Thursday, November 11, 2021

Sad Happenings & Christmas Loading

I'm checking in after several days recuperating from double ear infections.  The ears seem to be getting better but I've had to reschedule my ENT appointment at the hospital. They don't see patients who exhibit cold or Covid like symptoms. Thankfully I have been rescheduled before the end of this month.

I have sad news. 

Pastor Jonah (in Kenya) lost another family member. Rebecca was his aunt on his father's side and the eldest remaining member of the family on his father's side. She was a strong, fearless woman who did her very best to keep her extended family on the straight and narrow path and to encourage them all to live in unity. She had been battling a number of health issues including Covid 19 at the end.  She didn't want to be a burden on her family and when she found out they were planning to sell family land to meet the hospital bills she refused further medical interventions, primarily oxygen, to hasten her demise.  Kindly keep this family in prayer. Medical costs in Kenya are beyond the ability of many, many families. This woman's husband is a retired police officer. In Canada, police officers get well compensated and have a decent pension but in Kenya that isn't the case though things are slowly changing for some. The family is raising funds for the accumulated hospital expenses (accrued over many months of going back and forth to hospital), mortuary fees and funeral expenses. For now they have raised enough to pay the hospital costs.

On this side of the ocean, I learned from the brother to a long time pen pal and prayer partner of mine, that my friend Arlene is in critical condition in the hospital. Due to several underlying health conditions, she cannot have surgery and she has directed that no interventions are to be made. Arlene lives near Orlando, Florida where she moved to be closer to her brother as she got older.  Her brother is now overseeing her affairs and readying her for hospice care. Arlene was a very dear friend.  We met on line on a Christian website where I met many lovely people who were sharing their knowledge with one another as well as praying for one another. After some time the website developers switched their website to paid church membership only, meaning only churches could join.  Arlene and I were no longer able to stay on the website but we remained friends and  prayer partners.  She prayed so many times for different needs in Kenya. In fact I was just going to write to her and update her on different things when I received the sad news from her brother. In the last 2 years I did not burden her with prayer requests due to her age and failing health but she did ask me from time to time about things and I liked to share any good news with her.  Update:  Arlene died on Friday morning Eastern Standard Time, November 12, 2021. Her brother Stuart informed all of her email contacts. I'm grateful he had access to her email otherwise I would not have known.

Both of these wonderful ladies will be greatly missed for the wonderful care they displayed to their loved ones and to humanity in general.  They both had kind hearts and those of us who loved them have the hope of seeing them again some day.


Though I have received this sad news in the last few days, I have been keeping busy with the day to day needs here at home too.

I've only been running out to purchase groceries or to  pick up parcels. 

I'm also trying to get my calendar organized with all the various appointments and follow ups so that I can assess when I might fit in a cultural event or two before Christmas. I bought a pass to the Christmas Market and I can go anytime after the middle of November up until Christmas. A friend and I have made plans to go together once she is on school break and I'll probably go once or twice alone. This will be my first year attending the Christmas Market which is held outdoors.  I have some other ideas for things I'd like to do but it will depend on how I'm feeling. I've already missed the concert I booked for last Sunday so I don't want to book and then miss out again.

Some of you may have seen my post for Tuesday 4.  The topic related to Thanksgiving and Christmas. I think that subliminally I was thinking about holiday foods and also the cold weather makes me want filling and warming foods.

So today I cooked a ham dinner with potatoes au gratin and roasted cabbage.

I have enough left over for at least 3 or 4 meals, 2 of which will be ham soup with beans/lentils or split peas.This kind of soup is just the thing needed for cold, wet days and nights.

Wednesday was a very nice, dry day but prior to that it rained buckets for several days.  It's going to rain again all week but next week the forecast is for dry weather. I always look forward to a dry day here and then once the rainy season has started.


The Christmas card list is getting drawn up. I've got letters and a few parcels to prepare and I also need to draw up a list of small monetary gifts I'd like to send to several people in Kenya including Rose and her new born baby to be. 


I also need to stay alert for Rose's delivery. Some of you might remember when I wrote about Rose and her pregnancy complications.  She had been doing fine and was at home but doctors are concerned about her ability to give birth without complications arising.  So she has moved temporarily from the village area where she lives, to the town of Kericho where she is staying with a friend until it is time to delivery the baby. This way she is close to a well equipped hospital in case special interventions or a C - section are necessary. I would like to add her to the Christmas list because she will need to stay in hospital for several days necessitating a larger than normal hospital bill for a typical expectant mother. In addition, the new baby will need some things.



  1. Hello,
    I am sorry to hear about your ear infections, it is good you are feeling better.
    So sorry for your losses. Your dinner looks delicious, I love having the Au Gratin potatoes with ham. Take care, enjoy your day!

  2. Sorry to hear your dear friend has died Penny, you will miss her. Condolences also to Pastor Jonah and his family. I hope that you are doing well with your injuries I am just catching up again. It sounds like you have a lot of lovely things to look forward to in December. I like the sound of roasted cabbage, here in the Uk we tend to boil or steam it. Nice and warming either way with lots of lovely gravy over it. Mmmmm. Take care. Jan

    1. Thank you Jan for your kind words. I am recovering well. Facial bruising and swelling is now almost gone though the fracture is probably still healing. The dinner was lively
      lovely. I really enjoy roasted vegetables of all kinds. Much better than boiling. Take care my blogging friend. xx

  3. Oh Penny, I am so very sorry to hear of Arlene and of Pastor Jonah's sister. That's such a lot in a short time. I know it happens more often these days but it doesn't make it easier. I'll pass on the cabbage but the rest of your dinner sounds just terrific! And I hope your ears are cleared in full and soon!


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