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|
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.
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.