got stuck in the yard.

Sunday morning our host pulled both our van and his wife's car out with the tractor (we were both stuck in the yard) and we went to service. I had thought to leave earlier because the snow was still fairly heavy and the wind was picking up, but eventually we decided to spend the night in Russell and return to Regina Monday. The good people at Russell found us new billets in town and we were able to relax and catch up on our sleep.

We finally left Monday around 10:30 am. We travelled with two vehicles from the Milestone quiz team in convoy. The roads weren't bad at all - there was blowing snow across the highway between Ft. Qu'appelle and Regina, but it's a rare day when there isn't blowing snow for that stretch. We did see two vehicles in the ditch, but it was a totally uneventful trip. We arrived back at the school at about 2:30 pm.

There was sure a lot of snow in Regina! I still haven't got my van shovelled out, so I missed my piano lessons this morning. I'm very thankful that we had such a good tournament and that all the news was good news.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I went curling with the Grade 10's today. I think the last time I went curling was when I lived in Maidstone - 22 years ago! I also think I'm going to be very sore tomorrow. God bless Ibuprofin.


The depression seems to have lifted. Where before I was able to only do the bare essentials I can now return to normal routines. I was up before 6:30 this morning instead of laying in bed until nearly 8. I've started cleaning up my apartment, doing laundry and other essential chores - and I've started sleeping again at night. (That's a big one!)

What's made the difference? I been needing to participate in a mediated conversation with my husband. I was first approached about this back this fall and said I could n't until I had arranged regular counselling for myself. That took quite a bit longer than I had anticipated, however counselling finally began in January. That's when the depression hit. However, I finally said that I couldn't do it - not at this time anyway. That's when the depression started to lift.

So it seems to me that I'm not really dealing with depression but with fear. As I know from Romans 8:15, "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship." I know that I will have to deal with this - this is why I'm going to counselling, one baby step at a time.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Joys of Paperwork

OK, my grad studies application is nearly complete. I still have to get the letters of reference written and sent(I've requested them), do up a CV and a 500 word paper explaining why I want to apply, but I think I have all of the transcripts ordered (and I've seen copies of most of them so that I can fill out the info I need to). It's amazing the sheer volume of paperwork required. Hopefully I'll get through the rest of it this evening or tomorrow, so that I can give them the $100 application fee.

One of the challenges is that some of my transcripts are in the name Marilyn Orr, some are May Thiessen, and some are Marilyn Thiessen. So I guess I also have to fill out an official name change form as well.

The whole process actually is much easier than I thought it would be. I remember applying to go to the U of S (back in '82) and the difficulties just getting transcripts. Now all of that can be ordered (and paid for) online and sent out the same day.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I've been having a lot of trouble with procrastination lately. Things not getting done because I just don't have the oomph to do more than just get through the day. So I've been trying to set myself artificial deadlines and do other things in order to get things done. Today was the day that I had to fill out my application for grad studies at the U of A; I'm wanting to take an M.Ed. in Elementary Education (School libraries). This is the work-around for getting an MLIS, seeing as I can't seem to do that through distance education in Canada and I can do this program through distance ed.

However, the computer's not cooperating. I fill out a section (which can only be done on-line), press save, and everything disappears into the ether - never to be seen again. There are 8 or 9 sections to do, and I've only managed the first two before I started having trouble. I guess this means I'll have to try again tomorrow.

Friday, January 8, 2010

One step forward... two steps back

Although I had been doing very well for quite some time, I'm back to just coping. School is going well, but I seem to be doing just my absolute "have to's" and struggling to do anything else. I'm back to having regular counselling, which should help. I had my first session this afternoon. He's encouraged me to consider some aspects of my past relationship with Lloyd in a different light (was there emotional abuse?) and to pray on that.

In the meantime, the sun still shines - even when it's -35 out. The piano lessons are going well (I think). My elbow's been giving me much less trouble since Bram showed me that karate punch (thank's Bram!).