Friday, December 2, 2011

Another First



As you all know I am walking to the highway now, and carpooling in the mornings and then taking the bus home at night then walking to my place. The exercise is awesome, but I had something odd happen today. After speed walking to the highway, I flopped on the bench to catch my breath. I looked down the highway and there was a large black and white border collie running fast along the highway. Just as it got to me it hopped up on my lap and laid its head on my chest, like he was FINALLY home. Dara wasn't there yet, so I looked in all directions to make sure there wasn't a car accident, and to try and figure out how he got to me. No a person in sight. But he had a beautiful collar on and personal and SPCA tags so he was obviously well taken care of. Anyway, when Dara arrived I convinced her to take him to my office with me. I ran in at the speed of light, pushed him through the door, and asked them to make the appropriate phone calls. After work, I checked and it turned out he lives way far away in OYAMA. His owners couldn't figure out how he got to us. Anyway, glad the guy could get back home. I kinda thought maybe he fell out of a truck or car or something. :-/

Here is a pic of Harvey this morning. He is sooooo cute. I turn on the electric blanket on the couch in the mornings so they can snuggle as I read. But Harve turned over, put his head on the pillow and just thought he had it made with the electric blanket on his stomach.

Everyone have a great weekend. :-)

Love to all,
d

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Congregation 50s Party was Fab!





We had such a great time at the congregation 50s party. Everyone, even the littlest kids dressed in their poodle skirts or slicked back hair and jeans. Mary Morey made a ton of poodle skirts for the sisters, and others came up with their own ideas. A couple brothers wore Elvis outfits. Lots of dancing, good food and talking. Mom painted a face cut out of a couple dancing and lots of people stuck their heads through for pictures. Tanya and Tim made an old car for people to sit in for pics. Tim DJ'd music from that era. Also, there was a bubble gum blowing contest, a spot dance, and lots of jiving. So a good time for everyone. For a congregation party, lots of fun. :-)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Never Seen Harvey Do This Before

We got up for our walk at 5:30am. Minus 9. Walked 30 feet outside the gate, and Harvey turned around and ran back to the gate to get in the RV. He is such a walk-lover, but it was just too cold for him (Pearl was in my chest free-loading a ride already). However, tonight was wonderful. It snowed all day, so warmed up a bit, and the walk tonight couldn't be beat. Meeting was cancelled due to snow, and had to do some shoveling, but all in all, a great night.

Hope some of you are enjoying a pretty winter also. :-)

Love to all,
d

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

First Real Snow!

Hey hi everyone!

The first real snow arrived this morning. Harvey, Pearl and I were the first to put our tracks down in the resort at 5:30 this morning. Stars on a clear sky above - absolutely beautiful. Supposed to snow all day tomorrow so will leave a bit earlier for work so I can walk slower. But minus 9 tonight, so I guess winter is here.

Love to all,
d :-)

Friday, November 4, 2011

This Is The Best Thing About Having A Yard

Even living in a RV it is nice to have a yard. Here at the resort, everyone has their own private little yard, that they can fence in or not. Ours is quite private, and I just love it that Harvey and Pearl can play outside (dad put a doggy door in the side of the RV). Tonight when I was sweeping the two took off playing. :-) Since the clip wouldn't upload direct, click here to see it: Harvey and Pearl playing :-)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

This Is How Cold It Is

This past week it has been getting colder and colder. Harvey and Pearl no longer see me off at the gate when I go to work. They used to jump and wag their tails as I rode away, spying on me with one eye looking through the crack in the wood fence. Now they do all of the above from the couch as I walk out the door of the RV. It is really cozy and warm in there so I can't blame them. Harvey will still do the morning 5:30 walk, but Pearl has given-up on that one too. This morning I thought it may help if I put on her pink snowsuit and carried her to the end of the driveway so she could be inspired by the lights of the other units. But when I put her on the ground she scurried like a squirrel back to the RV. So I popped her into the belly of my jacket and we kept going. I guess that is the beauty of being only 8lbs. In comparison, at my weight, if someone were to carry me I guess they would have to be the size of Andre the Giant...or Jehovah God. :-) Anyhow, it is getting colder but it is pretty here. The morning walks are beautiful. I noticed this morning though that Harvey and Pearl's outside water bowl was frozen over though, so shouldn't be long before snow falls.

Okay, have a great day! Love to all,
d :-)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

One of Those Weeks

I think all of us at one time or another, put our head in our hands and wonder why we are in the line of work that we are. I thought I loved teaching but then this week began to question that idea. On one hand I have the serious students that saved every penny to be in college or uni and dive into any task set before them; on the other hand I get the lazy students who are spoiled and told to study by their parents and act as if they know everything. The latter tax my brain and heart at times and make me contemplate the possiblity of working in an office or some secluded cubby-hole somewhere. Mind you, then there are the students that somehow give me a little hope and pull me out of my lulls. Like Sultan. He is Saudi. He came here six months ago. He is STILL in level one but won't give up. He went to his teacher last week and told him that he wants him to start teaching him to write everyday "like teacher Darci did" for him because he wants to learn and not have learning just be easy (I taught level 1 for a month, and I harp about hard work). For a student that has to almost walk backwards uphill to learn that is quite something. New alphabet, new characters, right to left. So now I feel good again. I guess it is all about feeling like one is making a difference in someone's life. Therefore now I don't feel like working in a dark room with a computer as my only companion. :-)

We had a fabulous Special Assembly Day on Sunday. Brother McEwan came out from Bethel to deliver a couple talks. I liked his points. Not only did he have a good sense of humor, but his perspective on matters was different than how others had said it before, and I appreciated that. He made an interesting point about not judging others by looking at what they are doing, because there is so much going on behind the scenes in peoples' lives. The key: take a personal interest in others. I have to look at my notes again, as he mentioned a few other good things to think about.

Harvey, Pearl and I are house-sitting Otto this week as Dad and Mom are down at the coast. Will be great. With all the rain up here lately H&P can have loads of fun playing with Otto in the basement.

Okay, must run, time to teach.

love to all,
d :-)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

My Cargo-Mobile on Two Wheels


Harvey and Pearl have been riding instead of walking these days. There have been a few days of rain here. Pretty cold actually. Harvey and Pearl will not walk in the rain but I decided they should get out for some fresh scenery regardless, so I loaded them into the bike trailer and took them for some pushes around the park. Good for them and good for me. :-) I discovered something wonderful at the dollar store this week. Mostly for Harvey. It is a long arm of a thing shaped like an ice-cream scoop that is used to throw balls far for dogs. I usually go to the dog park shortly after 5:30am with Harvey and Pearl and I was trying to think of how to get Harvey more exercise. My throwing is kind of whimpy and he doesn't get much of a run when I throw, but when I use this thing I can wing the ball clear across the field. By the sixth time I wing the ball, Harvey is so pooped out he just picks it up and goes and stands by the gate waiting to go. Exactly what I want. :-)

I am getting closer to finishing off the skirting on my trailer. I am trying to do a little each night after work. There was a man moving his unit a few weeks back and I offered him $100 for all his skirting. He was in a rush to get everything together for his move so he said yes. Now it is just a matter of cutting it to size and reassembling it under my unit. So far so good. Has taken my afternoons and evenings, but coming along good. And I do notice a difference in the heating and cooling of the unit. Doubly, it has been good exercise but I will be very happy once it is finished because there is some more winterizing stuff I would like to get done before the cold and snow eventually arrive.

There are a couple of items I had to pick up for the RV; winterizing items. I was looking for some carpets for the flooring and curtain rods. I went down to the thrift store and found some beautiful lined curtains. The theory is that once it gets colder a lot of heat will go out the windows so if I have lined curtains I can draw them and keep the heat where it should be - inside. Well I found all these great items at a sale at WALMART yesterday. So I bungyed them to the back of my bike. It was kind of comical seeing the look of people faces, but mission accomplished; I got it all home. On my way home I had to make a pitstop at the doctor's for an appt. I obviously couldn't leave everything on my bike while I went in so I carried it all with me. The nurses COULD NOT BELIEVE IT, and were amazed that I could tie that much to my motorcycle. ...on another note I have to say that a nice advantage to living up here is that there is a lot less traffic, so it seems no matter where a person goes it is not difficult to find parking...and it's usually free! Much different from the big city. :-) I included a pic of a motorcycle loaded down. No, it is not me, but it gives the general idea of what is possible.

The motorcycle is still doing good for getting me around as you can tell. My goal is to use it for commuting right until November 12th....so NO snow before then I hope! I have to say though it is getting a bit nippy in the mornings riding in. I am now using my balaclava to protect my neck and ears and chin. But I am very thankful regardless because this saves me about $250 per month in vehicle costs. I took my truck off the road completely a while back, because between insurance, and gas, I was putting about $300 to $400 per month into it. Too much. But this week I will start wearing my heavy duty winter gear while riding.

I took the students at the school to see the salmon run in Mission Creek park. It was actually pretty cool. There were not as many as the Adams River, but definitely enough to see what was going on . We were only able to stay there a couple hours though because a bear and her cubs came into the park, and we all got kicked out by the parks people. At least they know for sure that there are bears around, and they have to be careful.

Okay, I must run and get ready for service. Everyone have a great week.

Love,
d

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Riding In the Mountains Can Be Cooolllldd!


Yesterday, I decided to ride up to Rock Creek to see a bunch from the congregation at mom and dad's cabin. Since with my motorcycle it would only cost about $4 each way I thought this would be an affordable, as opposed to a very expensive trip if I were to be driving the truck. Before I took off I decided to insert the lining into my motorcycle jacket, and toss in my winter riding gloves instead of the summer ones. I thought I was probably being a little over cautious as usual, but decided to do it none-the-less. It turned out that I WAS SO GLAD I DID. The ride is exactly 84 miles from my place. At the half way point I decided to pull over to thaw out my hands. I really had no choice; they were so cold I could barely hold onto the handles any longer. I decided if I could thaw them out to the mildly painful but okay to ride level, then I would keep going. So I stood on the side of the road with my hands sandwiched in my armpits for 10 minutes. I then decided I could keep going. When I started closing in on 30 miles left to go, I knew I could make it as the sun was starting to peek through.

The experience reminded me of the time I decided that Armstrong, my previous dog, and I should ride to Idylwild for ice-cream. When I took off in the afternoon it was hot and sunny so I just had my "hot air" jacket on. But that night coming home the air got brutally cold and I honestly considered walking into a pub and offering someone money for their coat. We made it home, but it was rough.

Anyway, Rock Creek was great. Murray and Rita Hammon were there, along with Aunti Jean, Don Gauvin, Tanya and Tim and the kids, Rick and Hannah Bray and their dog Tuppence, Talbots and their dog Boo, Mary and Doug (My brain has froze on their last name, sign of early alzheimers I'm sure), and of course Dad, Mom, and Otto. Went down to the Rock Creek fair and just wandered aimlessly looking at animals and booths of hand made crafts.

For the ride home, Tim gave me a pair of hotshots for my gloves and dad lent me his work gloves to put over my regular gloves, and even though it was still brisk it was still much better than the ride up. I could actually enjoy the scenery, instead of over-focusing on my frozen digits. :-) Anyways, will do it again, but next time on a 30 degree day. :-)

Okay, must run for the meeting.

Love, d :-)

ps. all the photos from yesterday's ride did not turn out, so I decided to post one of Harvey and his blankets. He can never seem to bury himself into enough of them. Funny pup.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Direction


I hadn't blogged in a long long time, but today I read something that stirred me on. I was catching up on a usual blog of a couple and they were talking about the usual stuff of their travels and how they were so excited because they had upgraded their RV - an older couple - Bruce, Margie, and their dog Annie that they doted on. Margie had written about how after all these years of full-time RVing with Annie she, at 13, just developed a health problem and they were giving her new medications. ...so I scrolled up to the top to read the next entry to see how little Annie was making out on her new meds. However, within reading two sentences I noticed that it was someone else writing. A different style, but also within a paragraph she said that she was the daughter. After the last entry a couple days before, her parents had gone out for their daily evening walk with Annie, and a car with an occupant had hit them and killed them. Annie had survived. The daughter and her husband were flying down to Pismo Beach to drive the unit home. Apparently the driver had been trying to commit suicide, had sped up to go over the bank but hit them instead not seeing them walking, and survived the crash. How tragic for everyone.

Anyways, it inspired me to do some writing because even the most mundane things to someone are special to someone else (I loved reading their blog), especially if they are interested in your life. The last while of being here in Winfield, and working in Kelowna, I thought no one in their right mind would be interested in hearing about Kelowna and life here, but I have decided to try to show a side of it that maybe is a bit different from the usual. Maybe someone will be interested in that. :-) Kelowna is the third most expensive city in Canada, behind Vancouver, and Toronto. I am trying to expand my theocratic activity here, as challenging as that may be. I live on a teachers salary based on a 27 hour week, so that means I live life on the "slim". Translated, that means I live a rich full life, but on a meager budget, focusing on and enjoying the simple things in life, and making adjustments wherever I need to, to make things happen. Chances are I will not be the person that retires with a big pension, but I will have enough to cover the expenses. Last week I found a list on CNN that read: 15 countries where a person can retire on $1500 per month or less. Oooo sounds like one could be my future residence :-) Most of them are tropical, so that means I will have to maintain Harvey and Pearl's life jackets and pick a country where their future rickety little bones can enjoy sand and surf mixed with service too.

So that is the plan. For the next while we...as in me, Harvey, and Pearl...are planted here, but I will try to show how one can expand their service in the ministry, and live with zest and enjoyment on the "slim" in the third most expensive city in Canada, through the good months..and the winter (burrrrr). You will see how oversight and direction from Jehovah are the ONLY way things come together sometimes for me, and WHO He uses along the way at times, when I am unsuspecting. There are moments when I imagine he directs His angels to answer my prayers only because he doesn't want to see my prayers escalate from mildly intense to the weeping level. And you will be amazed, as I constantly am, to see how He maneuvers things to answer my prayers. Hasn't let me down yet. I realize some may think that it is better to be quiet with their challenges, but for me I thought maybe if someone sees how someone else can make life happen and their goals be realized with a similar mindset...that they can do it too. :-) So, I hope you enjoy the journey, adventure, and challenge, with us.

Love, d :-)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fabulous CO Visit

Hey hi everyone,

We just had an excellent CO visit. Very encouraging and motivating to keep on track with spiritual goals. Just really good reminders about such things, as when we pray, make sure that we recount acts of mightiness by Jehovah for previous servants, because it builds our faith that he can do the same for us. So instead of just asking for his guidance and help, really sound like we KNOW he can come through for us too. Also, reminders about being at all the meetings, in service, and doing personal study - things that keep us active spiritually and focused. And he also brought out something that I thought was really good. He has a way of saying forceful things but in a non-accusatory manner, but direct regardless. He was talking about the assembly recently and asked if we walked away from it saying what a great assembly it was...or if we went home and really made any adjustments to our life due to what we heard. I thought that was an excellent point.

Well 78 ended up pioneering in the hall this month so that is very encouraging. 80 at the pioneer meeting. 105 at Saturday morning service. Really good attitude in the hall.

I move into the new park this weekend. Hard to believe the time is almost here. I started out thinking I would just do a few little upgrades to my unit before moving, but mom and dad are so talented with that kind of stuff that each day when I check on it they had done even more. It looks incredible, really. I am so thankful because when I come home from work I have almost zero energy left, and then this weekend I was sick for part of it, but they have this place looking so good. Total different colour scheme now, and the doggy door goes in this week.

Harvey and Pearl are doing wonderful. Yesterday they were pegged outside in front of the trailer while I worked inside. Harvey whined as he thought he should be in there with me, but all I could imagine was white paint all over him, so on the peg he stayed. Pearl was happy just to lay basking in the sun - easy to please.

Well, must run. Love to all,
d :-)

Monday, April 4, 2011

73 Are Pioneering In My Hall This Month!

Isn't that a great amount? I was so surprised. Really nice though. It is a country hall which makes it all the more amazing to me with the gas prices up here and all. And we will see if the number goes higher by Thursday's meeting. Should be really interesting.

Went to the coast for Brahm's wedding. It was truly lovely. They had a wedding hall attached to a dining room at a golf course. It was really nice because it was pouring rain outside so once we got inside the country club we didn't have to leave again until later that night. Big fireplace in teh corner and pretty views. Lots of places for pictures inside the building. Wonderful dinner, really nice speeches (REALLY good, thoughtful speeches), and nice dancing after.

Drove home Saturday afternoon. I wanted to fit more into the day and a half I was there but just couldn't. I have been really tired lately. My doctor says I have low iron these days. Been on supplements but I think I need something a little stronger. :-/ That in combo with my work, service, study, meeting schedule, just caught up with me. Same as lots of other people. Just life. But getting home was nice, not only so I could sleep, :-) but because Sunday afternoon's WT study was just excellent. The last couple weeks have been on endurance, which is what we all need to do no matter what. So attending that was worth getting back for.

I will put some pics of the wedding up as soon as my camera is recharged, but I hope everyone has a wonderful day.

Love to all,
d :-)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Precious Gift

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/stacey_kramer_the_best_gift_i_ever_survived.html

I watched this with my Writing and Discussion Class this morning. There have been a few really good ones we have seen lately, but I could totally relate to everything she said because of when I had my operation. The only thing is my gift cost almost $100,000...guess that means it was that much more precious. :-) ...it's all perspective :-)

Hope everyone is having a wonderful day!

d :-)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Got Here...Alive :-)




For the last 10 days I have been keenly watching the weather forecast so that I could start riding my motorcycle back and forth to work. Well last night I decided that today would be the day as weathernetwork.com gave me an hour by hour blow of what to expect...and rain or snow was not in the forecast. So this morning I rolled out of bed, threw my gear on, including a balaclava I got from Mark's Work WearWorld the other day. All the forums say that riding in cold temps a person has to be aware of frostbite more than anything. Other than this the next most important item I put on was a winter jacket someone gave me in Korea - 80% duck down, and best of all neon lime green yellow. I suspect that is why they were so keen to give it away. However, when you ride a motorcycle, glamorous styling comes second to visibility. :-/

Anyway, most everything went as expected. My teeth chattered a bit when I saw a logging truck come up behind me, but then when he saw I go the speed limit he passed so that was just fine with me. So now hopefully I can keep it up until next November when the snow comes again. I absolutely love riding. You smell everything as you pass, and see everything even moreso than driving because your eyes are darting around more. A friend of mine who is moving back here from China after several years was talking to me last week saying that he was REALLY worried about coming to North America because of the high price of fuel. He was saying he was wondering if people would think him and his wife are losers for riding their motorcycles everywhere. I told him that if you retain the same thinking as Asia and don't let other peoples' expectations get to you then you can keep riding your bike or scooter here no problem. I don't think him and his wife will have a problem with that. They seemed determined so that they can keep pioneering. And really, it totally helps with keeping ones cost of living reasonable. :-) I have been totally fortunate in my life to have great people in the congregations I have attended for the last 7 years. In California, when I arrived at the hall, I would just slip into the bathroom, slip off the gear and on with the dress and heels, throw the bag and helmet in the broom closet, and that was it. The brothers were TOTALLY supportive. For morning service they knew I would need two minutes in the bathroom to do my transformation so they always had their key ready for the hall even if the group was meeting outside. A few other brothers bought bikes after they saw mine and did the same thing. I guess everyone likes to save money. :-) Also, just great, great, people in the hall down there, (really miss them sometimes) but I am sure there will be the same type of brothers and sisters in this hall too. :-)

Well, I gotta run. I have attached a few pictures of my new place so everyone can see where to come and visit. Will be all fenced in so Harvey and Pearl have their own little yard. Totally feel taken care of by Jehovah God.

Love to all,
d :-)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Such a Fun Day!







Today we had Cultural Awareness Day. All the students created such a wonderful buffet of food from their countries. Each culture was given a classroom to setup to display their country. In the Korean classroom we took a screw driver and removed the legs from the tables so that everyone could eat sitting on the floor. Yesterday, since I have a vehicle, I took one of the Korean students to the Oriental Supermarket to buy things. We made such good time that I asked him after finishing if he was hungry...and thankfully he was :-)...so I took him for breakfast at the Specialty Bakery. Absolutely splendid! Anyway, today was just great too. All the students started cooking at 10:30 and had their dishes ready for 11:30. I was supposed to be heading up the Koreans, and we didn't know if anyone knew how to cook Korean pancake, which is all vegetables..and usually the grandmas and moms do all the cooking over there...so I found a video on youtube where a Korean lady walked us through every step of how to make it. Well her instructions were just perfect, because today all the students made it just right. But, I have to tell everyone...if for no other reason...I HAVE to take an eating holiday to Saudi Arabia. The salads, and platters of assorted foods those men put together were incredibly delicious. They made Arab coffee and desserts also. And some of them wore their thoubs too. It was really a great presentation. We had Mexico and Brazil and Japan and Switzerland represented also. The cheeses and chocolate from Switzerland were killer delicious. One of the Swiss students started off their presentation by telling us that his country cooks with tons of butter...immediately made me think that Dad was born in the wrong country. :-/ After finishing lunch we had a foozball tournament and then I headed home for the weekend. What a great way to end the week. So now I hope all of you will have a great weekend.

Love to all,
d :-)

ps. I am teaching the pronunciation program this semester and the group in the glasses are my students. The other pic of the student with her parents are from Mexico. She is from Hidalgo. When she returns home in May she has agreed to deliver a card to some friends of mine who speak English (I don't know who they are yet :-/, but by then hopefully I will). Now that she has learned English, hopefully they can help her learn the"pure language". :-)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Culture Day At The College

Tomorrow is culture day at the college. The school has been divided up into all the cultures and a teacher has been put in charge of each group. I was put in charge of Korea. Yeah! :-)

We have put together a slide show of Korea, and are making Korean pancake and choco pies for everyone. (A choco pie is basically a wagon wheel, but they are called choco pie in Korea).

Last night we were going over the details of our plan and the students were figuring out how we were going to make everything. They were very worried how we were going to do it without an oven...and I kept saying "don't worry I have a frying pan". Them: "We know, we know, but how can we make it hot???" I then explained to them that it was electric and all we have to do is plug it into the wall. They were amazed and excited, as I had forgotten that this isn't a usual thing in Korea. So now we have many chefs wanting to try it out. :-)

Okay, well after the cultural afternoon I will post some pics. I am very interested to see what the Saudi men all produce. They said they are "making a most delicious meal". I know that chicken and rice plays a big part in their meals, but I just don't know yet how it is prepared. After tomorrow I will though. :-) yum..yum...yum..

Everyone have a great day!

love, d :-)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Duck Lake


Hey hi everyone :-)

I wanted to show everyone a pic of a great dog walking place here. I have been driving by it everyday and decided to look at it using Google Maps to see what trails are around it. Great dog walking trail right along the side of it so loaded Harvey, Pearl and Otto in the truck and took off to explore it. Pretty snowy and icy at the moment but we made our way along it for about a mile. Which means there and back will be good exercise! :-) It is just a small lake but very very pretty. The trail reminds me of the Houston trail in Fort Langley, just going through the reeds and fields. Anyway, I think we will be down there often.

Our Spanish congregation is taking off. We have had some growth and a few extra chairs had to be brought in last Sunday. An English brother and his wife that had served in Nicaragua gave the talk on Sunday. Really well done. Mine is still coming slow but sure and this week I will start going to the Spanish service group regularly.

A friend of mine in the hall here also got a clean bill of health concerning her cancer, so that is just excellent. She is young so she is excited now with what she can do with her life. There is no doubt a down side to sickness, but it is also a real clarifying experience too. As Warren Crowe used to say: everything in life is perspective and reaction.

And lastly, my student that I turned over to the brother in my congregation because he wanted a Bible study is doing great the brother says. So that is really great too. :-)

Well, I better run and get ready for work. Fabulous students and really good classes going on right now. A little nippy running to the truck these days though as it is minus 13 :-+ ..that is a symbol of my shriveled face in the cold wind. :-)

Love to all,
d :-)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Really Wonderful Person


Today is Rochelle's funeral. Terry posted this pic and it is exactly the way I think of them. Rochelle always had such an infectious smile. It is hard to believe she is gone so young. Wanted to drive down but just got to nervous about the Pass with the snow. Anyway, can't wait to see her again in the future.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

ALMOST Had a Good Hockey Game Last Night!

Being the Activities Director for the college too (besides teaching), means I get to arrange fun things to do. Last night Portland came here to play. About 20 of us showed up. Unfortunately, it seems most the rest of the city thought it would be a good game to see too, so there was standing room only left. Yikes! Standing for two or three hours. :-/ Nobody was quite into that. Anyway, hopefully there will be another Friday or Saturday game coming soon because it would be fun to do that. Next item on the hit list is arranging curling lessons for the students...and me. :-) Sounds kind of fun. I borrowed the movie "Men With Brooms" to give me a bit of an idea what to expect. I have to say after working at this college, and having so many Saudi students, which is much different from what I have had before, I think they are just great...not the best studiers :-/ ...but just very fun people to have around. Okay, everyone have a wonderful weekend! Love to all, d :-)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Flip Culture

This week is the start of a new semester. Complete freshness. Just like outside. We’re having the biggest snowfall of the year so far and it is gorgeous. 15 inches in one day. I parked on the street by the college and actually got snowed in - some nice shovelers and a plowman though helped with getting me out. ...It is always exciting on these days to see the new faces when I walk into the classroom too. I think in the afternoons this semester I will be teaching Pronunciation and Reading as electives.

Someone asked me the other day, now that I have been back in Canada for a few months, what is the hardest adjustment? After thinking about this I have to say that it is connections with people. I used to hear brothers and sisters overseas and other expats say that after living in a flip culture (complete reverse of your own), going back and trying to connect with people is one of the hardest challenges. People are great in Canada, so that is not the problem. But I do know what they mean now. A person can’t help but change a lot when living in a completely different environment. In my case it started with living in a 10x10 apartment, and seeing all my friends do the same. You start to look at material items and what a person really needs, differently than before. A person spends a lot more time thinking about life, and developing their relationship even moreso with Jehovah…because really…when no one else in your area speaks English and your congregation members are not close by, He really does become your confidant. A person also gets used to a lot of peace in their life...not a lot of drama. And then seeing many friends in foreign lands live such simple lives. And then there are the lessons of values. You talk to someone who had their fingers ripped off by a cookie machine because the employer didn’t provide safety equipment, or someone else whose arm was sucked into a roller and broken badly. Or someone’s Bible study is taken to the emergency room because her fingers have turned blue because of no heat in their truck container home at –15 degrees. Or then there was the sister I worked with in service who told me she knows others don't understand why ones work overseas away from their families, but then told me they too wanted enough money to feed their children or take them to the hospital when they are sick. It's one of those 'walk a mile in another's shoes situations I guess. But all these things helped me put things into perspective and become more empathetic. It can’t help but alter the way a person starts looking at other’s lives and their own life. Breaks it down to what is really important.. …But these are the thoughts that I find one really can’t share with many others because ones may think you are being self-righteous, but that is not what is intended or what it is about. I know myself it has also just changed my perspective on how I look at things and react to situations permanently. Meeting these ones overseas and seeing their lives has reinforced what and who I really want in my life too. For instance, back here in Canada, I recently heard of a situation where there is a group of people planning a big event. I couldn’t believe how mean and awful they were treating each other. I really thought about this, and this is one of the things I react to differently now. At one time I would have just let those situations swirl around me, and even engage them if I had to, but now I just distance myself, because I can’t see having that stress around me anymore, or people who treat others badly. I know some people think it is okay because people are imperfect, so they tolerate it, but I just value my own peace of mind and happiness more now. Something else I have learned to appreciate is not having showy displays - even with gatherings, that’s okay for others, but now I think about ones who don’t have a lot, and the showy stuff really bothers me. I guess I have learned to be empathetic toward those with little. :-/ Reminds me of something I said to my mom last week, “my friends in the Philippines have very little, but when they send their pictures, EVERYONE in the picture has the biggest smiles on their faces”. :-) I am not perfect by any means, but I am glad I went away as it really did open my eyes and help me make changes within, so for others contemplating it, I do recommend it - - but just be ready for some changes within you probably didn’t expect either. :-) Anyway, regardless of the feeling a bit like the odd duck out at times… that is okay because good friends always accept you the way you are :-) …and likewise. And I do very much enjoy the company of spending time with my parents again. :-) …So there were great advantages and lessons learned from living abroad that are irreplaceable, but there are some great perks about being here too.

Anyway, I hope my thoughts are not garbled or offensive to anyone, I just tried to put them down the best I could on this subject. And sorry for the bad grammar moments as I was typing at the speed of light. :-)

Much love to everyone! And have a wonderful week!
D -)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Beautiful Weekend Here




Hey hi everyone, :-)

I thought I would show you a couple pics of the boardwalk here in Kelowna on an icy day. Very pretty scenery. As you can also see Harvey and Otto are walking on a splitter. This was their first day. The initial mile was a bit challenging but then they got onto it pretty good. I am babysitting Otto until April, and I like to walk them but three leashes going every which direction drives me crazy so the splitter is the perfect solution. Hope all you had a great weekend too!

d :-)

Friday, January 7, 2011

We Just Had A Most Delicious Breakfast!

At my school this morning one of the classes made eggs and bacon and muffins for everyone. What a wonderful treat! I have to say I really enjoy this school and position. Everyone does work as a team and it shows in the students' progress. It is really nice listening to the students' stories, because often they end up with everyone having a good laugh. So even though we are teaching, there is a lot of learning about things other than book work too. I recently had a young man tell me that being in Canada is quite a change for him because he used to just pay the teacher for the grade he wanted, but now he actually has to study! And then there are the ones that work sooo hard because when they return to their home country their English will affect their university marks, and affect the career they are aiming toward. These are often the extremely diligent ones.

I have one young man that was studying here but left 4 months ago. He kept my card and called me the other day. I asked him if he had time to take a comprehensive Bible study course to understand the Bible, and he said yes. So, this week I am going to introduce him to a pioneer in our hall. One thing about positions that work with people, some REALLY nice people cross our paths, and you can see how they could be potential brothers and sisters one day. I hope it works out this way for these two. :-)

Well other than the above all is absolutely great and nothing new is going on. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

d :-)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

More Pics



2011 Off To A Great Start!



Hey hi everyone! :-)

The first great thing about 2011 is that my meetings have switched from mornings to afternoons. I absolutely love sitting on my bed Sunday mornings studying my WT. Just a nice slow moving day.

There has been lots of activity around here the last few weeks. Marcelle, Ava and Matea, (and Coco and Oscar), and (Mike on weekends) have been visiting and then yesterday Tyler, Janelle, and Haylen came. Haylen sure looks like her mom at this moment, but it will be interesting six months from now to see how she changes.

My old congregation in Korea had their family night recently and I included a picture here. Each member of the congregation participated in the Sound of Music. They rented a hall and put the play on for watchers in other congregations and family members. Here is a picture of the background choir. You can see that they must have got a sale on a certain striped material so that all their outfits are identical. I think it is so cute. They filmed it too, so if I get the video of it I will post it too. My friend Matt there said that EVERYONE took part. He played the piano with a sister for the singing.

The second pic is of the expat Bethel members in Korea. Gabby and Andrew (centre) have been there a long time, but are now heading back to Australia, but it is hard to imagine them there very long as they have been in the Phillipines, Africa, and Asia...and maybe some place I don't know. Gabby has such an interesting background. As I remember, her parents packed up their children and went and lived in a tent initially on some remote island living where the need was greater. Both fantastically interesting people.

Okay every one have a super lovely weekend.
Love to all,

d :-)