The Last Friday in February 2021

This week I thought for sure we were going to get spring weather but it snowed again.  When I awoke on Thursday this is what the scene looked like (left side). As the day progressed the sky clouded over and the snow melted

There was a pinkish glow over the ski mountain (to the right of the church steeple in the photo). The phone camera didn't capture the colour so well.


I bought most of these small cans of herbal teas on sale and I've only just started drinking them. The two I've tried (Antiox and Immune) are quite good. The Early Grey is not herbal tea but it is decaffeinated. 


These came in handy this week while I was fighting off a sore throat during the snow spells we've been having. Normally I enjoy a cup of Rooibos tea (Red Bush tea from South Africa) at night.


I baked these beef pot pies a few days ago as lunch items or snacks.  They are store bought and I don't like them much but they fill a need if nothing else is handy.

 

Reading

I finished reading Woman in the Wilderness which I found interesting. This woman who lives in the wilds of New Zealand has written two books but my library only has this one.


 

I'm finishing up with these two books. The fashion book is super interesting and is basically about the psychology of fashion or clothing and also provides tips on how to construct a minimalist wardrobe. I've been trying hard to fill the gaps in my wardrobe for years but with steady weight loss it has been challenging. I keep having to get rid of things and buy new things though I only ever buy on sale. Thus I don't always have the best selection or the colour selection I want but I do my best. There is no way I will pay full price for things though I do try to buy good quality regardless.  This week some on line purchases arrived. I didn't have much luck with them though. Most of the clothing was either a tad too small or a tad too big. I was very happy to have get a pair of slip on shoes for a fraction of the regular price. They are just a tad too long but I know the next size down would be too small and the store doesn't have any stock left whatsoever. I guess the clearance price made it appealing to a lot of other women. Anyway, whenever items don't fit it is a lot of work to package it all up and return it. I will try to do that this weekend. I may even go to the store in person to speed up the refund.


 

The next book on my list, The Beekeeper of Aleppo, looks and sounds interesting. If you click on the title of the book I've linked it to an article in the Irish Time, summarizing how the author came to the idea for the story and how it took shape.
 


Shopping and Air Travel Points

I went shopping today a bit farther afield than I usually go because there is a point promotion going on for collection of Air Miles. I made a list of items I need that gave bonus Air Miles.

 

Of course all this food needs to be sorted and put away. My fridge needs a good cleaning too.

It takes forever to collect these points or rewards unless you shop at all participating stores. Which I don't. I save these and eventually hope to use them toward a few nights hotel somewhere.  I'm not sure where I will go yet or how easy it will be to use the points. I only used Air Miles once before on a trip to New York. We stayed in Seacaucus, NJ and another place near the Jersey Shore. It was many years ago now but I do remember that both places were Holiday Inn hotels with the latter being an Express (limited services).  I especially enjoyed the service and the location of the Holiday Inn at Seacaucus. They are located in a mall area with access to restaurants, cinemas and a few shops.  There is a shuttle bus that takes you to the train station which you can hop on and it drops you right downtown Manhattan at Penn Station.  We actually chose this location to avoid paying for car parking in Manhattan.  It can get rather pricey. In those days I was barely walking so all these things were very important to my stay. If I should ever return to NYC I would gladly stay in Seacaucus again. 

Covid 19 Vaccination Plan

We are a little behind in my province for getting vaccines though they did start implementing them in late January to residents in care homes and staff. On Monday the government and top medical doctor will release details of where and how to register for the vaccination. They have already identified in which order different groups of people will be vaccinated and it is for the most part based on age. It means I will be at the end of the queue though I suppose that could change. Either way I'm okay with it. I'm more concerned about those that are older and in care or dealing with people every day. At least I can keep myself at home and much safer than many others can.

Kenya 

Pastor Jonah has been working on the court documents for the land grant and a court hearing will be held in early March. Hopefully this will conclude the court process for the land grant to be effective. After that land will need to be registered at the Land Title Offices and so there will be some cost and time involved in that process as well. 

I realized the other day that I hadn't sent any funds for planting. In earlier years I would help the people do the planting in January which is the normal start to the planting season but the last few years I've had to delay the planting as I've found myself over extended as costs have risen both in Kenya and in Canada. We really cannot delay anymore otherwise several families are without food to eat through the year. So funds have now been sent. In a few days additional funds will be send for the day to day needs (medical, soaps, additional food stuffs like flour and oil, etc.). If you are able to assist in any way kindly get in touch.

At Home 

I'm marking my 3rd year with the community garden plot located a few blocks from my home.  Last year I found it difficult to manage two gardens during the time of Covid.  This year I've asked a young relative to take over the garden for me and she readily agreed.  The garden overseers have already been in touch about compost, garden repairs and so on that will occupy the summer months. My relative is eagerly studying and learning about what to plant and how to start seeds. If she enjoys the gardening experience maybe she will want to continue with me the following summer or get her own plot.  With the help at the community plot I will only have to care for the patio garden and I have a lot of work to do there. Despite my best intentions of cleaning it last autumn I never got around to it. I need to start buying what I need soon and I hope if all goes well that I can start this weekend. If not, it will be next weekend.

Take care everyone and stay safe.

I'm joining in with Skywatch Friday.


Middle of February and We Got Our First Snow

On Sunday Valentine's Day we had snow fall. It snowed a few times more during the week but it didn't last more than one night before it all melted, at least where I live. 

Sky

 


As the week progressed we also got more colour in the sky and it was so lovely to see the sunshine and the beautiful blue sky and fluffy clouds.






I made time to go for coffee. I just stopped off at McDonald's as it was close to where I needed to run some other errands. Besides I like their coffee since it is always hot and fresh. 

Reading

Going for solo coffee is when I love to bring a good book to read. I read these two different books on two different occasions. The first book is written by a fashion psychologist and talks about the science of fashion. It also gives you some tips on creating a minimalist wardrobe. I found it a very satisfying read and would like it for my  personal library but right now I'm still in downsizing mode so I'll hold off on that. I am not into working on my wardrobe right now but in future I will have to make time to go through all my closets and drawers and get rid of things once again. I've been on a long and slow process of weight loss and so I have to get rid of things I'd like to keep but  no longer fit well.

 I am also getting into the book below about French women and how they survived in Nazi occupied Paris.

I bought this beautiful magazine as a nice easy to read treat. I love decorating magazines but don't buy too many because once they are read you need to store them. I used to buy a lot of magazines and so now it is a real treat since I only buy one or two every few years.

I've just order this book, Woman in the Wilderness from the library and it's ready for pick up. I saw this woman and her husband interviewed on a You Tube video. They both live in the wilderness of New Zealand and the woman is 30 years younger than her husband. They don't even live in a house except when Miriam's husband Peter got sick and they live primarily off the land. Miriam is a beautiful, healthy looking creature who kills the animals they eat. Before she lived on the land she was a vegetarian.  Now that they live in the wilderness they need the protein that comes from the animals in order to survive.

Meals

Here is a sample of meals I've prepared this week.

First up is raviolini stuffed with butternut squash served with a cheese sauce, baked chicken and simple salad.

On another day I made hamburger and macaroni soup in a tomato broth.

Next up is a batch of roasted beets,carrots and nugget potatoes.

The roasted vegetables accompanied roasted brisket which I marinated overnight before cooking.

Another day I made roasted pork chops and onions and sliced roasted potatoes flavoured with onion soup mix. I read about using the onion soup mix but if you suffer from swelling then I would advise against using this and to add fresh herbs and spices instead.

Kenya

In my last post I mentioned that Pastor Jonah had to return to Kericho Town to assist with showing the land to local leadership and court and land officials. The expectation is to also provide tea or lunch. Apparently the meeting went well but it was raining so heavily and cars had to be hired to transport people. They didn't linger for a long meeting due to inclement weather but they were provided tea. The officials in attendance seemed satisfied that everything is in order concerning the land grant application but I am not sure how long it will take before a court hearing is scheduled to learn the outcome of the land grant petition.

Next week it will be time to send funds to various people in need. Please keep the needs in prayer if you pray.

Thank you.

 

Linking this week to Skywatch Friday.

 

A Frigid Day

It's been a very busy and a very frigid week. It didn't start out so cold but as the days went by it got gradually colder and it isn't done yet.  You can perhaps see the chill in the sky.

Sky

 







It was rush hour as I headed out to the library. 

Books

After I picked up the new books I head straight to McD's for a hot coffee and began to read the new memoir written by the country singer, Sara Evans. I'm enjoying it so far and the other books look really good as well. At least I have my reading material for the weekend.


 Snow

It snowed twice this week. Once on Monday and once on Tuesday but the snow didn't stick around. It is supposed to snow again on several days before the weekend is over. I found it very cold here and apparently the city smashed a 100 year record for cold weather in the last day or so. However the temperatures are nothing like it is in most of the rest of the province and in other parts of Canada and probably the USA too.


Meals

Saturday night I made some boiled bratwurst and had potato salad with it. Sunday night was the NFL Superbowl. We had BBQ ribs and chicken wings. I didn't have anything else. I don't actually watch the football game I just listen to the half time show and I was pleased and proud of Canadian, The Weeknd (not a spelling error) and his show. It's been reported that he spent $7M of his own money in addition to the production funds provided by Pepsi company,  to create a fabulous show. I don't know if that is true or a rumour but I thought the show was very, very creative. Did any of you see it, and if yes, what did you think of it.

Monday night we had fried fillet of sole with lemon pepper, buttery corn niblets and steamed rice.


Tuesday night I made roasted pork belly, stir fried kale and crispy tofu and steamed rice once again. It is only the second time I've made pork belly and it is quite delicious. I bought a fairly large chunk of it and have cut and packaged enough for another two meals in future.

On Wednesday night I made a tossed salad with a variety of greens, grape tomatoes cut in half and red onions. The dressing was made of grapeseed oil, mustard, honey and freshly squeezed orange juice.  We had steamed BBQ salmon and steamed rice.  Sorry my photo of the salmon shows a partially eaten dinner. I had forgotten to take a photo before I started eating.


I think it must be some kind of record for me to make steamed rice so often in one week.

Friday's dinner is going to be beef brisket with a homemade brisket rub, nugget potatoes and salad. I might actually make fried rice instead of, or in addition to, the nugget potatoes since I want to use up the leftover rice. Whatever is not eaten will be good for leftover lunch.

Here are some photos I took when I went brisket shopping. I didn't actually know I was going to buy brisket but always keep my eyes open for a sale on it. It has become very expensive over the years.

These ones were far too big and close to $100 Canadian.


I bought one of the smaller ones on the left.

Kenyan Missions

Pastor Jonah has had a busy week too and was unexpectedly called to a village where he is helping a widow with land issues in a situation where her husband died intestate. The matter is proceeding through court to get legal land grant and I understand that land and court officials and the area chiefs (local traditional leadership) want to make a site visit to assure themselves that everything is above board. Once this is done I don't think it will take too long to get a court hearing to hear the final verdict. I'm not sure how much longer after that it will take for all the grantees to obtain land titles in their own names as the widow/executrix is subdividing the land amongst the rightful beneficiaries. Then she can breathe easier knowing that she has a place to live until the end of her days.  It has taken long to get this far and also been costly. Kindly keep this matter in your prayers.

The usual helps have been given out to 5 people for medicine, medical care and food as well as some funds for medical insurance cover.

 


 I was planning to go to the lab for blood work on Friday but was thinking of  waiting until Monday due to the cold weather we're having. Now I see that it's Family Day, a statutory holiday on Monday so I either have to go on Friday after all, or wait until Tuesday.

Take care everyone and keep warm.

 Linking up with Skywatch Friday

 

I am Happy the Sun Came Out


Dear friends and fellow bloggers,

I hope you enjoy the sky photos today. I was very happy to see the sun and the break in the gray skies. I can feel Spring in the air.

Sky




The early blooming pansies are surviving.





Reading and Projects

I continue to be busy with the personal family digital project. This weekend I will fine tune it and put the final touches on the first phase of it. I will be happy when it is completely done and I estimate completion by the end of February.

I haven't had much time or mental energy for reading while working on the project which also requires a lot of mental energy.  Sadly I have decided to discontinue reading The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, a classic novel on which the movie, Sir Lawrence of Arabia is based. Truthfully I find it a big bore.  I've plodded through 150 pages and it's taken me at least 10 tries to get that far. I can't remember much of anything I've read so it will go back to the library in a few days.  I hope I don't offend anyone who read it and enjoyed it.  Maybe I will try reading it again one day because i think it's important to try and read the classics but for now I'm aborting my efforts. I did very much enjoy The Book of Lost Names however. This is the 4th book I've read by the same author. I do enjoy her stories. Click on the book titled where I've linked to Amazon for more information. I have a new book to pick up at the library sometime soon.
 


I spent a bit of time knitting a few new dishcloths. I'm not very good at it as my tension is uneven but I find it relaxing when I cannot read.

 Kenya

I'm thinking about my friends in Kenya this week and reminiscing about the many travels and projects I've worked on with various friends. In the first photo there is my friend Jo from South Africa. This photo is taken in Nakuru, Kenya when she and I met there in 2011 while she was living and working with her late husband Grant in the Kerio Valley. Jo has her own blog. In case you haven't read it yet it's called Memorable Meanders and there she writes about her various homes in Africa and her daily life with her many pets.


On that day in Nakuru I was meeting with the boys in the photo, feeding them and encouraging them in life as they were basically street boys and trying to live a clean life with many daily challenges. On this day we were all happy but at the end I cried as I did not know when I would be able to return to Kenya and see them again. I knew they would have many hardships after my leaving and I was not in a financial position to set them up in a better situation since the work I do is all funded from my own resources as a retired person. We prayed and encouraged them, bought some warm coats and a solar lamp and food stuffs and then we had to depart. To this day I have not seen them again and I pray that God would look after them. They will be young men now.


If you are wanting to help the poverty stricken and the very destitute and you want to know your money is truly getting to those that are in great need due to hunger and lack of finances, please feel free to contact me (kerichojoy[at]gmail]dot.com). I have been helping those at the grassroots level for going on 17 15 years (sorry incorrect math).  There are so many needs that every month I must pick and choose who I can help. I work through local leaders in the villages and communities and when I travel to Kenya I meet as many of the beneficiaries as I am able.

Take care everyone and have a blessed and safe weekend. 


Linking to Skywatch Friday.



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