Saturday, December 31, 2011


Ruth is over and we're making soups and salads - three soups and two salads today. We're planning to have ham, scalloped potatoes and three types of soups for tomorrow. The soups are: French onion, borscht and pizza. The salads are green bean and coleslaw forever. Got the coleslaw made - it's really easy. The green bean salad will have to wait until we go back to the grocery store because we forgot to buy a bag of frozen green beans. Got the French onion soup cooking and will eat some for lunch. Ruth is grating the beets and carrots in the machine but we won't put the other soups on until tomorrow before service.

While I was in Saskatoon this week, I went by Scott's Parables and picked up materials for The Party. Ruth and I have looked through them and they look good.

It's windy with blowing snow outside. A good day to be inside. Glenda and Jeff just stopped by. We all shared French onion soup with freshly baked French bread. Very nice. I don't think we'll have enough soup for tomorrow but that's ok, we'll have two other kinds plus ham and scalloped potatoes.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Today's Thankfulness

It snowed yesterday - but only after we had freezing rain for a time. Travel was not recommended for anywhere around the Regina area. I was wanting to go out, but didn't really need to go out - so I didn't. I'm thankful that I didn't need to go out yesterday. This morning I got up and shoveled out my driveway. I'm thankful that it didn't really take that long - and I'm also very thankful for Bram, who normally does that for me. (Leo's still in bed.) I'm very thankful as well, for whoever drove the little bobcat that did the sidewalk for the whole block, so I didn't have to do my sidewalk. I had a quick visit with my next door neighbour to the west, who offered to shovel my driveway for me, but I had it done before he had finished the errand he had to do first. I'm thankful that it wasn't such a big job to do it; and also for the opportunity to visit with my neighbour. It's a beautiful sunny day today, only -4. Although they still don't recommend much travel today, I'm going out because I'm feeling a little housebound. The streets have been cleaned and I've got a few errands to run. I'm thankful for snowtires (and for Walter who put them on for me).

I was wanting to sew a little jumper today for Gloria but can't find the pattern I traced off for it, so maybe my errand will be to pick up a pattern from Fabricland. (Oh the hardship - I need to go to Fabricland!)

Thursday, December 29, 2011


I haven't sewn for so long that I wondered whether I even remembered how to do it again. I got home from Saskatoon yesterday afternoon and vowed to stop procrastinating about it. Traced off the pattern (it's Kwiksew and they have to be traced) and cut out the pieces. Couldn't manage to get myself to start sewing though.

So this morning, I hunted out a serger, and a foot pedal, and a power cord - got it up and ready to go and sewed Abby a wetsuit. I'm pleased with myself. It's so tiny! I hope it fits. I'm feeling pleased with myself. If you omit the time taken for procrastination, it was about one hour to trace out the pattern and cut it out, and one hour to sew it. Not bad!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Morning

It's Sunday morning. I'm in Saskatoon at my parents' house; updating my blog from my Dad's Ipad. Spent last night at my brother Rob's house - but they're in Gravelbourg. It's a standing joke that whenever I come to visit, they're not home.

Things that I'm thankful for today:
1. The warm weather. We're not having a white Christmas but the highway was clear and dry when I drove up here. I'm thankful for the good weather when there are so many traveling. I remember the Christmas when my kids spent 12 hours in an airplane sitting on the tarmac in Vancouver and didn't make it to Regina until a day late. This year, Rose is in Ottawa and Bram is in YK, but I'm still with family for Christmas.
2. Modern communications. I've already texted to Rose back and forth for Christmas; we talked to Robin last night on Skype; I'm posting to my blog this morning. When I was in New Guinea, for the two years I was there, I talked to my family a total of three times; once for each Christmas, and once when I sent off a really blue letter and they phoned to make sure I was ok. To write a letter and receive a reply usually took a month.
3. Family. I had supper with my parents last night (and breakfast this morning). We'll be having family meals for much of this week - we had one yesterday, one this afternoon, etc.
4. Worship. We'll be going to worship shortly. What a blessing to be able to go and freely worship and praise God for our many blessings.
5. Music. I'm listening to Handel's Messiah right now. What amazing music that is. I'm so happy to be able to participate in creating music, listening to music, experiencing music.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The day before

I slept in until 7, then I got up and started making present bags. Thought I was done twice, then remembered other presents that I had tucked away elsewhere. But I think I'm done now. Presents wrapped and under the tree. House tidied (well, almost - I do need to do some more there.) Laundry in the dryer. Ready to go.

I think I'm doing three Christmas dinners this year. One today. One tomorrow, and one on Tuesday. I'm hosting the one today; then just bringing stuff for the next two.

Things I'm thankful for today:
1. For the countless blessings I am given each day. I woke up this morning thankful for a warm bed and clean sheets and a warm house. That was just a start.
2. For being able to give gifts to others.
3. For my children. Although right now they're both thousands of km away; I'm only a second away from them on Skype, and they're always in my heart.
4. For my extended family. That it's only possible to get together in three different family gatherings, because there is so many of us.
5. For the beautiful weather. I don't have to worry about blizzards or anything else as I travel to Saskatoon this afternoon.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Small Miracles

I put Bram on the plane this morning; dropped him off at the airport at 5:15 am. He's had such a bad cold all week, is on antibiotics and is improving, but had to ensure he had his pockets stuffed with tissues and that he had cough candies in his pockets to interrupt the coughing cycle. I feel sorry for the people travelling with him, as they'll all be exposed to his terrible cold, but at least he's been on antibiotics for a few days so he should be less contagious, I hope. Then I came home and gratefully went back to bed - to try to sleep.

When I have difficulty falling back to sleep, I frequently turn on my bedside radio on very low volume. It interrupts my own thoughts and helps me sleep again. When I woke up this morning, on The Current they were talking about the importance of gratitude and how people who keep a gratitude journal (five things they were grateful for daily) were benefited in many ways. I think I'll try that. Here's my five things for today:
1. Bram was well enough to travel; we got to the airport on time and he caught his flight. (That's really just one thing, not three).
2. Bram ran his cell phone through the wash with his laundry on Tuesday (both washer and dryer), but he tried it last night, and aside from needing to be charged, it works! (That's the small miracle in the title.)
3. I was able to get back to sleep after dropping Bram off, and then was able to sleep in.
4. I'm off work on holidays for two weeks starting today!
5. I've got all of my Christmas shopping done (I think); I paid cash for everything and I still have (a little) money left at the end of the month.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Far Away but not forgotten

Bram is packing tonight to go to Yellowknife for the holidays. I've got his present bags made and the presents put in them - and he's decided that he doesn't have room for all of them in his suitcase. That's fair; he can either open them before he leaves or wait until he's back in two weeks.

Rose won't be home for Christmas either. She's decided it costs too much to fly to either home for the break. Since she was denied her student financial assistance from the territorial government, and since she hasn't been able to find a job in Ottawa yet, she's been pretty short of funds.

I talked to her this morning at 5:45. She was awake because she had a toothache. It's hard to have my kids so far away - especially when they have needs that I can't do anything about. It makes me realize two things: one is that when I went to New Guinea, I was only 19 - Rose is 20, and instead of being half-way around the world, she's only halfway across Canada. And, we can talk daily by phone or email or texting. It makes me appreciate my parents so much more. Now that I'm a parent, I realize the tremendous faith they had to allow me to go so far alone. Secondly, I realize that I have to leave my children in the Lord's hands. It helps me to realize that they've been there all along - but I have to trust his love and care over them. They're really in no different place than they've been all along.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Projects and Plans

I haven't sewn (really sewn) for several years now. I miss it. What makes the difference for me is having my sewing space set up so that I can sew and leave it and come back without having to clean up and put everything away. So I've set up my sewing machine (that's a start) and I've found my serger, although it's not set up yet, and I want to do some sewing over the break.

My sister-in-law would like me to sew a wetsuit for her daughter, who gets hives when she gets cold. I sewed wetsuits for my kids when they were young, so I have done it before. I pulled out my rubbermaid tubs and found the leftover wetsuit fabric. Melissa has ordered the pattern (it's out of print and she had to order it from EBay) and when it arrives I guess I'll get started. I'd also like to get back into quilting. I quilted for years, and have really enjoyed it, but haven't done it at all since I moved down her to Regina.

Rose is also wanting to create. She went shopping this afternoon at Fabricland in Ottawa and found what she wants to start hand sewing a quilt (a traditional Japanese pattern). She was texting me about what to get and how much to pay for about an hour this afternoon. However she now has all that she needs and I'm anxious to see what her project will look like.

Bram is also planning a project. His is more art than fabric based - he's designed a picture that involves number theory, prime numbers, different colours and sizes of beads, etc. He now needs fishing line to string the beads (and probably a canvas for the project) and he'll be ready to go.

It's interesting how we're all wanting to be creative at the same time; but we're all going to be doing quite different projects. I'm looking forward to seeing the works in progress.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Ruth and I have spent most of the day together. We jointly prepared lunch, sat beside each other in service, ate lunch together, and cleaned up together. Then we went together to pick up a very special Christmas present, came back to my house to do some Christmas baking together, and we're just going to run out to the grocery store for some more ingredients. It's been such a blessing to have a sister here in town. We do lots of things together, and both of us have really enjoyed it. We usually do salads together on Saturdays (we skipped yesterday)as well as a fair bit of Sundays. I lived for 20 years in YK with no sisters near, and this is one of the things I really enjoy about living down here. There are some things that a sister really understands best.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

It might have been awhile

I got so frustrated last time I tried posting an entry to my blog because it wouldn't let me save and I had to email it to myself and post from a different computer. However, I really miss blogging and I'm going to try again.

Bram and I drove to Moose Jaw this afternoon to visit his Grandmother Thiessen. We hadn't been since Rose was here for her Reading Week, which was in early November, I think. Last time when we visited, she didn't really know me, and it was rather sad trying to visit with her. However this time she was with it. We visited for awhile and than we sang together until it was time for her to go down for supper. It was very nice to have a visit with her.

I was pondering this week on traditions. When I moved from Yellowknife, I had to establish new traditions for myself. One of the first ones I started was about decorating the tree. Lloyd would never have a Christmas tree, although I had grown up with one. So I put my pennies together and bought an artificial tree (Rose is allergic to evergreens) and decorations and decorated my first tree in about 20 years. I invited people to come over to help me decorate. We set it up and decorated it on November 25 because that's my anniversary and I knew that it would be a hard day for me. I did that again for the next two years, however this year, it wasn't as essential for me to have people over and be busy that night. Western had decorated some beautiful Christmas trees that they were selling by sealed bid auction at the musical and I put a bid in on three of them and won the bid for two of them. This means that I now have three Christmas trees. I set up the biggest one (and it's really huge) in the corner of the living room. I also have a really big living room, so there was lots of space for it. I set up the prettiest one (my personal opinion, I know) in the family room. I've left the third one in its box in weird closet #2.

I haven't done any baking for Christmas. I'd like to do that - but I just am not motivated. One of the things I left behind by accident when I left Yellowknife was my recipe box with all of my personal and family recipes. So I really need to get them from other sources in order to make the cookies, etc. that we have always eaten for Christmas.

OK, this entry is long enough - let's see if I can post it or if I'll have difficulties again.