Friday, July 31, 2009

I'll be Gone

Hi everyone,

It is moving day today. At last I move from the hotel where I have been for 10 weeks and move back to my condo. It is also travel day as I will go for the long weekend to visit family. Consequently, I won't be adding any new posts while I am away.

Have fun and stay cool!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Elizabeth is Very Sick

This is a report from my friend Pastor Jonah about a mutual friend, Elizabeth in his village.

She is sick, frail,her leg is not strong anymore, she is not eating enough, and she is in pain. These words describe Elizabeth, our mother who is just about 64 years old. Elizabeth has 9 kids to her name, 6 boys and 3 girls.

I felt so bad today, though I was supposed to encourage her, I was feeling low. Pray for me and her son, Thomas, who loves her so much. We try what we can to make her feel that life is worth living again.

Elizabeth has stage 3 cervical cancer and cancer management in Africa is still a new concept. We have been trying to read books to understand what cervical cancer is all about but it is hard.

We were moved from one hospital to a government one. I guess the nurses & doctors had pity on our meagre finances and Elizabeth has now been admitted in the ward. Pray for her.

Thanks Joyful servant for $100 towards her medical bill. God Bless

Walking to the next hospital. She is in pain.

Sent to the next hospital. (Elizabeth is in the middle).

Elizabeth supporting herself against the tree. Thomas on left.

(From me) You may ask, what is joyful about this post as I say that this is a blog about simple things which bring me joy? It is indeed difficult to find joy in such a circumstance. In this case, I am joyful that I have friends who will pray for Elizabeth. I am joyful that Elizabeth has now been admitted to the hospital where she will be attended and she will have more peace of mind that someone can help her with pain management. I am joyful that Thomas, her son, loves and cares for his mother so much and I am joyful that Pastor Jonah is there to support them in trying to get help.

Please pray for all of these dear ones. Thank you so much. Joyful

United Kingdom Puts on a Great Show

Here is what the CBC News had to say about the weather on Wednesday, July 29, 2009.

"Wednesday was the hottest day ever recorded in Vancouver, according to CBC meteorologist Claire Martin. At 5 p.m. PT, Environment Canada recorded a record-breaking high of 33.8 C, breaking the previous record of 33.3 C set in 1960. Martin said anyone hoping the heat wave blanketing B.C. will be breaking anytime soon might just have to find some other way to chill out. "It's a very stable weather pattern — and very pronounced. It's not moving anywhere fast," Martin said Wednesday. Temperatures have been soaring across the province all week, hitting the low 40s (in degrees Celsius) in hot spots such as Lytton in the Fraser Canyon, setting records and driving thousands to lakes, pools, and beaches."

Even with the record heat, people turned up in droves for the 3rd night of the annual Celebration of Lights. The competing country was the United Kingdom. I don't think it is accurate to call it a country as it is more than one country but I think you'll know what I mean * smile.

Tonight at last, I did leave the air conditioned comfort of my hotel room for the closer view of the fireworks afforded by walking down to the beach. I found a spot that wasn't overly crowded, but boy was it steaming out there. On the way back, I stopped at the corner convenience store to purchase a few cold beverages and immediately took a cool shower after getting in.

Now that I somewhat cooled I can leave these lovely photos for your viewing pleasure.

Here is a short video taken on my old Canon SD300 camera. It will give you a good idea of the sights, sounds and fireworks. I have several more and when I have a bit more time I will splice them together.


Monday, July 27, 2009

South Africa Wows Vancouver

I posted about the first of 4 nights of the Annual Celebration of Lights here in Vancouver. You can read about it here

On Saturday we had the second of four nights of competition. South Africa was on the roster to show their pyrotechnic skills and it was worth the wait! I never got out to the beach to jostle with the thousands and thousands who did. It started pouring rain in the late afternoon and I wasn't even sure whether the fireworks display would go on. The show did indeed go on though it was slightly delayed.

Look at the spectacular sunset we had during the rain and just before night closed the sky to get ready for amazing fireworks.

I discovered a few nights ago that my old Canon SD300 isn't fast enough to take good night shots, especially with moving subjects. These are a few of the better shots I was able to salvage.

I also made my first little video with clips from the Canon's movie feature. I wanted to upload it last night after the fireworks display but the lightening storms seems to have knocked out my internet service for about 24 hours. I've learned that I need a faster shutter speed )and/or a camcorder if I want to get good night movies. I couldn't get the shots I wanted and it was tiring to hold the compact camera up for extended periods. Nonetheless I enjoyed my first foray into splicing these movie clips together. Hopefully, I'll improve with practise.

Celebration of Lights

July 25, 2009

South African Team shines in their pyrotechnic skills

Saturday, July 25, 2009

New Music

Hi friends, I've created a new song play list
and put
it in the side bar
to the right
of your screen.
Please listen in.

I've created it with you in mind.

'I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live:
I will sing praise to my God while I have any being.'

(Psalm 104:33; 146:2)

God bless xoxo

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:

Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness;
but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

From John Keats' epic poem, Endymion, 1818

Scenes of beauty from my walk today reminded me of the poem by John Keats. I hope you find something of beauty today in your meanderings. Blessings xoxox


I want to share with you a little story about my friend, Pastor Jonah.

For years Jonah has been praying for a refuge center of sorts. In this centre he would house & school young orphan boys or delinquent boys from Kericho, Kenya; boys no one else will keep.

A few days ago he had a phone call from a friend he used to worship with in the same church. What he heard truly blessed his heart as this man has a school building which could help to make Pastor Jonah's dream a reality.

Jonah has been
praying to start a such a school ever since he finished seminary and this is the closest he has come to seeing his prayer answered.

Please pray that he can be able to run this school some day. It is truly a prayer answered and Jonah is just waiting for God's directions.

Thank you God.

Pictures of the school and the owner

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Celebration of Lights

Every year Vancouver has a competition between 4 countries that compete for the best fireworks display. The celebration began last night at 10:00 p.m. with Canada first up. These are the photos I managed to take with my slow camera.

Unfortunately, the big high rise is standing in the way of a brilliant view but I still managed to enjoy the show. My camera unfortunately did not shoot fast enough to capture the best shots though I tried hard to do so. I was shooting off my hotel balcony.

The competition is on for a week. If I can brave the crowds I may head down to the beach one night but I am not sure I am that brave.

Look how many people came rushing back to town after the show!

Watch this short video and you will get a better idea just how large this crowd was. The video doesn't show as well against the black background but I think you can still get the idea. You can hear the helicopters whirring in the background.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Garden Grows

Little garden in the city
How you've grown to be so pretty.
I really wish I was closer
To pluck and weed and water you.

Cherry tomatoes growing in background, small sweet peppers in foreground.

A closer look at the sweet peppers.

The corn is coming along nicely.

Not sure what this red flower is even tho I picked it.

A zinnia. Pretty in pink.

Hopefully next year I can have my dream garden. I won't have a temporary move to contend with and should be able to be on site to tend it with tender, loving care. *sigh*

Friday, July 17, 2009

Drinking in the Sunset

Is there anything more beautiful than a glorious sunset? I snapped this photo a few nights ago.

Water, Water Everywhere

I received this short message from Pastor Jonah in Kericho, Kenya. It really shows the power of what one person can do to help others. May it encourage you to step out in faith for what God would have you to do. Please see more of Pastor Jonah's daily life and service at



You will love this story of the Canadian who has invested alot in searching for water to help the people here in Africa

If the link doesn't work, you can also see the story here

God bless.


My Breast Cancer "Scare"

[Caption: Artwork belongs to the BC Screening Mammography Program]

I wanted to share some good news. I went through a breast biopsy Thursday morning and the doctor thinks what they found is a water cyst, not cancer. She was a bit perplexed because the cysts are/were hard to find on the ultrasound and said something had shown up on the mammogram that needed an investigation. She did indeed locate the cyst on the ultrasound and took a couple of tissue samples. She said the results were disappointingly poor in terms of the amount of tissue extracted. When she tried to take more samples, the cyst disappeared & could no longer be found on the ultrasound. This biopsy was done on one small cyst. After the biopsy procedure the doctor requested another mammogram to see if the cyst was detectable and it was not. Thank God for this good news!

Now they also said there are two other areas that show some kind of mass. One is deep inside my left breast and they could not do a core biopsy on that area as the needle is not long enough for that. The other area is the lymph node in the left armpit. My sister died of non-Hodgkins lymphoma and when I expressed concern the doctor said it was unlikely that a familial history of lymphoma was cause for concern. She said the small cyst which she biopsied is (was) of greater concern (no longer of concern post-biopsy). I have to go for follow up mammogram and ultrasound in January, 2009.

I had no real discomfort at all through the biopsy process and I praise God for that. I am especially grateful for having all this observation and evaluation concluded in the space of less than 2 weeks. Originally, I was not scheduled for mammogram until July 31st. Instead, the Lord moved everything at lightening speed to conclude the evaluation well before July 31st. God is good. And, I am His grateful, Joyful Servant.

Much love xoxox

Please, if you are a woman between the ages of 40-79, do not forget to get your breast mammography. Early detection of breast cancer gives the best chance of survival.

Advantage of Regular Screening Mammograms

Common sizes of lumps

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Visit

I was watering my small garden the other day when these small birds paid a visit. I think they were attracted by the cool, misty water coming from my hose. I love birds and I didn't realize that I caught one in flight! The one I was trying to capture is perched just under the green railing. Can you see it?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pillowey Clouds

Fluffy, grey, pillowey clouds
cover the sky.

They seem forboding
yet the pink on the horizon says not to worry.
Only a little dew is on the way to soothe the land.

Nonetheless, it's night now and I take refuge inside.
Sleep comes soon, another day is fully spent.

~ by Joyful Servant 13/07/09

Fluttering Leaves

Green leaves

you flutter so gently

in the peaceful breeze.

I want to lie under your bountiful shade

I want to rest on the green grass.

I want to savour the sounds of summer

and watch the sunlight dance through your branches.

~ by Joyful Servant, July 19, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009


This lovely path, led me in gentle curves

past a rippling brook and a quiet place to sit

before I was let out the beautiful gate.

On the other side I found the weekly Farmer's Market.

I didn't buy anything as I was on my way to other errands but I did listen to some nice music by this trio called Mazaltov Cocktail. (Mazaltov is Hebrew/Yiddish for "good luck". The phrase "Mazel Tov!" parallels the use of the phrase "Congratulations!" and coveys roughly that "I am pleased this good thing has happened to you!"). I pray some good things have happened to you this week so I can wish you Mazaltov!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Wonderful Gift

Have you ever experienced a time or two when you felt that someone really, really listened to what you were saying? Wasn't it a wonderful feeling?

I saw this sign on one of my walks and I thought it was a great representation of a wonderful and free gift you could offer to a child, a senior, a friend, a loved one.

God bless xoxox

Tuesday 4 ~ Books

Welcome back to Toni Taddeo's Tuesday 4 . Books are such a big part of many people's lives. Maybe we should talk about that. 1. Do y...