Thursday, July 23, 2020

Looking Skyward

Our summer finally arrived this past week. I read on Twitter that it is the latest arrival of summer in 40 years. My experience of having lived long on the earth is that it was indeed a very late summer arrival and the twitter feed simply confirmed it.  If you were in Vancouver over the past few months you could safely vouch that this was the case because it has rained so much since April. Virtually every day and sunny and dry days were few and far between.

Hot weather did not arrive until a few days ago and for the first time since May I went to the community garden. I thought that after several days of sunshine and hot weather the garden would need a good watering.  Truthfully since I've been self-isolating it has been very easy not to go to the garden though I did worry about how unsightly it might be by now. I certainly didn't worry that the garden wasn't getting enough water.

Imagine my surprise to get there and find that most things I planted or that grew because of wind swept seeds taking root, were bone dry! Only a few bunches of a variety of lettuces and some nasturtiums  looked like they would survive.  There was a huge proliferation of poppies that had gone to seed. I noticed that to be the case in neighbouring plots as well. I didn't plant any poppies and I'm sure my neighbours didn't either.  I remember one of the gardeners last year saying she hated the poppies. Now I know why.  I spent a bit of time clearing out dead stalks and leaves. I hope to return soon-ish to clear out the rest and leave it be for another year.

Since there was nothing much to look at in my garden, I took a photo of the sky on my walk to a local pharmacy.

I finished The Dutch House which was a very interesting, though sad book. Since my last post I also read The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society.  I found it a comfortable and satisfying read; a cosy book if you will.  The only complaint I have is that there were so many characters at times it was a bit difficult to keep track of them all. If you like you can read more about the book here.

In the meantime, the book Revealing the Mysteries of Heaven by Dr. David Jeremiah arrived in the mail.  I'm half way through it and it is a very interesting book.  Dr. Jeremiah tells us what Heaven is like through the many verses of Biblical scripture. Most people probably don't realize just how much the Bible says about Heaven and what we can expect there if that is our destination. It is interesting and easy to read so I highly recommend it. Another book I recommend is Dr. Terry Law's book, The Power of Praise and Worship.  I found it very inspirational and motivating.

I didn't only read books this week. I did the usual grocery shopping. Since many of my readers are from other countries, I thought it might be interesting to sneak a peek at some of the foods and prices on offer.

It's a good thing I don't care for steak that much. These 3 steaks in a package cost just over $40. Canadian and it isn't even Porterhouse or Sirloin steak which I think are a higher grade.  The chicken is a bit pricey this week too. I try and buy them when they come two in a bag for the same price or a bit more (maximum $16.00). Then I keep one whole for roasting and cut up the other one for a few meals.  Alternatively, I buy chicken already cut into pieces when they are on a reduced price.

Sorry for the blurred photo. I bought a bag of organic sweet potatoes (right) $6.99.

I like the price of cherry tomatoes.  I buy a pint of cherry or grape tomatoes every week and/or tomatoes on the vine. 

 I bought a bag of avocados. There were 4 in a bag for $4.99, the usual sale price.

I've been craving a papaya and I bought one for $5.99. I finished it off by the next day.

The cucumbers were $1.29 if you have the store app (which I do).

I also spent a bit of time talking to some far away relatives to see how they are coping. My aunt told me that a cousin who lost her son about 2 years ago was going through a difficult time. They were all meeting at my cousin's brother's place for lunch and pouring over old family photos. My cousin broke down in tears and they flowed heavily that day.
 I know it is very difficult for a mama to lose a child. It just isn't the natural order of things.
(The father also died just about a year prior to his son).  But the tears are a necessary and healing part of grief.
My aunt also told me that another cousin has gone to collect her daughter in a small city and take her to the big city of Edmonton, Alberta. The daughter is having some serious health issues and needs a specialist's examination.
It is always sad to hear of others who are suffering but I thank God we can turn to him with our problems and concerns.


I've also been checking up on various people in Kenya. 
Rumour has it that the President may be bringing in some harsher restrictions next week because of the rising Covid 19 numbers in Kenya.  After many months of low numbers of Covid 19 infections, their numbers are rising rather dramatically each day and that is why I'm expecting more stringent restrictions in the country though the restrictions were only loosened about 2 weeks ago.
On the missions side of things I've been trying to keep ahead of things to ensure that the people we're trying to help have a bit of money to at least by a bit of food in case they are not permitted to go shopping. Some people are harvesting crops right now. Mainly corn or maize that is a staple of the diet but I am not sure if the corn and other crops we planted awhile back are ready since we planted a bit late.
 I really think it is too early yet for the harvest but hopefully in another month or so.
It is always a scramble to ensure that people have the funds for the medicine or for a bit of food especially if mobility is restricted. In Kenya there will be very little warning before high level decisions with wide reaching ramifications are made.  We do our best to prepare within our means.
People continue to suffer there in a myriad of ways and everyone is coping as best they can.
At least in Canada and the USA the governments have been giving out money to help in a variety of different ways. In Canada not everyone gets the same help and there is nothing like a stimulus cheque. This is a different approach to our neighbours to the south who I think receive a sizeable cheque (or two) regardless of their income or impact of Covid 19 on their work.
I'm grateful to live in a country where the government tries to help it's citizens.


I leave you with a few photos from the breaking of morning on Thursday.

I absolutely love the way the sun is hitting the clouds from underneath and casting such a beautiful glow.

Even the dark clouds have some very interesting formations.

The ever present sea gulls are out as always every morning at this time doing their daily fly by.

I hope you are all doing well and finding something of joy during these unique times and challenging times.

Stay safe.
Thank you for stopping by.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday this week.


eileeninmd said...


Your sky images are dramatic and beautiful. It seemed like we had a cool spring but once summer arrived it was very hot and dry. It is a shame about the poppies, i always thought they were pretty blooms. You have given me a few more books to add to my reading list. Take care and stay safe! Have a happy day!

affectioknit said...

Hi Penny,
...what a neat interesting to see you well stocked grocery's been summer here for a while...and we're already looking forward to cooler weather as everyone gets tired of the heat and humidity pretty quickly...
~Have a lovely day!

Joanne Noragon said...

I like the look of the vegetable aisle. Decent produce.

Mari said...

Wow! Those sky photos are amazing!
Sorry to hear about your garden. Hope a bunch of it comes back.
I love cherry tomatoes and eat them for a snack quite often.
I'm going to look for that heaven book. I like David Jeremiah and the book sounds very interesting.

Red said...

Summer has also taken a long time to get here too. It's been rainy and cool. the garden is doing very well.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Nice sky shots and interesting info on the grocery store items.

Joyful said...

Yes we have good produce but the lettuce and cabbages are sometimes not so good. I wish we had more variety of green vegetables though we really do have a good variety of all the other stuff.

Joyful said...

Thank you Mari. Dr. Jeremiah has another book, basically questions and answers about Heaven which sounds very interesting too. I have heard about some of it's contents and it covers more topics than the book I'm reading. Enjoy.

Joyful said...

I'm glad to hear your garden is doing well.

Joyful said...

Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed the grocery store photos. I hope you get some cooler weather soon. Have a great weekend.

Joyful said...

I really did enjoy looking at the sky this morning. It is a shame about the poppies. Personally I do love them but I didn't realize they were so invasive. They are very pretty when they are seen row upon row.

Karen said...

Lovely skyscapes! Groceries are getting more expensive every day

Jim said...

Good sky shots.

Joyful said...

Thanks Yogi!

Joyful said...

Yes they certainly are. Thank you for dropping by!

Pamela M. Steiner said...

I enjoyed this very informative and interesting post today. I am sorry your garden isn't growing very well this year. It is a strange year in too many ways. The books you are reading sound interesting. I like Dr. Jeremiah. Your grocery store pics gave me some "sticker shock". Made me thankful for our prices, even though I think ours are too high as well. As far as our "stimulus checks" here in the USA, they were limited by income, so that those in higher income brackets either received less or none. But they did set the barrier pretty high if you ask me. We were very thankful for the check we received way back when...the government is discussing whether or not to send another one, but I haven't heard how much or when. Praying this crazy virus will go away SOON so people can get back to their livelihoods once again. We are retired, and I am so thankful for that. Also thankful that our kids have remained gainfully employed throughout this whole pandemic. God has been very good to us and we are so thankful. I enjoyed your post very much. Take care and may the Lord continue to bless you and keep you.

Joyful said...

Pamela, I'm so glad you found Thursday's post interesting. I'm sorry too that my garden didn't grow well but am thankful that at least my flowers gave me 3 months of joy. I really expected to sit on the patio all summer and enjoy the garden however the weather made that impossible. Instead I kept very busy indoors and I am pleased to have accomplished so much of my 'to dos' during this time. I know our grocery prices (and our housing prices) are very high here. I often think how much further my income would go if I lived elsewhere but at the same time I am grateful to live where I live for so many reasons. I did hear that Americans were getting another stimulus cheque so I'm glad you confirmed that it isn't yet a firm decision (or at least that is what I think you mean). It is really a blessing that your kids have remained gainfully employed. I cannot complain either for God has taken care of me and all my loved ones through this time. God bless you my friend. xx

Joyful said...

Thank you Jim.

R's Rue said...


Spare Parts and Pics said...

Beautiful sky shots. Wow, that's a lot of money for steaks!! Actually, your grocery prices look a little higher than what I'm used to seeing.

carol l mckenna said...

Gorgeous sky shots! Glad summer has arrived ~ ^_^

Live each moment with love,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Tanza Erlambang said...

love cherry tomatoes...little bit sweet and tasteful....

Luiz Gomes said...

Good night, how are you? I am Brazilian, from Rio de Janeiro and looking for new followers for my blog. And I will follow yours with pleasure. New friends are also welcome, no matter the distance.

jabbott said...

Your shopping tips were very helpful, we all got to be abit more savvy x

shayndel said...

Beautiful sky pictures Joyful!! Yes, enjoy summer reading, summer skies and the special-ness in each season!! Sounds interesting the books about Praise and Worship and Heavenly revelations (Revealing Heaven!)... Wow the prices do look like they are sky-high?! I can`t tell exactly the exchange but maybe they seem high! In Japan we have a range of prices, for meat Japanese beef is more expensive for example than imported !! And vegetables too depending on the availablility, can be very reasonable or high if there has not been enough grown, as we get a lot of local vegetables, or anyway those are the ones I try to choose!!! Thanks for all your sharing ! Blessings and Love, God`s peace be with you ! xoxo♡

Jeanie said...

Your garden and mine at home sound much the same. We've had tons of rain in the north but when I was home for a week it was dry as a bone and many things were -- well, history. I've noticed grocery prices very high here, too. Some of the prices seem very similar to here, which would be a good deal for us with the exchange rate.

Lowcarb team member said...

I think your sky pictures are beautiful.

I always think the vegetable aisle is a good place to be, although the prices do not seem to go down!

Take care, stay safe.

All the best Jan

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