Friday, November 21, 2014

Skywatching on Wednesday

Hi friends,

It's been busy around these parts. I'm sure you've all been very busy too, especially those of you preparing for Thanksgiving (USA) and Christmas (world).

This Christmas and in about a month's time, I will have a guest come and stay for a few days. I'm feeling the need to get cleaning and get organized though I probably won't really do much to get ready until the month begins. That is when I hope to put up the tree.  There have just been so many other things to do and the time has been flying by! I seem to say that time is "flying by" more and more. I wish it would slow down a bit.

Location: 5th Avenue & Burrard Street

This past month has been busy with lots of routine medical visits. Some are quarterly and some are annual but for some reason they all seemed to come along in the last month.  It's also a good time to try and plan ahead for extra medical costs like medical and dental and re-examine insurance plans to see how these help with the cost. That kind of thing. It takes time to do it all. One thing I haven't got to in ages is a dental visit. I haven't got a dentist anymore and keep putting off finding one. It is hard to find a good one who will work within the standard fees that are usually covered by the insurance company.  Also, my doctor reminded me last week that have two annual medical tests that I haven't done yet. I will have to find time for those.

It is not good to put things off and usually I don't but this year I just can't seem to squeeze enough hours out of a day.  We all have the same number of hours to work with. I'm always amazed at what some people manage to get done!  You have to have good time management skills and good health in order to get a lot done in the time you have.

You can see the beautiful blue in the sky in this photo.

Each week or alternate week, I manage to get together with at least one friend.  I have one friend who is especially good about scheduling regular get togethers so we get out often for a coffee and a chat or a to see a movie. This past week we went to see a movie about Professor Stephen Hawking called "The Theory of Everything".  It was based on a book written by his first wife. The movie was quite good as showed what a good sense of humour Professor Hawking has and it was also touching and inspiring at the same time. The movie is also about his first wife and what she had to deal with in taking care of her husband when they could not afford in home care giving help.  She was a woman of faith and I'm sure that helped her to carry on though that isn't the focus of the movie.  If you have a chance, go out and see the movie. It isn't about God as such but about Professor Hawking disease and how he managed a brilliant career in spite of it. One of the professor's quotes is, "While there is life, there is hope". That's a wonderful view of life for anyone.

On my way to the movie, I took a few moments to capture the sky in photos spread throughout this post. You can see we had a lovely day.  Even though it is the middle of November there are still leaves with glorious Fall colour on some trees. That day (Wednesday) the temperature had warmed up a lot and by 6 p.m., the usual Fall and Winter rains had started once again.

Enjoy the photos.

If you haven't already read my post about gearing up for Christmas in Kenya, you can read it here

I'd love to hear from you. 

I'm joining in with Skywatch Friday this week and Our World Tuesday
Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Gearing Up for Christmas

Hello friends,

I hope you are doing fine on this blessed Sunday. It has been awhile since I've posted. I've been feeling very tired this week so have been trying to get as much rest as possible.

Yesterday was the day of our civic elections and voting was very brisk. I went out to cast my vote  just a few hours before the voting stations closed. I overheard a number of the workers telling voters that the turn out for voting was very good and that there had been long line-ups much of the day.Later, on the news I heard the same report about long line-ups at many other voting stations. So that is the good news.

I cast my vote for mayor, city council, school trustees and the parks board. We were also asked to vote "yes" or "no" to a variety of big spending schemes. I didn't get the results I wanted but that is okay. I am just glad that so many turned out to vote.  We will see where we are at in 4 years time and in the meantime, I hope our city gets the kind of leadership and vision that we need and deserve.

Weather here has turned very nippy. Last night as I went out to vote at the station a few blocks from where I live, I ran into my neighbour who was coming back from work. She said it was very cold. As I got out and started walking I could see that the ground was covered in a lot of frost. We had frost earlier in the week but it has gotten even colder. I was properly dressed with scarf, gloves and warm jacket.

A few posts ago I said I would share some old videos I had made and so today I'm sharing one I made years ago.

It is just a very short clip of street boys near Kericho, Kenya at a Rehabilitation Center. These are young boys that get into trouble and most have no parents. My friend Jonah worked with them a lot over the years and would bring Vacation Bible School (VBS) to the children.

I would sponsor the event and helped pay the teachers who Jonah would recruit from the local Bible school and make sure they had food to eat for the week of the VSB as well as teaching materials and small gifts for the children to be handed out during the closing ceremonies. On the day in the video, I had made a trip to Kenya while the VSB was being held and I was attending the closing. I was so touched by these children and their heartfelt singing.  My short clip was taken on my digital camera in the days when the pixels were still not that large so forgive the quality.

Christmas is drawing near once again, I would like to do something for the orphans or the community of needy people in and near Kericho, Kenya.

One year I sponsored a small, fun outing for village children to join festivities in town.

In another, we took Christmas to the local prisons.

Jonah meeting and greeting one of the prison heads.

Men at the prison gathering.

Women at the prison gathering.

Another year Jonah brought cheer to the local hospital.

In Kenya when you are in hospital, you have to have family help you and make sure they bring you food. Jonah and helpers were taking different food treats to the patients.

For several years we brought Christmas cheer to the internally displaced people of Kenya.

 These are Kenyan who lost their homes and material possessions through civic strife after one of the elections.

These small shelters are how they have to live. There is no protection.

A close up of one of the shelters.

 It is heartbreaking to see the conditions in which the people have to live while they wait for justice. . They have been waiting years for new land where they can live safely. 

No child or grandchild should have to live like this but what choice do the parents have?

Each and every day and every year there are so many ways that one can help the people of Kenya. Christmas is an especially good time to remember them.

I will remember them this year once again and would be so pleased if you could join me.
I can assure you the funds will be put to good use. 

(You can find my email on my profile page if you would like to help out).
God bless. xx

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My World This Week

There has been a lot of rain over the past week or two. I got wet on two days last week and ended up feeling poorly. I took Friday to recover as Saturday and Sunday were full of commitments. Having the one day to do nothing but rest really helped a lot though am still dealing with phlegm and fatigue.

I managed to capture a few scenes to illustrate some of my week.

I am at Heather Street taking a photo but am really in the area to shop.

I always love this view toward the city from Broadway on Heather Street.
Taking a walk in another part of town  after having some Vietnamese Pho Soup.

There is still some lovely colour in the tree leaves.

Many of the Fall leaves now blanket the streets and sidewalks.
A friend and I spent the entire day together on Sunday after attending church together.  She is an out-of- town friend and was here for a mini-vacation. We had a great time together but she ended up getting two parking tickets in one afternoon! It turned out to be an expensive day for me , paying for our lunch and one of the parking tickets.  I don't go out to lunch terribly often  so this splurge for someone I don't see too often is okay. I told her it will be our Christmas lunch since I won't see her at Christmas.

We got our second ticket just before 6 p.m. on Sunday night.  It was pitch black but we were looking out over the city lights from Queen Elizabeth Park. It was very pretty but I'm afraid my cell phone camera doesn't do it justice.

Looking out over the City of Vancouver from Queen Elizabeth Park.

This city has gone beserk with parking rates and meters everywhere.  This and lack of consultation on rapidly accelerating development will cause me to vote for a new mayor next weekend. He promises to do reduce paid parking hours, put a bit of a brake on the fast pace of development and find a way to do real consultations with communities.  If he wins the race (it's a close race), the citizens of the city will have an opportunity to see whether he made good on his promises.

I managed to squeeze in a few days of reading in this week.   After finishing a very satisfying read,  The Shadow Queen by Sandra Gulland, I quickly moved on to The Juggler's Children.  The latter book is a story of one woman's search for her family roots and her use of DNA testing to piece together her very interesting family background. When I borrowed the book last Thursday I didn't notice that it was a fast read so it's a good thing I had time to read it right away. I will return both books on Thursday.

When the year opened, I set myself a modest reading goal of  35 books.  I passed the goal some time ago.  I've been slightly adjusting the goal upward. every time I surpass it by 3-5 books.  My current goal is 52 books.  A few pages from now I will have read 51 books. I'm not sure what I shall read for my 52nd book and would love to hear your suggestions.

Are any of you reading a good book right now?

I'm joining in with Our World Tuesday this week.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Nostalgia & Gratitude

Hi friends, It is Sunday night and I'm feeling a bit nostalgic. I was looking at old videos I had made. They are rather amateur but I would like to share some in the next few weeks.

This first video is probably the best video I made and also one of my first ones. The sound quality seems to be much better than some of the later ones I uploaded.

I hope you enjoy.  There is soothing music to go along with it the photos.  It is raining here today and far from the beautiful bright days you see in the video. Nonetheless I had a good day because I was able to sleep in, rest, catch up on computer work, connect by text with a number of friends, connect with my mom and help her out by prayer and advocacy.  I also got to make plans to meet two friends,  later this week; one who is from out of town.  I'm looking forward to seeing both of  them.  I also have a busy week of appointments, errands, phone calls and will be grateful to make it through the week intact and not too tired.

Graphic credit: 30 Days of Gratitude

Whenever I have a lot to do I try to plan out my days carefully. I plan out the time so that I can accomplish what is in my calendar at a steady pace rather than a hectic pace. It usually works out well.  I also try to work in rest periods, coffee or lunch stops and time to read a bit of whatever book I'm reading. This week I must return books and need to try and finish one of them which I started long ago. It's called Currency Wars by James Rickards. Very interesting but I can only digest a few pages at a time.  I recommend you catch the author on youtube if you don't want to read the book.

Much love to you all and thank you for stopping by to visit.  I send you all loving thoughts for a beautiful week ahead.

Sales, Promotions & Stocking Up

Hello friends and fellow bloggers, How are you today? I'm writing this on Saturday and I'm feeling very tired.  I even slept in unti...