Strength for Today


It has been a trying year.  Too many prominent members of the congregation have died with difficult circumstances surrounding their deaths.  It is emotional fuel for continued conflict and hurt within the leadership.  Too much personal anxiety around mental health issues in immediate family members, inheritance details, feelings of isolation, and decreasing hours of daylight has given birth to a silent litany of “I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care” as a way to cope.

I’ve been quilting, constantly, but not finishing a single project.  I’ve started three major pieces in the last month, all with deadlines.  I get almost finished, pull it down off the design board and start something else.  I contemplate whether my inability to finish mirrors my inability to let grief go.  Daily I begin by praying I will have enough emotional resources to get through today.

14729352_10202070259313637_5136655464477300416_n A couple of weeks ago the widow of one of the recently deceased members celebrated her 65th birthday.  Attempted to celebrate.  It has been very difficult for her.  The first anniversaries after a loved one dies typically is, the first Thanksgiving, the first birthday, the wedding anniversary, the baptism of a grandchild.  Christmas is going to be bleak.  I managed to finish this quilt and gift it to her.  I named it “Strength for Today, Hope for tomorrow.”  A line from the powerful hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness.  I pray it brings her comfort and some measure of peace.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Lamentations 3:22-24   The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

That Dawg Can Run


Haggis the Collie is gradually settling into the family.  He remains somewhat undisciplined, ripping flannel sheets in an attempt to make a nest on the queen sized bed, barking LOUDLY at any noisy activity from outside the house even at 3:00 AM, jumping up in joy upon our return leaving painful evidence of his weight and unyielding nails on arms and legs, and succumbing to the herding instinct every time a car passes on the twice a day walks.

Hubby has been successful in letting him loose, thirty foot lead still attached, and calling him back with a shrill whistle when he is in full flight.  I am not so confident, since I doubt Haggis will heed my own weak attempts, so morning walks do not include a headlong dash across the neighbourhood park (field).

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He’s a lovely boy, we are willing to work with his deficits.

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and Collie Makes Three


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On June 9th I flew to Toronto for study leave and my Darling drove to Kenora, Ontario with the Boler to deliver it to my sister.  DSC_0066

After four days at St. Michael’s College and Starting Well at Toronto School of Theology I flew back to Winnipeg.  It was wonderful to spend Father’s Day in Kenora with my Dad and enjoy a dinner of one of my favourites, Sorrel Soup.  Monday we returned to Winnipeg via Anola, Manitoba and picked up a canine addition to our family.  We have been with out a dog for a little over a year now.  My Darling has been missing the click, click of nails on the hardwood. He found this boy on Kijjii, he had been previously owned by an elderly lady who had returned him to the breeder when she went into a seniors’ home that didn’t allow dogs.  Not surprisingly he is a little undisciplined, although he walks on a lead really well.  His worse habit is the impulse to herd cars.  He didn’t anwer to his name (the same as my Darling’s!) so we have renamed him Haggis.  He is 2 1/2 years old (birthday is one before my Darling’s — Whaaaat?!)  He thinks he is a lap dog and at sometime in his life called permanent and perpetual ‘Shotgun’.  Wrestling a 80 pound dog into the back seat for 1800 kilometres was not fun.  He is settling in quite well, a bit of separation anxiety when we leave the house, but it is decreasing all the time.  He is a gentle boy, very friendly and is becoming quite attached to his new parents.  Plus, he is beautiful!

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Something Old – Something New


DSC_0011 (2)April 28, 2013 my grand-daughter was baptised at Notre Dame in my hometown.  She was a vision in an heirloom baptism gown handed down from my son’s paternal great-great-aunt.  It is beautifully and intricately embroidered linen.  I don’t think it is hand done, it is quite uniform and symmetrical.  She looked beautiful and didn’t squawk once during the entire mystery.

Ezekiel 16:13     You were adorned with gold and silver, while your clothing was of fine linen, rich fabric, and embroidered cloth. You had choice flour and honey and oil for food. You grew exceedingly beautiful, fit to be a queen.

Springtime Traditions


DSC_0967Treasured childhood memories for spring is the burning of grass around the edges of the fields and out buildings.  It was an event that we looked forward to with high anticipation.  Dad taught us all the ‘safety’ procedures for burning – starting a line of fire downwind, carrying a shovel, waiting until the wind died down and knowing there would be a heavy dew that night.  We would put on our oldest spring jackets, our Ukrainian ballet slippersindex and out we headed with dad in the lead.  He would start the fire and we would pull up hanks of long grass, twist it, touch it to the fire and then drag it long the edges of the fields to extend the burn line.  If the fire got too close to buildings or ran the risk of escaping, we would stomp out the fire.  That was much more exciting than using our shovels.  Just after dark we would return to the house, covered in soot and smelling of smoke, circles of fire on fields of black imprinted in our vision.  It was great.

April 26th was my parents’ 55th wedding anniversary.  Dad is 18 years older than my mom, and turned 91 this last December.  He had a minor stroke a year ago and has slowed down quite a bit.  My sister got the burning permit for spring refuse.  After dinner she walked the saluki and made the comment that the wind had died down and she was going to burn the ridge along the old garden.  I haven’t seen my father move that fast in over a year!  He was in his glory.  Ribs for dinner and grass burning after, the perfect anniversary.

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Hearts for Baby


DSC_0944 My holidays are going splendidly!  The grand-daughter’s quilt was finished well in advance.  Great grandma (my mom) loves it, my son and his girlfriend think it should be hung on the wall.  Completely their choice.  I was really pleased with the quilting, towards the end.  It took a little time to get in the ‘groove’.  The idea was to emulate the swirls in the border/binding.  It worked, eventually.  It is not entirely uniform throughout the entire surface.  I am not ripping it out, thank you very much, in spite of my anal retentive attitude toward ‘perfection.’

DSC_0941DSC_0939I bet you can’t even tell, unless you click on the picture to enlarge.  (Made you look!)

 

 

 

 

Exodus 35:29     All the Israelite men and women whose hearts made them willing to bring anything for the work that the Lord had commanded by Moses to be done, brought it as a freewill offering to the Lord.

WIP Wednesday – Weekend


DSC_0910Holidays!  It’s an event packed weekend.  My parents are celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary.  My brother is turning 47 on the same day.  And Sunday my first grandbaby-daughter is being baptised into the family of God.

Today my two sisters, my parents and I traveled to visit my brother who lives 2 hours away from the Farm.  The day was filled with laughter, strange movie references “These are not the ‘droids you are looking for!”, stories that might have sounded like a kidnapping to someone evesdropping, “You are not listening to me.  I have the pizza.”, and twenty questions on the trip home that started conversations about food, bucket lists, places we’d been and a few tales out of school about school.  Nana, sisters M and N played Wii Dance Off 4 with nephews GR and Y. Even dad had a pretty good day.  Naturally we had to stop at Morden’s Chocolates for Russian Mints, Mixed Nut Brittle, bags of ‘seconds’ and Almond Crunch Clusters (I should have bought some of the latter…).

Pictured above is the quilt I am racing to finish by Sunday for my grand-daughter.  I am half done the binding as I type.  Cute, isn’t it?  Just like my A.A.E.P!