Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Hello blogging friends,

We just finished observing Remembrance Day here in Canada as many of you did in other countries. The various holidays of the year have flown by and we just have Christmas to celebrate before the end of the year.  Usually on Remembrance Day it is raining heavily in my city and I always feel badly for the veterans when that have to stand or sit in the rain or shiver in the cold (when it doesn't rain it is usually quite frigid). I was grateful that this year there was no rain for Remembrance Day and in fact the sun came out. It seemed warmer than usual.

However, we are expecting more rain this week after a few weeks of wonderful sunshine. Apparently we broke a record for 14 consecutive days of sunshine.  I had to laugh when I heard that and wondered what must go through people's minds when they live elsewhere in the world and hear that.

I do live in the rain forest area and we get a lot of rain. It's what gives us fantastic forests and lush green grass most of the year.  But this year we had such a deluge of rain in September and October which is a few months earlier than usual.  I don't like to complain but when Fall is your favourite season and you can't really enjoy the colours due to the clouds and rain, it isn't my happy time. But next year is another year and I hope I will be able to enjoy the foliage then.  I can always hope.

I've done a bit of reading and completed the book on Jackie Kennedy Onassis, her mother and sister which I enjoyed though it may not be everyone's cup of tea. I have now finished 48 books this year and expect to finish 50 books before 2020 arrives.  I am about to begin the Book of Philippians in the New Testament (NT) as well. I've already read 1 John and Revelations so there isn't much more to read before I've completed my reading of the NT.

Right now I'm enjoying watching Dancing with the Stars on television. It amazes me what amateurs can do when they are paired up with professionals though the younger ones have an advantage in terms of flexibility and ability to bounce back from injuries. It's fun to watch them all and see who will be voted off and who will remain until the final show.

Earlier today I did a bit of baking.  When the weather turns cooler, I always crave something home baked to have with hot tea while I read or watch television.  These muffins are my current favourites because I'm trying to use up some corn meal a friend gifted me.

Corn meal muffins on left and with added cranberries on right

Banana bread
If you'd like to try the muffins you can find the recipe here.  I also had a few frozen bananas I wanted to use up.  I've tried many different banana bread recipes over time and they are never quite to my liking so I keep trying.This one looks like it might be better than others I've used but I'll know after I try eating it. If you'd like to check out the recipe you can find it here.

Tomorrow I go to the hospital for assessment of my knees. I can tell by the questionnaire they sent me that I likely won't be considered a high priority candidate for surgery because I am still very independent. I do hope though that somehow getting this process underway will stand me in good stead for when I do need to have surgery.  I'll know more in due course.

Christmas shopping is almost done. It seems there are always things and gifts I think about at the last minute. It usually means I start enlarging the circle of friends I want to gift as Christmas draws closer. It is always a heart warming thing to consider a special gift for those you love.

I'm also reflecting on the accomplishments of the past year and looking ahead to 2020 which I expect will be a very different kind of year.  The year 2019 was a year of cleaning up and clearing out. It was also a year of dealing with lots of unfinished business in preparation for the future. I am still in the process of dealing with old business but have made significant progress.

  • Travelled to Paris (a long awaited dream) and to Kenya (a long delayed trip)
  • Completed x-rays on knees & scheduled assessment and evaluation for surgery
  • Dealt with major dental needs, including all communications with insurance cos (and will finish these before end of year)
  • Completed legal paperwork for a relative to oversee her personal and medical care
  • Changed financial advisors
  • Cancelled financial products
  • Drafted a new Last Will & Testament
  • Read many books and more than met my reading goal for 2019
  • Visited with family members near and far (made one long journey for visit)
  • Implemented a schedule for consistent Bible study and prayer/praise
  • Slowed down the hectic pace of activities
  • Studied numerous topics of interest through webinars in preparation for future plans
  • Decluttered clothing, knick knacks, books and papers - work is ongoing
  • Reconnected with various friends from afar
  • Assisted numerous needy in Africa: 4 sponsored boys in Africa, 3 graduates of Kenyan universities & 4 adults requiring significant help with medical needs, food and shelter. This work is ongoing.

In terms of the Kenyan missions and outreach I'm working on a number of things as we close out the year. The needs are always more than I can handle on my own.  But I am always willing to see what I can do and to see if there are others who might join with me here and there or even longer term.  I understand if you can't or don't want to help, there is certainly no pressure to do so. My feeling is that God speaks to certain people to prompt them to help and it is between them and God whether they obey. Then too there are people who are not Christian who may also have a heart to help and that is good too. 

Going forward these are the needs:
  • Assist Eunice monthly with her medicines ($250 US/$335 Canadian) and special food ($180 US/$240 Canadian) to treat acute anemia. She has improved and when she has a set back she bounces back more quickly. 
  • Send Charles to an alcohol rehabilitation centre for 3 months ($1500 US/$2000). Charles is a chronic alcoholic with a wife and several children. He has not worked for quite some time and needs professional intervention to get beyond his addiction.
  • Monitor Ernest's recovery from leg injuries and his nutritional and monetary needs (any amount is helpful).
  • Help Ernest with a small business venture  ($270 US/$360 Canadian bare bones budget) to start a barbering business).  He has experience in barbering and the start up costs are minimal.  If he can get back to work he he could at least provide for his own food needs in the longer term. 
  • Repair the leaking roof and walls in Ernest's house. The tin roof needs replacing and the walls need replastering (approximate cost is $200 US or $270 Canadian). Right now he is bunking at his mother's home but this won't work longer term. 
There are other needs but these ones are the priority needs. If any of you would like to help with one or more of these needs please let me know or send donations to the Pay Pal link located in the side bar to the right of this blog.
In other news, Alvin, the Engineering graduate, has passed his English as a Second Language test with flying colours. He is now working on finding a thesis supervisor at a university here in Vancouver. Kindly keep him in your prayers so that he can find a supervisor, get admitted and obtain a scholarship to further his studies.

Levi is the other Engineering graduate I was helping but he has now gone off to India to do a Masters degree.  Fortunately he received a scholarship to study abroad.

Last but not least, Carolly graduated with a medical degree and fulfilled his licensing requirements. His graduation was last Friday.  Carolly comes from very humble beginnings and has worked very hard to get this far. Currently he is working as an ambulance attendant.  Now that he has his medical license he can look forward to working as a doctor. Physicians are best placed to find work in Kenya it seems, otherwise unemployment levels in Kenya are extremely high.

That's it for now blogging friends. 
I hope to see you in Blog Land soon. 


  1. Hello,
    Both the Banana Bread and muffins sound delicious, thanks for sharing the recipe. Waiting for surgery, sounds frustrating. I hope you continue to independent. Good luck and congrats to Alvin and Carolly. Have a great day and week ahead.

  2. I can tell you've got Christmas on your mind. Enjoy the run up to Christmas.

  3. That looks like an interesting read...and your muffins and bread look fabulous...
    ~Have a lovely day!

  4. I'm very impressed with how you have accomplished your goals and the things you did this year. Very good for you! And that baking looks wonderful!

    I've done a good deal of Christmas shopping so that's a plus. Still more on the plate but I'm trying to be very directed and smart this year. and I think I would really love that book!

  5. This year I've read several books about Jacki and Lee. She certainly had a rough life.

  6. The book about Jackie and Lee looks good, so does your baking! Hope you get good news on your knees.

  7. You are a very ambitious reader and also a wonderful advocate for your friends in need. What a blessing! Praying for these needs to be met. Praying also for you to have knee surgery when you need it and not to have to wait too long. Those muffins look great, as does the banana nut bread. I have a good recipe for that. I think it is on my sidebar of my blog, under recipes...might have to look at a couple of those "pages" to find it. It always turns out great. Hope you enjoy your winter months. We are getting some very chilly weather for Florida today. But thankfully not the frigid weather of the north country. We are very thankful. Have a blessed and wonderful week.

  8. Love your Rainbow header!! The baked goods look so good!! Always impressed by how organized you are and how you keep track of all the things in your days, and that you do so much and put so much care into all!!! Abundant Blessings with all!! Prayers for good results with your knees and the surgery. Wishing you beautiful and blessed days!! xoxo

  9. You do so much to help others...I'm glad there are people like you that care so much. You've accomplished a lot this year and it's exciting to plan for the year to come. Enjoy your day!

  10. You have certainly accomplished a lot this year …
    Hoping you will not have too long to wait before they can help with your knees and surgery.

    My good wishes.

    All the best Jan


Thank you for visiting and commenting This blog does not allow Anonymous comments or comments with hotlinks directing readers to another page.

Hello September

  Happy September everyone! I can't believe a week has already gone by.