Friday, February 3, 2023

A New Year, a new Pastor

January Journaling 2023

1.    A new year, a new pastor. We welcomed Pastor Matthew Kratz and his wife Lisa. We were blessed to have a smooth transition with no time between our retiring pastor and our new one. They announced him as Master Pat instead of Pastor Matt. Our daughter is going home today.

2.    Un-decorating from Christmas.

3.    Pain clinic. Housekeeper here for the day. The grandkids are coming to sleep over for two nights. The toddler cried when she saw her. She told her mom there was an old lady in our house. She isn’t old.

4.    Took the grandkids and friends trampolining and then out for lunch. Our grandson made a friend at our church at VBS in the summer and they keep asking for each other.

5.    Recovering.

6.    We signed up for another TBS course. This is on the book of Genesis. I’m only auditing so it’s cheaper and I don’t have to do papers or exams. I get the benefit of it without the stress. One of our elders is also going to audit it.

7.    We went and ordered a new mattress and pillows. I’m so excited to get a softer mattress and harder pillow. Right now we have a hard mattress and soft pillow. It’s been that way for 36-1/2 years of marriage. It will come on the 17th.

8.    Church. Lunch with friends. A new set up for Sunday evening services; they are now done by our men, and Wednesday evenings will be adult classes by our new Pastor plus prayer meeting.

9.    The grandkids started back at their first school, but my grandson in grade two has trouble with math and will have a tutor. But he’s not very motivated.

10. I went for my Botox appointment and told the replacement doctor that one of the good side effects of the injections to my TMJ (jaw) is that I don’t drool. He asked, “At night?” I said, “Yes, I don’t drool otherwise.” We laughed and laughed.

11. Yesterday my husband saw his original surgeon about the internal prosthesis in his leg. We worried he’d have to have surgery to repair or replace it, but he compared the x-ray to previous ones and said there was no change. There is a part loose, and he can see the muscle damage from the hematoma he had, but feels it will heal and no surgery is needed, so that’s good. His surgery for osteosarcoma was 25 years ago on June 3rd.

12. It’s official; our Baltic cruise is booked for this summer. It’s a fourteen day cruise beginning and ending in Helsinki. We’re going a few days early to see family. Our friends John and Esther who we travelled to Kentucky with last year are coming with us and we have adjoining balcony cabins. I’m so excited.

13. Poor sleep last night; mostly thinking about the cruise. I booked our travel insurance today.

14. My husband led the men’s ministry meeting this morning.

15. Church. My husband is leading music this morning and speaking tonight. Met after church for dessert to go over our travel plans. We still need to book our flights.

16. Edited a paper for someone late into the night. Writing today. Heard of a plane crash in Nepal. Worried for our daughter who is going there in April to Everest Base Camp. I wouldn’t worry so much if I knew it was well with her soul.

17. Our class starts this evening on Genesis. I’m only auditing. Our friend John will take it too.

18. In Hamilton helping out with the grandkids.

19. Bible study the summary of Nahum. Those Assyrians were nasty.

20. Scrambling to prepare for our men’s ministry and families dinner party on Saturday; ten adults and three children. We will be doing raclette, which is an indoor grill. We have two, one for veg and one for meat and seafood.

21. The dinner party went well.

22. Church. It’s been well attended, I wonder how many people followed our pastor from his previous church.

23. Writing. Our hotel room is booked for two nights in Helsinki.

24. Doctor’s appointment to fill out forms and refill medications. I really dislike going to the doctor. Genesis course tonight.

25. No prayer meeting tonight. There’s no power at the church. That’s literal power, not spiritual.

26. Bible study beginning the book of Zephaniah. Lots of snow. Thankfully, for the first time in our lives we have a snow blower. It’s a second-hand one from my brother-in-law but it helps so much with the heavy stuff, especially at the end of the driveway.

27. Sent off all my medical forms to three places. Over $70 to fax them.

28. Women’s ministry breakfast, errands.

29. Church.

30. Went with my mom to see her cardiologist. Baked for our class tomorrow. My husband is bringing coffee.

31. Went with my mom to see her family doctor. Housekeeper is here. I appreciate it so much. Our neighbour who is my husband’s age died suddenly at the gym. He has a wife and two teenaged sons. The neighbours are sending flowers and money. Genesis course tonight.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Benaiah earrings


December Journaling

1.    Taught the last two chapters of Micah. Just the summary next week. I need a break so we’re taking a month off.

2.    My husband is going to the doctor to get the results of his tests; x-ray, ultrasound and vascular ultrasound on his lower left leg. It’s the leg where he had his cancer 24 years ago. The vascular ultrasound showed no blood clot. No tumour, thank God. It was a pulled muscle and a hematoma. It will subside on its own.

3.    Baking for tomorrow at church.

4.    Church.

5.    Slept poorly last night so I slept in to get my six hours. Writing. Renewed my nursing licence which is the non-practicing category. I am not likely to go back to work after being off for nine years, that’s why they call it chronic illness. But I am hesitant to let it go. If I suddenly got better I could return to nursing just by paying double for my licence. It’s better than going back to school at my age.

6.    Writing. The housekeeper is here today. Went Christmas shopping.

7.    Prayer meeting. My husband is the speaker.

8.    Final Bible study till next year. Summary of Micah today. They appreciate the work. I am thankful for the break.

9.    The grandkids came for a sleepover. Watched How the Grinch stole Christmas. Watched World Cup Soccer.

10. Went to a Finnish Christmas Bazaar with four generations of us. Met three of my daughter’s Finnish friends. Two other people said they had met me before. They hadn’t; I just have one of those faces. Then napped, and went to church for our Christmas potluck party. So much food.

11. Church; our Pastor is preaching through Exodus for his final few sermons, except for Christmas messages. Exodus is one of my favourite Bible books. He’s a good preacher. We’ll miss him. Had to buy a new printer; we bought one of the mega-tank printers since we print so much and ink is so expensive.

12. Writing my podcasts and recording it for tomorrow. I’ll be happy if I can keep up with one per week.

13. So many errands.

14. Went to H-town to help with the kids, since the daycare for the youngest is closed today. Dark driving both ways.

15. My husband got another x-ray of his leg; the full leg this time showing the whole prosthesis. They’ll call with the results. Salmon Wellington for dinner.

16. So there are three areas of concern on the prosthesis; his doctor was worried he wasn’t in more pain; she forwarded the x-rays to his surgeon who put the internal prosthesis in originally 24 years ago. At the time they didn’t know how long they’d last, because the patient usually died sooner. But they estimated 18 years; he’s had 24 so that’s good in itself. But he may need to have the parts swapped out. At least this time it will be better since he won’t be weakened by chemo or have to learn how to walk again like last time when they removed some muscles and he had to retrain other muscles to take their place.

17. I baked some millionaire shortbread for church. Plus my mom’s Finnish gingersnaps are always a hit, but I can’t share the family recipe.

18. Church. Our pastor’s penultimate sermon.

19. Chiro and massage. Last minute shopping.

20. Last minute grocery shopping.

21. Cleaning day. Writing day. Booked a trampoline place for our grandkids and friends at church. Prayer meeting this evening.

22. In H-town to help out.

23. The weather is supposed to be bad for Christmas weekend beginning tonight. Our daughter arrives by train tonight.

24. Joulu Aatto, or Finnish Christmas.

25. Hosting 15 for Christmas today. I had the turkey sent from Longos already cooked.

26. For Christmas my wonderful husband got me earrings featuring the cover of my book. Apparently you can have it done with any book as long as you have an ISBN. Now I have to get my ears re-pierced. I’ll post a picture of them.  

27. We also got a lot of travel gear, like air tags and a carry-on bag.

28. We’ve been watching a lot of youtube lately, mostly about cruising and travel.

29. We booked a cottage up north in August. We are planning a family trip with my husband’s side of the family to Jamaica to a resort. Excited. I’ve never been.

30. Went downtown to a Vegan restaurant called Planta with my daughter, then I got my ears pierced again after 37 years. One ear was still ok to push through so I got charged half price plus the earrings.

31. New Years’ Eve. This year went by quickly.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Pastor Randy's Retirement Party

November Journaling

1.    Prepping my lesson.

2.    Writing. Prayer meeting which my husband is leading tonight. Then we went out for Vietnamese food with friends.

3.    Bible study, finishing the book of Hosea; summary next week. Going to a fundraising gala for a local Pregnancy Help Centre. A very powerful presentation by the guest speaker.

4.    There’s supposed to be a strike among education workers today, so thankful my grandkids are in a private Christian school. Final planning meeting for the Pastor’s retirement party the following week. I wrote the speeches and did the seating plan and table numbers which are baseball team logos instead. There are 15 AL teams and 15 tables. Our Pastor is a big sports fan, especially baseball. I’m so busy with my class that I can only post one chapter a week in my podcast, Bible Companion Series.

5.    I did the seating plan for the retirement dinner. I hope there are no toes stepped on.

6.    Church.

7.    Writing my summary for Hosea. Taking my mom to see her cortisone doctor. Every little bit helps. Her pain seems to be harder to control than mine at this point.

8.    Meeting with a financial advisor online to invest some money we’ve set aside for the grandkids.

9.    Got my winter tires on today.

10. Making signs for the dinner Saturday. Did the Summary of Hosea.

11. Remembrance Day. Also bought drinks for the dinner. Picking up chairs for the dinner. Changed over my husband’s winter tires. Decorating and setting up tables for the dinner tomorrow.

12. We had our pastor’s retirement party. Everything went smoothly. Exhausted.

13. Church, nap, church. My husband’s leg is swollen and painful on the left side just below where his internal prosthesis is; he had osteoscarcoma 24 years ago, and he didn’t injure it; it just started hurting. He even needs a can or crutches. Deja-vu.

14. Chiro appointment.

15. Dental appointment.

16. We’ve been watching you tube about cruising, getting great tips for our upcoming Baltic Cruise next summer, God willing.

17. A huge lake effect snowstorm is hitting Buffalo and Niagara, with a meter and a half of snow on the first day and more to come.

18. We had to cancel our family Christmas celebration in London with the Finnish family since a few of the kids are sick. Now I have so much food. Anyone for devilled eggs and pie?

19. Sad that we are not in London. I purged my clothes closet, though not as thoroughly as I should. I have trouble letting go.

20. Church. World Cup begins in Qatar. Canada is in for the first time since the 80’s.

21. Flu shot today.

22. Writing.

23. More writing.

24. Prayer meeting.

25.Bible study continuing in Micah.

26. Our eldest daughter is 32 today. We are watching the grandkids so she and her husband can go out with friends.

27. Made a birthday dinner for our daughter.

28. Church. Just a few more messages from our current pastor.

29. Edited three papers for a seminary student so I’m running behind on my work for teaching, and my podcast.

30. Writing furiously. Just finished.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

High school Reunion


October Journaling

1.    Fun with the grandkids. Baking for tomorrow.

2.    Church. Our new pastor was introduced to the congregation today, then we had a welcome luncheon.

3.    Writing.

4.    Shopping for a dress for my high school reunion this weekend.

5.    Found a dress. Starting to pack.

6.    Bible study. My sister is arriving from B.C. tonight.

7.    Going to the Soo for my reunion. I graduated 40 years ago. I hate flying, BTW. The first evening was a Meet and Greet and we were told to dress for our decade, so my sister dressed in 70’s clothes and I dressed in 80’s. I didn’t recognize anyone; not even a glimmer of recognition. We are all old, retired grandparents; we’ve lived our lives in the meantime.

8.    We went shopping in the Station Mall; many stores are closed. Then in the evening there was a dinner-dance. Since it was Thanksgiving weekend they gave us a turkey dinner. We were all dressed up. The highlight was seeing one of our business teachers who was Finnish. She was 94 but still remembered us. I told her I still remembered the shorthand she taught me even though I never used it. She was the only one who pronounced our names correctly. Then our next-door-neighbour growing up who babysat us, was there. So it was nice to catch up. They also had an in memoriam of all the staff and students who had died since the last reunion ten years earlier. Included in that was someone I really would have liked to see; Peter Barich. So sad. Back home my daughter hosted the family for TG dinner.

9.    A farewell breakfast, nap, and then return flight home. They said they’d have one in ten years but I’ll be 68 so not likely to attend. My sister stayed over one more night.

10. My sister flew home and I scrambled to write my podcast.

11. Housekeeper. Posted my podcast. Packed for two nights at my daughter’s, and then fought traffic with my mom to go see Singin’ in the Rain. We were on track to arrive with a half hour to spare but spent the last twenty minutes stuck in traffic half a block from the parking place, so we were late. Frustrating. I don’t know how people do this.

12. Early morning. Went with my mom to spend three days looking after the grandkids so my daughter and son-in-law could go glamping to celebrate their 10th anniversary. Went to the dollar store and bought a bunch of story books to send to Uganda. The next box is blankets and bed time stories since the kids sleep without blankets. Worked on the speech for the M.C. to give at our Pastor’s retirement party.

13. Taking the kids to McDonalds for happy meals. They get them once or twice a year.

14. Final day with the kids, then rushing back to have a second planning meeting for our Pastor’s Retirement party. I am writing the speech for the emcee. Since our Pastor preaches his sermons around three points all starting with the same letter, I am titling it A Ministry Fulfilled and the points are related to past, present and future: Past Accomplishments, Present Achievements, and Potential Ambitions. I learned some new things about him, like that he has a Doctorate in Theology. He could legitimately use the title Doctor, but doesn’t which shows his humility.

15. Church this morning for our missions week kickoff, then getting our fourth covid shot.

16. Missions week, missionaries from Taiwan, then we took them out for lunch.

17. Chiro and massage. Finished my lesson for Thursday. Trying out the recipe I plan for guests on Saturday: salmon en croute, a.k.a Salmon Wellington.

18. Planning my menu for Saturday: Apps: Cucumber and salmon bites, Devilled eggs, Caprese bites Soup: Moroccan carrot soup Main: Salmon Wellington, Cilantro-lime rice, Sauteed vegetable medley, Italian bread with oil and balsamic reduction Dessert: Tiramisu,Carrot cake, Coffee/tea

19. Setting the table and doing as much as I can to prep for our dinner party.

20. My mom got her fifth Covid shot today. Tolerated well. I taught this morning. Then got Botox for pain in the afternoon.

21. Prepping for our dinner party.

22. Finished prep for our fancy party, but by the time the guests arrive, I have nothing left. It was a hit though.

23. Church. Last day of our week long Missions conference. Went out with our guests from yesterday out for dinner again.

24. Writing.

25. Pain clinic for back injections. Bank appointment to renew our mortgage. The interest rates have doubled, but they’re going up again tomorrow.

26. Writing. The grandkids have two days off school so they’re coming here, along with my son-in-law who will be working nearby. My daughter gets a few days of peace and quiet.

27. Busy day with grandkids. I’m not as patient as I was with my own, but then I was healthier and younger then, and my middle grandchild is a handful; often disobeying outright, which is very frustrating. Ordered in dinner.

28. Women’s ministry meeting. Cleaning up after the grandkids trashed a few rooms. Laundry day.

29. Church.

30. The two older grandkids are sick with ear infections, and the babysitter of the two year old has a fever. So my daughter and son-in-law are home with them.

31. It’s Hallowe’en but my son-in-law has Covid for the first time; pretty mild, but because my daughter works in a hospital, even though she’s negative, she has to stay home until she has two negative tests a few days apart. It’s also Reformation Sunday.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Book Table

September Journaling

1.    My sister’s family has now moved to B.C. My mom is having a hard time with it because she knows it is not likely she’ll see them much at all.

2.    Went to Hamilton for the last time before school starts. They kept the baby home from daycare for us too. Had school for them. They have roller blades now.

3.    I’m down 8 pounds and about five inches. The lack of inflammation is decreasing my pain. Curious which food has caused it; dairy, gluten, alcohol? Super hot day.

4.    Church. Our daughter is back for a concert.

5.    Labour Day. Our headphones I use for recording need repair, so I can’t post any podcasts for a few weeks.

6.    Bloodwork.

7.    Prayer meeting.

8.    Went for a walk down by the lake with my mom. Hearing another pastoral applicant tonight. Decision tomorrow.

9.    Writing.

10.Down 10 pounds and 5 inches. It may not seem like much but if you picture carrying around a bag of potatoes you get it.

11. Church. Back to evening services.

12. I’ll be flying to the Soo for my reunion. I hate flying.

13. Went to watch a soccer game this evening of a young boy in our church.

14. Writing.

15.Returned to Bible study today; the books of Hosea, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah.

16. Telephone appointment with my mom’s doctor.

17. Down 12 pounds and 8 inches. Slow and steady; at least I won’t have loose skin from rapid weight loss.

18. Church.

19. Chiro and massage.

20. Pain clinic for back injections.

21. Our daughter is back from Ottawa again.

22. Bible study. A new woman joined us.

23. Scrambling to write because I have a busy weekend. I posted my podcast.

24. At Toronto Baptist Seminary which is having special lectures. So I travelled downtown with my daughter who helped me set up my book table. I sold five books and gave a few away. It was an exhausting day though because then there was bad traffic and I didn’t eat until three o’clock and then had my nap after. But I’m glad I went and the preaching was incredible.

25. Church today. The men are away at their retreat which my husband organized. Then in the late afternoon we went to the ordination service of a friend of ours. So encouraging to see.

26. Writing for my Bible study Thursday.

27. Hair highlights and cut so I can look younger for my upcoming high school reunion.

28. More writing.

29. Bible study.

30. Mom’s medical appointment by telephone. Trying to keep up with at least one podcast episode per week while I’m teaching, too. I basically write three theological papers per week. Grandkids coming for the night.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

My baby is 30!


August Journaling

1.    Fourteen guests from Tenerife for dinner: Apps of jalapeno poppers in Festival, stuffed mushroom caps, cucumber salmon and cream cheese bites, watermelon arugula and feta bites and potato and pea samosas. Main course of jerk chicken thighs, bbq chicken thighs, jerk king fish steaks, Mexican street corn, and Greek salad. Dessert of cupcakes. Lemonade, non-alcoholic sangria, pop, water, juice, bubbly, coffee, and tea.

2.    Going to find out more about a diet my doctor recommended. I’m so discouraged; I’ve tried so many for at least three months at a time and nnot a significant change at all. I’m tempted to give up, but my weight just climbs. I find the problem with so many of these is they assume you overeat and I barely manage three meals a day and a little snack with my bedtime pills. Then going to a bbq at the home of our guests from yesterday.

3.    Hamilton to see the grandkids. I taught them a lesson I wrote myself about how the Bible is like a lot of things; today it was an umbrella, which you have to open for it to protect you. I brought them new umbrellas.

4.    Catching up on writing.

5.    Ordering in, because it’s Friday.

6.    Church picnic. Lots of fun and sun and food.

7.    Church.

8.    Chiro and massage. First official interview for our new pastor.

9.    Downtown for our anniversary dinner, belated. Relaxing down by the water.

10. Dropped off my car to get certified, then my husband and I went to spend the day with the grandkids.

11. Dentist, then another pastoral interview tonight.

12. My husband is still on vacation.

13. This summer is going by too fast.

14. Church and then took the guest pastor and his wife out for dinner.

15. Getting more info about the diet, which will start next Monday. Then the other pastoral candidate preached a short sermon in the evening to the pulpit committee and their spouses.

16. Pain clinic, then a leadership meeting at church tonight.

17. My mom and I went to Hamilton to look after the kids. The baby started daycare this week, it’s in a home nearby.

18. Lunch with my sister-in-law downtown and saw her workspace where she teaches singing and public speaking.

19. Our only beach day all summer, but it was nice and relaxing.

20. Starting my six week diet. Let’s hope this one works, nothing else has. It starts, ironically with two days of ‘loading’ 5,000 calories a day. I can usually only eat 2,000 max so this will be a challenge. Also went out to babysit our grandkids since their babysitter is getting married.

21. Church. Still trying to overeat. You also take these sublingual sprays three times a day to increase your metabolism and keep your body from starvation mode since it’s a big drop in calories, and basically no carbs, dairy, or oils. These two days were hard to do because they expect you to try to eat 5,000 calories a day for two days, especially high fat foods. It’s called the loading phase. I usually eat about 1,500 to 2,000 max so I could only manage around 3,600 calories. I was stuffed. It must be psychological too because you’d want to eat sensibly afterwards.

22. First day. I set my goal for 25 pounds but ideally I’d like to lose 30 pounds. That’s how much I’ve put on in nine years of illness. Went to get the paperwork done and notarized for my sister’s car. Chiro appt. So far the diet is easy.

23. I’m down five pounds and a few inches. Encouraging.

24. Our daughter is arriving from Ottawa tonight.

25. A birthday celebration for our youngest who is 30 tomorrow! How did that happen? She is vegan now so our bbq was all vegan stuff. Also my car got picked up. I don’t get my sister’s until the 29th.

26. My baby is 30 today!

27. Going up to Bracebridge for my brother-in-law’s birthday.

28. Church. My husband had to suddenly fill in for the song leader who was taken to hospital with heart issues.

29. Getting my new old car today. I miss mine, but this one is two years younger.

30. A delay on the car; the company promised but then gave half their employees the week off.

31. The car was delayed again till today, so I had a long day waiting to get it certified and then registered in my name.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

The Ark Encounter and Creation Museum Trip

 June Journaling

To Hamilton to help with the grandkids. Rainy day.

2.    Bible study in Jonah chapter two. Voting day in the provincial election.

3.    Today is the 24th anniversary of my husband’s cancer surgery. Never tire of celebrating that. It’s also Ribfest so that’s our dinner. Planted more vegetables and herbs. Prepped my pills for the next 18 days. I take 37 pills a day. Don’t feel bad for me. When I was first sick nine years ago I was taking 90 per day. Most are supplements. Hoping they’ll help with energy levels. I say I’m better than I was but still sicker than I look.

4.    Feeling nauseous from one of my five new pills, but because they all look alike and I’ve set them up for 18 days, I can’t remove any of them, so I just have to cope. Arrggh!

5.    Busy day at church with two services and two meetings; the Pulpit committee meeting and the DVBS meeting.

6.    Chiro and massage.

7.    Pain clinic for back injections.

8.    Hamilton to help with the grandkids.

9.    Bible study, then prepping for our short trip to the U.S.

10. Our daughter is home from Ottawa for the weekend for a concert.

11. Not feeling up to the gardening party at church this morning.

12. Church and pulpit committee meeting.

13. Writing, finishing up my lesson on Jonah.

14. Writing, errands and packing.

15. Hamilton to see the grand-blessings.

16. Bible study; finished Jonah. Heading out to Kentucky around noon. We have a 12 seater van for the seven of us. They got it so I could stretch out, which I appreciate.

17. It’s my husband’s 59th birthday. How can that be? Went to an outlet mall. We are having a bbq at a friend’s place in Kentucky. The family we met were so nice, the woman, Mary is a kindred spirit. We have so much in common with being former nurses and having autoimmune illnesses, and being believers.

18. Going to the Ark Encounter today! It was AWESOME!

19. Going to the Creation Museum. I got so much writing research done in both places. It’s a business trip.

20. Driving home.

21. Finishing up the summaries of my Bible studies on four of the Minor Prophets for Thursday.

22. My final class was postponed till the 30th because there is a funeral at church that morning.

23. Funeral this morning for an elderly man.

24. Doing some proofreading of seminary papers.

25. Watching sermons of some of the pastoral candidates.

26. Church. Our pastor was ill so we had two guest speakers; one was from Alabama. We took him and his wife out to eat afterwards, along with the people we traveled to Kentucky with and it was so nice to get to know them. Believers have an instant connection.

27. Writing, napping, doing laundry. I finished my summaries for four of the Minor Prophets so tomorrow I will get them printed.

28. Printing. My husband took the day off to take his uncle and his wife to Niagara Falls with my mother-in-law. Her brother lives in Florida and is a pastor.

29. Prayer meeting in person.

30. My final class of the year until the fall. Summaries of four of the Minor Prophets.