Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Answered Prayers

We try not to worry when someone we know and love has to have some kind of medical intervention - no matter how big or small the matter is.  However, it's still much better to look back at it from the other side and to be able to thank God for answered prayers.

I had two answered prayers this morning.  I babysat Emmet while Rachel took Jane to the hospital.  She's had a blocked tear duct her entire life, which has given her a gummy eye most mornings when she wakes up and a weepy eye most of the time.  They fixed it this morning and she's just fine.  She was a little upset when her mom didn't feed her because she found the crackers in the backpack, but that was the main difficulty.

Also this morning I heard that one of my former high school teachers, Dr. C., had his heart cath this morning.  They said things were good and he can have his valve repair in early January.  Very good news, and again, an answer to prayer.

It's good to be reminded to pray, that our prayers are answered, and that God does care for each of us.  Thank you Lord.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


In quilting parlance a UFO is an Unfinished Object.  Because I've been an avid quilter for several decades, it's possible that I may have a UFO or two hidden in various closets and cupboards.  Last year, when Rose spent a couple of weeks with me after finishing school in Ottawa and before going back to Yellowknife, she went through my closets and cupboards and found several of them.  She also hinted that it might be a good idea to finish them.

I really haven't done much quilting since I've moved to Regina.  I've lived here four years and have only done two quilts I think.  Compare that to the year Rose was born, when I did somewhere between 18 and 24.  There are several reasons for that.  One reason is that I didn't have a studio set up like I did in Yellowknife.  The second reason is that I haven't found someone in Regina that I trust to service my sewing machines.  This has meant that as one machine has needed servicing, I've switched to another.  I'm running out of machines (I only have five).  I think I'm going to have to take some down to Saskatoon as there is someone I trust to service them there.  I miss having my favourite machine in prime working order.

However, since I've been unemployed for the past two weeks, I pulled down a couple of those UFO's and have them nearly finished.  I have started another quilt as well - I'm recycling jeans.  Some of these are Christmas presents,I've always felt that homemade is better than something purchased.  It feels good to be creative again.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


It's weird, not getting up and going to work each day.  I used to do this regularly when my kids were small and I subbed pretty much full-time.  Back then I had a routine for the days I worked and another routine for the days that I stayed home.  But right now I don't have a routine set up yet, for while I'm not working.

I miss it. Having a routine.  I still get things done - I had 9 or 10 or so for supper last night, and I'm finishing up a quilt right now, but it's just so much easier when I know what's to do next.  I need to set aside one day just for running errands, so that I'm not doing them every day.  I need to have a daily to do list (check the job listings, tidy house, etc.).  However it seems to me that I got all of that done when I was working full-time as well; how do I relearn how to keep constructively busy while I'm not working?  It may take me awhile.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Day Off

Friday I took the day off - totally.  Well, I still had to drive Bram to catch his car pool; leaving the house at 7:05 and getting back by 7:50 or so, but then I went back to bed and slept until 10:30!  In the afternoon I went to Chapters and just browsed for a bit.  I don't know when I've done that - not for ages, anyway.

Then I ignored everything else on my To Do list for the entire day.  It felt really good.  I was thinking about it, and I can't remember when I last had a day totally off since maybe Easter break.  I finished work the end of June, then I was really busy getting ready for the VBS and Mission 6:10; and I had house guests for most of July.  I started work August 1 and worked for the library until Sept. 15 (a Saturday), then started working for SIAST Sept. 17.  Not much down time there.  This past week I worked at catching up on everything that needed to be done, and Friday I had pretty much caught up.  I believe that's called a holiday (at least in Canada it is).  Friday I took a holiday day.  Very nice.  I wouldn't mind doing that again. (Now Walt and Ruth and my parents are off on a real holiday - somewhere like the photo below, but I'll be grateful for what I've got.)

Friday night I had house guests again (Leslie and Loopie are remodelling and I hosted their two boarders for two days,  and Loopie and Bailey for one night, but that was fine).  I had the day off anyway.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thursday - the To Do list

I've made great headway into the To Do list.  I had Rachel and children and Kristen and girls over this afternoon.  We did a bit of an in-service of ideas for teaching language arts and math for homeschooling.  I did a bit of a demonstration lesson, gave a few ideas of other strategies to try, and had some activities for the children to do.  I think it went pretty well.  Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves anyway.  That was something that I have really been wanting to do for some time, so am happy that I was able to get it done.

I've also been working on another prayer walk.  Each summer, as a part of Mission 6:10, I've made up a prayer walk for the participants.  It usually has about six locations on it - all carefully chosen to be within walking distance of each other.  For each location I give a picture (usually taken from Google Maps), a short explanation about the location, and some suggestions for prayers.  However Kevin V. has been organizing a Hope for North Central prayer walk for December 8 and 9, with the plan to walk the perimeter, surrounding North Central with prayer.  He asked me to make up a booklet for it.  Well, this is sort of what I've done in the summer, only much more - it ended up having over 30 different locations on it - put on a sheet of paper in landscape format, four per page, it works out to eight pages, or four double-sided pages for the booklet.  It was a lot of work.  I've worked on it for parts of three days now, and it feels good to be finished.

I've put the link for the booklet here; so if you're not able to come but still want to participate in prayer you can.  I've put the cover for the booklet below.  In case you want to know, I live just off the corner of 4th and Lewvan - Lewvan is the street that forms the western border of North Central.

Anyway, if you're interested in coming out for the prayer walk; it's going to be in several legs:
Sat Dec 8
  •  11:00 am – meet at McDonald’s at Albert & Dewdney, walk west
  •  1:00 pm – meet at Pasqua Hospital, Robin’s donuts in the entry, walk north.  Finish approximately 2:30 at Wascana School.
  Sun Dec 9
  • 1:30 pm – meet at Margaret Akachuk’s, 1071 King St, apt 2, walk east
  • 3:30 pm – meet at Tim Hortons, 4th & Albert, walk south
  • 5:00 pm – meet at McDonalds at Albert & Dewdney, finish 

North Central – bordered by Lewvan on the West, Albert on the East, McKinley on the north, and the railroad tracks to the southRegina’s largest inner-city area, it has very small lots (25’ wide), approximately 10,500 people live here – 6% of Regina’s population but 18% of Regina’s crime.  30% of the population are of aboriginal descent.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


It's Wednesday and I had a job interview today.  I think it went well - but I saw how thick the folder is of people to interview for this position (at least 6) - and I really don't think I'm qualified for the job; so I'll leave it in the Lord's hands.  I think I'm doing better at interviewing.  While I was out for the interview I also paid bills and did a bunch of errands, so that felt good.

I've got a lot of things done on my To Do list, so why is my house such a mess?  I think I need to be the evil mother and have Bram clean up the living room.  It's Wednesday so I'll be having the family over for supper tonight and I want to have it neater than it's looking right now.  I also don't want to do it all by myself.

One thing that I haven't manage to do from my list is do something specifically just for me, unless you count the nap I had yesterday morning after I dropped Bram off.  I think I want to get a sewing project started.  Mind you, to do that would require tidying up the clutter around my sewing table.  I think what I need to do for me today though is take a couple of painkillers and have an afternoon nap.  I've got a real headache.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Today's the second day I have "off" so to speak.  And I have good news to report - I have a job interview for tomorrow.  Unfortunately, it's for a job that I really feel totally unqualified for, but, hey - I'll let them decide that.  And an interview is a good thing.

I ended up making over 10 dozen buns yesterday.  I needed six dozen for The Party, and what with fresh buns for supper, it meant that we'd have nothing left for the house, after I packed everything up.  So I made up another 3.5 dozen.  We had 38 children at the The Party and around 20 at the older group.  That's less than there was last week, but I'm fine with that - we had fewer helpers also.  I split up the chili - the two large slow cookers for the older group and the three small slow cookers for The Party.  We had no leftovers whatsoever from The Party, but ended up with an entire slow cooker full of chili left over from the older group.  They also sent back two dozen of my buns. (I think they also had hot dogs, though - so it wasn't that they were short of food.)  So I now have four dozen buns in my freezer as well as an ice cream pail full of chili (such a hardship)!  I think we'll have Sloppy Joes for Wednesday supper instead of what I had originally planned.  Then I may send homemade buns home with people so that I can have some freezer space.

One of the blessings from The Party that I hadn't anticipated, is that I really am getting to know the kids a little better.  I'm able to call them by name (usually the right name), and touch base with this one, or give that one a hug.  I have always struggled to know people's names, and that's part of the reason that I try to do the attendance as the children come in, so that I can practice their names.  I guess it's working.

Well, I didn't get through everything on my list from yesterday. That's ok - there's still today.  Today I drove Bram to where he meets his car pool then came home and went back to bed.  (It was on my To Do list, so that's ok.)  It felt really good, too.  Mind you, before that I still managed to do up the dishes (two large slow cookers that had been full of chili, and left to dry overnight, plus all the serving utensils, etc.), get the garbage taken out (thanks Bram), tidy the kitchen, etc.

Now it's time to work through that list.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Yeah, it's been awhile

I just finished a term position at SIAST in Moose Jaw; commuting two hours a day.  However, I really enjoyed the job and am sorry that it's ended.  I'm now unemployed.  So... why is my To Do list so incredibly long?  So far this morning I have: driven Bram to where he meets his car pool, done my banking, filled the car with gas, done all the dishes, started laundry, started five slow cookers of chili (snack for 75 for The Party tonight), started 7 dozen buns, talked to my lawyer, watered the plants, played my latest bunch of scrabble games (my reward for doing some of the other chores), taken out the garbage, unloaded the dishwasher, put away laundry.  Still to do for today: my bookkeeping, tidy living room and kitchen, three more loads of laundry (at least), bake the buns, make lunch and supper, start a quilting project (another reward).  It'd be nice to work out too.  That's a long list!  I have a lot of other things that I'd like to get done - but that's another day's list.  The important thing is to keep the list a manageable length.

So.. here's the recipe for Chili for 75

5 lbs (more or less) of hamburger - fried
5 (or more) large onions, diced and fried with the hamburger meat
1 really large can (100 oz) of diced tomatoes (I made a mistake and bought crushed tomatoes this time instead, so that's what I used, but I prefer the diced tomatoes).
12 - 19 oz cans (540 mL) of kidney beans (I could have bought the two 100 oz cans, but the smaller ones were cheaper.  For that matter, I could have soaked the kidney beans and done it from scratch, but the cans worked out to the same price and much less work.)
Chili powder to taste (about 1/2 cup I think).

Now it's possible to add lots more ingredients (I like mushrooms, for example, but not everyone does), but that's the basic chili recipe.  Because I don't have a pot big enough to combine all this, I used all of my slow cookers; the three small pots and my two big pots - and have them plugged in throughout the house because if I plug them all in the kitchen I'll blow a breaker.  I cooked the hamburger in batches in my largest frying pan with the diced onion and divided it among the slow cookers.  I layered things in the slow cookers; a couple cups of tomato stuff in the bottom, then the hamburger meat with the onions, then the chili powder, then the cans of beans (smaller slow cookers got 2 cans, larger ones got 3), then more tomato stuff, stir well.

I'm quite pleased with myself.  This weekend I was doing the planning for making the chili and was thinking that it was a real pain that my largest frying pan didn't have a lid that fit it.  So I measured it - it's 12" in diameter - and when I was a Great Canadian Wholesale (which is where I bought the ingredients for the chili), I looked in their commercial cooking section and bought a pot lid the right diameter.  It fits just right and I'm happy!  (I need to mention that the meat was all donated.)

Now it's time to punch down buns. My goal is to have fresh buns ready for lunch and it's already 11 am so I need to get cracking.