Friday, January 1, 2021

Is it over yet?

 December Journaling

1.    Getting ready for school with grandkids tomorrow, and Bible study on Thursday. My husband is taking the week off to write a paper for his seminary course. He had an extra week of vacation this year since he’s been with the city for 30 years, but nowhere to go.

2.    School day brought to you by the letter Zz, the number zero, the colour black, the shape of oval, a virtual field trip to a zoo, the story of Zachaeus, and the sense of touch.

3.    Bible study online. A bank appointment. I really dislike those. I was hoping to save $400 but only managed $100.

4.    Going to the pain clinic for my appointment.

5.    Christmas shopping.

6.    Church COVID week 38.

7.    Decorated my mini tree today. My cousin from the Soo called today. She was just diagnosed with stage four inoperable lung cancer, plus COPD and emphysema. She’s 53 and a life-long smoker. When we saw her in the summer I thought she was sick since she was extremely thin. She didn’t begin investigations till the fall. They’ve told her to focus on quality of life, since all they’re offering her is chemo. I’m mostly worried about her spiritual state.

8.    Going to the pain clinic with my mom. She doesn’t understand what they’re saying behind their masks.

9.    Paid the mortgage, mailed food to Nunavut and cookies to the U.S. The family I send food to in Nunavut just had a house fire and lost everything. It was totally preventable because it was due to careless smoking indoors. It resulted in three other families becoming homeless as well. So sad. I had sent winter coats for the kids last Christmas, but I guess they’re gone too.

10. Final Bible study of the year, then a four week break for Christmas.

11. Errands, nap, dinner out with my husband, errands.

12. Quiet Saturday at home.

13. Church COVID week 39. A bit of light at the end of the tunnel with a vaccine arriving this week.

14. I’m sending a gospel of John and a letter to my cousin to witness to her. I may risk of offending her, but I don’t want her cursing my name throughout eternity because I never shared the gospel with her.

15. Costco and Chapters.

16. School day brought to you by the letter Aa, the number 4, the colour green, the square shape, the Christmas story, a virtual field trip to an animal farm, and the sense of sight. Then I stayed overnight, and got a lot of writing done because I brought my computer.

17. Home again. Made pickerel for dinner. Yum. Women’s virtual ministry meeting.

18. I only stopped at the drug store.

19. It looks like another lockdown is headed our way. Still getting ready for a virtual Christmas with most of the family, and only immediate family for our meal.

20. COVID week 40; wow, ten months already.

21. Heading into lockdown again.

22. Beginning our Christmas celebrations today.

23. Last minute errands. Everyone is coming over today. Christmas Eve eve.

24. Christmas Eve. Zooming with the extended family.

25. Covid Christmas Day. I got a robot vacuum; yet to be named, and an Instapot. My husband got a toaster oven. We had a big breakfast with mimosas, then apps for lunch because we had an early dinner since our daughter’s family had to leave early.

26. Leftovers. Tried out the robo-vacuum, which was fun to watch.

27. Covid week 41. Back to lockdown so church is online. My husband preached this morning on the song of Mary. See sermons to listen. I went in person and was the only ‘audience’ he had other than the two sound guys. I’m shocked at how dirty our floors are; the robot vacuum canister fills up each day, all from the main floor. But I’m loving not having to vacuum. I also bought a mini dust buster for the stairs.

28. Our daughter went back to Ottawa. She’ll be moving to her own place in February.

29. Back to normal, I undecorated since we gave the table the mini tree was resting on, to our daughter for her new apartment. Back to writing after a week off.

30. Going to try to figure out my new Instapot today.

31. New Year’s Eve at home with my husband, ordered burgers and fries, watched a movie, and enjoyed a fruit platter, cheese and crackers, pate, and champagne. I think, like most people, we won’t be sad to see this year in the rear view mirror.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

 November Journaling

1.    Church COVID week 33. Our evening messages are online.

2.    Chiro and school prep.

3.    Picked my mom up for going to Hamilton tomorrow.

4.    School day; only did crafts since my daughter had a few appointments.

5.    Online Women’s Bible study; 12 women, beginning the book of Proverbs.

6.    Pain clinic for back injections.

7.    Our grandkids came for the night.

8.    Church COVID week 34.

9.    Home day, making tiny meatballs for Italian wedding soup. According to the news there have now been 50,900,000 COVID infections and over 1,260,000 deaths worldwide. WOW.

10. A quiet day at home.

11. Remembrance day; my husband took the day off to get his winter tires on; had breakfast out with my husband.

12. Home day.

13. Friday the thirteenth; not the least bit superstitious. Going to the visitation of a gentleman I’ve known for over thirty years; a missionary we support. Now his faith is sight.

14. A nice quiet weekend. The COVID numbers are going up again; about 1400 per day in Ontario. There may be another lockdown coming.

15. Church COVID week 35.

16. Just writing.

17. Doctor’s appointment, by telephone.

18. School day: brought to you by the letter Yy, the number 3, triangles, the colour yellow, poppies, the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, and the sense of hearing/sign language.

19. Bible study online.

20. Writing day. More talk about a vaccine coming soon, but probably not to Canada for awhile, and then the front line workers and most vulnerable people will get it first, as they should. There’s talk of making it mandatory, like some places, but another way they may get the same result is to forbid travel if you’re not vaccinated.

21. Quiet Saturday at home.

22. Church COVID week 36. Then out for lunch with my husband.

23. Pain clinic for my facial injections.

24. I exchanged an instapot that is my Christmas present because I found it for $100 cheaper elsewhere. Worth my time.

25. Doing my Christmas shopping mostly online.

26. Our eldest daughter is 30 today!

27. Our daughter, s-i-l, and grandkids stopped by for lunch on their way out of town to a farm.

28. Another quiet Saturday at home. Started my Christmas decorating slowly. I tried grilled Mediterranean sea bass which my husband made, for the first time. It was the best fish I’ve ever had. It melts in your mouth.

29. Church COVID week 37.

30.  Chiro appointment.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

COVID Hallowe'en


October Journaling

1.    Women’s Bible study, then lunch at home with a friend.

2.    Home writing today.

3.    Home. We were to go to a dinner party but one of my husband’s co-workers is sick so we’re being cautious.

4.    Stayed home from church for the same reason as yesterday. COVID week 29, watching online.

5.    Dental appointment. Then getting ready for school tomorrow.

6.    School day with my granddaughter, learning about the sense of taste. Also the letter Ww and the number one. She loved the experiment because she loves to eat.

7.    Chiro appointment.

8.    Bible study online. Went to Burlington for the visitation of a friend who died of tongue cancer on Tuesday. Then out for dinner with friends to catch up.

9.    Pain clinic for back injections.

10. New COVID restrictions so our grandkids aren’t coming for Thanksgiving dinner, so it was just the two of us and the rest of the family on ZOOM.

11. COVID week 30 at church. No evening service. Also restaurants are closed to indoor dining again for a month so Thursday was our last hurrah.

12. Thanksgiving Day! So much to be thankful to God for. It’s our eldest daughter’s eighth anniversary. Three kids later…

13. Errands; sent school supplies up to Nunavut.

14. Home day, except for paying the mortgage.

15. Home day, writing.

16. Getting my winter tires on.

17. The beginning of our Missions week at church.

18. Church COVID week 31. Guest speakers morning and evening. So encouraging.

19. Home day.

20. Post office, and printing my summaries of 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus.

21. Hamilton to teach my granddaughter and see the grandkids. My mom came along with me. The letter Xx, the number two, the sense of smell experiment, and thanksgiving crafts.

22. Final chapter of Titus for the women’s Bible study online. Lunch out with my mom. Women’s meeting online tonight with one of our missionaries.

23. Going to the pain clinic for my mom’s appointment.

24. Our tv died so we bought a new one.

25. Church COVID week 32. Still having our Missions Week.

26. Writing day.

27. Post office; free shipping Tuesdays in October.

28. On line prayer meeting. It was well attended, three to four times as many people as pre-COVID. It was also Pastor Appreciation month so the first 45 minutes was spent with people telling him what they appreciate about him and his ministry.

29. Errands. I’m keeping track of everywhere I go each day, in case I have to report my contacts.

30. I got a surprise payment from the federal government because of my disability. At least it’s non-taxable.

31. Hallowe’en. Not officially cancelled but many, including our grandkids are not going out, but are just having one friend over. My grandson is dressing up as Black Panther, our granddaughter as a fairy princess, and the baby as a pumpkin. It’s also Reformation Day.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Benaiah by the pool

September Journaling

1.    Last week before everything starts up again. Salmon and corn on the cob.

2.    Lazy day.

3.    Writing.

4.    Our daughter is arriving from Ottawa for the weekend.

5.    Going to London overnight to see family and celebrate a belated birthday, 75 for my aunt, and 80 for my mom.

6.    COVID week 25 but no church. The weather wasn’t great yesterday, but today was nice and sunny. The kids were in the pool, sauna and hot tub all morning. Discovered my credit and debit cards were hacked to the tune of $1700. Thankfully, the bank reimbursed it all.

7.    Our daughter went back to Ottawa today.

8.    Writing day, busy week. First day of SK for our grandson after the longest March break in history.

9.    Chiro and massage.

10. Started back to our women’s Bible study after six months off; we did it online and it worked out okay.

11. Pain clinic for back injections.

12. Quiet day at home.

13. COVID-19 week 26. We had the first communion together in six months and evening services are back but live streamed.

14. Writing day. My husband is taking another seminary course; this one on Islam with Dr. Tony Costa. It is beginning online and then they’ll reassess in a month.

15. First day of school with Robin delayed till next week because they have colds and we don’t want my mom to catch it.

16. Writing day.

17. Bible study online. Then I saw my hormone specialist; in person this time.

18. Breakfast out with my husband; he took the day off to get car maintenance done. Ouch.

19. Laundry, writing, not much else. I have a few more tomatoes turning red in my garden. I already harvested all my peppers and onions and herbs. I’m going to buy a food dehydrator with air miles.

20. Church COVID week 27.

21. Haircut, and trip to Costco. It seems people feel this is the second wave because they were all sold out of paper products; good thing I planned ahead. I always said toilet paper would be the currency of the apocalypse. Mark my words.

22. First day of pre-school with Robin. My mom couldn’t come because she has appointments, so I stayed overnight so I could drive in the day instead, which I prefer.

23. I had a virtual appointment with a genetics counsellor. Because of my rather significant family history of cancer (8 types in 12 relatives), I will be getting a blood test to check for genetic mutations to find out my cancer risk for certain types of cancer. Beef and broccoli with rice.

24. Bible study online. Women’s meeting online. Italian wedding soup.

25. Going to accompany my mom at the pain clinic, then grocery shopping.

26. Breakfast at the Tartan House B & B to celebrate a friend’s 50th birthday.

27. Church COVID week 28.

28. Went to Walmart to buy some school supplies for a family I support in Nunavut.

29. Errands. Nap.

30. Errands, and writing. Nap and supper.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Niagara Falls trip

August Journaling

1.    Today we covered two small windows in our family room with a film that looks like stained glass. The alternative is to look at our neighbour’s brick wall.

2.    Church: Covid week 20. We’re doing our bbq today instead of tomorrow. Steak and scallops.

3.    Civic holiday. The last day of this part of my husband’s vacation. He’s going on a fishing charter with a guy who taught him to fish in high school, and a man and his teenage son from church. They each got a giant fish. My husband got the second largest, an 8 pound, 26 inch chinook salmon which he filleted and froze once he came home. The young man, 16 who came with them caught the largest and first fish. He was so amazed he kept touching it like he didn’t believe it was real. He wants to do more outdoorsy things now.

4.    Writing an article looking on the bright side of the pandemic.

5.    Went to Hamilton with my mom. Spent an hour with the grandkids who were riding their new bikes. My five year old grandson can ride without training wheels really well; he learned quickly. The three and a half year old still has training wheels. The baby recognizes me from our week together up north and is smiling and cooing at me. I love it.

6.    There’s a new leadership race for the federal conservatives, with two pro-life candidates. It’s not likely they’ll get it but it would be nice if the party would acknowledge the influence of the social conservatives.

7.    I got my hair highlighted, first time since October. Some are using the pandemic to embrace their true colours, but I’m not ready to stop fighting the greys. Then my husband and I had dinner at a restaurant patio.

8.    Vacuuming, once a month is all I can do. Then my husband cleans the floors downstairs once a week. I also did the laundry and checked on my garden. My tomatoes and red peppers are ripening. Sausages for dinner.

9.    Church; covid week 21. Ribs for dinner.

10. Trip to Costco.

11. Pain clinic appointment.

12. Chiro and massage appointment.

13. My grandniece who just turned one is coming over for her first sauna. Also my sister, mom, nieces, and daughter and grandkids for a bbq.

14. A few errands and a nap. My husband is off for another two weeks. Pain clinic.

15. Chiro and massage.

16. Covid week 22. Picked up the grandkids for a three night sleepover.

17. Bike riding, long walks, and a visit to their other great-grandmother.

18. Went to a lakeside park with the grandkids for a picnic, bike riding and waterpark. Then a sauna.

19. Dropped the grandkids back home. Exhausted. Childcare is for the young and healthy.

20. Going downtown to have dinner at Barsa Taberna for Spanish cuisine which I learned to love in Barcelona last year. I’m having Mangria, pan con tomate with manchego cheese, garlic shrimp and churros with dulce de leche for dessert.

21. Dinner party at our friends’ place.

22. Church covid week 23 at church. There are a lot more people out now. Then we went for a walk on the Ajax waterfront path.

23. Brunch with friends from our old church.

24. Pain clinic for face injections.

25. Feeling kind of bored for some reason.

26. It’s our youngest daughter’s 28th birthday!

27. Going to Niagara Falls for two nights since my husband is still on vacation. We stopped at our daughter’s to see the grandkids since we can’t check in to the hotel until four. We’re staying at the Embassy Suites Hotel. Very nice. We had dinner at the Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse. It was very good, but everything is overpriced here.

28. We walked along the Falls today, and went underground to view the falls from beneath. Beautiful and powerful. Then a nap, and dinner at a different Brazilian Steakhouse called Brasa. Again, I try not to think of how much food the cost of that one meal could buy.

29. Stopped at my daughter’s on the way home to drop off a gift for our newest granddaughter. They’re camping. Back home and doing laundry.

30. Church covid week 24. There were two baptisms of young adults.

31. My husband took an extra day off work, so last day of vacation.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Stage Three: Northern Ontario Cottage Vacation


July Journaling

1.    Happy Canada D-eh!

2.    We’re getting our windows cleaned on our house for the first time in ten years. We cleaned the inside and all the screens.

3.    We had two posts replaced on our fence and now it’s nice and straight. They are also laying patio stones at the side of the house. Our daughter is visiting from Ottawa. We hadn’t seen her since Christmas.

4.    Our other daughter and her family came to spend the night so our youngest can meet her new niece. Feasting.

5.    My husband is preaching this morning. It was good to have the whole family together again.

6.    Took my car in to check the A.C. which isn’t working.

7.    Going to Hamilton with my mom today.

8.    My mom went to the ER today with tachycardia and hypertension. She was found to have atrial fibrillation and they had to shock her heart after putting her to sleep. Her heart rate went from 123 to 66. They started her on medications and had her follow up with her cardiologist. I was worried mostly because of her spiritual condition. She’s 80 and still unsaved. I prayed for one more opportunity to talk with her.

9.    Went to a mall for the first time in months. Mandatory masks indoors. But the numbers of COVID in Ontario are improving, unlike in the U.S.

10. My husband and I went out for dinner on a waterfront patio. There was no shade so we left after an hour as I was burning.

11. Packing for next weekend.

12. I decided to start a second podcast, reading my novel, since I don’t have an audiobook. Since I have the rights to it, I can do it. Look for Benaiah: Mighty Man of God on

13. Spent most of the day recording podcasts.

14. Pain clinic for back injections.

15. Chiro and massage.

16. Cooking, shopping and packing for the cottage.

17. Last day of packing. Ajax has a drive-thru ribfest so we’ll get that for dinner today and tomorrow.

18. Travel day up north. Driving with our daughter’s family as this is the grandkids first really long trip. They did well, but with all the stops it took 9-1/2 hours instead of 7.

19. Sunday, no service because there’s no service here. As in, internet. A true downtime. Our grandson caught his first fish; a small mouth bass. He was so proud.

20. The grandkids had a hike, a swim, and a campfire. They love octopi.

21. My husband went fishing today for speckled trout and caught his limit. His friend Harry flew his float plane in and they went to a little inland remote lake. The grandkids went to the beach. After my husband got back, they went in the little, rustic wood burning sauna on the property and sat in the creek in a natural whirlpool.

22. Today we headed into Sault Ste. Marie, the town I spent my first twenty years in. We went to the main mall, paid our mortgage, paid a visit to my dad’s gravesite, yes, there were tears, stopped in to see the friend who took my husband fishing, drove around town and down memory lane, discovered our old house is being resold again, and then went to my cousin’s house on Lower Island Lake for dinner and a sauna. Got home late, so the kids slept in.

23. Today they took the motor boat out to a sandy beach, I stayed back and napped. Then my cousin and her husband came over for dinner and we had a campfire.

24. Today we went to a friend’s cottage nearby. He bought my aunt and uncle’s camp which is where I spent a lot of time growing up. They have a motor boat, a pontoon boat, and a floating sauna. I’ll post a picture of it.

25. Traveling back home. It was a great week. The kids had good memories.

26. It’s our 34th anniversary, so we went to the Keg for dinner. They are allowing indoor dining now that our region is in Stage three of reopening.

27. Still unpacking and doing laundry.

28. I drove my mom out to her pain clinic appointment because her blood pressure is low.

29. Prepping for the beach tomorrow, cutting up fruit and vegetables.

30. Went to a Provincial park nearby with our daughter and grandkids. We had burgers, chips, water, raw vegetables, fresh pineapple, watermelon, cherries, strawberries, and wild blueberries from up north. Then butter tarts, carrot cake cupcakes and coffee. Yum. Also reading a new historical fiction book written by a fellow Canadian writer of Biblical fiction. It’s called Under the Cloud about Miriam during the exodus.

31. A nice writing day. Long weekend, and my husband is still on vacation.