Archive for July, 2007


Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

I’m looking at my holidays next week.

I’ve got a few refinishing projects that could be prime holiday time!  Our expected visitors won’t arrive until a week later, so I’ll have time to have fun refinishing the projects (OK, maybe only one will get done, but that’s  start).

One is an oak desk – homemade but with good possibility.  The other is a dining room table of undertermined wood content.  Both were obtained for rock bottom prices — one for nothing, the other for only slightly more!

Tune in again to see how things go!

24 hours

Monday, July 30th, 2007

Some 24 hour periods are packed.  With friends, fun and fellowhip!

Lois and Steve Gustafson are friends of over three decades.  Lois was a bridesmaid at our wedding.  We all went to undergraduate school together.

On their way back to Canby, Oregon, they stopped in Calgary.  We were invited to join them for an evening.  They provided accomodation (as it happened it was a suite at the Hilton by the airport), a great meal or two, and company that encourages and refreshes.

Well, as expected, Jill and Lois were a constant flow of information and updating (an nice way to say they didn’t stop talking all the time they were together).  Steve and I added our thoughts every once in a while.  The time was great — we ate, walked, talked — and then took a look at the construction site of Ambrose University College in Calgary (sponsored in part by our denomination – the Christian and Missionary Alliance).

Jill remarked that our summer has been inserted with surprises.  We have these short times packed with unexpected blessings.  In the past month we have seen our daughter and visited with friends from Canby — both trips that were not planned until a week or so before they happened.

Now, you have to understand that my life has been one of planning.  I have been employed as an administrator for almost half of my working career.  And now — I’m open to flying by the seat of my pants!  Years ago my boss, Dave Hartzfeld, impressed on me the need to be open to the unexpected.  I wasn’t quite ready to hear this advice at the time.  In fact, I’m not even sure the lesson has started to sink in until lately.

God is good!  Somehow in a year where our vacation was going to be minimal , we are benefitting from short insertions of holy days.  Periods of time God set aside for us without us even knowing!!

I was wrong!

Sunday, July 29th, 2007

Jill and I have had a running discussion for the last few weeks!  Will we  have enough laminate flooring to complete the basement?

I’ve calculated as we went.  Jill has said, "Let’s see where we end up."

I was ready to buy more.  Jill figured we spend money only when we need to!

I say I’m analyzing.  Jill says I’m worrying.

We have three boxes left over.  I worry that I’m not a good analyzer!! 

Of course, I’m the one who originally decided how much to order — based on the area plus 10% for wastage.  We had less than 5% wastage.  

Rationalization, rationalization,rationalization!!

Jill’s right — a little less worrying wouldn’t hurt.  And yes, I was wrong!

Two Full Days!

Sunday, July 29th, 2007

Our response at the end of Friday and Saturday?  Best summed up in our Saturday supper prayer — Jill asked that we have enthusiasm and excitement in the Sunday coming.  That is based on faith!  In reality we have both stretched ourselves physically.  Let’s see how God does (of course, I expect he expects us to get a good sleep!).

Friday we headed to our church sponsored children’s camp to help with cooking.  We returned over 12 hours later.  I am not a cook, although I am a Baker.  So, simple instructions about simple kitchen tasks!  I was asked to boil some eggs — and the head cook thought I would know exactly what to do.  Well, I made my way through that one.  I found life a little easier when I was asked to haul the garbage out to the garbage pit!  Meanwhile, the head cook is whipping up a recipe from her head.  I find that hard to fathom — but I know my wife does it all the time.  So, in faith I watched the food evolve to where I could gladly partake!

Camp fare?  Morning breakfast had home-made cinnamon buns, cereals, fruit, milk, and other goodies.  Lunch was lasagna with salad and dessert baked goods.  Supper we feasted on stew, mashed potatoes, salad , home-made biscuits and ice-cream sandwiches.  Now, I’m usually one who can’t remember what I’ve eaten.  And camp has often implied simple and non-nutritious.  Not here — try Luseland Bible Camp next time you’re looking for a camp for friends, your own kids or grandkids!

At home finally, we turned to a DVD that had been recommended to us — Shattered Glass.  A story of a reporter who "cooked" his stories.  What an eye opener about lying.  Based on a true story (which I remember hearing about in the late ’90s) I could not believe the portrayal of someone who was a pure "con" man.  Well done acting – scary story!  Great sermon illutrations!

Saturday morning I went to the church to work on my sermon.  Standing in front of the chairs, speaking out loud, always makes me evaluate what I say and how I say it.  For the rest of the day, and even into my sleep, I’m thinking about how to tweak the sermon — an illustration here, a change of phrase there — whatever might help.

Afternoon and evening we worked on putting in flooring in the basement.  It’s basically done (we have linoleum in one closet and some risers at doors to complete). This is where I have fun. I love wood, power machines and picturing how things look.  Over the years you learn a few tricks to make things easier.  In the end the floor looks good, the rooms take on a new shine and we will be glad to have relatives out in the next few weeks!

When I get into a task, I’m all there.  We quit around 9:30 or so — then we had supper! 

So endeth two full  days!!

Highlights of the day!

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

Some people think that highlights are all about hair.

Not me!  Tonight we were at table with some friends.  We were asked to give one highlight of the day.  The comments were about pretty ordinary happenings — made important by situation, personality and timing.

For years I’ve watched people.  For the very least thing they can be glad. Thanksgiving is just a part of their lives.  Highlights can appear from all over the place.  A lack of money can highlight an opportunity to be creative.  A criticism results in growth.  A broken toy is a new invention pieced together with other broken toys!

I wish I could say my life is lived that way.  There are days that are less than ordinary — in fact they verge on being plain ugly.  Those days I need to recall some highlight of the day.  And be thankful to God for all that I have, all that  I am, and all the God wants me to be.

So, tomorrow, sit at table and ask those across from you — "What was one highlight of your day?"  Sit back and join the ranks of the "Grateful Living".

Birthday celebration VCR

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

My Uncle Mar(shall) had an 80th birthday recently.  The activities were recorded on a VCR tape.  The tape wound its way out to my father a week or so ago.  I was asked to make a copy.

I thought 45 minutes would be good.  Then I looked at the written program that accompanied the tape.  The program suggested exact times (I’ve worked with programs and theatre productions — seldom are the times exact although you try hard).  Total time:  3 hours. 

I continued my musings.  "3 hours is a long time to sit through a program."  I didn’t see any intermissions — that makes it even longer.

The recorder was turned on and the tape set to "super long play!"  After three hours I checked.  The program went a little longer than expected.

On to the next tape — a wedding anniversary that was to be copied.  In a small corner to the tape was transcribed — "5 hours, 50 minutes."  The tapes were set to record 6 hours.  This tape was actually to be two events recorded back to back.  If you had to sit through them, you would be wondering about your back!!  I began the tapes at 2:00 pm and they completed at 8:00 pm. 

Well, Dad and Mom should have some good watching!  Always good to hear tributes to old friends.  May this prove to be an encouraging stroll down memory lane!

Thunderstorm shuts me down!

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

Just as I’m about to blog! 

Now, I believe in being electrified.  I like to be around people who have an electric personality.  But, when electric storms look like they could electrify me?  I’m out of there!

Last night hailstones rained down.  Lightening thundered (or is that thunder lighteninged?).  And the sky let loose!

I was about to write about warm weather (scorching would be a better descriptor), a scattering of the ashes ceremony at Anglin lake, and sitting at Tim Horton’s in Prince Albert (where five people just showed up to say "Hi" without knowing I would be there).

Instead, I shut down the computer and went to bed!

A picture of the evening (with the light meter up high — this was actually taken when it was quite dark!).  We got about 8/10 of an inch of rain in 15 minutes or so!

75th Birthday — and still going!

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

Yesterday was mom’s 75th birthday.  We had brunch and supper with mom — sang happy birthday and opened presents. 

Happy birthday, mom!!

Latest in the reno's – oak stairs!

Friday, July 20th, 2007

So, today was the first of four days of holidays.  We spent it at home.  Painted two rooms – now we just have to lay the laminate flooring.

I also got out the engineered wood flooring we bought two years ago.  The plan then had been to use the extra to cover the stairs. 

Two years later — perseverance pays off.

The steps look classy –  I even used some oak cove to provide the nose for the stairs (now there are vocation specific words – I wonder if Jesus knew these words as a carpenter’s son?).

Tomorrow is mom’s birthday – a party is in the offing.  Then off to Prince Albert overnight, a scattering of ashes on Sunday, supper with my daughter and family, evening at friends, Jill’s haricut on Monday and home in the evening.

Should be fun!

Paint, rooms and colours

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

We are down to the last two rooms.  The renovation "light at the end of the tunnel" is colored "Sea Urchin".  At least that was the color we planned on painting the walls, with  feature wall of "Biscotti".  Well, we have more Biscoti than Sea Urchin (can you eat both of these?).

So, tomorrow morning we will probably go out and find paint that will do the job.  Or will we just go with Biscotti?  These are the big questions of life — as we take a day or two off. 

The next few days are off to my mom’s birthday party, a scattering of the ashes, a hair appointment (for Jill, not me — not sure I have enough hair to make it worthwhile), and some visiting.

All enjoyable in the midst of the heat wave of the summer.

Enjoy your days and may they be blessed with breezes of summer to gently lift the oppresive rays that can wrinkle your skin cause unimagined illnesses!  OK — just have a good time!!