Wednesday, May 24, 2017

My Amazingly Healthy Mom!

Mom is turning 90 in November.  She just completed a huge battery of tests and went in to the doctor the other day for her results.  Talk about encouraging!

Her remaining kidney we have all been so worried about has improved considerably.  The numbers she wanted to see for her creatine levels (35-107) have come down over the past 6 months from 100 to 87.  While that is still a bit high, it is a definite improvement and she is very encouraged to continue her daily water drinking regime. There is something about that generation that makes them struggle with the idea of consuming straight water, but mom has overcome it all and is seeing success for her efforts.  The rest of her lab work showed all numbers well within range.

The one area of concern is that the electrical system in her heart has failed a bit over the past year...related to her age, rather than any specific problem.  It is possible that in the next couple of years she may need a pacemaker.  I cannot believe her amazing new doctor would even consider that to be an option at her age and I am most grateful that he recognizes her otherwise incredible good health.  He has told her and dad what symptoms to watch for and what to do if they occur, so she can get to the hospital for an assessment and possible surgery. Even at that the doctor doesn't expect anything to happen in the immediate future, but how wonderful he has warned them about this.  I feel good too that for once in their lives they have shared the possible problem with me instead of withholding the information.

Tomorrow she has the last of her tests: a bone densitometry and an abdominal scan.  I am not worried about the bone densitometry, but I am somewhat concerned about the abdominal scan.  She has had issues her whole life, but no doctor has ever suggested a scan. For the moment she is off all wheat and dairy products to see if that calms lifelong problems.  Combined with the scan maybe she will get some answers and some help.

So, if all goes well with the scan results, my dear mom should be with us for a long time to come and feel pretty well in the process.  Lord willing........

I Love It When Plans Seem To Be Working Out!

Things are coming together well for our holidays next month.  I am SO grateful.  Hotels are booked, friends are awaiting us, family are preparing lists of things we can do for them while we are together.

The whole month looked gloomy and boring up until the past couple of days when things started clicking into place.  To confirm our decision not to go to Vancouver this time around, our son contacted us yesterday to say he is likely going to leave for the States in July and will be working like a dog to train replacement personnel, getting subletters for his place, storage for his stuff and looking for a home in New York, all during the month of June. As much as he would like us to have our annual break by the ocean, once we admitted if he isn't available we aren't that interested in returning again to the coast so soon, he relaxed and is making plans to see us out here in the east on his way to the USA.  

The other neat thing that happened this morning is that the dread of that horribly monotonous drive from here to Calgary has been lifted.  Our former parish is in dire need of my husband's services the day before our holidays start, so we will be going there 2 days before the official start to our holiday season.  It means we can leave from there for Calgary on Day one of our holidays and take a much shorter route that has far less traffic and is at least somewhat easier on the eyes in terms of scenery.  We will pass through the Drumheller valley along the route and it is quite lovely there.  Slowly we are getting excited about the travel next month.   There are friends in Vancouver we will miss seeing, but we will have a chance to meet up this time with other old friends, in other places, who we haven't seen in several years.  

YIPPEE!! So far, so good........long may it last, right??? hahaha

Interesting Thought....a Little Eerie....and Kinda True!

"Your memory is a monster; you forget - it doesn't. It simply files things away. It keeps things for you, or hides things from you - and summons them to your recall with a will of its own. You think you have a memory: but it has you!"
--John Irving, "A Prayer for Owen Meany"

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Fun With Memory! Aiiiii yiiiiii........

My poor dear husband and his issues with forgetfulness...between himself and our son it is a wonder I can remember anything at all of my own as I spent so many years trying to keep track of all their material possessions every time they left the house. Sigh....

This time it is my husband's reading glasses:  it appears he has left them at the camp he was at this past weekend, 5 hours away!  Sigh.....  The next time we are scheduled to be in that vicinity is more than two weeks from now and they could disappear long before then, even though there are only 2 families in that area who would be likely to access the buildings during that time, o and vandals, who have made a mess in the camp a couple of times previously.  Sigh....

I planned to make certain my husband had his glasses and every other item on the list I made before he left home to go to camp, but he neglected to call me before leaving. By the time he called he was part of the way home, calling from beside the highway and hardly in a safe spot to start rooting through his bags and boxes to see if every small item was where it should be.  Sigh...... 

He feels terrible about it.  I feel terrible FOR him. Sigh.....

Guess we will be making an extra trip west very soon to try to collect those glasses....a week or so before retracing our steps at the beginning of our upcoming holidays.  For two people who detest that particular stretch of highway we certainly seem to set ourselves up for driving it far too often! We just can't risk leaving the glasses there for 2 more weeks, plus it would be most helpful for my husband if he could actually see his papers and computer screen at work.  Sigh.....

In happier news, we have been having a good day today.  My husband doesn't have to go into the office, although he does have a big meeting out of town this evening.  He spent the morning working on a final draft of the paper he had to write during his somewhat aborted study leave week, then took a break to accompany me to a bank for paying bills and a couple of stores for a new laundry basket, a new bear horn and a tissue box holder for the car as our boxes of tissues we keep in there seem to get crushed with some degree of regularity, making it difficult to snatch a tissue from a disintigrating cardboard box while driving.

Then we decided to have a date for lunch, since we were stuck indoors yesterday.  We enjoyed a meal at Lancaster Taphouse.  We haven't been there since last December.  I ordered my usual Surf and Turf small bites meal.  It contains more cholesterol than I should ever have at once, but for dinner tonight I am having a veggie salad, no dressing and a boiled chicken breast with lemon juice and Greek herbs added on for the reheating.  Sounds dreadful I know, but it tastes rather good once the chicken is "doctored" after boiling. The chefs at Lancaster Taphouse know how to cook beef properly....medium rare, not much fat left on....SO good!  There are only 2 large shrimp so not a big blast of cholesterol there, most of the cholesterol being contained in the strip of pimento cream cheese on top of the garlic potatoes.  O well.....again, so tasty.  There was a decent portion of grilled carrot and zucchini, along with a half ear of roasted corn on the cob....more veggies than I am served usually on a full portion meal elsewhere. For the enjoyment once in awhile of a lunch like that I don't mind at all eating plain green salad and boiled chicken for dinner!!!! 

Now we are home, my husband is back to writing his paper and I am going to get some work done around here.  After all the ironing I did yesterday and the amount of housework I accomplished on the weekend it is difficult to believe there is so much left to do, but there is always something!! 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Wonderful New Tasty Treat!

My husband decided to make lunch today.  I was working on a project upstairs and soon after he started cooking the most wonderful aromas began wafting up and making me seriously hungry for the meal.

He decided to make upma.  Upma is an Indian breakfast mix, basically seasoned cream of wheat...very fine grained.  It is combined with several oils: sunflower, rice bran, palm, soy bean and sesame, as well as salt, chick peas, lemon powder, green chili, ginger, sugar, curry leaves and mustard.  My husband added a touch of cumin, a handful of green peas and edamame and a light sprinkling of ground peanuts, then served it topped with crispy fried, dried onions.  O my...to DIE FOR....SO delicious!!!  It is of course very high in carbohydrates and fats, but I was so entranced by the flavour I ended up eating twice as much of those "baddies" as I should have.  Happy sigh....   

After lunch I exercised myself nearly to exhaustion to try to keep the blood sugar down, hoping the addition of the cooked green veggies would help the cholestrol count just a bit.  There is enough left for my husband to eat it again...twice...as  I don't dare eat it two days in a row.  

What a fantastic treat, cooked right in our own home. Yummmmmm!!  

Thank you dear husband for a chance to consume something completely different for a change!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Day Three....Nearly Over....YIPPEE!!!!

My husband just phoned to say he will be home soon...only a couple of more hours to wait!  YAY!!  Wow, I really missed him this weekend!  He will likely be completely exhausted when he arrives and be more or less useless tomorrow, but that is okay.  At least he will be here!!!  (BIG SMILEY FACE!!)

Based on the experiences of the past 3 days, it seems that being alone was God's goal for me for some reason.  That was certainly brought home to me this morning:  after dithering about all morning about whether or not to attend the nearest Anglican church, simply because I can walk there easily in 20 minutes, I realized if I went I could also take a bag of books I finished reading this week and deposit them in the community library box near the church.  How's THAT for a super spiritual hero giant reason to attend church...I know...right???? hahaha

O my.....crazy....the sermon was being given by a guest preacher, a woman I know, a colleague of my husband's that I have spent a fair amount of time with in the past year or two.  She gave her usual amazing sermon, but here is the weird part that makes me wonder what on earth God has been up to this weekend with all the isolation:  the woman did not recognize me!!  DID NOT RECOGNIZE ME EVEN THOUGH I JUST HAD ANOTHER GOOD VISIT WITH HER 3 WEEKS AGO!!!  I wasn't concerned about it when she was rushing about before the service getting set up while I smiled at her from the front pew.  It wasn't until she was finished and sitting silently across the aisle from me that it started to dawn on me that she truly did not know who I was.  While she was preaching she looked my way several times and I could see the gears turning in her head as she tried to remember where she might have seen me before, but eventually she gave up trying to figure it out.  During the passing of the peace I gave her a hearty handshake and blessing, which she returned, but still didn't know me.  Talk about bizarre!!!! A year ago we were travelling around the province together several weekends in a row.  We are not just aquaintances.  She is not the kind of person to hold something against someone and subsequently ignore them in public....in other words, she is an adult!  Her lack of recognition was totally sincere. WEIRD!

The priest did recognize me and after the service invited me to join everyone for lunch downstairs in the hall.  She pointed me in the direction of the stairs and down I went.  No one else was down there yet so I used the opportunity for a washroom break, then re-entered the hall and sat down at a table in the middle of the room, thinking it would be difficult to be left sitting alone that way.  Method in my madness...right?  Well....I sat...and sat....and sat. 15 minutes later no one else had  yet entered the hall.  I could see the table of food set out near the kitchen pass through window, so I knew I was in the right place.  I waited 5 more minutes and finally a couple of women came down and headed straight past me and into the kitchen to get the coffee urn put out.  Then they sat down in the kitchen and started to chat.  Everyone else in the congregation was still upstairs in the narthex visiting.  I wandered over to the kitchen to introduce myself to the two women who had passed me when they came downstairs, but didn't seem to see me wave at them or hear my greeting.  As I arrived at the window I opened my mouth to say hello and one of them stood up, waved her arm dismissively at me and said,"You can't start eating yet. The priest has not come downstairs yet to offer the blessing over the food."  She sat down again and I stood there gaping like a fish for a second before turning around and returning upstairs to see what was so fascinating up there.  Everyone was just standing around chatting, so I stood in the main traffic area smiling, but not one person made eye contact with me.  I stood there ginning like an idiot for just over 5 minutes, then bolted for the doors and headed home.  BIZARRE!!!!!  

Unfortunately this sort of situation happens weekly in too many established congregations of all denominations. We get into our little cliques and visiting ruts, don't pay any attention to new folk and do nothing to ensure they feel welcome...or in today's case nothing to prevent new person me from feeling like anything more than some kind of piglet trying to sneak food ahead of the crowd....which of course I wasn't trying to do at all.

I laughed all the way home.  My lack of impact on people I know is legendary, but for the preacher not to be able to place me is nothing short of shocking.  I will be seeing her at a staff get together in a couple of weeks and it will be interesting to see what she has to say when I tell her how much I enjoyed her sermon at today's service.  hahahaha  She will be as shocked then about my presence at church as I was today about her not knowing who I was.  She is very quick to deal with offenses, so that is how I know I as not being deliberately snubbed...on top of the fact that she is, as I wrote earlier, an adult.   

The beautiful day outside when I was walking made up for the odd morning at the church and I spent a happy afternoon doing my laundry, lifting weights and resting.  Now dinner is over, dishes done and I am waiting for the season finale of "Shades of Blue" to begin.  My husband will be happy to be home, happy I recorded some boxing for us to watch tomorrow and happy that the clean up weekend at the camp went fabulously, with many volunteer helpers!

So my weekend alone is soon to come to an end....YAY!!  Thank you Lord that, while I have no idea what I was supposed to get out of this down time on my own, there obviously was a reason for it and if you ever want to let me in on that, well...I wouldn't object!!  All in all though, I kept busy and things went well...strangely but well.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Day Two...All Through...Wahoo!!

I spent the better part of the day completing all the housecleaning after a bit of a sleep in this morning.  I finished up at about 4:30pm, ate an early dinner and did the minimum 40 minutes of exercise afterward.  After being on my feet all day cleaning I figured that was more than enough.  I did a lot of "extras" in today's cleaning and by dinner time I was rather tired.

Over dinner I watched the season finale of "The Blacklist" and thoroughly enjoyed it!  I will get to watch it again on Monday with my dear husband. Apparently History Channel is bringing back another season of our favourite "Alone" reality series starting June 8 or thereabout.  That is how I most enjoy outdoor survival experiences: vicariously through video recordings of other people actually doing it!  I also love "So You Think You Can Dance" as a fun summer show so I hope it is also on its way back to the screen.

After dinner and dishes clean up I decided finally to rent "La La Land" as so many people have told me I MUST see it.  Well....now I have.  I have to say I am most grateful to have only paid $6.95 for a rental as it did indeed send me to la la land.  Snore...doze....snooze.....  Maybe I simply wasn't in the mood but it didn't exactly grab my attention.  There were some pleasantly forgettable tunes and a few bits of excellent jazz, but the dance sequences seemed rather aborted throughout the film, perhaps because the principle actors are not dancers?  They waltzed together rather nicely, but didn't do a lot else. There were amazing sets and costumes for the larger cast of dancers but they too didn't get to perform much. There was only one short complete routine during the opening sequence and that was about it.  Blah....to be honest I spent part of the time paging through a new biography I am about to start reading after writing this post.  To me the film was pretty much a "should have, could have, would have been" kind of film.  It was obvious what the writers and producers were trying to achieve, but in my opinion they didn't quite get there...so close, but no cigar.  Whatever....I am happy so many other people got so much out of it and that it did so well.  At least there was no potty humour and not much in the way of profanity, no nudity....all pluses, but it was also rather insipid.  O well....

As far as being alone this weekend, thus far it has been a blast from the past:  I received a lovely phone call from friends in Vancouver Island and from Ontario and some delightful emails from my son and from other friends far away....it was just like living in our last parish...phone contact with "the faithfuls", yet nothing face to face for the entire last 2 days.  

I decided after I completed my housework to call my friend who was taking her driver's test this past week and if she passed, invite her over for a cup of tea.  I believe Ramadan starts next week and she won't be indulging in our usual cuppa' for the next few weeks until Ramadan ends.  In the process of trying to call her I accelerated to ludicrous speed on the whole experience of being alone all weekend: her cell phone number is no longer in service! hahahaha  I have no other way to reach her as I have no car of my own to drive all the way to her house to check in.

Okay Lord, for whatever reason this is not my weekend to socialize!  Okay, I get it, I get it all ready!   I will be interested to see if anything comes up in the morning to prevent me from getting to the nearest church service.  hahaha  That will be the next thing this weekend...........hahaha.

My husband called me again from the camp as he was getting ready for a very early bed time.  He and the volunteers all worked so hard today and he was exhausted.  Apparently he was going to tackle a large caulking project an hour before he called, but he remembered my warning to him to remember he isn't 20 any more and he is in bad shape physically as he hasn't started training yet for the late summer canoe trip, so he changed his mind about the caulking and will leave it until tomorrow. Good man!!

Well, time to go and read myself to sleep.  If I do miss church in the morning I have lots of laundry to do to keep myself busy for the day!