Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

It's already 2009 here. We met Melissa at a local mall for a BIG music presentation and fireworks. It was like a double 8th street filled solid with pedestrians, the FULL length of 8th!

The people density was amazing and at times frightening with the potential. It was like class change in the Arts bldg, but tripled or quadrupled! of course food stalls, vendors, a bit of free stuff.



Friday, December 26, 2008

Catch up time!

The morning of the 24th we caught the first MRT train and got to the airport to catch our 8 am flight to Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia. The 2 nights at the Crowne Plaza were our Christmas Present! We had wonderful breakfasts and evening hors d’ouevres. You may never see pictures of it because I left our camera in Kaohsiung! We got to the Petronas Twin Towers but there weren’t any of the 1,732 Skywalk tickets left (too bad).

We walked through Little India trying to avoid the street hawkers, China Town and The Central Market where I got the fish nibbling exfoliation on my feet while Colleen aand Melissa shopped. Hey, if Kathie Lee can do so can I, and I only paid 5 RM about $1.75 CDN for a 10 minute foot massage! Once I got past the first 2 minutes and the idea of what was happening, and the urge to pee my pants, it was very relaxing. That’s me in the upper right—top flavor at the time!

I read in the Air Malaysia magazine there are full body treatments by the fish……………….? Hmmm?
Our bus trip was pretty uneventful once we got the tickets! We got them a day early after a 24 RM taxi from the street by the hotel which was only 11RM this morning. Think we got taken? The seats are probably 30 inches wide and decently reclines which made the 5 hour trip nice except for the lack of a toilet. We did make 2 rest stops so it was managed by all 30 or so passengers. The best part was leaving the tollgate before the 13 km bridge with 8 lanes and within 500 meters get down to the 2 lanes of the bridge. Talk about moving slow! This evening we went to an open air food area right on the ocean where you ordered your food at the various vendors and they delivered it to your table (pay at the table when delivered).
Tomorrow brings batiking, butterfly garden, food, and we’ll see what else. Probably some shopping…..

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thursdays don't seem safe in Gangshan

Last Thursday and this I saw the aftermath of scooter accidents in Gangshan. Fortunately about half an hour before I got to the locations. Very good reminders of the risks and the need for caution. On my 25 minute ride home tonight there were 2 or 3 times I saw people riding scooters closer together than most of us sitting on a couch! AND THEY WERE GOING 40 KMH. I haven't seen very many people scoot together that fast on a couch!

Scooters are very common and it's easy to be jostling in the pack or safely moving along. It certainly challenges me to focus and relax. Tension results in me making almost all the wrong movements, including in my pants! Ok, not really.................

Well one more day of teaching and 2 days of Christmas parties then we are off to Kuala Lumpur for 2 days before joining Lana in Penang. We will certainly have some unique memories this Christmas.

Love to all

Monday, December 15, 2008

Medium sized update

I didn't want to say big in case someone thought there was BIG news which there isn't. Hmm, what did Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday hold.....well the reality is that teaching for 4 1/2 hours kind of makes me tired. Then add about 30 minutes travel on each end and I usually am ready to relax. But we have an easy morning and I head out around 1 pm. It's quite relaxing even if it is a flip flop of common schedules. I enjoy all the students although some antics are not so enjoyable but I think I am taking it a bit too seriously.

I rode the scooter, 150 cc, home from Gangshan Friday night so we rode the scooter to Melissa's and back Saturday. It only took Colleen half an hour to relax! Saturday afternoon Melissa had a meeting so we picked up McMuffins and took to her for breakfast and then did a few errands. I managed to ride back today without any wrong turns! I think it's easier than the train although it will be a bit cool at times, 20 degrees and 40km does feel a bit cool in shorts! I will wear a jacket on the way home at 7, tee hee.

Saturday evening we met with one of Melissa's former adult student's at Dream Mall, has a good article and for the more inclined but not much English! We had supper at the 7th floor half view restaurant. Some of the food was a challenging adventure but we could look out over a wide area however it gets dark here shortly after 6 almost year round so it's lights and more lights. And of course shopping at Daiso, a Japanese Dollarama type store and the grocery store Wellcome.

Sunday was church, lunch at church (some mystery food), some more minor things at Melissa's place and a wrap for another weekend! Oh we did get some things for Christmas baking and that gathering may be next Sunday evening. We have a wedding on Saturday early afternoon and one or two Christmas events Saturday evening. Melissa was going to have one but decided to wait until January, there's just too much on the go.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Winter in Kaohsiung

Right, only in a magic world, tee hee

Santa Claus is here

Ok not until the 22nd and 23rd. Hmm, how am I going to get the lessons done? Today I was asked to be Santa! The previous director was big and strong like me, yeah right! We'll see!

The school closes the 24th, 25th and 26th so the Monday and Tuesday we will have a Christmas party for each class time. 3 stations and then Santa presents gifts to the kids. Oh I just remembered there is a 7:15 -9:15 class so I guess extra hours those 2 days!

Our Christmas trip tickets and hotel are paid for so now it is just the actual money we spend while travelling to and in Malaysia. There are times when here is so ordinary and at the same instant surreal.

When I was getting off the train in Gangshan a guy said something that I guessed was is this train going to Tainan. I tried to motion yes from here to there, Tainan. He said good, thank you. I hope he got to where he wanted. I have ridden this train often enough to know the next stop so If he really wanted to get to Tainan, I successfully gave directions!

The street work in front of the apartment is progressing. Yesterday they put about 2 inches of concrete over the areas that had new conduits, this morning when I left there was rebar on top of it and when I came home more concrete was there...........puzzles me why or what comes next. I'll keep you informed.

Colleen and Melissa went for a girl's coffee this morning. A couple hours later I made my way to school. Next month Colleen hopes to get to the Ladies Coffee Meeting. Colleen's life is certainly different when I teach. Maybe someday I'll get her to post too.............

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Thinking of my calorie count, LAUGH IF YOU WISH

Walking home from the train station I reflected on the weekend's pleasures and consumption. Accuracy is open to correction..............

10 min. walk to train -100 calories
Colleen tripping, elevated heart rate -50 calories
First High Speed train ride -10 calories
car ride train to Morrison Campus in Taichung -15 calories (loading and balancing suitcases)
Turkey dinner and visiting +2000 calories
Second High Speed train ride -8 calories
Taipei MRT main station -200 calories (anxiety and suitcases)
walk 3 blocks to C&N apt -50 calories
taxi to the Diner -10 calories
Hamburger-delicious +1000 calories
walk & taxi back to C&N -20 calories ( only sat on one hip - narrow car)

Get the idea? Teaching days take out the high calorie meals and add a couple 3 minute scooter rides with a bit of excitement and fear.

Life is exciting!

Here's what Friday, Saturday,Sunday,Monday and Tuesday held

Hmm, what to say without simply spewing a list. The trip to Taichung and Taipei had a rough start. Colleen tripped on the way to the train station and it was not the light fantastic but the oof and thump. Today she is still hurting a LOT. The bruise on her lip is somewhat lighter and the swelling is pretty much gone. While we were out this afternoon we stopped at an opticians and got her glasses adjusted to fix the Saturday damage. I only teach from 5-7 on Tuesdays so the day was pretty relaxed, we met Melissa at a new to us place Timothy's Breakfast Workshop, a nice walk from each of our places.

The Saturday gathering in Taichung was organized by several Free Methodists some work at Morrison Academy in Taichung, others are working with Free Methodist churches in Taiwan and we even had 2 people from US FM headquarters in Indianapolis attend. It was neat to chat as the only Canadians and have several people know Krobers, Teals, Colleen Taylor, some of the Alexanders, Moose Jaw, Weyburn, Joe James. I figured this picture of food would be more interesting than the group shot.

The woman in red taught at Holy Light Seminary here in Kaohsiung for 30 years before retiring about 10 years ago! I had a great conversation with the woman behind her, in blue, as we rode from the High Speed Train to the dinner and then back to the HSR to go to Taipei. She reminded me of Carlotta McAlister.

Saturday night we stayed at Chris and Nevada's and went to a place called The Diner for supper. FANTASTIC HAMBURGERS, great seasoning. We had a nice sleep and then pancake breakfast before meeting Melissa's friend Beth for a late lunch. The rest of my week makes up for the calorie intake! Colleen and Melissa found a couple cute Birthday gifts for Gemma while I went through a computer expo. It is quite different when you don't comprehend much more than the brand name and pricing. THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE THAT SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED IN EXPOS! Especially ones as crowded as this one. Not for those faint of heart or needing lots of personal space!

Here's the gift opening, sorry about the framing Melissa and Nevada:

Then we went to The Pearl where Chris Co-pastors a small, vibrant, growing church. He was speaking that weekend so it blessed our hearts to see and hear the Word spoken by one of our own. This is the high school student who said "For me and my house, we will serve the Lord" after attending a Promisekeepers conference in Chicago several years back! Praise God!

Then it was catch the MRT back to the HSR and back to our place within 3 hours (about $100 cdn round trip). It used to be at least a 5 hour bus ride, mind you for a fair bit less money. Monday was relax and teach as was today. For that matter the rest of the week will be too.

Oh, we have our Christmas hotel booked for the 2 days in Kuala Lumpur before we go spend a few days with Lana Gummeson in Penang.

Christmas will be very different this year. No risk of frostbite, but sunscreen is recommended! I wonder what Christmas dinner at Hard Rock Cafe will be like?

Friday, December 05, 2008

Part of my Taiwan Dream Picture has come true

Melissa stopped and picked up dinner after teaching, stopped at our place for us to eat together then off to get things ready for a trip to Taichung and Taipei for the weekend. Ah, life is sweet! We are getting together with Free Methodists from a variety of cities tomorrow afternoon and then going to Taipei to visit Chris and Nevada, He's speaking on Sunday. Then back to Kaohsiung on the High Speed train for Monday teaching. WORK, WORK, WORK!

I get home from teaching about 8 and often Colleen and I will go out to the grocery store about 4 blocks away for a few things for the next day or so. Most of the snacks other than potato chips have just enough mystery to the flavour or contents we have not found a favourite yet. Only a few 'one timers'. Many staples and common items are available at prices similar to Saskatoon and quite a few are lower. I think I've mentioned before that western restaurant type food, TGIFriday's, Pizza Hut, McDonald's are similar and maybe slightly higher than in Canada.

On the way up the exit stairs at Gangshan on the way to school today I noticed "Emergency evacuation methodology" which is true but the typical NA English would translate a bit differently. Language nuances are so interesting. Yesterday one of the kids accused me of speaking Chinese because I could say the name of her city, Ciaotou, that sounded just like it does in Chinese. I've now had all of my classes at least twice and reconnected with a few from the other classes I subbed a couple weeks ago. I like it other than the STAIRS, mind you they aren't quite as demanding as they were the first week of subbing.

Well almost midnight again. Love and hugs to all, even if you might be one of those where a hug might seem borderline inappropriate!

PS I may have to wear long past this weekend! There is a cold front moving across the north part of the island and we may see overnight temps of 10! It was very brisk on the scooter at 18 degrees, short sleeves and shorts................I know cry you a river!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Life IS Good


I am REALLY enjoying the teaching! It is effort and a bit like work but after all the parents are paying for their child to be taught English it should be some work. Tonight as I walked from the train to the scooter in Gangshan I thought "why am I doing this?", I enjoy it! It pays well! It is interesting and I get lots of stairs for exercise.

Okay, the stairs are not a preference just a reality. I've done more stairs in the last 3 weeks than I've done in well, maybe the last 30 years! My classrooms are on the 4th floor, 2 flights per floor, some of the MRT stations have 4 or 5 flights of 16 steps [I counted] and then add in all the walking Colleen and I have done. I might be a lean machine by mid January, no, just leaner. Alright, less plump!

My teaching yesterday was a surprise fill in because the teacher I am subbing for was sick. So Colleen and I quickly changed our plans but still met Melissa at the Dragon beside Love River at 9:30. We could not do justice but this wikimedia photo sure does. We met just left of the dragon.

As we laid in bed this morning we talked about how the lifestyle is so comfortable for us. Easy mornings, afternoon and now early evenings teaching, Colleen getting some alone time and then doing things or relaxing until about midnight. Mind you we are expecting to have to endure 10 degrees overnight this weekend!

Well that's enough report and retort for today. Cheers to all!

Oh Hi to the Tea Ladies! And a fond hello to my University connections.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I'm going to stop taking the "let's explore" walks

The last 2 explorings have each generated a LOT of walking and about $2,500 expense! Fortunately Taiwan Dollars translate down to about 90 cdn ones.

Last night we explored the 4 or 5 blocks around our house and ended up with a new duvet, cover and pillows, good price and the one we had Melissa buy before getting here was too light for the cool nights. Since we were 'strolling' I only had my debit card so by the time I walked to the ATM, that wasn't working, and then back to the store to get my keys and walk back to the apartment the sweat was coming out almost every pore so cool nights weren't a concern.

Then, this afternoon we caught the bus that stops right in front of our apartment and rode....... We had a pretty good idea where we were most of the time but by the time we got to the far end of the route the driver was getting concerned we knew where we were going! Fortunately a lady got on just then who spoke enough English for him to know we were sight seeing. We now know a fairly easy way to get to the ferry to Cijin Island even though it loops through Old Zouying. We would probably take a taxi home rather than risk getting the right bus.

Costco was on our list so we got off at Central park, no not New York! We walked through the park and easily got the MRT from there to Costco. Life is getting better because 2 weeks ago we probably walked 2 km out of the way trying to get to this same MRT stop. Costco is one long block from the stop. Mind you after shopping there and getting a FEW things (felt like 50 KG!) it was a longer block back. And the walk though the park from our MRT stop to the apartment felt like a MILE! It was worth it. Colleen made a great stir fry for dinner and we have pork loin and chicken breasts for a few weeks, they're cheaper than ground beef.


I now have one free weekday until mid January except for our Christmas trip to Penang, Malaysia. The teaching will be fun, a bit tiring, a good guage for future years and will pay for most of our base expenses.

Hugs to all.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Another day more adventures

We had a pretty easy day starting with a short reading from The Common Book of Prayer. Bless the Lord! Then we walked about 4 blocks to a breakfast shop called LaGuardia, there are several in Kaohsiung. It was there I realized my belt fastened one notch tighter this morning! In Saskatoon we would have driven and had 4 times as much to eat. Mind you we were meeting our friend Marco for lunch 2 hours later.

Lunch was at a Korean BBQ sorry no English on the site. It was great! we ate for 2 hours for about $15 CDN ! And then got treated by Marco. Free is fantastic.

We rode the MRT back to Melissa's and helped move some more stuff in prep for the revitalizing paint she and Elaine will apply tomorrow. Now I've hauled beds up, down across and out! The reworked 2nd and third floor will be great!!!! I can hardly wait to see the results!

We borrowed a small Christmas tree from Melissa which now has about 45 lights on it with the remainder of the 100 light string laying around the base. Our 8 decorations may get added to but there isn't much room on the tree. I will probably have to get a few specialty Christmas lights that just don't make it to Saskatoon. The cows and a few others won't make it though.....

Now we are simply kicking back and relaxing for the evening.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ready for a laugh

Yesterday we went to the Hansin Department Store near Melissa's for lunch. After lunch I went to the bathroom there and as I was sitting there it did a partial flush! HEY WAIT I'M NOT DONE!!!!! Now everything was wet! So ok, finished, dried and then washed my hands!

When I mentioned this to Melissa and Colleen they just smiled! Melissa said yep it does that. Colleen said it did it on her 4 times! I don't think it was an integrated bidet.............

today at lest didn't have those kinds of surprises.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

God has delivered another good day to us.

I was just sitting here thinking how good God has been to us today.

We feel good, except for wear and tear on our feet but no blisters. We have had good food with only a couple surprises. We broke down and had McD at Dream Mall, we needed a familiar look and taste. Once we got inside the package familiarity appeared! We made sure we got to the rooftop to check out the Ferris wheel and games arcade. It is a VERY SLOW wheel so we will go back on a clear day to scan the city. The night view will also be held for another time.

We are getting quite comfortable with the MRT and deliberately got off at Melissa's stop R15, Ecological District, so we could walk to our place and stop at a grocery store we are getting familiar with. Each MRT station has 2-4 exits depending on size and we used the station map to avoid crossing Boai Rd on the surface. The same amount of steps or more but fewer cars and scooters to avoid! So, at least on one path were are getting more familiar and broadening our range of travel.

Now to get beyond hello and thank you in our Chinese! Oh, I can order an egg sandwich [dahn bough] across the street from our apartment but that may be more due to the owner getting familiar with what I want than my language skill.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I was going for a walk?????

We are getting new sidewalks and some Utilty services. The front end bucket sounds like a pack of yipping and squealing dogs as it rolls down the street at 8 am!

A regular day

No not that kind of regular, I mean ordinary. No teaching and got up when we felt like it.

Colleen made french toast and I made coffee for breakfast then we video chatted with Doug and Judy for a while. They will be here in a couple months! Melissa checked on our Christmas flights to Malaysia then we met her for lunch at the dumpling restaurant near her place.

A pretty usual day until we walked back to her place and moved beds and furnishings for an hour and a half! Her place, IFH, will soon be revitalized and so will she. Melissa carries many responsibilities and the volume spreads her abilities a bit too thin at times. (so a father thinks)

Tomorrow looks to be a similar day less the furniture moving. We need to go to the Post Office to send some cards and hopefully the leisurely strolling and exploring today was going to hold.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

4th Thanksgiving dinner!

We had 2 American Thanksgiving dinners today! The one last Sunday adds to our Canadian dinner we hosted before leaving Saskatoon to make 4. Each had its unique character. Loving family relationships, caring church family relationships and my new work family. The 3 Taiwan meals were good and had a few unfamiliar dishes. Sorry, I don't know the English name for those I was brave enough to try!

We are just marvelling that we have been in our apartment only one week! We're getting used to cable TV, we have CNN and a few English language movie channels all we have to do is filter the Chinese subtitles and commercials. I bet most of you filter the commercials at home! I believe we are the last generation that will be able to function without speaking capability in 2 and probably 3 or 4 languages. English may well become the most common crossover language but North American supremacy and dominance will fade.

There is so much to tell but it quickly becomes the everyday! Today Melissa drove us 2 or 3 places knowing exactly where to go in a city where most people describe a store or location as such and such a place next to such and such a place. Streets are organized, well most major ones are but many minor ones have developed from being small streets or lanes to business streets that now need explanations. On the way home tonight we used the freeway which Melissa is fairly familiar with but when she said "NOW I DON'T KNOW WHERE THIS IS " after she took the exit and turned right. Within 5 minutes we were back to somewhere Melissa knew. She now knows how to get to the backside of the MRT station! My girl the explorer!

There sure are a lot of stairs here! Sure there are lots of escalators and elevators but not everywhere. The school owner's house we were at tonight is in a beautiful development we could consider gated townhouses, well sort of. Quite similar to North America sizes but with 4 floors a LOT of stairs. Beautiful grounds just east of Chengching lake. Lovely walkways and winding stairs.

I'm off to Gangshan again tomorrow to sub for a friend of Melissa's so he can spend the day with his parents before they return to South Africa Monday night. Working alternate weeks could get habit forming. I start my 5 1/2 week stretch on Dec 4th. We will take a few days around Christmas and visit Lana Gummeson in Malaysia. I may be enjoying the teaching a bit too much, well at least enough that I feel confident making it through the December weeks is feasible and maybe comfortable. I have a new found appreciation for the HOURS teachers spend on their feet!

Well construction noise starts at 8 AM and tomorrow I teach from 2-9:15 so the yawns mean bedtime. The morning after we moved in the started replacing utility services and sidewalks on our street. They work fast here so they may well be done by week's end!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

We've been here 2 weeks!

It seems so natural and yet so foreign!

I finished the week of subbing I was not expecting but enjoyed it and was not as tired as Melissa thought I would be and we are settled in our new apartment. Colleen made a supper of steak, baked potato and cooked carrots to celebrate both! She just needs to find the store with recognizable salt in a reasonable quantity. We had dinner at TGIFriday's to celebrate a friend of Melissa's birthday. Just one more thing we can't do in Saskatoon.

I taught classes of 11, 6, 7, 9, 5, 2 kids for a total of 28 hours this week from 2-9:15 most days; it sure was a mind and body shift to have free time at the beginning rather than the end of the day! We are about a 6 minute walk from the train and MRT, 20 minute ride to my school, and then a 20 minute walk to the school (or a 5 minute taxi ride (about $4 CDN)). The train is about 80 cents cdn each way! I walked a couple days and then the owner loaned me a scooter to go from the train to the school. 21 degrees feels nice in shorts but very chilly zipping along on a scooter. I won't be able to take the taxi because I forgot and left the handwritten card in my shirt pocket and the sweat made the ink absorb into the paper. At least it wasn't into my shirt!

We've made a few independent outings and at least 1/4 have resulted in EXCESSIVE, UNNECESSARY walking due to wrong turns and poor bearings. We will get better oriented in the next week, after all there are only a few places to get mixed up!

Tomorrow is Church again, Melissa is on for Worship team so we will be there in under 10 hours. Wow It's our third Sunday! Now we can start to listen for God's guidance for our involvement here. We have a Thanksgiving dinner at the school's owners tomorrow evening so this will be our second American Thanksgiving dinner here. We are truly thankful for all of God's blessings , here and in North America.

Please leave comments and ask any questions. And those occasional 'anonymous' commenters, please add your names to your comment so we can better appreciate your interest and caring for us.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Some First tasks done!

We cleaned the apartment today, well Melissa's cleaning lady, Colleen and Melissa. I did the patio doors and a window!

Melissa and I took the train to Gangshan to make sure, well mostly sure, that I could get there on my own next week. Oh I am subbing for one of Melissa's friends next week it will be a good gauge for my December stint.

We helped select our new mattress as well. The owner is sister-in-law to Melissa's 'mentor' so we are getting many bargains!

We registered 3 guests from France who have been travelling around Taiwan for a couple weeks and are headed to Kenting tomorrow. I was even able to assist with directions to the MRT and High Speed Rail station. Me who gets turned around like I have amnesia.

I guess we should go get some dinner. We will get to the routine soon after all we haven't been here a week yet!

Love to all.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

We are here, home is Kaohsiung until Easter

Tired but overjoyed!

Glad to be with Melissa but HOT!

Excited for church but missing Lakeview.

Wanting to post more but too soon for pics.

We walked around, familiarized ourselves a bit yesterday, felt the consequences of travelling for about 30 hours with only naps.

We got upgraded to Business Class by Dragonair, unfortunately it was just over an hour flight. They barely had time to serve the meal. We were served by name, a challenging one at the best of times but spoken better than many English speakers.

Well more in a few days.


Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

We had almost 3 times as many kids tonight as previous years, 30! The two Princesses will be going to Disney World next week.

And I got to have coffee with a dear friend Ruth S. Wow she's 81 and going strong.
It is hard to believe that at this time next week we will be eating breakfast with Melissa in Kaohsiung.
Colleen's finished work so we are both retired now but sure have a lot to do before next Thursday morning's flight!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

7 Canadian Days left

No the USA is not taking over Canada! Nor is Ottawa making any sweeping changes!

We will be over the Pacific before the end of next Thursday (the 6th for those like me challenged by this/next). Not much else to say right now. Lots of things to do but most are last minute stuff. I still need my underwear.

Please be remembering our family in prayer all are well but the strained connection ( near total lack thereof) with Jay & Julie continues. Please look after my son while we are away............

Feel free to ask direct questions if you see him or Julie. Loving, but direct.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Shallow thoughts, Deep thoughts

wow in 3 weeks we will be waking to our third day in Kaohsiung!

I had a twinge of sadness as I told my Power Hour small group I have 2 Sundays left. Of course some are still hoping for Travis to replace me but he is in College in Calgary now. He was one of my small group guys too QUITE A FEW YEARS AGO. Have I really been doing Power Hour small groups that long?

I was challenged and affirmed by David Barbour's message this morning I expect it will be at in a few days. He is refreshing much like Bob Opperman but a different style and applied many scripture references to carry forward the message of living in the WIDE OPEN POSSIBILITY of God. I am not able to do the words proper favour. I would like him to be our new lead pastor but I do not have all the considerations and perspective to make that call. I fully support the local and national teams making the decision.

I guess Colleen and I are embarking on one of those WOPs. Exciting. A bit scary, in a good way.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thanksgiving videos

Videos are here. Photos are at Facebook.

23 dinner plates, 25 people of varying sizes, shapes and ages.

Backyard football fun and games.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Child dedications

This afternoon 6 more parents dedicated their 4 children to God! Many had the opportunity to stand with Elizabeth as she led Tanis, Jonathan, Kendall, Krista, Shona and Darren in dedicating Theo, Samuel, Bennett and Ivanna to God. Misha was even able to lay his hand on each brother in cooperation and affirmation.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Wow September passed with no posts

Today we watched a video tour of an apartment we might live in while in Kaohsiung. Sorry you will have to wait until we actually move in November.

Retired life is sorting out. I got 73% and 78% in my 2 Correspondence Courses for TEFL (google it if your don't know what it is). I will likley NEVER do correspondence again NOT MY LEARNING STYLE. I now have my Saskatchewan Electrical Contractors License. And 5 weeks from tomorrow we are ON THE PLANE.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

A range of thoughts

We are back to being empty nesters. Melissa is in Vancouver a couple days before getting back to Kaohsiung. I am finished my TEFL exams so we can get about the necessary tasks before we leave for Kaohsiung Nov 6th. Yikes so much in such little time!

yard work
a couple small renovation projects
Colleen working 25 hrs a week
me learning how to be retired and still productive
find our new relationship boundaries
rent the main floor for 5 months
deal with 2 vehicles while we are away(1 junker, 1 good)
insurance changes while we are gone
bill payment processing while we are gone
connect with friends
find the connection with Jay and Julie
Keep Melissa working on any of our details
connect with Jay and Julie

Monday, August 18, 2008

Retired! Projects? Contemplations!

Well, TEFL exams are done so I am starting to feel retired. Not bad since May 15th was my last official work day!

I've been thinking about how easy it was to blog daily several months ago when I was filled with angst and waiting for decisions. It will take a few more days to sort my thoughts.

Now that my courses are complete I can start developing my/our new schedule. Melissa is here visiting for 5 more days and then Nov 6th we fly to Taiwan for 5 months (not very far away!).

It's great to see progress with Corwin's adoption of Wilbur, Dillon growing, Gemma getting better, Glenn's olympic thoughts. Life is good!!!

Friday, August 08, 2008

It's August so we must be on another trip!!!

What a summer! It is such a blessing!

We picked up Melissa in Surrey on Wed. and drove to Qualicum Beach and then up to Colleen's sister's at Little Qualicum River. I had a great time helping Doug set up tents for today's wedding. Doug & Judy are planning their honeymoon trip to be to Taiwan while we are there. SUPER COOL!

All of Colleen's living siblings are in town for the wedding, And a Mexican fiesta tomorrow evening just in case there isn't enough celebrating! And there are lots from Doug's side too.

Many of you will also know I was able to see Alex and Gabriella a couple weeks ago, it was great and yet very tentative with the uncertainty of the past months and the months to come. God will prevail.

Now for me to be disciplined in the next 3 months before we leave for Taiwan. Yep 3 months from today we will be looking at our apartment in Kaohsiung. Melissa will be working on that as soon as she gets back.

Love to all

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

57 years used up!

Yep, older and maybe wiser......................................
not many clear thoughts tonight, many rambling and wandering thoughts. The 2 correspondence classes keep my mind fully occupied.

Tomorrow to PA for the day and this weekend to Crosby for a shared birthday celebration. My sister's death has created some new connections.

In 3 weeks and we will be in Vancouver picking up Melissa and heading to Qualicum Beach for a wedding.

Life is GOOD. Sure there are some aspects that have angst but when 2 people our age and stage can be seriously looking at living overseas for 5 months (by choice) how can things be bad?

Hang in everybody! Write often.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Another week of studying Teaching English as a Foreign Language, finally into it far enough that it is generating interest rather than drawing on discipline. The grammatical terminology I've forgotten far outweighs what I remember. I'm on track to be ready for a break the first week of August and then 2 exams on August 16th. Please be praying for my diligence.

It may be mid August before I get back into my regular email pattern. All is reasonably well. We'll see Melissa about August 6th and bring her back from BC for a couple week's visit. Then she will go back to Kaohsiung to prepare for our November arrival.


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Ordinary life, if there is such a thing

We had a quick trip to PA today to visit Colleen's Mom after she hurt her ear needing 9 stitches, some would say more stitches would leave a smaller scar. Time will tell.

This week is study, have coffee with a friend or 2 or 3, celebrate a friend's 60th birthday.

And try to catch up on some emails and small tasks around the house.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Still around and dealing with life

Well we are back from our 19 day, 5,800 km road trip. Rested. Colleen goes back to work tomorrow and I continue with my 2 University courses. I expect to load some pictures here and on Facebook in the next few days.

The weather has been and is expected to be wonderful for the next several days. I might even get some yard work done in my study breaks.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Small Corrections in Gabriella's update

A friend of Jay's passed along his email to her. Note the father's love and pride in his words.

She is here! Gabriella Marie was born Apr 29 - 5 weeks early. She was 5lb 3oz at birth and had to stay in NICU for 2 weeks to gain some weight, hardest 2 weeks of our lives - it doesn't feel right leaving your baby at the hospital and going home without her. She left the hospital at 5lb 5oz (after losing some). She's a perfect little angel. She's up to about 6lb 5oz now. Everyone says she looks just like me (minus the facial hair of course).

Please continue to pray for God's continued strength and healing for Gabby and all of us in her life.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Gabriella Marie Wriston arrived

Gabriella was born premature but healthy. She weighed 5 pounds and spent 3 weeks in NICU. Julie's mom said she is blonde and looks just like Jay. She was able to come down and care for Alex for 2 weeks which I'm sure was a great help.

I cannot find the words to express the mix of joy and sadness. At least the 2 grandmothers got to talk a bit. Now we have different mix of peace and turmoil, argh.

There is such a mix of physical, emotional and spiritual health aspects. Please remember us, Jay, Julie, Alex, Gabby and all the others in their lives especially Julie's Mom and her husband and Ian. God will lead your prayers.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Today and tomnorrow won't be quite as bad.

Each of you that has reached out through blog comments or Facebook have brought healing to my heart.

Now for Colleen and I to get our heads around the various impacts of the situation. I am trying to use only information I have and not entertained conclusions so far. I have enough trouble dealing with what I know without having to undo my guesses.

Thank you for your words, phone calls and prayers.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Holding the tears back......

I unwrapped my grandson's Christmas gifts today because I have no expectation of seeing him. I trust God that it will occur but after visiting Jay & Julie's place this afternoon I cannot keep the expectation alive. It is too painful.

The 5 minute conversation in the doorway seems to have accomplished nothing more than refreshing the wounds for all of us. Now I need to put Jay, Julie and Alex in God's container and leave it for God to open. It appeared Julie has had their baby but no mention or discussion was possible. So I place both of our grandchildren and their parent's in God's care. MANY TIMES A DAY!

Please pray for the hardness of heart, hurt, needs and whatever Jay and Julie need will be met.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I just realized I have THREE webpages!

Imagine! I went to a workshop here at General Conference about how to make a website in an hour. Well this is one of them! hmmm, well I do try to have a spiritual component as well.

It is a good conference. It's nice to realize I know a LOT of FM people across Canada. I got to reacquaint with Kris Gowdy, Suella (Merrit) McDonald, Nathan & Helen and my SCOD mates.

I'll add more as my thoughts clear.

Tuesday coffee with Ernest, maybe....................

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Yahoo, the life of ease

well maybe not just yet. It will take at least a few days for the reality of not going back to work at the University after 32 years to settle in.

I am BUSY the next 4 days then have about 2 weeks to unwind, have coffee with Ernest and do things before our 3 week drive to Oklahoma-Kansas and back. July has no schedule so far except church and getting Colleen to work.

Melissa will be around much of August then she can go back to to Kaohsiung and start to seriously search for our apartment. September and October will finalize our preparations.

Ah retired life..............................................

Monday, May 05, 2008

yep still working 8 more official days

hmmm busy with local Nominating committee, life, work and making plans. I know I have forgotten some little details.

As soon as I am done at the University at 4:30 on May 15th, I leave 6 am on the 16th for Triennial General Church Conference in Toronto. Some relaxing retirement. I've finally gotten to where I can call it that.

I've registered for 2 TEFL(Teaching English as a Foreign Language) classes over the summer. Web based because we are travelling to and from Tyrone OK and Liberal KS for 3 weeks in June and then a couple weeks in early August to Campbell River BC for a wedding. I LOVE travelling. Too bad it cost so much money.

I hope to cover our Taiwan expenses by doing some English teaching while we are there from Nov through April. And part of our house expenses by renting out upstairs while we are gone. I think that is God's plan because there are a few options starting to take shape for our house occupancy. I think I may make Colleen into a kept woman!

Today is about what I expect our winter months to be like next year in Kaohsiung. The lack of central heating will have an added effect though. About 16 C during the afternoon. K may not be as sunny as Saskatoon though.

I wonder how much is involved in being an electrician in Taiwan? I plan to use that background to supplement our lifestyle here too.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Journey of Grief

I think that was the name of a seminar this morning.............. It was good and as far as I can tell, my benefit was having it confirm I am in a fairly good spot.

I had an interesting conversation with one fellow about how a relationship with God through a personal relationship with Christ provides a completeness that people cannot. Many people struggle not only with loss but also with being alone (often looks like single). Someone has told me that God created each of us with a cavity that can only be filled by God! you know how all the possessions, money and all still leaves people unsatisfied? That is how we can have peace in the midst of turmoil.

As I have grieved various things over the last few years I have gradually learned to try to view from what I think God's heart has experienced. This helps me share the load with God. The thought of the pain Christ went through yet realizing the eternal benefit has helped me expand the scope of my perspective. I cannot imagine God's perspective but just trying helps my problems and issues more manageable.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Yes I am here and close to OKAY

Well it's been a while. I thank each and everyone of you for your thoughts during Deb's illness and death. They strengthened me.

I have been overloaded and almost overwhelmed since getting back to Saskatoon that I don't hardly know my own thoughts.

The PT should be repaired in a couple more days. I am now looking at being finished at the University May 15th and fly out at 6 am on the 16th for General Conference in Toronto. Then in Tyrone, OK June 14th and 15th and Liberal KS June 21st and Campbell River BC August 8th. Now to decide which are driving and flying. I'm not sure when I'm going to get the retirement projects done before we go to Taiwan in November.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Another FIRST

I could be writing a new country song. Dogs are lucky I don’t have one! Oh yeah and no pickup truck either…………..

At 47 I went downhill skiing for the first time and now I am sitting in an RCMP detachment for the first time at 57! At least it is voluntary…. sort of ….hitting a deer does more damage to a 2002 PT cruiser than it did to our 1968 Comet/Montego 35 years ago. Less than ¼ mile apart, ok 300 meters at Lumsden SK.

I’ll settle down in a day or 2………….God protected me! Now to see in a day or two how well the car was protected. This will get that small hood dent fixed that I made when we were looking at this in July! Although somewhat more expensively.

It will seem strange to many but I have had a GREAT week in Crosby with Deb’s husband and friends. God has provided a multitude of opportunities for people to minister to me and for me minister to them. I got to share and demonstrate God’s evidence in my life. Whew, this accident takes the icing on the cake. Oh and I do have cake, well 2 dozen fresh today cake doughnuts by me new friend JUDY who runs a drive-in café in Ray ND. Debbie worked for her when she owned a café in Crosby a few years ago. My innkeeper was JOYCE, one of Deb’s high school friends that have now lost the next 30 years of Deb’s friendship. My mom for the week and friend, Louise Aalund a friend of Deb and my parents. She was DEEPLY comforted by my presence. She got Deb, Pete and ‘Em’ through me. There are so many stories of how Deb (and Bill) has affected people’s lives in and around Crosby in the last 10 years.

The minister conducting Deb’s memorial service also performed their wedding back in July 1998, cool, eh! Several good remembrances were shared at a Friday evening gathering at the Funeral Home. I got to reconnect with our nephew Michael which I haven’t seen for about 30 years. A long story not suitable for here. Deb had befriended him the last several years and her death may well be that path for Mike’s healing from the damage his parents’ weaknesses have triggered. He actually married another Debbie who is from Weyburn so the quest for common connections will continue. He blessed me immensely by getting pictures of their 2 kids to me on Saturday even though he wasn’t able to attend the memorial service. LIFE SURE HAS STRANGE TWISTS AND CONNECTIONS.

Oh, the RCMP officer’s last name is Etienne…………Only those of you with some French will get that one!

Well Lynn Shepherd and Dave Longueil are coming to my rescue. It will be a very late night for these 3 OLD GUYS.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hallelujah Deb is resting at home

Many will already know that my sister Deb passed on Saturday morning about 10:15 just as David finished talking to her on the cell phone. I was talking with David and looked over and she was silent and peaceful. It has been a privilege to spend the time with Deb, Bill and her friends.

The service is Saturday March 29th at Concordia Lutheran Church here in Crosby. She worked there until she wasn't strong enough to continue. I can usually be reached at cell 306-290-7509 or sometimes at Bill's 701-965-6018.

She has asked that I bring some of her ashes to be spread at Mom & Dads grave site and at Arkalon when we have a family reunion in June..

Friday, March 21, 2008

Wow the last 40 hours

I got to Crosby about 10 Wed night and got a few hours sleep between 1 and 6. Deb lingers and I'm just finishing 24 hours, Bill was able to get some rest tonight so my weariness is counted as

It has been a tremendous honour and privilege to be with Deb and Bill and to be able to pray many times. Deb has had bright alert moments and restful moments and unfortunately some minutes of anguish even though the pain is well under control. My moments of emotion have been limited for now so I can serve Deb and Bill.

Please continue to pray for clarity, wisdom and strength for a peaceful passing. Deb has requested cremation so that ease some of the haste to have a funeral service. Bill expects to have it on a Saturday which could be March 29th or later depending on Deb's time. I will keep all updated so you can keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Steve's Therapeutic Posting

Wow, my sister is in hospital perhaps for the last time. This blog helps me sort my thoughts.

Her husband called this evening and he doesn't think she will be coming home. They both do know she will soon be going HOME. She has her final instructions including funeral service components ready so Bill doesn't have to guess what she wants. She has seen her daughter who died 4 years ago but the time is not yet. That sounds ready to go!

Please be praying for their strength and comfort. Mine too for that matter.

I got to talk with my brother David for the first time in 4 years tonight. It was good! He has had chronic back pain from degenerated discs for several years. His boys are working for a contractor that does horizontal drilling under streets for phone and other cabling. His wife has successfully fought breast cancer 2 times.

I will miss the ability to talk with my sister. My Saviour, Jesus, supports and strengthens me.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Another week another adventure

well, the adventure seemed a bit lacking this week as I reflect back but I'm confident the detail of particular days actually was. The intensity of Sunday often dims the events of the previous 6 days.

An annual medical isn't the adventure most people think about! At least it brings confirmation I'm healthy. Well for someone approaching 58, overweight and stays up to late! yep, poor rhyme..........I still have some sense of humour left.

This week we had the first actual meeting to review and start to clarify the wrap up activities for my work through the end of April. Next week we will meet with a consultant to help with some future employment possibilities. I would like to work something like 1/2 time and want some perspective from outside my little tunnel view of the world. Maybe he has some Asian contacts, hmmm. Or maybe somewhere equally exotic, double hmm! MIGHT AS WELL THINK WIDE OPEN

The next few weeks will have such a mixture of finishing, dreaming, planning, investigating, trying, maybe crying, excitement, trepidation, joy and treasuring my wife.

Keep praying for her. She has just as much adjustment as I do with different details.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sharing my Rollercoaster


We had a church community meeting that focused on dissatisfaction and concerns regarding Pastor Dean's resignation. Several had focused comments about procedural concerns and words of appreciation for Pastor Dean. I had great concern that it could become tense and almost unruly but God prevailed. This is a milestone for Lakeview Church.

We got home about 9 following the meeting to hear a phone message from my brother-in-law that my sister was taken to Minot with stroke like symptoms Sunday morning. She is home this evening after several units of blood and appears to only have memory loss as a symptom. This appears to be an effect of the radiation treatment last Thursday. I was practically getting ready to help Bill plan a funeral service.

Guess what I didn't sleep well last night so it took til noon before I got the energy I needed for first thing in the morning. So why am I sitting here blogging instead of going to bed? emptying my thoughts............

I treasure all of you that visit my blog.
Your prayers support me.
You bless me!
God uses you.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Another day in Saskatoon

You have just met my cousin who can PRAY!

Steven and I have connected on line and at the Throne of Grace. His comment is the latest of many prayers he has shared.

Well we have a meeting in about an hour that I believe may be a pivotal meeting for our local church. There is a wide range of sentiment and opinion to accompany a year full of many difficult and sensitive events.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Good news, bad news, good news

1 week closer to semi retirement. It was a pretty good week, not much more to say.

Well actually there is! Deb's MRI yesterday showed the tumours are the same size as when she finished treatment a few weeks ago (good). It also showed a tumour on her brain sac (bad). It's small 2 mm by 3.5 mm and is the same type as her other tumours so is expected to respond well to treatment (good). They are going to do 10 instead of the standard 15 treatments since the previous round was so hard on Deb (good).

Please keep praying for Deb and Bill.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Discussion Board thoughts

Well I felt compelled to open a discussion and was very pleased with most comments, very concerned by a few and challenged to keep my responses focused. Check it out at the Lakeview Church Face book group.

We are in a challenging time as a church body. Please remember our leaders, staff and all others in prayer.

Well life keeps being interesting, I got 1 or 2 things off my work wrap up list and I think that has given me a contemplative mood this evening. I took 3 hours for that to clarify.

Life is good. I am not as tormented as I may sound. God is good. God is GREAT.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The World got ROCKED a bit today

Our Senior Pastor resigned today. This has really shaken many people. Strangely not me. Sure it is and will be a great challenge. Pastor Dean is following God's leading. God is not wrong!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Productive Saturday

Well if I can be this productive over the next 6 months I will be pleased. Income tax filed, invested a couple hours with a nephew, investigated and now know why the washing machine leaks, survived Colleen being in Regina with her sister, watching 2 action movies WALKING TALL and CRANK.

Should've called my sister, but that is for tomorrow.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Relief, excitement, anticipation, sadness, trust

Change brings so many things. All that has really changed this week is more people know I will be leaving the University after almost 32 years. Now I can start closing things off and moving on. I am relieved. I have moments with a twinge of sadness. I have subdued excitement.

Life is GOOD. My sister's life could be better. The treatments have been hard on her she's back to 91 pounds. She is feeling stronger than a few weeks ago though. Please continue to pray for her and Bill's continued strength.

Melissa is doing well. She's visiting friends and family in Taipei this weekend. Yeah sounds unreal but she lives in Taiwan.

We're still praying for Jay & Julie to experience God's healing so they can see a way to renew relationship with us.

Colleen's knee is getting better. Now to see how much longer before she can return to work.

The Announcement is out

As part of the ongoing integration of telephone technology and services with network technology and services, Steve Wriston will be leaving CNS this spring. The position of Telephone Services Manager will not be refilled. The remaining responsibilities will be assigned to others in the CNS team as appropriate.

Steve’s official last day will be June 30, however his last day will likely be earlier than that.

I would like to personally thank Steve for his work and dedication during his many years of service at the University. I wish him well in his future endeavours.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I've received my Layoff Notice

This is not as devastating as it would be for some. God is in control! I'm trying to listen to His direction, not as easy as it maybe should be. This is a strange mix of priorities and considerations.

I have details on severance compensation so now to decide on the best treatment to give CRA its fair share and keep my fair share.

Please pray for Colleen's strength and endurance as I make these changes.

Thank you for your continued prayers for my sister. Deb has been home for a day or so after about 10 days in hospital for her lung to heal and strengthen. She goes back to Minot for chemo on Friday.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Semi retired, not really YET

I'm sitting here testing semiretirement for the weekend. Wake when I feel like it 7:30! Stay in bed napping, soak in the Jacuzzi, sausage gravy biscuits and eggs for breakfast at 10 or so........ [sausage gravy is my American heritage screaming]. we will eventually get to a few grocery and other errands today.

Now to gather enough details in the next 3-5 days to get perspective for the first decisions in this CHANGE in life. This is the first time in 32 years and maybe 35 that I haven't seen ongoing monthly paychecks. Wow! There is 2 years income still to come but now we're vulnerable to our own planning and discipline! Scared for us? God will provide wisdom and resources but we have had so much support with predictability that the change in expectation is a real challenge at least for me.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Ahh sweet relief

Well the BIG meeting was only a big meeting. I can at least start to work with an idea of a tentative last work day and some vacation and then seeing how God assembles the rest.

Sorry best to not blog the specifics just yet as they aren't finalized. There is a definite release of tension. Now if my sister's cancer continues to regress and we could restore our relationship with Jay & Julie life would be so glorious. Oh and if Colleen's knee would heal. The list of trials is far from empty but GOD IS GOOD.

Hasta luego.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Wow what a week

I thought my week had challenges, which it did, until I talked with Bill and found out Deb has been in hospital since Thursday except for a trip to Crosby and back in record time.

Deb needed extra time for platlets before her IV port surgery Thursday so was in hospital for an extra day. Then when they inserted the port on Friday apparently the surgeon unknowingly nicked the sack around her lung and it collapsed before she could get back to the hospital. Fortunately Bill has some collapsed lung experience so he was able to coach her. There is a LOT more to the tale but not suitable for blogging.

The current plan is that Deb will be in hospital in Minot until Monday afternoon. Please pray for the skill and wisdom of those providing care to Deb; patience, wisdom and strength for Deb and Bill.

Colleen's knee continues to heal with the help of physiotherapy and the marvels of the body that God designed.

Oh I have a meeting coming up this week at work with HR which may help the past year's uncertainties to begin to take shape. Please pray for my wisdom.

Friday, January 25, 2008


yeah let me know.......................

I'm not sure how to describe the last week. No profound thoughts are being driven lately.

My sister is back in hospital in Minot to rebuild her strength. Potassium, sodium, 2 units of blood. Serious but sounds like a good step in the long term improvement. Please pray for all of us to have strength, patience and truly release all aspects for her and ourselves to God's supernatural ways.

Some younger friends have had birthdays.
Colleen's knee is a bit better and she sees the physiotherapist today.
Work has had levels and lows, no real highs!
Zou is looking great and exciting.
Melissa has had a good week.
No news or contact from Jay & Julie.
Feeling pretty good even though I'm home 'sick' from work.
Tension has strange effects on motivation.
Tomorrow may hold relaxation and house cleaning.
and I continue to add to my Facebook friends.

And plans are coming together for a June trip to Oklahoma and Kansas for family gatherings. Then a 08/08/08 trip to Campbell River for a wedding.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A few surprises

Thursday brought news we are going to be grandparents again, sadly from Colleen's hairdresser. One of Jay's friend's confirmed and we estimate early to mid June. Please be praying for them and the changes this will bring. How different from 3 years ago when they told us Alex was on the way. We trust God's grace.

Friday evening brought crutches into our house for the first time. Colleen's knee popped just as she was finishing work and so we spent the evening in the emergency ward. She missed a free dinner and I left Zou just as it was getting started. Her manager took her to emergency. Great husband,eh? My cell phone does not receive most calls in the church building.

Saturday we had a VERY relaxed morning and I made omelet, coffee, toast. It has been many weeks since we had a relaxed breakfast together. Not even on our Anniversary this week. We had a nice voice chat with Melissa during bkfst too.

Today was a great message at church about relationships. You can check it out here in a few days. Colleen's knee is slowly getting better. No work for her tomorrow. Alas but yes for me. Well actually I remind myself that it is a blessing to have such a well paying job.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

37 th Wedding Anniversary TODAY

37 years ago we were 2 anxious kids in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Well we didn't think we were kids in 1971, but 20 year olds sure seem young now!

One card I DIDN'T buy said marriage is like a toilet seat, it has its ups and downs! I could wax eloquently and sentimentally but the reality is that marrige takes deliberate effort and consideration each and every day.

Most of the time it is enjoyable. The days it isn't is more a function of me than Colleen. I think she should crave meeting my every desire. Hmm but she doesn't seem to.

Come on be bold, COMMENT....................

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A 4 day catch up

Deb's treatments continue to provide positive results although Friday was the first day she had without severe nausea. She said it was almost a joke how close they would get to home before they had to stop for her nausea.

Today I got to have Paul & Christa's boys, Jude and Owen, here for a few hours. LOTS of fun and pretty interesting making cone cakes with a 2 and 7 year old. Only one egg landed on the counter instead of inside the bowl. I know almost everyone reading this thinks I'm crazy for letting them do most of the work. I had a blast! A little tired, I'm out of practise!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Pray for Deb

Well today was really rough radiation day. Lower back and spine so the stomach upset and Ensure travelling back out made for a rough time. And apparently her throat and esophagus are extremely sensitive (read that as raw) so medication helps make milk tolerable.

Please pray for Deb and Bill to be sustained and refreshed on an hourly basis through this next couple weeks as they will probably be the most physically painful.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

my I got to day

I got to take my wife to work
I got to have an Egg McMuffin for breakfast
I got to relax
I got to do a small plumbing repair with a friend
I got to take my Mother in law to the bus depot
I got to relax
I got to take my wife to Moxie's for supper
I got to talk with my sister
I got to pray with her for continued healing
I got to relax

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Chemotherapy nausea has improved

Ok that is a bit confusing.......

Debbie's first chemo treatment wasn't too bad. They have done a lot to lessen the nausea effects. She is feeling reasonable and the steroid therapy has created some appetite as well as some energy. Tomorrow and Saturday bring more radiation and then a few days off before more next week. We had a nice half hour visit.

Another harsh realization was thinking back to when we were kids and how old our aunts and uncles were. Well when I was in High school the youngest Fred was 3o (younger than both my kids)! YIKES. and the others were all younger than I am now!

Okay stop laughing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Well I found out it's been 9 1/2 years since I last visited Crosby! And 5 since my sister and I got together. One year for each hour it takes to drive there. June is our next target to get together. I guess I need to make more space in my scheduling.

We had a nice visit. Her treatments are providing good results even though she has lost a considerable amount of weight. I think the only time she had any extra weight was when she was pregnant so she is very thin. I once again was reminded how old I am getting. It shocked me that she is looking old which I suppose a 53 year old woman fighting cancer might look. It is the reality of not seeing people regularly............she didn't look nearly as old within a few minutes.

I find I am regularly noticing how young or old those around me are looking. Then I realize I'm not 27 anymore. Wow what happened to the last 30 years! So how do I know if I am old?

Thanks for all your prayers. I pray for all of you that the pains and challenges of 2007 will turn into the joys of 2008.