Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Gratitude December - Days 12, 13, 14, 2021

Hello everyone,


I hope your December is going well. I caught a bit of a chill on Friday when I was out in the pouring rain so I'm trying to take things easy as we head into Christmas.

I'm popping in today to post 3 days of Gratitude December.

For Day 12,  I'm grateful for finishing the afghan throw which I will gift to a friend. I added 3 rounds of darker (berry colour) yarn to finish it off. Tying loose ends at the back is the job I don't enjoy.  There are a lot of  them when you use different colours or change colours often for different rounds. I'm happy with how it turned out.  The throw was a made up pattern made mostly with yarn ends from various projects. The berry colour was not leftover yarn, but yarn for which I didn't have a specific project in mind.


For Day 13, I'm grateful for this rooibos  tea from South Africa.  I drink two or three cups every night during our dark and cold nights.  It was a bit difficult to find until a few years ago when they started selling a box of Tetley Rooibos tea bags at one local grocery store. Recently I've wanted to try the loose tea again and was happy to find it in bulk at another local shop.


For Day 14, I'm grateful that I've cleared out another 8 containers from my bathroom. I have an abundance of facial products and it takes me forever to go through one container. I've been working diligently not to buy anything that I don't really need and use up what I already have. I am decluttering and the bathroom is one area that is a trouble spot hence my resolve not to buy more.

This Christmas I'm hoping to help some villagers in Kenya enjoy a Christmas meal. If you'd like to help there is a Pay Pal button on the right of this blog. Simply click the red flower to be taken to Pay Pal. If you'd like more details on the needs you may click here. Scroll to the bottom. Thank you.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Gratitude December - Day 11

Today is Day 11 of Gratitude December.

I'm grateful for finding a new planner to help plan my days and months in 2022.

I'm the type that likes to write things down but I like to have most things in one place not in 10 different places. At the same time I don't want an overly demanding planner, one that is overly simplistic, too big or too small. 

The last few years I've wasted money on planners that I abandon after a short few weeks. They don't quite work for a variety of reasons.

I think I may have finally found one that I will actually like and use so I ordered one. I won't be able to tell how I like it until well into January but it looks awesome. Here are what the different elements of the planner look like.

I like that it comes with multiple ribbon bookmarks instead of just one.

I like that each day you can write the priorities at the top of the page and there is space for side notes

It's important to me to see the month at a glance and to have room to write in the daily boxes.

There is even space for setting out your goals for the years and longer term dreams

Extra space is included for reviewing your months, habits and daily practice as well as quarterly goals.

What about your dear reader? Do you use a written planner, an electronic one, a combination or none at all?

Does your system work well for you?

Kenya

Let me take a moment here to post again about the Kenyan missions for those that missed it yesterday and because it is Christmas, the season for giving.  I would like to help the people mentioned below to enjoy a Christmas meal on Christmas Day. If you would like to help them enjoy one day this month kindly hit the Pay Pal button to the right of the screen. You can reach the direct link by hitting the red flower. Thanks so much for considering the need. If you can't give please remember them in prayer.

Rose is the mature, pregnant woman.  She is married and has several school age children.  She has had numerous challenges during this pregnancy which has required her to be hospitalized on several occasions.  She's getting close to delivery and is currently at home until labour begins.  Rose will get vaccinated after delivering her child.

Charles - He is married and has several  children. I don't assist him much except at Christmas though I'd like to do more for his family. Charles has had his vaccinations.

Ernest - He has no children.  He has diabetes and suffered several health challenges namely breaking the same leg twice and having been hospitalized due to Covid 19.  Kenya has been slow to roll out vaccinations but he has now had two vaccinations.



Livingstone - He has no children. Recently he too recovered from a broken leg and Covid 19. He is currently undergoing rehabilitation of his leg through physiotherapy and has had two vaccinations.

Elijah - He is married with 5 children and a dependent MIL.  He is the man whose coffee plantation was flooded out a few months ago when major floods forced many Kenyans from their homes.

Janet - She is married but separated and has four daughters. Her brother chased her away from her ancestral home and we've set her up in a humble store with attached living quarters. 


Pastor Jonah - He has no children. Jonah is primarily the one I work with to undertake all the responsibilities of the grassroots missions. We often work with other leaders in his church including the Lead Pastor, especially when I am in Kenya. He has had his vaccinations.

If I am able I would also like to send to the following people:

David - He is married with 2 children. I've known David for long and usually send him something at Christmas. This year I've tried to send him something as often as I can because his small tourist business was badly affected due to Covid.

Pastor Parteleu - He pastors a remote, rural village church and has had recent health challenges including undiagnosed stomach issues. He has very little financial support and has a wife and 2 children.

Sarah - She is single with 2 children. Sarah lives in Kibera slums and lost her catering job prior to Covid when her boss/employer was defrauded out of his valuable property and restaurant by high powered people.  Sara is a talented cook and caterer and has been looking for a job in that field for long. In the past I've provided her with blankets for the chilly Kenyan nights.

Amy - She is a single mom with a 2 year old toddler.  I send something for her child as often as I can. Amy has tried her hand at many different casual jobs but it has been difficult having a baby with her at all times.

Altogether there are about 40 people, men, women and children represented on this list.  It breaks my heart that the mothers and fathers cannot provide even daily food and other needs for their children and that the men cannot find employment even though they want to work.So many people live without hope and without opportunity. Doing a little for them can really help boost their spirits and give them hope that there really is a God above who loves and cares for them.  Thank you for reading.


Update:  I got wet and a bit chilled on my library run on Friday night and have developed a sneeze. I'll be taking a few days rest and resume the gratitude list when I return to blogging. My next post will contain several days of gratitude items instead of one item. In the meantime, please take care of yourselves.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Gratitude December - Day 10

Many of you know that I was involved in a bus accident at the end of September. The CT scan indicated a potential issue in my right ear. I've been visiting the ENT department at one of the local hospitals since then. 



I've been to the ENT unit 4 times so far and on Thursday I met the surgeon for the first time. My next appointment with her is early in the New Year 2022.


 

I'm grateful that I've had such good,  experienced and comprehensive care by all the staff and doctors. Already they have helped my ear in so many ways. I've learned a lot including the fact that surgery may not be a foregone conclusion. Even if I ultimately get surgery, I feel I'm in very capable hands and that is very reassuring.

Kenya 

I'm also grateful to have a little something to send to people in Kenya this Christmas. I am hoping to make the transfer in the next few days and if you would like to help give a Christmas meal to village Kenyans, kindly hit the Pay Pal button to the right of the screen. You can reach the direct link by hitting the red flower. Thanks so much.

I hope to send to the following people:

Rose is the mature, pregnant woman.  She is married and has several school age children.  She has had numerous challenges during this pregnancy which has required her to be hospitalized on several occasions.  She's getting close to delivery and is currently at home until labour begins.  Rose will get vaccinated after delivering her child.

Charles - He is married and has several  children. I don't assist him much except at Christmas though I'd like to do more for his family. Charles has had his vaccinations.

Ernest - He has no children.  He has diabetes and suffered several health challenges namely breaking the same leg twice and having been hospitalized due to Covid 19.  Kenya has been slow to roll out vaccinations but he has now had two vaccinations.



Livingstone - He has no children. Recently he too recovered from a broken leg and Covid 19. He is currently undergoing rehabilitation of his leg through physiotherapy and has had two vaccinations.

Elijah - He is married with 5 children and a dependent MIL.  He is the man whose coffee plantation was flooded out a few months ago when major floods forced many Kenyans from their homes.

Janet - She is married but separated and has four daughters. Her brother chased her away from her ancestral home and we've set her up in a humble store with attached living quarters. 


Pastor Jonah - He has no children. Jonah is primarily the one I work with to undertake all the responsibilities of the grassroots missions. We often work with other leaders in his church including the Lead Pastor, especially when I am in Kenya. He has had his vaccinations.

If I am able I would also like to send to the following people:

David - He is married with 2 children. I've known David for long and usually send him something at Christmas. This year I've tried to send him something as often as I can because his small tourist business was badly affected due to Covid.

Pastor Parteleu - He pastors a remote, rural village church and has had recent health challenges including undiagnosed stomach issues. He has very little financial support and has a wife and 2 children.

Sarah - She is single with 2 children. Sarah lives in Kibera slums and lost her catering job prior to Covid when her boss/employer was defrauded out of his valuable property and restaurant by high powered people.  Sara is a talented cook and caterer and has been looking for a job in that field for long. In the past I've provided her with blankets for the chilly Kenyan nights.


Amy - She is a single mom with a 2 year old toddler.  I send something for her child as often as I can. Amy has tried her hand at many different casual jobs but it has been difficult having a baby with her at all times.

This is my small list of people to help in December 2021. There are always many others who could use help who are not on this list. In addition to monetary helps all of these people could really use the prayers of the saints.  Thanks for reading and considering.


 

 




Thursday, December 9, 2021

Gratitude December - Day 9


Many of you know that I get most of my reading material from the local library. I always have numerous books on hold and try to schedule them to arrive sporadically, rather than all at once so I have time to read what I've borrowed before getting new books out.  Well I seem to have come up in the queue very, very quickly this month for many books, both eBooks and paper books  and that has made me fall behind in my reading.

I'm grateful today for completing the book entitled leaving time, by Jodi Picoult. This was a most enjoyable book for a multitude of reasons not the least being a focus on elephants and their behaviors in the wild and in captivity. It was very cleverly and masterfully written and I could not have foreseen the ending.

I'm grateful for having completed the book and I will also try and complete The Bookseller's Secret today so I can make a trip to the library on Friday to pick up more holds.


Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Gratitude December - Day 8

Today I am grateful for bonus points and store promotions.

Tuesday night I went shopping for a few items. I noticed in the flyer that they were giving fewer points than usual for certain expenditures on food.  However they were giving bonus reward redemption points.

This was good for me because I don't really need much in the way of food at the moment but I did need to stock up on things like laundry detergent, tin foil, cling wrap, zip loc bags, condiments and so on.  As of yesterday I had just over 18000 points or about $30 Canadian in my account.  Today those points were worth $50. Canadian.

This small haul cost $95.95 Canadian. After $50 discount I paid $46.32 ($45.95 + $.27 GST + $.10 PST) for a total of $46.32 Canadian. I had a balance of $7.56 remaining on a gift card I purchased so the balance payable was $38.76. Groceries have become super expensive and I'll need to spend a lot more before this month is over just for the Christmas meal and if I decide to do any baking. Other than that I have a good stock of food and only need to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, milk and yogurt.


 

This is the first time I've heard of or used a bonus redemption at the grocery store. Normally I see that at the pharmacy. I hope more stores implement this idea.

How about you dear reader? Do your grocery stores have bonus reward redemptions? I know couponing is a huge thing in the USA and one can get groceries for very little or for nothing at all if you know what you're doing. I don't think I'd be a good couponer but I do like taking advantage of store rewards and special offers.



Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Gratitude December - Day 7

 Hi friends,


I wanted to thank those of you who have been following my daily gratitude blogs this month and especially those who left a comment. I have been having some issues with blogger for over a week now where I cannot post replies or sometimes even comments.  It took me numerous tries over 2 days to leave replies at the last post. I apologize for this if you are returning to see what I may have posted.

From time to time, I've read of other bloggers having this issue.  I've been blogging for approximately 12 years and thankfully this is the first time I've experienced a technical issue that has gone on for more than a week. I'm sure it will resolve itself in time.

Today is Day 7 of my daily gratitude challenge. I am grateful for this platform of blogging and for other free social media services. Yes, there are some cons or disadvantages to these platforms but overall they provide a service that most of us have come to rely on for various things. I love that I can 'meet' new people and keep in contact with others that I already know. It gave me a good substitute for socializing when I was unable and/or too busy with family needs. It also helped lead me to the Kenyan missions work I now do.

I'm feeling a bit tired so I will have an easy day. I'll finalize a package for shipping, maybe take a walk to the post office to mail it and buy a very few items for some planned dinners.  Dinner will also be easy. I've already prepared homemade meatballs so I can make that with sauce, spaghettini and salad. I'm also thinking of making a tuna casserole. I seldom make casseroles but I'm feeling like tuna and I have most of the ingredients. For those I don't have, I can buy or substitute with ingredients I have on hand. The main ingredient I'm missing is peas but I do have frozen carrots/peas/corn mix.  I prefer the casserole with peas alone but in the end I used what I have on hand instead of making a dash to the store. It gives me another day or two if I need it to make a store run.


Update: 


The tuna casserole turned out perfectly and was very tasty. I'm still having issues posting comments. It takes me many, many tries. I won't stress about it as I'm sure it will resolve itself in time. Take care!

What's on your gratitude list or simple dinner makes?

Monday, December 6, 2021

Gratitude December - Day 6

Happy Monday. πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰

Today we woke up to snow 🌨️❄️🌨️ It is cold enough to freeze the water in the bird bath. πŸ¦πŸ›



On Day 6 of Gratitude December I'm grateful for indoor heating. πŸ”₯

For a warming dinner I made beef brisket in the Instant Pot.


I hope you are warm enough where you are.🧣πŸ₯ΎπŸ§€

 



Thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Gratitude December - Day 5 & Tuesday 4

Today is Day 5 of my posts about gratitude and those things for which I'm grateful. Saturday was a beautiful day and more sunny than what I managed to capture in these photos.


 

Overnight there was snow and you can see some on the north shore mountains just under the clouds in the photos below.  There was an awful lot of traffic.



 
 
I was on my way to pick up some books on hold at the library. I picked up  the 3 books at the top of the pile. The other 2 books I already had in my reading pile. I also have another 3 digital books. This is the most books I think I've had on loan at one time. I try to space them out and change hold dates if I need to so I can finish reading what I already have.  However these books all came suddenly. I think it means that people are not busy reading as much right now for them to all be available so quickly. I didn't have time to change the dates.
 

Anyhoo, books are on my gratitude list today. I love books! There are many places in the world where books are not readily available and yet here I can pick up all the books I could ever hope to want to read. How blessed I am!

Fortuitously there is a books and movies theme out for Tuesday 4 so I've decided to participate in that.

Tuesday 4 is published each week in memory of our dear friend Toni Taddeo, it's author.

1. Is there a hero or character on TV, in a book or a movie .. or even on all three, that you are especially like? What do you find attractive about them?

I love heroes. I like strong characters whether they be male or female although I'm likely more drawn to male heroes simply because we hear or see much more of them.  I've totally enjoyed the movie hero, James Bond as played by Daniel Craig. I looked forward to each and every movie release and I'm sad to see his role come to an end. As the old saying goes 'all good things must come to an end'.  What I liked about him in the role are his looks, his believability, his strength yet vulnerability, his conscience and his big heart.  As for female heroes, I think my favourite is Wonder Woman. I grew up watching the television series and was always enthralled by the female lead as played by Lynda Carter. I would say that the female lead, now played by Gal Gadot on the big screen is not as well developed a character but perhaps in time she will be.

 

2.  Was there a book that was better in movie form? How about a movie you thought didn't live up to the book?

One book that I can readily recall which I thought was better in movie form is The English Patient written by Michael Ondaatje, Sri Lankan Canadian.  This book came with a lot of hype and it took me years to get around to reading it. When I finally did I was sorely disappointed. I simply did not enjoy it at all. The movie on the other hand I did enjoy and the movie cast is made up on very talented actors.  It is rare that I've seen and enjoyed a movie more than a book I've read.  It's happened once or twice but at the moment I cannot think of any. One movie that surprised me is The Life of Pi. I'd read it many years before and I enjoyed it so much. I had to go and see the movie because I couldn't figure out how they might manage to turn the book into one. The movie was great too.

 

3. When you choose a book, program or movie which subject it is most likely to be: science fiction, mystery, romance, comedy, documentary, etc.?     What draws you to a particular book or movie?
I've been keeping track of the books I've read over the last 10 years. Too bad I didn't keep track of books I read before then. What I've discovered through tracking books is that I tend to be drawn primarily to books of historical fiction and books set in other countries or within different cultures. I'm surprised by that because though I liked Social Studies as a student I would not say that I was overly drawn to history though I realize it is important. It wasn't a surprise to me that I love books set in other countries and cultures since I love to learn about other places and people whether that be trying new foods, attending festivals, making friends or travelling.
 
 

4. How important is the title or picture on the cover of a book?   How much importance do you place on a movie because of the actors who are in it?

The title or cover design are important to me because if I'm unfamiliar with the author or the book content this is what will draw my eye to it on the bookshelves. I've picked up many books that way though whether I liked them is another issue.  I don't choose movies based solely on who my favourite actors are. It really depends on the subject matter and my own schedule. Having a favourite actor or two will help but is not the determining factor.


I hope you have had a fabulous weekend and I wish you a wonderful week ahead. I'm linking up with Tuesday 4.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Gratitude December, Day 4


Hi friends and fellow bloggers. 

I didn't mention it previously but I am spending a few moments each day to reflect on one thing I am grateful for that day. Of course there is usually more than 1 thing, both big and small that I am grateful for each day but I want to try and focus on one thing.  I didn't post for Day 2 and 3 so I will do that separately. I'm not yet decided whether I will post several days of gratitude in one or do a separate post for each day. We shall see but I will use the labels "grateful" and gratitude" to make them easy to search.

Today is Day 4 and I thankful for a phone call from the daughter of my childhood Sunday School teacher. My former was such a wonderful, loving and kind person. She is now well into her 90s and developed dementia a few years ago.  She is now in a care home but her son and daughter visit her almost daily. After their mother developed dementia, the daughter and the son would bring her south for a holiday each summer and they would make a point of visiting various people including myself and my late mom when she was in a care home too. 

Such a blessing this family entire family is to so many people. The example of their mother and father, stalwarts of the church and kindness and love exemplified, helped me to become the person I am today. My spiritual fruits still have a long way to go to ripen as well as theirs but honestly their example still encourages me to this day.

Here is the basis on which I love to give gratitude in all things. It's been my daily practice for long though I don't always write it down.

 "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:8



Friday, December 3, 2021

A Clear Day


 

December started off just right. We had a clear, blue sky. At least most of it was blue. After several very damaging rain storms, this was a welcome sight!

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you and your loved ones enjoy the weekend.

Joining in with Skywatch Friday this week.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

December is Here

 Hi friends and fellow bloggers,

 

 I hope you are all doing well.

I'm just popping in to wish you all a very wonderful December. We've all gone through some rough patches for a very long time. Now we are in the last month of the year. Let us usher it in with peace, love and determination to be joyful no matter the circumstances we may face. It isn't always easy to be joyful or grateful but we can try.

As I usher in this last month of the year, I am setting my mind to enjoyment and relaxation as much as I possibly can (watching television, listening to music, a bit of crafting and maybe baking). I am also doing my best to finish up and clear away old business and get back to some good, daily practices.

Over the past year I've been working with the Fly Lady system, mostly just doing the morning and evening routines and not always all of them each and every day.  One of the daily routines is shining the sink after washing dishes.

 

 

I am also remembering to look after myself better and work on the things that have piled up over the years. I am making great progress and need to continue moving forward in all these areas. In this last month I will add two daily practices, or at least as often as I can. I will be more committed to daily exercise and to daily acknowledgement of the things for which I am grateful. I have done both of these practices before but have slipped over time so I am back at it, lol. Today, in the exercise routine I really was so winded and so this renewed practice comes at a good time.

Some of my long time readers to this blog will know that I have often baked bread and I've enjoyed doing it.  Over the past year or more,  I cut back on most of my baking due to blood sugar issues. However I was watching someone's vlog the other day and I was motivated to make some bread again. This is Amish Bread. It uses far more sugar than I need or want but anyway I've baked it and I will try it the way it is supposed to be made. I will likely bake it again but next time only use 2 tablespoons of sugar which I've read some bakers have done with no ill effect. If you are interested in baking it I've linked the recipe I used here. Now the bread has cooled and I had a slice with butter. Oh my. It's seriously tasty. Even so, next time, reduced sugar for me but if you have no glucose issues, try the original recipe. I'm sure you would love it if you like bread.


I actually haven't had flour in my home for awhile but recently our highway was destroyed and long haul truckers were hampered in bringing in supplies to the big city. I bought a bit of flour to have on hand because people tend to buy out all the stock of many things the moment there is some kind of emergency.  

 


The highway will not be reopened until late January and only to commercial traffic when it does reopen. At this point, it's up in the air as to how long there will be highway closure for recreational travel. Trucks are delivering various commodities through an alternative, less direct and probably more difficult route but there are delays.

My gratitude for today then is for my safety and the safety of my loved ones.  Also for the flour and other food that I have on hand despite the highway and other food supply issues.

Thanks for stopping by.