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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Beautiful Summer Sky


I'm making one more appeal to help Elvis finish his university studies. His last day of classes will be August 20th and I've managed to finish paying for his tuition and all his living costs.

 Any donations would be welcome to help pay for the graduation costs and ceremonies. Graduation will be a huge milestone for his family.

Donations gratefully received at kerichojoy[at]gmail[dot]com

In other news, the boy I was going to help go to vocational high school in Liberia has had a set back. All the schools in Liberia have been closed and there is a state of emergency due to the Ebola virus now making it's way in Western Africa.

We need to pray for these people in west Africa, all the medical staff who help them and put their lives in great danger, and for protection against the spread of the virus to the western nations.

This is very serious business.

My American friend lives just outside of Monrovia, Liberia and cares for a number of children orphaned by the civil war.  She has been sending money for the care and feeding of these children for years now but only moved there a few months ago so the children, including several teenage boys are not used to having adult supervision and direction.

All the children she looks after have now got to take care not to come into contact with outsiders (including friends) and need to stay home from all school and outside activities.

Food and extra medicine for a 2 month period have been purchased but the children don't quite understand just how serious things are.

Prayers for their cooperation and understanding would be appreciated.

Many thanks!


Linking with Skywatch Friday.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Summer Fresh


Summer is a wonderful time for eating fresh vegetables. This crunch salad of red peppers, tomatoes, English cucumbers, radishes, avocado, red onion and romaine lettuce hit the spot. I sprinkled some fresh lime juice over the salad in place of dressing but a tangy dressing would also go well with this.

I grilled some marinated steaks and had some fried bread to go along with it for an easy dinner with a friend.

I hope you are all enjoying your days!
Have a wonderful week ahead.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Juicing

This week I had a nice treat. As some of you know I am into juicing. Earlier this year I bought a blender which allows me to pulverize whole fruits and vegetables with a little water and other goodies.  Every other week or so I put the blender to good use and enjoy making and drinking berry smoothies and green smoothies.

I seldom buy whole pineapples due to the cost.  But I found one on sale this week for $2.99. I thought it would make a nice change for juicing.

I added several slices of pineapple to a half a head of  romaine lettuce, ground flax seeds, a bit of ice and water. I pulverized it altogether in my blender and  made a green juice. It was nice and refreshing. Not too sweet because I only used a few slices of pineapple.

Pineapple has many wonderful vitamins and I know a lot of my friends who live in the tropics get a lot of pineapple in their diets.  But for those of us in Canada, a pineapple is a rare treat.

Pineapples are loaded with Vitamin C, B1, and smaller amounts of B2, B3, B5 and B6. It is also a great source of manganese, copper, magnesium, potassium, beta-carotene, folic acid, dietary fibre and an enzyme called bromelain.

I won't go into all the benefits of these vitamins, minerals and enzymes.  I will just say that a pineapple's nutrients are good for digestion, many inflammatory conditions (like gout, osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel, etc.), respiratory conditions (it dissolves excess mucous) and sore throats.



Pineapple is very sweet and must be taken in moderation by those who have blood sugar issues so if you are diabetic you will want to use it sparingly.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Body, Mind & Spirit

Hi everyone,



I hope you are doing fabulously!

I can't believe how time is flying by. The summer is practically over and I haven't even had time for
"summer things".

I am keeping busy as always.  These days I am trying to focus on my health. It takes all my effort.

I missed my 3 month blood glucose readings so have no idea how it is doing. I lapsed in taking my daily blood glucose readings, again.  but at least I've continued with daily exercise and that is critical to keeping blood sugar lowered.

I've added a few new health supplements to my regime though not daily. Powdered Vitamin C and mushroom supplements as well as probiotics. Good health starts in the gut with good gut flora. I do everything I can to improve the gut health so that my immune system can be strengthened.

I've started something new this week too but I don't want to reveal what it is for another few weeks. If it works I will do a post about it. I am excited though to give this new thing a try. After only 2 days my feet already feel better. I don't want to get ahead of myself though because it takes much more time to see how things really work.

I like fizzy drinks.  This powdered Vit. C added to water is fizzy.

Mushrooms & probiotics are for gut health.
Of course I always love to read and I think reading improves the mind. I bought the first two books in the pile at the library for 50 cents each. I've read two of the bottom 3 books in the pile. The red book I'll Never Be French is a rather fun book about a man who moves to Brittany, France with his girlfriend. His relationship with his girlfriend doesn't last but his love affair with Brittany continues. A well written, heartwarming, humorous book.

The other book, Olivia is also interesting too but I think it could have been much better.   It is a biography of Olivia Newton-John who has always been a favourite singer of mine.  The book certainly told me a lot more about her than I knew but the information is somewhat spotty.  I don't know if  Ms. Newton-John collaborated on the book but it is a thin one as far as biographies go. It is only 267 pages long.

Beautiful Ruins is about an almost love affair that begins on the Italian coast and continues in Hollywood about 50 years later. I can't say more because I haven't read it yet. Laced With Poison is a murder mystery which I have started. It is a nicely written and interesting book but so far I am only on the 2nd chapter. I am saving this one for my transit rides when I go out around the city. Same with The Lost Art of Gratitude by Alexander McCall Smith. I've read many of his books. The ones I like best are set in Botswana, Africa but I'm sure this one will be endearing also.

My latest reads
I'm also trying to keep my spiritual side nourished by keeping in contact with friends and following through on missions needs abroad.

It's been a strange week for getting together with friends. Everyone is so busy these days or not feeling well and so I've had to scramble to keep up with the schedules changes and people keeping in touch and trying to connect.  In the end I just go with the flow but almost each one of my friends is going through something fairly major and stressful.  I can help by encourage them and praying for their needs.  I don't believe in frantic activity and pushing myself beyond my limits so the actual getting together part may take a little long than touching bases by phone or email. Things will all come together when they should as long as everyone makes an effort.

Some of my friends, including blogging friends, also remember to keep me in prayer along with any needs that are on my heart.  I can tell you it really makes a difference in how I go through my days and it gives me strength just knowing that there are people who will take time out of their day and remember me in their daily devotions. That is why I will always do the same for them.

I've also been busy this week with missions needs in Africa. I've added another boy's education needs to my list. This boy lives near Monrovia, Liberia and hopes to be accepted at the end of this month to a private high school (cost is approximately $150 US per semester or $300 for the year).  First he has to write an exam at the end of the month before he finds out if he is accepted.  Once enrolled he would board at the school and get an education in a vocation. He wants to be an electrician.  Liberia is short of skilled tradespeople at the moment so hopefully this will help him to find gainful work afterwards. High school is 4 years. At this point, I have only committed to one year to help a friend who is looking after many orphans in that city.  She has left the comforts of America to go and live with the children. She has one other "boy" who needs to complete high school if anyone else is interested in helping let me know.
The boy from Liberia. It is so sad that he and his siblings are now orphans as a result of civil war.

Elvis, the young man in Kenya who is in medical studies should be finishing up this month. I hope he will have done well enough to graduate though I am not exactly sure when the ceremony will be. He will need funds for the final month of boarding and studies, and then for the graduation ceremony itself. It will be a BIG event for his family as he will only be the 3rd child in the extended family to graduate from university. What joy that will bring to his single mother!

You might remember my friend Jonah and his uncle who lost a loved on in the Mpeketoni attack last month. They finally found out how to apply for reimbursement from the government. They haven't got the money yet and it is sorely needed.Your prayers for this situation would be appreciated.

If you can help with any of these needs, please send via Pay Pal to kerichojoy[at]gmail[dot]com.
If this doesn't work for you and you still want to contribute, please send an email to the same address and let me know what works. Perhaps ebank transfer would also be an option for you.

Well my friends, it is always good to drop by and see you on your blogs and to read you on mine. I wish you all a very wonderful rest of your week. Relax, enjoy & take care of yourself.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Appointment Follow-Up

It has been very hot here. At least hot for these parts though I know in many parts of the USA and other countries it can get much hotter.

All week we've had temperatures of about 35 Celsius at the local airport. That usually means a few degrees hotter where I live. I've had the fans going night and day, am wearing very loose cotton clothing and very lazy to do anything but drink cold water, eat lightly and read a good book. So I finished The Known World.



I didn't quite know what to expect from this book. I would say it was quite eye opening for someone like me who didn't grow up in the South.  Though I have seen various movies and read various books, watched different interviews about slavery, etc. I can always stand to learn more about the slave trade and what life must have been like for slaves and their families.  I would recommend it if you haven't already read it. I believe in educating oneself about different issues affecting our world.

I have also been preoccupied this weekend by the passing of an older cousin of mine, and by issues pertaining to my mother's health (pressure wounds) and on going wheelchair issues.

My cousin is the eldest daughter of my aunt who died a couple of years ago.  My aunt's funeral was the last family funeral I attended and I won't be able to make it to this one either due to the very long journey.  It is so sad as you see your elders passing. Not only for those left behind but because the family becomes smaller to those of us who are older. There are so many younger relatives that I've never met and will likely never meet. I never thought that would ever happen.

Mom's wheelchair stopped on Monday. Again! This is like the 5th or 6th time since she first came into possession of it in January 2014. It seems a screw fell out after the chair was "bumped".  Loss of the screw affected the tilting mechanism and more, which rendered her chair unusable. The mechanic couldn't make a service visit until Tuesday.  When I talked to mom Tuesday night she said the staff told her that she would be out of bed early on Wednesday and that the chair had been fixed.  These days she is usually in bed every other day all day to alleviate the pressure on her sores. She is then supposed to be turned on her side every few hours to help with the healing process.

Also on Monday, the nurse practitioner performed a treatment on mom by opening up her wounds to have a look below and see what is going on.

The good news is that the healing of the wounds below seems to have progressed over the past 6 months. That means the staff and nurses will continue doing what they are doing to treat the wounds.
That was great news to me because I wasn't sure what they would find.

However, I didn't get the promised phone call about a rescheduled appointment with the doctor after the original appointment got cancelled last week. I called today to get an update.  The appointment is now set for August 19th at 8:30 a.m.  This means a day trip is out of the question.  But between now and August 19th it is possible that her wounds will heal well enough that the doctor's appointment may not even be necessary.  They will assess the situation about a week in advance of the new appointment.

It means I won't be seeing mom for another month or more so I have to prepare another care package. She is always in need of over the counter items from the drug store, some food and items of clothing. I don't know why but it seems like mom always needs or wants something that is very hard to find.  She doesn't do that deliberately. It is just how it works out.  It means more time is required to hunt things down for her before they can be delivered.   I also have her clothing repairs to do but will send those later when I have time and energy to do the mending. Besides, right now it is too hot to sit at a sewing machine.

I have a question for those of you out there who are cooks. 

I'm wondering what you do on very hot days for meals so that you don't overheat your kitchen?

It is supposed to be back to rain here by Saturday but in the meantime we have several hot days ahead. It will be fun to read how you deal with hot weather meals.  On that note I am heading out soon to buy some watermelon. I love it but I am only supposed to eat a small amount due to the high sugar content.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Short Update

Hi friends, I trust you are all doing well.

I've had a busy time with my niece who has now gone home. We had a lovely but very short visit.  At least we had an opportunity to have a birthday dinner with her brother, go to the beach, the movies and a bit of shopping and relaxing.

Since I posted here last (and after my niece's visit), I went out of town to escort my mom to the hospital for a consultation with a specialist. Unfortunately after leaving very early from my home to get to her city on time, the appointment was cancelled.

On the return home, the light is beautiful and these mountains near Hope on the way to Vancouver are in full view.

The medical van did not bring the right stretcher to transport mom and though they were in process to get the right stretcher delivered,  the doctor's office cancelled the appointment altogether and said it would need to be rescheduled.

Passing through farm fields near Chilliwack.

Mom was disappointed and I wasn't so happy either.  But what can you do? Things happen and I always try to think that things happen for "the best" because of things we cannot know or foresee. It is just a real pain in the butt to have to travel 355 kilometers one way (220 miles) to be told that the appointment is cancelled. So we wait to see what happens next.

I did my best to make mom feel less upset about things but understandably she wasn't happy.  She has already been waiting 4-5 months for this appointment. It is important to the healing of her pressure wounds and once healed she can be free to get out of bed every day. Since I got back home I found out that the wound nurse is going to work with the nurse practitioner and open up and treat the wounds and it remains to be seen about the doctor consultation. I would appreciate your prayers on this as the procedure will happen on Monday.

Approaching the new Port Mann Bridge

On this most recent trip to mom's we were able to bring all the remaining things from mom's storage unit. She was a little shocked (perhaps surprised is a better word) that I threw away some pieces of her furniture. But I explained that it wasn't good sense to pay for storage of furniture that has become old and battered after the many moves they have been through. I am storing all of her excess things in my storage unit which also needed cleaning out first.  I have a lot of medical equipment in my storage and I don't want to throw it away because of the high replacement cost.  I may need something for my own use or if have a friend or acquaintance who could benefit from some of the medical equipment at some point. The only thing I do want to get rid of is one of her electric wheelchair as it takes a lot of space in my home.


In other news, I got home from my trip to mom's, logged on to my computer to check messages and discovered that my hard drive failed. I have been without computer for over 24 hours and lost a lot of documents and photos.

It isn't a major problem because most of what I want to keep or really need is older stuff which I saved in a special place.  These are still safe. It is just the inconvenience factor and the additional cost and lost time trying to find things again that are a nuisance.

The old bridge is being dismantled.

Fraser River looking northeast from Port Mann Bridge

I'm afraid I'm not so good at keeping all my photos and documents organized and safe. It requires more work and effort than I'd like to put into it the task.  So for those things I did lose, I have no one to blame but myself.  Is anyone in my shoes on this one?



Driving west toward Vancouver and home, the sun sets as we pass through Burnaby/Port Coquitlam.



The weather in the next few days is expected to be very hot at 30 degrees + Celsius (86+ Farenheit).  I will be trying to stay cool. 

I wish you all an enjoyable week ahead.

Our World Tuesday 

 Our World Tuesday Graphic

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Good Reads

This is just a quick post which I have pre-prepared during the time I've been spending with my guest.

I don't have a whole lot of time with my niece on this visit so we will try to fit in an outing or two and spend time relaxing in between.

This post is about my reading goals more than anything. I know many of my blogging friends like to read and I like to encourage more reading :-). I also try to get my friends in the local community to read more and recommend books I read to different people based on their interests.

I met my reading goal some time ago and my revised reading goal last week.  I've revised my goal again so it is now at 40 books. That means I have 10 more books to go. That should keep me busy for another few months. After that I'll see what I should do about the balance of the year.

My two latest books are


The Known World is historic fiction set in antebellum, Virginia.  The story examines the issues regarding the ownership of black slaves by black and white owners alike. I hadn't realized there were black slave owners.  Perhaps I knew it once and didn't pay much attention to the matter. I am still early on in the book.  So far one black slave master has died and the slaves are wondering what will become of them.  The deceased widow makes a speech to the slaves after her husband's passing.  The reader is let in on the fact that much of her speech is insincere and her words unoriginal.  I finding the book quite interesting and I'm sure I will enjoy the rest.

The book, All Change is the 5th book in a series by Elizabeth Jane Howard. I did not read the previous 4 books. So far I am enjoying this book which is set in the 1950s and begins with the death of "Duchy", the beloved matriarch of the Cazalet family.  With her passing comes the end of a by-gone era of grand houses, servants, class and tradition.  The chapters after Duchy's passing deal with each member of the family and the changes they are going through. It is interesting but I have read better written books of a similar nature.

Anyway, if you decide to read one of these books I'd be interested in knowing what you think of them.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Shopping South African Imports

Well friends, it has been a busy week so far and tomorrow (Sunday) I am getting a visitor so I will be busy for another week or so.  I went out today and had a very long day of shopping.  I was looking for some sheets (bed linens) as I have another family guest arriving tomorrow.  After that I ended up on an impromptu get together with a friend when I ran into her at a local coffee shop. We had a very long visit and needless to say I am ready to drop into bed, but first I need to get this post published.

Many of you seemed to enjoy my rather long list of "To Dos" posted for the last week of June. I did make excellent progress on the listed items in the short time I had.  Alas I did not have time to finish the "works-in-progress" or to start any new projects. What was I thinking?!  I don't know how I ever thought I would accomplish all that in one week but there's nothing like giving it a good effort, lol.  I won't likely have time over the next week either but after that things should settle down a bit and give me time to work on more enjoyable things (crochet, quilting and knitting).   I can't tell you how glad I am to have finished an enormous amount of work over the past few months. Now I hope to kick back a bit, enjoy my time with my niece and after that keep plugging away on on-going paperwork and crafting.
Antique store near 4th & Alma.

For those of you who read and enjoyed my post about outreach efforts in Kenya, I ask you to continue to pray for these efforts. Both for strength for those involved more directly in the work (Jonah and the missionaries and church volunteers) and education (Elvis) and for the funds to undertake and/or finish the work.

Today's post has a South African angle.
An interesting store in the area.

For a long time now I've been meaning to get over to what we call 4th Avenue (in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) to take a browse through a shop that imports and sells foods and products from South Africa.  I never seem to get over that way but just over a week ago I had an errand to run in that neighbourhood so I decided to stop there and see what was on offer.

The shop is called African Breese Imports and is located near Alma Street.  There is another location in the North Shore but that is much further away from where I live.

I had an ulterior motive in wanting to go to this shop. I happen to LOVE dried meat and had read on line that this shop sold 3 kinds of biltong (dried meat or jerky). I really love dried moose meat which you cannot buy in the store and is actually very hard to get these days.  I thought I might have a chance to sample some exotic meats from South Africa.

What struck me about the food and products on offer is just how global our world is these days.  Many of the snack products on offer are also available in Kenya and here in Canada. I recognized a lot of the chocolate bar brands, lol. I ended up choosing these snacks:  1 small bottle of bitters (I haven't tried it yet); 1 small chocolate bar called "TV Bar" and 1 small bag of biltong.



The biltong was very good and was seasoned with cilantro and a few others spices. I didn't get any exotic biltong (it was made of beef) because the wild game from South Africa cannot be imported for sale.  I should have known this would be the case because one can't sell moose meat in Canada either.

In any case, I did enjoy the biltong and will stop by and purchase  more whenever I get that way again.

If you happen to come to Vancouver you can find African Breese Imports at 3654 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC.


Note:  I was not compensated for writing this review of the African Breese store. 

I'm linking with Our World Tuesday.
This view looks west. It is a just a few blocks from here to the site of  Vancouver's Annual Folk Festival.






African Music & Happenings