Bathed in Pastels

We continue to have rain (the almost constant rain for almost 2 months is not so good for the garden) and temperatures on the low side.  The past week it is a bit of sun and rain and I've noticed a lot of humidity though nothing like it gets in eastern Canada or eastern USA.

I do find the skies are quite beautiful at sunrise and I like all the shades of colour I find in the early morning hours.







I've been spending a lot of time on line doing an online version of  "window shopping" as I continue to look for a few items to complete my household decor needs.  I've been getting rid of a lot of things and still have one large item to offload, my late mom's first power wheelchair.  I've found a new home for it but it won't be out of my home for awhile yet. A friend of mine is raising money to replace the chair's batteries and battery charger and to hire someone to deliver it to the intended recipient.  This is a combined humanitarian gesture by my friend and I to someone who suffers from major mobility issues.  Once the chair is gone it will be a huge relief as currently it is several hundred pounds of dead weight and it takes a lot of space.  I'm very pleased that someone who can really benefit from the chair will get one because for her to try and buy one would be a near impossibility.  These kind can cost well over 10 thousand dollars.

Once it's gone I will know how I am rearranging things.  In the meantime I am looking at what I currently have, what can be repurposed and what I may need to purchase.  I am naturally drawn to patterns whether in clothing or in decor.  I also have very eclectic tastes.  After awhile I get a hodge podge of items that don't go together very well.  As I get rid of things I want a simpler, more streamlined look. I am not a minimalist by any means.  Nor do I want to be one.  But over a long period of time I've become more mindful of the things I have and only keep what I really need.  I'm sentimental so it isn't that easy for me to get rid of a lot of things. I have to cull my items several times before I get down to a good amount.  I am also one who likes things organized and so I need to consider what will work best.  I have ideas for getting the kitchen and bathrooms much better organized and all on a small budget.  Material things are not so important to me but of course one needs certain basic things and a home that functions well and is a haven of rest while the world is in turmoil.

I like reading and have several areas that I want to make more comfortable for that purpose. Currently I read in the living room. I can read paper books anywhere of course.  Likewise with certain digital books which I read on my Kobo device.. Other digital books I can only read on my computer and laptop. In future I'll also carve out a spot in my bedroom, a cosy nook if you will.

Here is a photo of the books I've read in 2020.  I have an eclectic array of interests and my reading material reflects that. Maybe you will find something of interest to follow up on.

Right now I am reading, The Island of Sea Women: A Novel, by Lisa See, Tell Tale Stories by Jeffrey Archer, The Power of Praise and Worship by Terry Law.  These are all digital books.  A new hardback  just arrived in the mail called The Book of Signs by Dr. David Jeremiah. I saw Dr. Jeremiah being interviewed on television and immediately ordered the book.  Several digital library books are ready for borrowing, including Homo Deus.  I'm putting them on short pause until I make progress on the ones I'm currently reading.

Update on Kenyan Missions

I'm keeping very busy with solitary tasks and the Missions of Hope in Kenya. One widow lady in a town called Ketingia died and left no male heirs.



Widow Esther
Her name is Esther and in her culture the last born son takes care of his mother after the father has passed.  But  but the woman only had daughters.  Another male relative might have stepped in but no one would step up and take responsibility.  Life in Kenya for village people is very, very hard at the best of times.  Due to Covid 19 and travel restrictions and the financial hardships of life her side of the family did not travel to Ketingia to condole daughter's or to help them fund raise or plan the funeral.  Pastor Jonah has been doing what he can over the past week under these difficult circumstances.  I also confirmed that the medical personnel will be in attendance to bury the deceased once everything is set in place for burial.  The widow didn't die of Covid 19 but of heart attack.  However these days in Kenya burying and gathering are under tight restriction.  The late Esther is to be buried on Saturday and I hope and pray it happens as one of the difficulties encountered is finding a date on which the doctor's schedule is open to deal with the burial. Delays only add to costs.

The other work of feeding, helping with medicines and medical follow up continues for several others including Eunice.  Those of you who follow my blog and the work of our humble mission outreach know that Eunice has been in hospital in the town of Nakuru for one year and four months.. Over that period she hasn't improved significantly though at one time it was thought she would be well enough to discharge.

Once the curfews are lifted in Kenya we will see if we can get Eunice transferred to her home town.  This is easier said than done but at least we will try and with God's help it may be possible. Eunice may not get the same level of care in her home town but she will be nearer to loved ones who will be able to visit her.  Where she is now it is too far for people to travel.  She was taken hours away in order to try and get the best care available. For most of the villagers they simply do not have extra funds to make the journey back and forth to see her.  There is a lot of thinking and planning that must go into a possible move, not the least of which is getting the agreement of the doctor/hospital where she is admitted, finding an appropriate place for her in her home town, transporting her safely and making sure she has medical care and oversight once there.

Grandmother of my friend.
New house is being built as funds are raised

A young doctor friend has been busy trying to fund raise to build a home for his elderly grandmother. He is a newly credentialed doctor and his salary is very modest given that he works in a small, rural hospital to be near to his grandmother.  She has been suffering from pneumonia as a result of the heavy rain and flooding that occurred in Kenya.  Her original house was partially flooded and is no longer habitable.  The grandmother is quite elderly.  She has been mostly in good health until recently and her grandson is concerned about her being in a proper house so she can remain healthy. hospital.

 
Two hundred people drowned in the floods and at least 100,000 were displaced from their homes and farms in May 2020.  Pastor Jonah's elder brother had a coffee plantation which was flooded.  He lost his livelihood as well as the family home.  He now lives temporarily with his wife, 4 children and mother-in-law (and other displaced people) in empty schools and churches.  The Red Cross did provide them with a tent but it wasn't large enough to house the family. I have no idea what the future holds for this particular family but since the rains have started again there isn't any immediate hope of returning to farm the land.  If a way opens up, I would really like to help them get back on their feet once rains stop. If you are feeling led to help please let me hear from you.

An aerial view on May 3 shows flood waters near the Sigiri Bridge in Budalangi, Kenya. (Thomas Mukoya/Reuters)

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A young man I met several years ago from the Kenyan Boys Choir lost his mother a few days ago and she was to be buried on Thursday June 25th.  She suffered from kidney problems, had a kidney transplant a few years ago and was raising funds to undergo another transplant in India.  She succumbed to health complications before she could get surgery.  The two sons she leaves behind are still quite young though thankfully they are now young men who have finished high school. I'm praying they will be able to manage okay though I know they will really miss the motherly love and support she gave them.

As always we covet your prayers and your support if you are able. You can find details on the side bar to the left for donations and you can also find a link to the African page to read more about the missions.

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I leave you with a few garden photos. Sorry they are not that clear.  I was using the wrong lens and had a very hard time getting clear, close up shots.  I am happy with the colours though.



I can't remember what this plant is called. It really grew this year compared to other years.

 Usually I have red or pink, sometimes white geraniums. These ones are a deep salmon colour.
Beautiful red petunias and burgundy pansies.

Until next time, stay safe.

Joining in with Skywatch Friday this week.

The Sky Looks Like a Painting

Hi friends,

Happy Friday to you all. We've made it through another week intact.  When I last shared in this space a few days ago I mentioned it would be raining for a good part of the next two weeks. I'm happy to report that we had 2 nice days of sunshine. I made it out to grocery shopping early Thursday evening. It was just in time as the sky turned dark in readiness for rain again soon.

I've been using the recent rainy days to read. I finished the books I mentioned in my last post here.

Currently I am reading two new books. One called Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate. This is a gut wrenching story based on a real life scandal in Tennessee where the director of an adoption agency was involved in kidnapping and selling the children of poor families into wealthy families.  The other book is called My Vanishing Country:  A Memoir by Bakari Sellers, elected in 2006 at just 22 years old, the youngest ever representative of the South Carolina legislature. Bakari Sellers is a lawyer and CNN political analyst.  This book is part memoir, part cultural analysis. It's set in the author's hometown of Denmark, South Carolina, one of the poorest states in the USA. I've just started the book but I've read it will trace his father's friendships with Stokely Carmichael, Trinidadian-American civil rights leader and Martin Luther King, civil rights hero and explore the plight of the rural South's dwindling black working class.






It isn't very often I get to see such vibrant colour in the morning sky. I was lucky to capture these images.

Enjoy the sky where ever you are in the world. 
Keep well and keep safe.

Joining Skywatch Friday today and paying homage to Friday Foto Friends. xx

Early Morning on the Patio

Hi blogging friends,

I  hope you are all doing well and keeping happy and busy.

We are still getting quite a lot of rain where I live and I haven't been out in the gardens much.  The long term weather forecast is for more rain over the next 2 weeks. It has also been cooler than usual. At the end of this new week we will crack the 20 Celsius mark for only the 2nd or 3rd time since the beginning of Spring.

I'm not complaining as I'm still self isolating despite restrictions being lifted. I will continue to self isolate and keep my eye on the community transmission developments over the next few months. Being indoors means I am slowly getting some old business done though truthfully it is taking me a lot more time than I thought it would. I guess the good news is I always have something constructive to do.

I was out in the patio garden very early one morning and captured these photos. Most of them are of a bush that I don't know the name of but which goes through a multitude of looks over the course of the year. Sometimes there are berries.








The photo below is the only one that is not of my flowering bush. I think it's a Salvia plant but I am not 100% sure as I planted it a few years ago and it never did very well.  This year it seems to be doing better.


My reading list includes this raw and powerfully written memoir of an up and coming Indigenous writer and activist, Helen Knott. Unfortunately her story of gender violence is not that pretty but the good news is she managed to overcome her addictions to drugs and alcohol and begin a new, cleaner life with hope and promise.  The gender violence the author had to endure throughout her lifetime fed into her addictions and the memories kept her addicted.


I'm currently reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. Several years ago I saw a movie based on the book and I enjoyed it. I'm about half way through the book and I don't remember much about whether the movie is true to the book. In any case, I always like to try and read books on which movies are based and the writing is quite enjoyable.

Last, but not least,  I'm reading Shadows Along the Zambezi. It's as masterfully written as Shadows Over an African Heart by Diana M. Hawkins.  Both books bring focussed attention to the issue of elephant poaching in Zimbabwe and all the violence and corruption that goes along with it.


Young elephants having a mud bath at Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage, Nairobi, Kenya


All but one of the books are digital loans from the library which for some reason is still closed to the public.  They don't even do curbside pickups. I'm not sure why they are still closed while most places are now open with new policies in place to stem the transmission of Covid 19.  Some time back I purchased a digital copy of the book on elephant poaching and am reading it on my Kobo device, Canada's version of  Kindle).  I'll be so glad once the library is open again so I can borrow paper books. In the meantime, I'm grateful for the digital option.

A short update on the Kenyan missions.

  • A variety of crops were planted for one large, extended family.  Once the harvest is ready there will be corn, cabbage, carrots and a variety of vegetables for 3 or 4 households to eat.
  • Elder Eunice is still in hospital. Though it was about 8 months ago that doctors said she would be ready to go home in a month or two that never happened. She is still in hospital and is more or less stable. We have no information as to the prognosis. 
  • Alvin, the young engineer graduate was hoping to come to Canada and continue his studies.  Sadly he was not accepted and we have given up on the idea.  It is very expensive process to prepare the application packages and has lead to a "no" decision two years in a row. It is very disappointing.  Alvin is a very intelligent and studious person and he would have done well here but getting accepted to a Canadian university (easier to get acceptance and scholarship if one is freshly out of high school)is difficult for people from poor countries and is more so the case when money is not part of the family assets.
  • Pastor Jonah has had a very difficult experience of late with one of his molars. He needed a root canal and the hospital where they did it did not do a good job at all. It was becoming septic. Fortunately he managed to get the tooth redone at a private dentist office and after a week is now very much on the mend. 
  • Others continue to receive food and medical helps when we have funds to assist them.
  • I thank those of you who continue to pray for the missions and/or lend financial support. May God richly bless each and every one of you.

That's all for now friends. I hope you all have a wonderful week. Please continue to stay safe. xx

Hello June

Happy June to all my lovely readers. 
I hope and pray that June finds you doing better than May 😀







I've been busy working away on various projects that I've let languish for long. I'm pleased with my progress thus far and have more work to do.  Mainly I've been continuing my major decluttering project and in the process of doing that I've identified some household projects and also some decor needs.  These are minor things not major projects but they take time to implement.  It has been raining for much of the last 6 weeks so that has helped me move forward and squeeze projects into the available free time here and there.

Where I live, the restrictions put in place over the last several months to contain the cases of Covid 19 are slowly and cautiously being lifted.  For now I remain in isolation and I intend to remain so until we see what happens with the forecasted 2nd wave of the virus in a few months time.  As in many countries and cities around the world, containment of the virus is made more challenging due to the protests going on over the egregious deaths of several Black Americans.  Of course I support peaceful protests for righteous causes but I do not support the looting, rioting, burning of buildings and so on that has gone on in some places and I hope peace will be restored before military interventions.

These are my first sky photos for the month of June. These are very early morning photos.

Joining up with Skywatch Friday.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Time Passes Quickly

Hi blogger friends,

I hope this post finds you well. In most parts of the world restrictions are being lifted and countries are trying to restart their economies. Where I live is no exception.

Now that the nicer weather is here it means the streets are much bigger and things like public transportation, restaurants and so on are back in swing albeit with different rules.  I won't go into the various restrictions as they currently exist.  Suffice to say, in my province the leadership and medical officials are being very cautious about lifting restrictions and I am fully on board with that.

I say the nicer weather is here but truth be told it has been raining where I live for much of the past 5 weeks.  We've had a bit of sunshine and dry weather after every week or so of rain.  Personally I think all that rain killed half of my vegetable garden because several of the seeds planted are not sprouting at all. These are the ones that require warmer temperatures, like peppers). The radishes and potatoes seem to be doing all right though maybe growing a bit slower than otherwise. The petunias and pansies are blooming though the geraniums are getting a bit too much rainfall.



 

This morning just before sunrise I was pleased to see the sky was full of pink colours though I see in the photos they are pinkish orange.




I haven't been baking anything lately but I did prepare some apples for use in pie filling, apple crumble or simply to eat with ice cream.  I like to eat Fuji apples but I haven't been eating that many lately. I had 8 of them that were going soft and wrinkled so I peeled, cored and chopped them. I cooked them up on the stove with a bit of coconut sugar, lemon juice and raisins and a tiny bit of water just so the apples didn't stick to the pot. I added just a bit more water to make a bit of juice and mixed up the whole thing with a bit of cornstarch and water mixture. It was very delicious over vanilla ice cream. I should  make a pie before the weather gets too hot.


Since my last post, I planned to read the book on Artificial Intelligence which I posted about last time. Instead I read a book called Nobody Cries at Bingo. The latter was written by Dawn Dumont, a First Nations comedienne from the province of Saskatchewan.  The novel was about a young girl growing up on a First Nations reserve in Saskatchewan and is quite humorous.


Last but certainly not least, I have added an About Africa page (see link at side bar) to this blog. The needs in Kenya continue to be great  for a variety of ongoing needs and during the pandemic the needs for nutritious food is greater than ever.  Needs include food and hygiene, medical and dental, farming needs, hospital needs and so on. Many thanks for your prayers also for these people.

Update: I know the needs are great everywhere but in some countries, such as Kenya people more people are literally starving than ever before. There is no such thing as stimulus cheques or social programs for the many who have lost their jobs.  There are no nationwide programs to help the general public in the best of times.  A few years ago though the the government thankfully did implement a pension program for the elderly and disabled.  Only a fraction of the elderly and disabled are enrolled and actually receiving funds. Many others who are qualified do not receive a shilling.  I personally know many who are qualified yet have never received a shilling from the government and I'm not entirely sure why.

During this pandemic, the only government assistance that has been distributed was to those elderly and disabled who are already receiving a pension. I believe they received a top up at end of April to their delayed pensions which were payable at the end of March.  The government added an amount equivalent to 2 months pension or roughly equal to $51 Canadian ($37 US Funds, € 33 Euros, ¥ 4000 Japanese Yen, £ 30 GBP, $56 Australian).  Others who live in the slums have received distribution of food from non profit organizations and individuals who have a heart to help others who are starving.  The aid has not reached all the slums or all the the very poor.


Linking up with Skywatch Friday.
Have a glorious and safe weekend.

A Little of Everything

Hello friends,

I hope you are all doing well.

I am basically fine and have been keeping myself busy.  I've been gainfully occupied with homely things like cooking, cleaning, gardening, a bit of knitting and reading.  I'm sure most of you are all doing much the same.  Some people are probably exercising of which I am only doing a bit of indoor exercise.  Unless you count a little bit of outdoor gardening though most of the strenuous work is finished.


Fern on May 19/20. I'm really pleased with how lush it looks after how it looked at the beginning of May.
Same fern on May 1/20.  After the winter I removed most leaves which were dead.  It has really come back to life and more fronds are unfurling (the round knobs you see near the soil).

Cosmos. I wish I had some dirt in the ground to plant these in rather than in the container.

Catmint. This plant has several medicinal benefits and is easy to grow.

Hostas. I am going to transplant some of these are they are too crowded in the cedar box.

Red petunias. I need some new terracotta planters but it will have to wait for another time.
Red petunias. I love how petunias spread out and take up space with their luscious blossoms.

I recently started knitting some cloths again. I'm using up my yarn stash and replenishing the cloths I made in the Fall to give as gifts
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I haven't been using the time of quarantine for much reading except for Bible reading.
It's mainly because I enjoy reading paper books and our library is closed except for digital books.
Recently I took the plunge to borrow some digital books and read Sapiens and The Colour Purple.
 It started well but I ended up only giving it 3/5 stars.

I gave this classic 4/5 stars.

This will be my next read.

I still enjoy taking photos of the sky, especially if there is colour in it when I am still up at dawn. It's been raining for going on 3 of the past 4 weeks but there are dry periods in each day and I believe the photos below were taken in our dry week.
Early morning, May 11, 2020

Early morning May 11, 2020

Early morning May 8, 2020

Joining in with Skywatch Friday.
Have a wonderful and safe weekend ahead.

Bathed in Pastels

We continue to have rain (the almost constant rain for almost 2 months is not so good for the garden) and temperatures on the low side.  The...