Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Busy Month Unfolding

The remarkable thing is, we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude 
we will embrace for that day.

Charles R. Swindoll

Hello everyone, I hope you've been having a good week so far. 

I've been busy with this and that.

 I have a friend who is applying to university in my city. The process is complicated, labourious and expensive.  I've been helping him get things sorted out. We are very close to the wire (upon the deadline). Please keep him in prayer.

I have another friend who has just moved to a new apartment and needs a few things. I've been checking out my cupboards and the thrift store for some unique items to donate to his kitchen and he has been taking things home little by little. I thank God that he has at last found a place of his own after living in several different unsuitable sharing situations.

Salad tongs from Africa for my friend's kitchen. They just need a bit of oil to" freshen" them up.

I have a mother in care who has multiple needs & every day brings news of something else.  Some needs relate to her care, some  relate to her material needs & some of them relate to the need for medical appointments. It keeps me busy. 
I thank God mom is still here and that small progress is made here and there though there are days I get very exhausted. Sometimes the progress is hard to see but I try to keep hope. 
We are also still waiting for a room at the new care facility. I hope it will be soon.

I met with my Tanzanian friend and a new Italian friend at the start to the weekend. I've spoken with the woman from Italy before but it was my first opportunity to meet her. She wanted to learn about my experiences in East Africa as she planned to travel there but was a little nervous.  Several weeks before meeting her I spoke with her by telephone.  Since then she has made arrangements to travel to both Kenya and Tanzania soon. How exciting for her. I wish I was going too!

I started going for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatments once again; primarily for the pain in my knees. The last time I tried TCM  was about 2 years ago. At that time I didn't experience a lot of relief.  But this time I am not only getting acupuncture but am also taking herbs. After about 5 weeks I am starting to feel relief though it will take months yet before real and lasting change might occur.

The last bit of Moroccan stew I've been enjoying.

 The TCM doctor suggested that I not eat rice, not even brown rice. I'm not sure I agree with that but it doesn't really matter because I eat very little rice of any kind since rice isn't my favourite. I prefer barley to rice. I also eat cous cous, bulgar and quinoa as well as a bit of pasta. 

 I also try to eat beans but now and then get out of the habit because I prefer to soak my own beans rather than buy them in a can. I started back to soaking beans this week and made some Moroccan stew with chick peas (yum!).

Tomorrow I hope to make some navy bean soup. These kind of soups and stews are perfect food for the cooler winter months.

Soaked and cooked beans ready for Navy Bean Soup.

Last but not least I am reading my Bible and some other works. I've just finished a book called "Minding Frankie" by one of my very favourite authors, the late Maeve Binchy.  The book is about Noel, a young alcoholic man who turns his life around to care for Frankie, a baby girl left to him by her deceased mom whom Noel dated briefly.  The book is really about a cast of characters in a small Irish town as most of Mrs. Binchy's books are.  But Noel and Frankie are the core characters around which the other character's lives are intertwined.
Reading Maeve Binchy's books are always like sitting down with a warm comfy blanket and cup of tea in front of a roaring fireplace. I've almost read every single one of her books.

I picked this book up at the thrift store.

Last Friday after meeting my friends, I made a stop at the local library where I checked out 4 books.  I also picked up a couple more books, some novels and one cookbook for experimenting in the kitchen at the thrift (2nd hand shop) store.

I'm afraid I haven't had the  space of mind to do any more crafting since before Christmas. That might happen in February.

With a new year comes new changes. I was saddened to learn that I will no longer be able to sponsor children in Zambia. For whatever reasons the school sponsorship and pen pal program have been stopped and the children are no longer available for sponsorship.  I will be updating the information on my blog page in due time. I still have to update the blog page to introduce my new correspondence child in Ethiopia.

Also, I wanted to mention that Elvis, the young Kenyan man who is doing a diploma in medicine and surgery is expected to graduate in about one year. I'm still trying to get some sponsorship help for him. What remains to be funded is one semester of tuition (close to $500 Canadian) and monthly living costs (room and board & pocket money) until August 2014 (about $100 Canadian), as well as books for a term (about $65 Canadian).
If you can help, please do contact me.

I've put a lot in this post as I'm not posting quite as frequently this month though I am still visiting blogs that I keep up with.  I hope you are all enjoying your New Year so far. 
Enjoy the rest of your week!

Linking up with Our World Tuesday this week.


Joy said...

You really are having a busy time of it Joyful and you've covered so many interesting subjects - you, your Mum and your friends with needs are in my prayers.
I also have acupuncture treatments, around once a month for general upkeep of this body, and find it very beneficial; I do hope your knees improve soon! With love, Joy xo

Anonymous said...

Wow, life sounds busy! What a great newsy post :)
I hope you continue to feel improvement with you TCM treatment xxx

Joanne Noragon said...

How busy you are. Work is a blessing.
I hope a new room for your mother becomes available toute suite! End of my French vocabulary.
I too prefer all other grains and legumes to rice. They're just so much more substantial.

fus said...

Vaya semana mas atareada y siempre ayudando a los demàs, tu solidaridad es una fortuna. Enhorabuena

un abrazo


Kay L. Davies said...

You certainly are keeping busy, although I'm sorry you haven't had any time for knitting.
I always think of my mother when you mention yours. We were so grateful that she and Dad both got rooms at a care facility in White Rock, our home town. The doctor there said it was amazing, because some couples are separated as far apart as West Vancouver and the Abbotsford-Chilliwack area.
My young brother and my sister both live in the White Rock area, and my other brother was working there when our parents were in care, so I only had to travel from Alberta every six or eight weeks. We are still grateful for the loving care they received.
One of these times when I'm out to see my family, you and I must get together for lunch. Meanwhile, I hope your knees continue to improve.

John's Island said...

Hi Joyful, What an interesting post ... you sure covered a lot. I see that you like navy bean soup ... it is one of my favorites as well. You may be interested in something I just discovered about a year ago: an electric pressure cooker. They are not expensive and they are not nearly as tempermental as the old fashioned pressure cookers. Just tonight for dinner I placed a package of dry pinto beans into the cooker, a ham hock, and covered it with water ... about 8 - 10 cups. Turned on the cooker and 45 minutes later had the best pinto beans. They taste like they have been cooking all day and there is no need to soak them overnight or even the fast soak method. Navy bean soup can be done in under one hour ... start to finish. If you want more info, just let me know. Take care and thank you for your comments on my blog. And yes, I do hope you will see Yellowstone one of these days ... I'm just certain you will love it. John

Cynthia said...

I cook and eat a lot of beans. I soak them overnight and cook up a bunch at a time, then freeze them. That way I have them when I'm in a hurry. The only canned beans I like are garbanzos and a can of organic gar-beans-so, as my kids called them, can be had for 99 cents.
That author sounds like one I would enjoy. Thanks for the info!
I'm doing also acupuncture and Chinese medicine, for migraines. Sometimes I think it's working, but then they come back with a vengeance. Still hoping!

Mereknits said...

My goodness you have been so busy and have so much on your mind. I send prayer to all of your friends and family that need them. Glad you Mother is doing better.
Hugs to you,

Maria said...

Hi Joyful,

Thank you for visiting my page and leaving a comment.

It's a delight to discover your blog. I love reading this particular post. It's inspiring and full of optimism.

I am btw, a sponsored student by a woman from Netherlands. I finished my bachelors and masters because of her generosity.

I will for sure, come back to read more on your page and to watch out for new posts!

Your new follower,

Lynda said...

You have been very busy. Your food dishes look delicious. I remember when you were posting about the healthy cooking last year, too. Those salad tongs are very pretty!!! So sorry it is so involved to apply to college. It doesn't seem that difficult here - - other than the money of course. You are a good daughter to your mom but I know it is also heart-wrenching at times in addition to being tiring. I remember the days of caring for mine when she was in assisted care.

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