Archive for December, 2012

My first loaf

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

OK, here is a picture.  You’ll see it below.

French bread. 

Should be elongated – mine was fat. 

Should have small slits on top – mine were a little deeper.

Should have risen nicely – mine rose a bit.

But, if at first you don’t succeed, change your expectations?  I think  not!  I’ll try again in the near future.  And soon you will all want to be visiting just to savour the flavour of great bread!!

French Bread finished, dec 15, 2012 small

The Christmas Party

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

Yesterday was the day to party with my mother.  The Ross Payant Nursing Home in Assiniboia, Saskatchewan held their annual Christmas dinner.  I was able to attend with my sister, Nadia.  Following the lunch, we both headed over to see my other sister, Brenda, who lives in LaFleche.

mom Christmas party 1, dec 14, 2012 small Mom was in good form, quite enjoyable, although not much talking.  I sat and held her hand and just enjoyed her company.  When I had walked through the door, she immediately waved.  I think I look like my father, so there was probably some recognition, although her dimentia has progressed enough that she seldom knows who anyone is.

The entertainment for the day was a young man, Scott, who played accordion.   My sister, Nadia, found that rather funny, thinking that I would be in my glory since I had played accordion when I was younger.  Having said that, there is a reason why I no longer play accordion!!

mom and Nadia christmas party 1, dec 14, 2012 small The day began at 6:30 on the road.  The trip is approximately five hours one way.  I was able to be back home around 7:15 in the evening.  By 9:00 I was in Swift Current, picking up my sister, Nadia.  We had a pleasant trip there and back, exchanging notes on happenings in our life and just generally having one of those bonding times that brothers and sisters have.

The visit to my sister’s also included coming home with a breadmaker.  I can hardly wait to try it out!!

Slogans

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

In the past I’ve mentioned some of the slogans that seem to have a life of their own in my life.  I placed some of these on my mirror to remind me.  Just in case the house burns down, or I never look in the mirror again, I thought they might be good to have in another place.  So, here are some of those.

Submitted to Christ, Committed to the Community, Eager to Serve

Grant me marathon strength and radical gratitude.  I want to see Thee more clearly, love Thee more dearly, follow Thee more nearly day by day (Col. 1)

Give more than you get and you’ll get more than you need.

For the Christian, death is the easy part.  Life is the challenge.

Jesus, I want fire, not ice; something lively, not just nice.  Power for service, discipline in all things, stories to tell and songs to sing. (August 2006)

“It’s not a good measure of health to be well adjusted in a profoundly sick society.”  (Christianity Today – July/August 2012, p.56)

Butter Up

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Ever had one of those series of conversations?  The type that starts innocently, and a few days after another interaction, until finally in the coming hours you encounter other thoughts along the same line?

Well, a few weeks ago I stood in someone’s house who only uses butter.  And not an overly large amount.  On the other hand, I love my margarine.  I use it as a spread.

In the last few days I’ve talked with others who speak of the wonders of butter. 

Now, understand this.  My heritage was a family who used butter.  Margarine was reserved for some cooking, but toast and other goodies saw butter and not the processed oils of margarine.

Thus, today I’m processing the thought that perhaps butter, used sparingly, could be a better thing than margarine used widely.  Not sure I’m ready for a conversion, but there is much good to what has been said.  Perhaps a gradual switch could work.  Or maybe cold turkey!

I’ll see where this goes!  Could be interesting – and might even get a sermon illustration out of it.

Christmas Tree Decorations – in memory

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

The tree is slowly getting decorated.  I have placed a number of shiny bulbs which always highlighted the tree.

The latest decorations are in memory of my wife, Jill. 

Jill Christmas decoration 2012 smallThe one to the left is a tree root from a bush in the back of our yard.  When we rototilled the garden area 8 years ago, we found a number of plants that were extraneous or just plain weeds. 

One bush stood out.  The leaves were red, a color  Jill always appreciated in plants.  They reminded her of Ontario, her birthplace!  So we tended this plant – and this year, in memory of Jill, I tried a transplant to the front yard.  Didn’t work out well and I was left with a reminder that death comes. 

So, I took the root of the plant, the source from which all the rest of beauty flows, and preserved the root.  I’ve had it sitting in the house as a reminder of Jill’s life (the bright colors of red would describe her approach to life) and of her death (the root is shaped as a shepherd’s staff – a guide for sheep as they make their way through life). 

The second ornament is a rose.  Understand that I did not buy Jill flowers (a quirk of mine!).  But upon her death a number of flowers arrived.  This was a single rose that arrived upon the anniversary of the first month of her death.  Sent by an anonymous donor – reminding me of the greatness of Jill’s life.  She was a true rose, a plant that prospered despite hardship and tough circumstances (those thorns of life) and always came out smelling like a rose with the beauty of the petals displayed daily.

Now these two ornaments hang on my Christmas tree to be viewed each day – a look back in memory of Jill.

Reserve

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Seven months later and I’m still functioning on reserves.  For which I am thankful.  But the store is coming to an end.

Now I must re-store!

The reminder today was the dryer sheets – which I loving call “Bounce” sheets.  Stick them in the dryer and they keep your socks from static electricity and the dreaded “they stick together” disease!  Often wondered where that extra pair of underwear ended up?  Check out the other side of your socks!!

Next?  Well, besides produce that has expiry dates in the weeks, I’m coming to an end of my pickles, my vacuum bags, my gloves, and other miscellany!  I believe there is some universal law that requires things deteriorate so that the new may enter! 

So, as I wander through this day (mostly a day off), I will be checking around the house to see what needs attention next.  Reminiscent of our Christmas program theme of mystery (as in Sherlock Holmes style mystery) – and YES, that program in all it’s glory is this coming Sunday at 6:30 at the Kindersley Composite School-  I have named this day “The Adventure of the Supply Cabinet” OR “What Do I Buy Next!”

Another choir

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Last night I was treated to a great Christmas meal.  The invitation did come with a bit of a hook.  OK, I volunteered!

Put together a choir and lead a time of entertainment between the two meal sittings. 

Not a problem.  And great fun.

We sang five songs.  Another friend of mine, Laurie Thompson, and I sang two duets.  And the gathered group sang a Christmas carol or two.  There were probably around 100 gathered just to listen.

The choir did a great job.  They are all former choir members.  But being in their 80’s (most of them – we have some in their nineties) their best days of singing are past.  But even at 1/2 speed they provided a great sound and four part harmony.  Not perfection but very enjoyable.

And so, my next opportunity for directing choir falls on December 16th at 6:30 pm when our church program is being run at our local high school auditorium.  The program is free.  The two choirs I have been directing will both be there.  And there is a dessert bar to follow.

If you are around, join us!!

KCS Choir

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Yes, there was a photo taken of our choir on Sunday night.  Not everyone was able to be there but here is the gang who were able to attend that night.

KCS choir 2012 small

Sermonizing

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Yesterday I began to work on a sermon series to begin a few weeks from now.  Although the idea had been running around in my head, writing down a few sentences and seeing where it is going puts a finality to the ideas.

So, off to Luke 1 and 2.  There we encounter various Biblical characters who have to deal with such questions as:  What if?  Now What? and What was that?

The questions are great.  All I have to do now is fill in the rest of the sermon!  Any suggestions would be welcomed.

The Crown is up!

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Our block has a tradition over the years of putting a “crown” up somewhere on each property.  Originally they were all located on the rooftops.  As people reshingled, the crowns were lowered, often to the front lawn.

So, this morning I headed out to put my crown on the front lawn.  Thankfully the weather was a little warmer – the task thus a little easier.

I plugged in the timer and lights.  Everything worked.  That’s a definite plus.  No fooling around trying to figure out which bulb to change or which wire to replace.  I just put the crown in place and everything worked.

I also woke up this morning needing to change out one of the light bulbs on my car.  Drove to the local automotive shop, paid less than $10.00 and replaced the bulb in less than a minute.

Now, wouldn’t it be nice if life was always like that!