A Change of Season?


 Hi friends,

There's been a distinct chill at night over the past week  and it also rained for a few days here and there the sun came out but you can still feel the chill in the air. It got me thinking about the fall season.  One of my favourite seasons except for the fact that it is far too short!

On a whim I decided to go to another part of town today (Saturday).  I had to pick up a few specific items plus I made time to browse.  I decided to buy these colourful, artificial flowers and stems and put together this display. I also added some fairy lights amongst the blossoms to give off a hygge-ly glow at night. I think I need another 3 or 4 stems to give it a bit more fullness.

I don't normally enjoy artificial flowers but they are certainly pretty and these days they can look so real.  The one thing I do love about artificial flowers is they don't die. I love flowers and I love colourful flowers so these ones will last me for awhile without needing to worry about finding fresh ones that aren't too dear. In years gone by it was very easy to stop in every other store and buy a bouquet of fresh flowers. One often picked up a bunch to enjoy at home or to take to the host of a dinner party.  It has become harder to do as most of those small stores have disappeared and the cost of a bouquet is now quite high considering the blossoms generally don't last more than a few days. 

Anyway I'm pleased with these blossoms and I will keep my eye out for a few more stems.  I'm especially happy about the small battery powered lights. Having the ambience on a dark night is always so enjoyable.

This little poem captures my feelings about fall.  While summer isn't quite over and we will likely get warmer temperatures again soon, for now it feels like a new season has begun.  How is it where you live?



Thanks for stopping by!

A Snapshot of the Last Few Days

It's peach season in British Columbia and lately I have been craving peaches. I purchased some to eat about 2 weeks ago and over the weekend I purchased a 10 pound box of peaches for canning. I haven't canned anything in years so I took my time reviewing the process.

First I had to take the big canning pot from it's resting place and thoroughly clean it before I could sterilize the jars. It had accumulated so much dirt and grime due to no enclosed storage and no ventilation in the kitchen for a dog's.  The actual canning process was a bit messy because even though I purchased the peaches the night before I did the canning, they were likely sitting at the store for one week before I purchased them.  They were a sale item and I  bought them on the last day of the sale.  When I opened them up they were going a bit soft.  Have you every tried blanching, then peeling and slicing, slightly mushy peaches? It gets a bit messy but oh so yummy.
 

I canned 10 - 500 ml jars in total. It wasn't cheaper than buying a can of peaches at the store due to the cost of the peaches and also having to buy the jars and lids. Fortunately I already had the big pot for sterilizing and canning. At least now I have a supply of freshly canned peaches to satisfy my sweet tooth over the coming winter (I know, let's not think about winter just yet, lol). The added benefit is I used the smallest amount of sugar I could get away with. One can actually can without sugar but it affects taste, colour and shelf life.

The finished product. I could have packed them a little more tightly.

 

In  some of my more recent blog posts I've mentioned that I have all these household jobs and projects I want to accomplish.  I don't seem to be making quick progress on them but slowly and surely I am getting things done and will ultimately achieve most, if not all, of my goals.  the majority of the projects are small and one category of projects is mending.  Anyone who mends knows they usually have a pile of things that need mending when you can find a few moments here and there.  I tackled a  small mending job on a hand towel.  About 2 years ago I purchased a set of expensive towels that were supposedly made from high end cotton.  Within a very short time the edges on one of the  hand towels significantly (see the first photo below). I didn't know whether I could repair it because there was very little of the edging border left. I did my best and I'm hoping it will hold together (see the second photo). This repair was done by hand stitching not by machine.  Trying to sew such a narrow border by machine would have probably been more obvious of a repair and also more of a finicky job for me.

Homemade green (and fruit) flavoured smoothies and cappuccinos have been on  my menu this week.  I've had my eye on a Nespresso machine for quite some time.  I saw it recently for a good discount so I snapped it up. Now I have to stock up on coffee pods which are super expensive. But I'm also going to get some refillable pods to cut down on both the cost and the environmental waste.  So far  I've made 2 cappuccinos and one larger cup of coffee and I really enjoyed all. I also continue to enjoy the smoothies. This one is banana, strawberry, vegan protein powder, MCT protein powder, ice and water. I didn't want the banana due to the sugar content but the bananas are going bad and I don't need any more frozen bananas.

I mentioned the book below in my last post and it is now in the completed pile.  I give this book a 4 out of 5 mainly due to what I thought was a clever plot line and a heroic feat in bringing all the puzzle pieces of the story together.

I went to a new specialist doctor recently and this is what the waiting room looks like. I loved the views from the lobby looking toward downtown Vancouver.

 

Signage to keep people apart in the seating area.




Last but not least on the home front, here is a collage made of  my garden and sunrise photos taken on Wednesday, August 25, 2021. The garden never really bloomed properly this summer and some things didn't take at all. I think the intense heat was to blame. The other blame goes to the great many sow bugs that were looking for something to eat. I didn't realize that was the issue until very late in the season. I'm so happy that the garden is still giving colour though my plans to sit outside on the patio and relax this past summer season did not pan out at all. I hope next year will be better.


In Kenya, we have been helping a pastor who has travelled from the outback areas of Marigat Town.  Pastor Jonah was able to host him for a few nights in Nakuru, Kenya.  

The two pastors at the hospital (Jonah in the blue, Pastor P in the brown).

 

Pastor P is from a very small village and receives little by way of stipend so having a safe, free place to stay while in the big city of Nakuru is a huge burden off his shoulders.  He has been experiencing stomach troubles and had to go for endoscopic procedures and other tests at one of the city hospitals. He is being tested for cancer amongst other things but we are hoping it is an infection that can be treated through antibiotics. 

The drinking water that comes from the well where Pastor P lives is not suitable for drinking.  This is a real pity because it is the well need Pastor Jonah brought to my attention back in 2007.  We helped in the early days of the to get an engineering report done and to raise awareness with organizations that might help to undertake the well project.  There were many others who helped along the way including people from Israel who ultimately built the well. Even though the water is not really suitable for drinking, the people still drink it because they have no choice. I heard that the Kenyan government is trying to see what can be done about the water situation.  I don't know exactly what the government is doing or whether it is actually serious about doing anything because the community had been left on it's own regarding water needs for a great many years.

Livingstone will return to the doctor in Kericho next week for follow up concerning his broken his leg. He has been in a cast for 3 months now and has been sticking close to home because he is a patient who also recovered from Covid. He is doing well for the most part. 

Livingstone and Pastor P need our prayers as does Rose, who is with child. So far she is also doing okay at home. Pastor Jonah also needs prayer support as he has a lot on his plate. Right now he is waiting for the hospital to get a new supply of vaccines which are arriving in Kenya imminently if not already. His doctor wants to give him a different vaccine (vaccine mixing) this time. I think this is a good idea as it will mix AZ and Pfizer and I've read that early studies show this boosts effectiveness of AZ by 6x. However I've just heard on the news that people who mix vaccines are prevented from entering certain countries or they have to quarantine due to the fact that some governments don't recognize mixed vaccination as 'full vaccination'. Everything is so complex. We pray for wisdom in this regard.



Beautiful Light This Week

 Hi friends,

Popping in to the blog after a time away because I captured a beautiful sky today and a yesterday.  Now that the heat is not quite as intense, I find the light very beautiful. I get out bit more now that Covid restrictions have largely lifted. I still take precautions as most people do and all places have protocols in place as a condition of re-opening.


The very intense weather we've had this summer has been very hard on the garden. I've also had a real problem with sow bugs this year and they have chewed up most plants with leaves and thus the plants haven't thrived at all. I'm grateful that some things survived despite the challenges.




Updates:

In other news, I've been off line a lot during the past few weeks.  I wanted a break to try and enjoy what's left of the summer and restore my equilibrium.  I've found it a pretty stressful time this summer. In addition to dealing with Covid like everywhere else, my province has also been dealing with intense heat for several weeks.  We are dealing with a large number of wildfires across the province and the destruction of several villages and towns and many people are now homeless.  I'm not directly impacted by the fires but I know people who are and of course, I just feel for the people who have lost everything since I don't think they are getting the help they need from our elected officials.

I wanted my niece to visit late summer but the wildfires mean that this has had to be put on hold indefinitely because of where she lives. We are just waiting to see what happens from day to day and maybe we will manage to get a visit in before the warm weather has come and gone. 

In the meantime I've been dealing with other things like small house projects and organization. I've been slow to get things done due to the heat. I'm still hoping to get a lot done before the cold weather sets in.

One of my favourite things to do is read and I have been doing a bit of that.  The books below have been completed recently and I would recommend all of them. The first two books are works of historical fiction based during the time of the Last Empress of China, Empress Dowager Cixi. These books have different perspectives on Empress Cixi but both are very interesting. The third book is a biography of American Bob Gersony, consultant to the US government, who lived a very interesting life working and reporting on the major conflicts of the world.



The next book is one I came across  when scouring the internet. I came across someone who had recently read the book and though she didn't say much about it she seemed to enjoy it. I'm always open to following up on books I hear about and it happened to be at my local library. I didn't much enjoy the opening chapters.  I became annoyed with the constant references to water and watery things  but it is a major theme of the story. I'm about a third of the way through the book now and I enjoy it much more.  If the title intrigues you, have a look at this review which is far better done than what I could say in a couple of words.  This book definitely has it's fans. As for me I'll reserve my final verdict until I'm finished reading the entire book.


Last but not least, I've been dealing with many needs in Kenya amongst the people that I  know or the people that they know.  I've been trying to deal with them without any outside help and I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed. When you are dealing with life and death situations and with people who are in desperate situations, it can be very, very difficult to turn away from them.  It is a lot for one person to deal with at any given time. I'm still praying for regular and consistent helpers but that is all in God's hands.  In the meantime, I continue doing what I can.  

Livingstone in Kenya is still in plaster and has returned to the doctor for another x-ray and follow up. I'm not quite sure how long he will remain in a cast but it generally takes 3 months minimum for healing and I'm guessing in his case it will take longer due to lack of nutrition and health as his starting point. I mentioned last time that the mature pregnant woman named Rose had to be rushed back to hospital after being released for Covid treatment. She was in great pain and bleeding. I'm happy to report that she stabilized and went home again. I'm praying she will be okay until she delivers her child. We purchased all the school books for 3 other of her children and they returned to school several weeks ago. It's very challenging for parents to ensure their children can go to school. Even though primary school was made free several years ago, there are a host of other costs involved. Most students are boarded out at school and so the parents must pay for everything involved in that and if students are in day school there are still costs involved like school books, uniforms and so on.  Thank you to those of you who prayed over these needs, especially for Rose and her unborn child. We give thanks that Rose has recovered from Covid. There have been other people who need help with food, air time and other essential needs. It always amazes me how some people are able to get by when really pushed to the wall. This is a huge reason why many of the people in the villages do not plan for tomorrow. One can only deal with each day as it comes when you don't know if you have the funds to deal with all the basic needs. Education is a constant concern for parents as they struggle to keep the children in school but medical needs are always overwhelming. The costs are simply too great.

I'm hoping in the next few weeks to make some progress on various small projects around the house.  The projects are small but they tend to take me a lot of time and there are a lot of projects. Whatever doesn't get done today will get done another day. Even so it would be good to get things done.

Joining in with Skywatch Friday today.

Short Update on Rose

 Hi friends,

I've been absent from this space for long. I've been quite busy doing big household chores and since that tires me out a lot, I am generally resting in between. This might be delayed spring cleaning because I am getting to seldom cleaned areas and things I often don't have time to do. I have a lot I want to accomplish before the weather gets cold. 

I was also waiting for an update on Rose in Kenya; the mature woman (52 years old) who is pregnant and was in hospital with Covid 19.

Rose was able to be discharged from hospital less than a week ago. Her discharge had been delayed due to not having a place to quarantine. In Kenya, villagers live in small quarters and some arrangements had to be made before she could get out of hospital.

Sadly last night Rose was rushed to hospital with severe stomach pains. Private transport had to be hired as she lives in a rural place.

Please keep Rose, her  unborn child and the rest of her family in prayer for all the many needs. Thanks so much.










On My Walk Today

 Hi friends, I've had a busy few days despite the rainy and stormy weather we've been having.  I had to run out and do errands on Fr...