A Peek at the Garden

To date the spring season has been quite cool and a lot of rain. I haven't had to do much in the garden as a result and I find it isn't growing as fast as usual. The seeds I sowed directly must have drowned because they are not coming up. 

In the next few days the weather is expected to get much warmer and I'm sure the garden will suddenly sprout. In the meantime I went out to capture a few raindrops on leaves. One of my absolute favourite things to do in the garden believe or not. I captured these photos in the very early morning hours and just used my phone camera.

  Hosta leaves #1
 
Hosta leaves #2

Solomon's Seal #1

Solomon's Seal #2

The herb container

Trying to capture the rain as it drops in the bird bath.


When it dried out a little I captured a few more photos. 

I'll add some more in a day or so when they upload to the photo album.

 


I like to capture and compare garden photos from year to year. I can see that last year my garden was more mature in May than it is this year in June.  I think it's due to the cool weather and abundant rain. I'm hoping it means the garden will remain fresh for longer this summer if the very hot weather is delayed. July is typically our hottest month.


I'm almost finished reading a murder mystery called Moonflower Murders. It is the 2nd book in a series but I didn't realize it when I picked it up on a whim at the library. I am enjoying it quite a lot.

 


I have a friend who has been under a lot of stress because he was very close to becoming homeless. Right now he is living in a hotel room. Fortunately he found a place and so the stress is relieved.  He will need to purchase or gather a lot of items to begin in the new apartment so I'm now putting together some items that I want to declutter and which will be useful (bowls, plates, cutlery, draining pads, dishcloths,dishtowels, dutch oven, baking pans, possibly hangers. bedding and shower curtain, etc.).

In other news I was able to get my 2nd Covid vaccine.  I got the Pfizer vaccine and was told that after one week it is 95% effective in protecting me.

 How is your garden growing?

Rainy Sky in June









Hi friends and fellow bloggers. I hope you are all doing well. I am keeping very busy.

Early this week I finally completed the digital project I've been working on and now I'm turning to a few other things like reading, sewing and crafts. I've also got a lot to catch up on with lab tests, medical and dental appointments. I also go in for my 2nd Covid jab next week. I'll be glad when that is done though I hardly think that will be the end of it all. We will all hear more in time but I'm thankful that the country's Covid numbers are now getting under control. It will only help us if all other countries can also get their numbers under control before the world wide travel restrictions are lifted. I'm hopeful that I can visit with two different family members before the end of the summer.

I don't think I've shared here yet but I finally was able to have my late mom's power wheelchair picked up for assessment and repair. This has been on hold for a very long time due to Covid restrictions. But at last it went out the door and the good news is that the things I thought needed repair were the exact things that needed repair (new batteries, charger and air for the 2 Roho cushions). My friend and the organization she belongs to raised the funds for the repairs and the chair will now be gifted to a woman who is a paraplegic. I am very happy for her as it will make her life that much easier. To date she has been trying to get by in a manual wheelchair that she propels herself. This is just not working out and is very exhausting as you can imagine. Now she will be able to drive around in comfort.

 


Alvin, the young man in Kenya is now in his first phase of seminary training called Postulancy.  He is at the halfway mark of a 2 month period of introductory studies. Once that finishes he will return home to Nairobi for a brief break before commencing full time study in August. He is going through a period of adjustment but I think overall he will enjoy it.

Livingstone was recovering at home from Covid 19 and has been out of quarantine now for just over a week. He has also returned to the hospital for what we thought was removal of his leg cast.  Instead the hospital has asked him to start on a vitamin regime, removed his old cast and put a new cast on.  Many villagers do not get adequate nutrition and this makes it difficult for them to heal in the normal way. I hope next time he goes to the doctor they will find that his leg has properly healed.


 

 

I hope all is well in your part of the world. Keep safe.

Joining in with Skywatch Friday.


 


 

A Life

It's time for Tuesday 4 started by Toni Taddeo and kept up in her memory by Annie of the blog, Cottage by the Sea.

This week's topic is about spending time

1.  Are you currently reading a book you'd like to tell us about? Maybe a TV program you can recommend to us?

 I just finished reading the late Cecily Tyson's memoir Just As I am. A few weeks after I heard about her book she passed on at the ripe age of 97. I didn't really know much about this actress only that she seemed to be a powerhouse in her field. I immediately got the book from my local library and was looking forward to it. Her life's story held many revelations for me and in that sense I enjoyed it though I cannot really say I was a fan of the writing style. Given Ms. Tyson's longevity and accomplishments as an actor, I would highly recommend her book.


2.  Are you a Jane Austen fan? So many seem to be. If you are what is your favorite book and who is your favorite character.  If you aren't a fan, is there an author you especially like to read? Favorite character, etc.?

I am absolutely a Jane Austen fan and it is hard to pick favourites as I've enjoyed each and every one of her books. If I really had to pick a favourite I would choose Mansfield Park though I cannot remember now if I read this book first, or whether I read Pride and Prejudice first. You can watch Mansfield Park as a movie right now on YouTube for free. I don't really have a favourite character in any of Jane Austen's books. I love each and every one because together they all add to the wonderful stories she writes.  I will say that most of the television adaptations of Jane Austen's books do not give me the same enjoyment as reading the books though some of the big screen movies do.  For example I really loved Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet.


3.  How do you spend your time during the day?  Do you set apart time to read, watch TV, study?

Yes I do all of the above. I very much enjoy reading and watching good television or YouTube videos. I also enjoy crafting (knitting, crochet, sewing, and from time to time a few other handcrafts) during quiet times. 

Here is the last large crochet project I made. It is a crochet blanket large enough to cover a tall man in a twin, hospital bed. I made it for one of my uncles. He just passed on today. I pray he is enjoying his reunion with loved ones in glory.

 
 
The green items are knitted dishcloths I recently completed. I really enjoy making these because they are quick and also very practical for personal use and as gifts.
 
 

Spending time almost daily, with my charitable mission to Kenyans, a grassroots effort to bring humanitarian helps and hope to a number of destitute Kenyans, is also something that occupies my time. It is my belief that it isn't enough to say we believe in God as Christians. I believe we must show our belief through actions.  Though actions and works won't save our souls, actions and works are a demonstration of the fact that God's Holy Spirit lives in us and that it is alive and real, not dead. 

God is love so we too must be examples of love to others. Not because people deserve it but because God is love and he loves each and every one of us. If we say we love God but have no demonstration of it especially to the very needy, yet we make sure we meet all of our own needs, I don't think that is love. Love demands a sacrifice from us. Not so we can become martyrs through sacrifice but so that we truly understand what God has given to us and how he has sacrificed so that we might have salvation and a hope of a wonderful eternal future.

These few thoughts don't capture the totality of my beliefs in this area but they will at least give a glimpse. Often when I share these thoughts people will jump to defend themselves and say that giving is not only about money or that there are people in our own backyards that need help too. I agree with both of these statements. God doesn't limit us to helping here or there. Each of us has opportunities to stretch ourselves both at home and abroad especially in this present day and age. We just need to be open and alert to those opportunities and also willing to use the creativity through the ideas that God gives to each of us to find ways to do what he wants. We also need to be open to hearing him when he is speaking to us in that often still and small voice.

4. Have your beliefs changed in your life time? New religion.. new politics? Or are they the same as they were growing up? Do you spend time thinking over the important things of life to take stock in your life?

Neither my political nor my religious beliefs have changed in my life time. I have always been a Liberal (in USA that would be a Democrat). Though I know many Christians support Conservatism (Republicanism) I am of the belief that God made every one of us a free agent to live and choose how we will live and whom we will serve. I do not believe in penalizing people for how they live unless they willfully harm others or disobey laws that are there for the protection of all . One day each one of us will be judged by a power much greater than a human being.  


I grew up believing in God long before I ever went to church (my parents were not Christian or church goers until much later) and learned about him in a formal way.  I did not always go to church as for a time. In my late teens and early twenties,  I did my own thing.  But God always called me back to him and in my adult life I have not strayed from the path.  I have to say that being a believer in God and casting my cares upon him has really helped me in every way. Some of my old friends called my belief in God a crutch but I don't care. " I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able. To keep that which I've committed, unto Him against that day" (from the song I Know Whom I have Believed). I am a strong person so I do not need a crutch. 

 

 

My faith is in God because I know he loves me and has saved me from a life of ruin.  Those are not just words but have great meaning and I'm writing them in humble gratitude for how he gave me a hope and future from the background in which I grew up.  It was not an easy life for me or any of the generations before me in my family, but praise God, he made a way for me and for many others in my family.  I am truly grateful for that.  A life with God brings me a lot of contentment and inner joy. I want to use my life and whatever I have left of it to bring glory to God and as thanks for everything he has given to me.

I do spend a lot of time thinking about the big issues in life and also spend a lot of time taking stock of my life. I do this and try to improve myself here and there and make sure I am on the right path for me. When I was younger I spent an awful lot of mental energy on these activities.  We go through various stages of growth and now that I am older I still do a lot of deep thinking.  But I probably spend more time doing and acting. As we age, we have the sense and awareness that time goes by so quickly. I don't want to waste too much of the time I have left and ask God to help me to make the best use of my time, to even extend my time and to open doors that he wants me to enter.

 

 Thank you for visiting my blog and for taking time to read my thoughts.

I'm joining in at Tuesday 4.

May God truly bless you in unimaginable ways.

🙏🙏🙏



Slow Return

Hi friends,

I haven't been posting for awhile.

I have been quite busy with the needs in Kenya. The one friend I posted about last time has now been released from hospital and is recovering at home.

In the meantime, another Kenyan man I'm acquainted with through other contacts fell off a boda boda (motorbike taxi) and fractured his leg. These boda bodas can be quite dangerous.  I've known at least 4 people over the course of time who have had accidents and ended up in hospital.  This latest accident involved a man named Livingstone.  He spent a few days in hospital and has now been discharged with a cast on his leg to recover at home.

In Kenya if you go to hospital they will also check you for Covid.  If you test positive they will keep you in hospital or send you home with a prescription for medicines if you are not showing signs of medical distress.  Unfortunately Livingstone tested positive and so he needs help with the cost of the medications.  Thankfully he is not hospitalized for Covid treatment and we hope it remains that.  Truthfully though I am concerned about the possible exposure of his other family members. These are humble villagers and they live in very small homes.  Given he has a cast on his leg, someone has to take care of him.

We hope he can continue being treated at home and get better. He needs a variety of medications for a total of 10 days. As of the time of this post he will be going into his 3rd day of medications.

 

If you can help at all please donate to the Pay Pal account on the side bar.  If you make a donation and you have any problems sending it through please let me know as it happens from time to time.  I do not really like asking for funds.  On the other hand, as Christians who try and help others, we ought to let people know about the needs so they can help too if they are felt led to do it.  Some kind and generous people will never have an opportunity to help someone if no one ever brings the needs their notice.  This is, after all, a ministry we are doing in Kenya. It is not formalized through a registered organization though some day it may be.  It is ad hoc and really focussed on helping the very destitute who are not able to access help through organizations.  There are so many who fall between the cracks.  

I do as much as I can on my own with helpers in Kenya and I fund most of it myself. When the needs that come to my attention are too much for me on my own I post about the needs.  We could do so much more if we had more helpers but we do what we can. If  you feel led to help these people, you will know who you are.  If God is speaking to you, please be in touch. Thank you.



I've written from time to time about another young man, Alvin whom we assisted through the final years of  engineering degree.  He graduated with wonderful grades but it is next to near impossible to find work in Kenya.  He has been praying for open doors and God's leading his life. He has now moved on to what may be his life's calling and is now on the path to becoming a priest in the Catholic faith. He left a few days ago for the first phase of his multi-year training.  Though it isn't a job in engineering there may be opportunities to serve in his church with his background. Up to now we (mainly he) have been involved in getting him ready and getting all his needs in place (special clothing and other necessary items). He has been in seminary before as a high school student so the early part of studies will not be new to him. I wish him every happiness and success in life and in the ministry to come.

From time to time, I've mentioned a digital project I've been working on. It has eaten up a lot of time and energy but soon the main part will be done. Then I won't look at it again for a very long time. I'm so glad!

I've used the time in between the above activities to read a few books. Here is a collage of 4 books I'm currently reading or have read recently.  


My modest goal for the year was to read  25 book and I've now surpassed that goal.  I have several other books on the go and on hold at my local library but I will slow down a bit. I need to focus now on enjoying the summer ahead and doing some household projects and making more time in prayer and study.  There so many people in great need for a great many things, not just material needs but physical, emotional and spiritual needs as well.


Thursday night I bought a big ball of cotton yarn to make a few dish cloths. I rather like the multi-green colour. It reminds me of the spring season we are in. It feels good to pick up the needles again.

I'm not sure how often I'll be on line over the summer but I expect to pop in to various blogs and visit with you. I have already started doing it.  Hopefully I will have a chance to pop into my own blog too in between activities but I expect to resume normal blogging in the fall.  I don't even want to think about fall right now though it is one of my favourite seasons due to the crisp air and the beautiful, seasonal colours.  I am looking forward to enjoying the spring sunshine and beautiful colours as we move into the summer months.  Along that line, I have finally started working in my patio garden and once it starts blooming that is something I will post on this blog. I can't wait to see what it will look like in a few weeks.  The photo below is a before photo taken on Friday, May 14, 2021.


Stay safe







Update

 Hello friends,


This is a quick update on my friend Ernest in Kenya. In my last post I shared that he had to be admitted to hospital due to Covid and that he needed help to cater for the hospital costs.

I'm grateful to report that he did not have to be admitted to the High Dependency Unit (equivalent to ICU). He did however need many days of oxygen support, medicines and vitamins. He is currently in isolation and we are hoping that he will be discharged in a day or two. He has been off oxygen for a few days but his oxygen levels have dipped as low as 80 so they keep him for observation and fortunately his saturation levels have increased.

The Kenyan government has National Health Insurance for those who pay for it but it does not cover anything to do with Covid. It barely covers anything to do with a whole host of things but I think coverage is a bit spotty depending on where in the country you live.

With the help of one reader we have covered about $900 US in hospital and medicine. We will need a bit more in the next few days if you are able to help kindly send to Pay Pal at kerichojoy[at]gmail [dot]com. Added:  I've just been informed that the hospital requires an additional $450 (US) and $545 (Canadian) to discharge the patient (built in exchange rates and wire transfer fees eat up some of the funds).

If you are able to send a donation through Pay Pal (the fast way though it still takes 3-5 business days for funds to fully transfer), you may have to try more than once.  It seems the system can be a bit finicky but if you have any concerns you can always contact me directly to see what has actually been received. Thanks so much in advance for your consideration.

I continue to take time off from the blog as I need a rest and I am currently behind in everything including the garden. The personal, digital project I started back in October has taken far more time than I could have imagined and it is ongoing. New target completion date is end of this month or early May. Hopefully I can be back to regular blogging and commenting after that. In the meantime everyone please take care of yourselves and your loved ones.






Sad News and Taking a Break

 Hi friends,

I had hoped I would not have to ever report that someone I know has Covid, let alone someone in Kenya who doesn't have resources to fight for his own life.

Some of you will know that I've been supporting Ernest in Kenya in various ways for some years now and I've been looking for someone to take on his monthly support or at least partial support. Sadly I have to report he now has Covid 19.  Though we have been treating him with vitamins and a host of other medicines as prescribed by the doctor, he is in need of more major interventions like oxygen. If any of you have it on your heart to help him please contact me (see sidebar or profile page for contact information).

Ernest at an earlier time dealing with a broken leg

A little more than a week ago a prominent politician in the town where Ernest has to visit the doctor monthly for diabetes check up and medicines, died of Covid 19.  Several other prominent politicians are also now dead of Covid 19 or are in hospital. There is no medical assistance in Kenya for many things including hospital tests and stays for Covid. I am fortunate that where I live the vaccines will be free to everyone who wants one and hospital stays are covered by the national health program. Kenya has over 52 million people. Last month they received the first batch of Astra Zeneca vaccines of just over 1 Million doses from the COVAX initiative. As of 2 days ago 196K doses had been administered.

The plan outlined by the Ministry of Health involved three phases, the last two of which were to run concurrently. In phase one, between February and June 2021, 1.25 million health workers, security and immigration officials would be vaccinated. In phases two and three, from July 2021 to June 2022, nearly 10 million over-50s and over-18s with underlying health conditions and five million of those considered vulnerable, such as those in informal settlements, would be immunised. (Aljazzera News, April 3, 2021)



 I am happy for the blessing of spring Cherry Blossoms


Basically, I will be going offline as I focus and try to deal with the issues at hand both at home and on the mission field as there are many other needs.  

I don't want to spread myself too thin by trying to keep up with blogging so I will take a break from blogging and also from commenting on blog posts. Lord willing I hope to be back here at some point in future.


 

Until then please take good care of yourselves.

🙏🙏🙏

💓💓💓



Happy Easter ~ Goodness of God

 

 Goodness of God

I love You, Lord
For Your mercy never fails me
All my days, I've been held in Your hands
From the moment that I wake up
Until I lay my head
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God
And all my life You have been faithful
And all my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God
I love Your voice
You have led me through the fire
In the darkest night
You are close like no other
I've known You as a Father
I've known You as a Friend
And I have lived in the goodness of God (yeah)
And all my life You have been faithful (oh)
And all my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God (yeah)
'Cause Your goodness is running after
It's running after me
Your goodness
Source: Musixmatch
 

 

A Glorious Sunny Day

 It was such a beautiful day on Thursday and I was able to get out a bit earlier and get some photos of the blossoms. These ones were in my neighbourhood. I would still like to go further afield and get more photos on another sunny day.






I have been busy working on a digital project that has taken a tremendous amount of time. I'm finally making progress on it and hope to finalize it in the next few weeks.  Then I can work on organizing all my digital and paper files as well as my closets. Things just seem to take me much longer these days.

I've also had a bit of time to read here and there and have returned the several decorating books I borrowed to the library. I also picked up two new books.  One is called Greenlights, a memoir by actor, Matthew McConaughey.  The other is a novel called The Sweetness of Forgetting by Kristen Harmel.  The novel is one of several I've read by the same author.  All the novels I've read deal with the horrors that befell the Jewish people during WW2.  In every book the author presents a lot of  new to me historical information and I've learned a lot (her books are based on historical facts).  I find the characters and story lines very interesting too though they are set against the horrible backdrop of the  Holocaust.

 

I've mentioned in other posts that I've been doing some minor renos and small decorating projects since before Christmas. I seem to have an endless array of things that need to be done, one of which is finding a better way to store items like throw blankets, large shawls, blankets, sheets and blow up mattresses.  A storage sofa might work but my sofa is still in decent condition so I won't be buying a new one soon. Instead,  I stored one of my blow up mattresses underneath the existing sofa.  It was a tight fit so I may put some bed risers under the feet of the sofa to gain a few inches. 

The ladder is made of pine and lightly coated in clear finish. I took this photo on my walk home with the ladder.


I also ordered a blanket ladder to hang all the throw blankets and large shawls I have in my living room.  It gets pretty chilly for half of the year at night even with the heat on. I still need to find a way to store extra sheets and blankets which are larger. Again, I'm thinking of lifting my bed with bed risers and storing extra blankets there.  I do have a cedar chest for storing linens but it isn't large enough for everything. I think I've also stashed some large blankets in suitcases which are in my closet.  I also recently gave away a few sets of sheets I haven't used for several years and a few throw blankets so that I don't need quite as much storage as before.

I didn't work on my patio garden yet.  It's just as well because my plans have to change.  The strata council is bringing in new bylaws to be voted on in another week or so at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).  I have no doubt the new changes will be approved by the majority of owners. The changes that affect me more directly will be the new rule that we can only plant flowers, not vegetables.  The other rule is we cannot put out any bird seed in feeders.  I'm assuming it's because vegetables attract rodents and bird seed attracts birds and bird droppings.  My neighbours on the top floor have been dealing with the messes left by birds for some time and the strata had to approve an expensive solution of installing wires around the perimeter of the roof to dissuade birds from roosting.  Even though I've never been bothered by bird droppings, I know that the rules have to apply to everyone. I hope to grow some herbs however.  I may simply grow them indoors and take them outside to get some sunshine now and then.

In Covid news, the province has ramped up it's efforts to vaccinate people well in advance of it's original schedule.  It's because they are going to give everyone a chance for early vaccination by delaying the time between the first and second doses of the vaccine.  This means most of us will be vaccinated 4-5 months than earlier thought and I will likely get mine before the end of the month. Other loved ones have already got vaccine one and yet others will get one in April.

Last, but not least,  I want to mention one matter related to the Missions of Hope in Kenya.  I'm looking for a donor who would be willing to help Ernest every month with food and medicine needs.  It is very hard to find a job in Kenya evening during pre-Covid times. But due to his diabetes and Covid concerns the doctor doesn't want him to venture from the village to the town to look for work. I'm looking for a regular donor to support him monthly ($100 US dollars 85 Euros, $125 Canadian, 11k  JYen, $130 AUD).  If you cannot contribute monthly but want to help, kindly let me know at  kerichojoy[at] gmail] dot [com] (eliminate square brackets).

This is a photo collage of Ernest when he was in hospital in 2019. He was hit by a truck while he was walking to hospital to get his monthly medications. He has recovered from surgery with the help of one kind blogger friend who helped with medical costs for surgery and food during his recovery period.


 
Galatians 6:9
 
 
Thanks so much for reading. Enjoy your weekend.
 
 
Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

First Blossoms in My Neighbourhood

I missed out on blossoms last year due to inclement weather, wind and rain which blew the blossoms off the trees early and before I could get out and take photos.

To be honest, I am not sure if these are cherry blossoms or apple blossoms.  Either way, they are delicate and beautiful.

 










I took these photos around 6 p.m. on Thursday night. I hope to get some photos earlier in the day next time but I'm not exactly sure when since we are now in a longer period of rainy days. Today's rain was quite heavy. I hope they will not damage the blossoms.


Enjoy your Friday. I'm linking up with Skywatch Friday.

A Peek at the Garden

To date the spring season has been quite cool and a lot of rain. I haven't had to do much in the garden as a result and I find it isn...