Thursday, December 12, 2013

October and November

November swept by so fast this year that I hardly remember any of it. I recall that the weather was generally nice here in Vancouver. 
It began with my visit to the Okanagan to see my kids and their families.  I had only a few days, beginning on October 28th and returning home on November 2nd, but that would be the last full week with no "optional" meetings that could be cancelled.  The next time I'll have a full week free will be in April or May of 2014. 
Monday mornings are spent at Christ Church Cathedral, making sandwiches for the street people.  After sandwiches, I walk to the library for a brief browse and then back to the cathedral for the noon Mass.  The afternoon is supposed to be for writing, but I usually find myself too drowsy to focus.  Then on alternate Monday evenings, my husband and I attend Welsh language lessons!
Tuesday mornings are spent at an elementary school, reading with the children (grade 2/3 split) or helping the teacher with marking, etc.  Again, afternoons are not well used, unless napping is considered a virtue.
Wednesdays are generally free. I call it my writing day, but ... my heart isn't in it as much as it should be.  Tell the truth, I'm still grieving for my sons and grandson.  "Getting over it" isn't as easy as it seems to other people who haven't walked in my moccassins.  But I do try.
Thursdays and Fridays seem to fill up with appointments or chores, and Saturdays generally have some sort of meetings or workshops that need to be attended. 
Sundays, of course, begin with church, and end with visiting and social interaction of some sort. 
October and November had some evening activity:  I think it was four Tuesday evenings we went to the cathedral for lectures on St. Paul. The first was the most interesting because it was presented by a rabbi!!!!  He was extraordinarily well-versed in the New Testament.
And on Thursday evenings, 6 of them, I think, my husband and I decided to confuse our Welsh language studies by taking on New Testament Greek!  This was taught by a professor whose first language was modern Greek, but studied Koine Greek (not ancient Greek, spoken by Socrates and the boys, but about 500 years newer, Koine--which is already 2000 years old now and not the same at all as the modern version currently used in Greece--any more than the languages of Shakespeare or Chaucer or as found in Beowulf is used now by us).

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October 22, 2013

I have a list of items I want to post about, and it gets overwhelming when I look at it.  I have so many things I want to say here, but..., well, if you visit from time to time you'll have noticed that I'm not a regular blogger. 
The most important item to write about this month is my 5 days at the Franciscan friary in Port Jefferson, New York.  My husband has an appointed position on Chapter, as vocations coordinator (I think that's the correct title).  And I was elected this year as a Chapter member.  So the five days were filled with meetings with other Chapter members and visitors, and with prayers with the friars.
I've taken on a couple of jobs: I'm on an ad hoc committee on Ministry to Young Adults, with looking at the Franciscan Earth Corp group.  I'm thinking about how to create retreats and pilgrimages that would appeal to people between the ages of 18--35.  My other job is to minister to the isolated tertiaries in the Province of the Americas, while I pay special attention to Canadian tertiaries (many of whom are among the isolated). 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Thoughts on writing

It occurs to me that even when I'm not writing, I am actually writing.  Fingers may not be on the keyboard.  Pen or pencil may not be touching paper.  Yet I'm writing. It's my thought processes that are at work:  Include this.  Delete that.  Try this or that angle.  Then when I do start to "write" it will flow through my subconscious and find its way onto paper, perhaps via the computer or perhaps not.  I like to write on paper and then copy onto the computer, even if what appears on the screen might not even resemble what is on the paper.  The paper notes help combat any writer's block--if such a thing really exists.  So, my notebook is growing even though my word files don't show it. 
That's writing my novels (I have 2  or 3 in the works: Angels in the Flames is written but resting between trips to publishers; and the 2 I refer to as MXME and PPSQ).  Other writing, like articles for example, don't get notes.  They get trial and error drafts.  Today I'm writing a short piece for the Franciscan Times, assigned by Chapter a year ago.  I want to get it in the mail before I leave for the next Chapter meeting--and that's next Tuesday!  I have a draft that I think will do, with just a bit of polishing.  So, that will happen when I type it onto the computer tomorrow.  Some measure of writing success, I guess.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

September 2013 review

It's been a month.  The summer is passing so quickly--but it's not quite over yet.  Today, the weather is very hot, sunny, and I'm indoors as usual.  The garden is looking very neglected, as well it should as I haven't been near it in about a month.
I have been writing, but not as much as I should.  Not if I'm really a writer, as I claim to be.  Still, I haven't quit yet. 
So what have I been doing?  Aside from watching TV and playing Scrabble on facebook? 
Hubby & I have been studying Welsh, and singing with the Cambrian Circle Singers.  We've joined the Richard III Society (more on that later, probably). And we've sponsored a 14-year-old girl in Ecuador.  Her name is Ivonne, and she likes foreign languages and playing soccer.  More about her later, too, I hope.  I've sent her an email, but it has to go through the office in Ecuador to be translated and taken to her.  I hope we can correspond better than I have done with previously sponsored children.  This one is through World Vision, my favourite charity.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Garden in August 2013

Well, I've been trying, but my brown thumb is back.  Here's my vegetable plot in the community garden as proof: Poor wee thing.  Not really neglected, but still not producing much.  What have we eaten out of this plot?  Well, we had three radishes out of three rows of radishes (delicious, but just 3); we had one small beet and a couple of little carrots.  Oh, yes, and one leaf of spinach.  I did cook the beet leaves, and they were very good.  No sign of the cucumbers I planted, nor beans on the bean bushes.  Being in the shade of the tree all day (the tree at the foot of the garden here, is at the south end of the plot), probably doesn't do a lot for it, however in the very hot dry weather we've had this year, the ground hasn't been dry. Neglecting it isn't an option, really, as this picture was taken from the computer room window in our house.  Oh well, maybe next year will be better.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

to do lists

To do lists just don't work for me.  My husband makes a list for himself every few days and seems to be able to keep to it, crossing items off regularly.  Me?  I make the list, and then sit back as though that were all I had to do.  Or, I lose the list, and find it a week later with all those items still waiting to be done. 
One of the items on my most recent lists has been to write a blog entry.  I intended to write about my garden, as I had promised.  I got as far as taking a photo of the vegetable garden plot.  Maybe I can upload the picture and get it posted.  Then I can make a new list and "blog entry" won't have to appear for a while.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

writing these days

It seems that I do everything but write.  However, I've been poking with the plot of my YA novel, still trying to work out what's happening with my protagonist's attempt to solve the murder.  She's been procrastinating, too, I guess.
The play, "The Wolf and the Saint", has been getting a little more attention.  I'm trying to shorten it so it can be performed in about half an hour instead of requiring a full hour.  Hard to know what to cut and where.  No one said writing was easy--at least, no one who actually writes.

garden progress

I had hoped to finish sowing all the seeds in my vegetable plot, but the weather has been uncooperative.  It's still quite chilly and drizzly, so I'll wait a week or two before I finish that task.  Meanwhile, I slip over to the plot once in a while to pull a few weeds and inspect the growth of the beets, radishes, spinach & carrots.  I haven't seen any sign of the cucumbers I planted.  Hmm.  Maybe need a few more seeds in that area.
The flower beds are okay, except the "south" one which is really overgrown with weeds.  Haven't done anything with that except plant one clematis in the corner.  Have to rescue it soon from the weeds, and the morning glory has attached itself to the rose bush.  Just a tiny garden, but I still can't keep up with it.

End of May (almost)

I must be the worst blogger!  Here it is almost the end of May, and this is my first post of the month. 
It has been a very busy month, though.  I'm registrar (co-registrar, really) for the 2013 Provincial Convocation of Third Order Franciscans.  It was more time-consuming than I had anticipated, but very interesting and I had lots of help and support from other Franciscans.  I'm looking forward to putting faces to all the names I've been typing and sorting and re-typing for the past couple of months.  One more month to go and we'll all be together in Minnesota for a week.  I can hardly wait.
Maybe I'll actually take some pictures and post them here.  Haven't posted any new pictures for a long time.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

gardening in April part 2

This week my daughter came to visit for a couple of days, and continued work on the flower gardens in the front yard--started a couple of months ago.  She went to the garden shop and brought home 3 azaleas, 1 japonica, 1 lilac tree, and some marigolds and allysum (spelling??  aka "snow-on-the-mountain")--and a clematis. She also got lots of topsoil.  So the two of us spent a very pleasant afternoon digging and planting.  Actually, she did most of that (consulting with me about where I wanted things, but even then I think she made most of the final decisions), and I weeded another section of the garden that we'll plant in a month or two when she comes back to Vancouver.

gardening in April part 1

I've actually done some gardening!  That little plot in the community garden now has some cucumbers, spinach & carrots planted.  Still lots of room for more stuff.  It's raining today, so I don't feel the need to get out there and plant more just yet.  Still don't have a photo to post.  Maybe when there's actually something to see.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Community Garden Day 1

Today I spent about an hour in my garden plot next door.  I've been looking out the window at it for few weeks now, wondering what I should do with it, and when I should start.  I see that some people have tidied theirs of winter debris, so that's what I did.  I weeded and raked, and now it looks quite tidy. 
I've bought the seeds.  I know there will be some topsoil coming one of these days.  So, the question is: should I plant something now or wait a while.  I see that some people have already got lettuce growing.  I could do that. We'll see what tomorrow brings. 
St. Francis was once complimented on a garden that grew around the place where he was staying.  He said that it was the result of prayer.  The visitor was surprised and asked if God had just placed the garden there as an answer to the saint's prayers.  Francis replied, "Yes." Then he explained,  "I pray with my hoe." 
So, I'll be praying with my hoe, along with my saint.
I'll try to remember to take pictures and post them here.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

more on the new blog

I guess I should figure out how to add my new blog link to this page.  Meanwhile, this will have to do: DCB Jones Psalms.  Let's hope this works. :)

new blog

A few days ago, I started a new blog.  It's to help me track my study of the psalms.  I don't expect it to be very scholarly, but maybe there will be some insights.  No promises.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

St. David's Day

Yesterday was St. David's Day.  To celebrate the day dedicated to the patron saint of Wales, we went to a party at the Cambrian Hall.  As new members of the Welsh Society, we have been taking Welsh language lessons and have made a number of new friends. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

February 14, 2013

It's a rough week:  Six months ago today Ken died.  Yesterday, Ash Wednesday, we interred his ashes along with his brother's--at least the urn that we had, which is only part of his remains. 
The thing about interring the ashes on Ash Wednesday--an appropriate day, we thought, is the impact it had on me when at church that evening the priest marked my forehead with ashes saying, "Remember that you are dust, and unto dust you will return."  It was more meaningful than ever before.  We had just been there and done that.  Our children were dust and have now returned to dust.  Just like the rest of us, eventually.
Furthermore: February 8th, Ken would have turned 54, February 16th would have been his brother, Frank's, 56th birthday, and on the 17th their dad, my husband will turn 80.  And, today, Valentine's Day (something we've never celebrated) was my husband's mother's birthday.  And the list goes on.  All the memories, happy and so very sad, all piled up in the shortest month of the year.  My dad's birthday on the 20th, and so on.  Just name it "Roller-Coaster Month".  But not a lot of fun.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year 2013

This time last year I posted here that I planned to ... well, it doesn't matter what I planned.  The year went ahead as one of the worst in my life. Soon after that post, my second son was diagnosed with lung cancer, and for the next eight months I struggled with trying to deal with his needs--up to and including holding his hand as he drew his last breath.  His elder brother died of cancer in 2005.  No, it doesn't get easier; no you don't get over it.  Getting through it is the best you can hope for. 
Ken died on August 14, 2012, at 2:05 pm.  I still keep looking for him, expecting to see him or hear from him.  Now we have three surviving children, all living about 500 km away.  Thank God for grandchildren!
This coming Saturday, we'll be celebrating Epiphany (1 day early) and I'm expecting one son and lots of grandchildren to come for our usual festivities: brunch & silly gifts.  Ken will be conspicuous by his absence because he's always been front & centre with his special gifts for the kids. 
Praying for a better year this year.  No resolutions.  (Although, I'm back on my Jenny Craig regime and have already lost 10 lbs.)