Monday, December 31, 2012
The pups are doing great. Still dogsitting Otto, but he fits right in so it is nice to have him around. It is minus six today so we haven't been able to walk, but they don't seem to mind as they are all curled up on the bed at this moment. Otto has this one quirk: when he rides in vehicles he gets all whiny and stressed. Anyway, this vet was talking about something called a thundershirt that puts pressure on the dogs nervous system and makes them totally relax. So I went out and got him one, and now everytime we go in the truck I put it on and sure enough he rests his little head on the seat and relaxes. Now he can just enjoy the ride...and so can I. :-)
Well last week I watched that documentary about Joe Cross and his buddy Phil that started eating just veggies and fruits (SICK FAT AND NEARLY DEAD (not me yet, but I thought I would try to head it off :-) ) to cleanse their system and then switch over to a plant-based way of eating, and thought what the hey I would give it a try. So now I am on day six and I feel great. It is easy, and the most important thing is that is a logical way of eating. I had a little extra inspiration to think about health this month. My neighbor Paul, died. He was a non-smoker, non-drinker, slim, and not that old, but his heart stopped while he was sitting watching television two weeks ago. Crazy. Anyways, rather than let moments be accepted and pass with a mere "that's terrible" comment, I think they are good times to think about where improvement can be made.
Well, I am going to get going. I have a few more things to do around here. It is supposed to be really cold for the next week so I want to make sure I have things all extra organized with easy access to stuff.
Okay, have a great week no matter where you are!
Love to all,
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Hope everyone is having a great weekend.
Love to all,
Friday, December 7, 2012
Love to all,
Sunday, November 25, 2012
One wonderful thing about walking Harvey and Pearl in the morning and night is meeting people and their dogs along the way. There is one elderly lady that has had cancer for the last couple years and her hip replaced. So when I initially met her she was walking her dog with her walker - faithfully everyday,over the railway tracks and up through the industrial section on the hill. Slow but doing what she needed to do. Her dog is a Cardigan Corgi. Well he always has the most beautiful sweaters on. His sweaters make Harvey and Pearl's sweaters and coats look like pauper clothing. So I got talking to her last night - now she walks with a cane...still slow and drags one of her legs a bit, but they are both out there which is the important thing. I wanted to ask her where she got his clothing. She said she hand-makes everything for him! She knits him buffalo sweaters and every other kind you can imagine. Anyway, I am kind of thinking maybe I will give that a try too as it sounds kinda fun. :-)
I was talking to another inspiring person this week too - one of my students from Quebec. At the college we get 99.9% of the time uni students. But this lady was in her mid 60s. She decided she wanted to learn English and got in her car and drove across the country. Her husband couldn't come so he stayed home for 3 months to hold down the fort while she went into Homestay. The interesting part for me is that she has Parkinson Disease. So she would study with all the other students but dealt with the shaking at the same time. Last week she left the program a couple weeks early. Her husband flew out to drive back with her. She was very apologetic, but I was telling her that I thought it was incredible that she decided to live life with zest regardless of what she was dealing with. Her other choice would be to stay home and not venture out again, and live the rest of her life with a remote control in her hand. I really admire people that despite problems that would hold others back just live life to the full. When they die, they will die with "their boots on" doing something they love. :-)
Okay, here are a couple pics of the fur-kids enjoying life on the cold mornings. As you can tell there are A LOT of huge quilts on our bed - my theory is big and fluffy equals comfy, and lots of hiding places for Harvey and Pearl. :-)
Love to everyone,
Monday, November 12, 2012
Just a few pics to show what a wonderful day it is.
1) Harvey laughing at me from bed when I suggested we go for a walk.
2) The path I cut across the yard with the snow shovel so that Harvey and Pearl could go across the yard comfortably to do their "business". No need to exert myself by doing the whole yard. ;-)
3) The view out the bedroom window.
Hope everyone is having a great weekend.
Love to all,
Friday, November 2, 2012
Sitting here after getting off SKYPE with my Chinese studies. The internet was crazy tonight so it was a hard go for the study, but everyone of them was so enthusiastic I still feel like it was a success. They are always so well prepared, and now that jw.org has all the information, online Bible, books and all recordings in one central place it makes it so easy for everyone to participate. Absolutely loving the study.
This week was good at work too. One young man who studies with me for about six months returned to the school with a big box of 50 cookies for me today. He hit it dead bang on because I really do love chocolate chip cookies...not sure a box of 50 is a good present for single person, but I will just have to share. He came by to say thank you. While he was studying with me he was a handful. He would stand up in class almost daily and say "I hate you" because I would ask him to do homework and say things properly. At the time he couldn't understand why, and he would stand up, fold his arms across his chest, and repeat those words. I would respond with "I can live with that", or "I love you too, let's keep going". But he actually was serious. Anyway, he is now finished his studies and heading back to Japan for his regular university studies and came by to thank me for pushing him hard. It is always the most difficult ones that make the biggest dent in my heart.
Okay, everyone have a wonderful weekend!
Love to all,
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Everything else though is going well. Work is great. I really am thankful to Jehovah for providing a place where I enjoy going everyday. This week has been a bit trying though as I have a Saudi in my class who has been very privileged in life. As I have said before, the Saudis are generally my favorite students because they are very devout, and I of course appreciate that quality in a person, and they have been sheltered from the rest of the world so there is something different about them in their outlook on life. However, if you get an arrogant one, it is usually arrogance to an extreme. Soooo...there is Aqhmed. He has spent the last several weeks asking me how I cannot recognize his excellent quality of speech. :-/ And how I cannot elevate him to the highest level. :-/ The other day I did an oral reading test at which time I listen intently to recordings of the students' voices and circle any pronunciation errors they make so they know exactly what to work on. After he received his sheet back he came to me and said as usual "I disagree". :-( When I see him rising from his seat I can usually predict what words he is going to say. He then proceeded to tell me that he didn't make any pronunciation errors and he wanted to listen again with me. (Bad idea). I jested with him at first and said that if we listened together and I heard any pronunciation errors for every circle on the paper he would have to pay me $1000. He responded that this deal would be acceptable. Considering there were about 30 circles on the paper this would have been my opportunity to make a years salary. But when I realized he was more than serious I read him the riot act and sent him back to his seat. Grrrr...anyway, Ahqmed, tells me I am his favorite teacher because I have high standards for him but there are a few crazy little moments along the way where I just need to clench my teeth and say nothing for five minutes. He has told me before at most colleges and unis even in Canada because the Saudis are "money pits" they basically get whatever they want and now he has someone saying no to him everyday and it is hard. I tell him almost daily that when he leaves my class he "will speak BEAUTIFUL English and work hard to achieve it!" Slowly I think he is realizing I am serious.
We had an absolutely wonderful one day assembly yesterday. The speakers were great but especially Brother Clark from the Canada Bethel. I have 5 pages of notes just from his talks alone because he has a fabulous way and putting points across. Very motivating. :-)
Love to all,
Monday, October 8, 2012
Harvey and Pearl are gradually adjusting to the colder weather. Harvey and I are pretty much on our own for the morning walks though. When I hold up the leash Pearl runs to the bedroom and crawls under the covers, but she is all hyper and happy for the afternoon walks when the sun is out. I guess the appeal of walking when it is black out and cold at 5:30 in the morning just isn't there for her. Wish I could go later for the little coot, but gotta keep on schedule due to work.
Biking to work is still going good and saving huge on the gas bills. Have to say though the other morning when I was riding at -4 it was a tad chilly on the toes - when I got to mile 10 I could feel it. I have some sheepskin in the cupboard though and am thinking I will sew some toe mitts. Really they were the only part of my body that was feeling the chill. I want to go as long as I can though because I feel so good when I arrive. It probably sounds laughable but the cold air for an hour in the morning really makes a person feel alive. However, my students say that the skin on my cheeks doesn't turn back to a normal colour until mid morning. :-/
The little guy that was living with me is gone now. It was great having him around. We made a bunch of videos of him having fun because it was all new for him. so here is the last one we shot. My mom taught him how to ride a bike the first day he was here, and by the end he had become a master. Just really happy I was able to give him six excellent weeks of life.
Okay, should get running. Lots to do. :-) There is one last video I am including here because I believe the message behind it...doesn't matter if it applies to our goals in the Truth of just how we live life. Hope everyone has a wonderful week...or month. :-)
Love to all,
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Everything is going just great here. We got back from tenting on the Oregon Coast a few days ago. Couldn't have gone better. We took off from Kelowna on a Friday morning and drove down to Lake Chelan. It was just beautiful - crystal blue water and hot hot weather. Totally loved it and would go there again. It was hot all the way through Oregon and only dropped down to the 70s once we hit Nehelem Bay. Beautiful State campground. Economical, but a fabulous place to stay. Free entertainment for everyone in the park in the evenings, and a free junior ranger program each day for the kids. It also had paved roads for the kids to ride their bikes, and endless beach for walking. I got up early in the mornings and walked Harvey and Pearl way down the beach. Pearly got so tired that I had to carry her back in her little pack. Mom and Dad, and Mike and Marcelle and their kids, Jack and Paulina and their kids and Sabrina and her kids were there so there was tons of association for everyone.
We took off from there the following Friday and drove to Seattle then did shopping on Saturday and drove straight through and arrived late Saturday night in Kelowna. Couldn't have been a better trip. :-)
We have a new addition around our place too. A young guy, eight years old is living with us. His mother has some health problems so he will stay with us. So in our pictures you will see lots of him. Harvey and him have become close buddies and now Harvey is in heaven to have someone that will brush him and rub his tummy 20 times a day. Pearl is not really the play type but she likes him too, and watches intently as him and Harvey play ball together. And actually it worked out well camping because him and Harvey could be lazy bones together and sleep an extra hour in the tent in the mornings while Pearl and I went and chatted with mom and dad over coffee in their RV. Anyway, there are lots of pics to come but the only ones I have downloaded so far are of Christopher doing things. The ones of Harvey and Pearl are trapped in my camera still with the dead battery holding them hostage. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the ones below as I think they will give you a peek at the scenery we saw. Jehovah certainly has created some beautiful landscapes. :-)
Love to all
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Anyway, in the middle of August we are going camping/tenting, something I haven't done many years, but have decided it is the kind of travel I can afford for the time being. SO...I have collected, and others have collected for me, some equipment. Some from secondhand stores, and some from the back of dark garages, etc., and now I have this cool little campsite organized. I thought I would set up early so I could make any tweaks before we actually hit the road...AND Harvey and Pearl have never slept in a tent before so I thought we could sleep in it a few nights over the next couple weeks so they will be comfortable and hopefully won't bark all night in the real campground.
Hope everyone is having a great weekend!
love to all,
Monday, July 23, 2012
Here is a little bit of life in pics. :-)
2) Pearl is always so cute. Here she is napping on the deck, just loving life.
3) Harvey cracks me up all the time. I decided to wash the bed mat and then dry it in the sun over the picnic table. Harvey obviously got tired, and decided to take his nap on the bed mat, regardless of where it was on the bed or not.
Hope everyone had a good week too! Love to all,
Monday, July 16, 2012
Everyone have a great day. Love to all,
Friday, July 13, 2012
Hope all is going good. Some days I feel like my tongue is hanging out so far that it will get caught in my spokes, but I have slowly built up my riding and now going back and forth from UBC (this is where the bus stops at the university.). I am not really keen on riding the whole 15 miles, but with time maybe that will happen. At this time 9 miles from the uni seems to work. It is the climb coming home that is a bit of a killer at this moment. I can only average about 12 miles per hour due to the climb to the airport. And I quickly figured out that I have to take a jug of water twice the size that I started out with. The heat is about 95 degrees right now so as it cools down in the Fall, that part of the ride will probably be more comfortable. When I lived in Palm Springs and rode, it would get to about 105 or 110. It is just a matter of building up a tolerance.
The assembly in Vancouver was great. Got to see lots of friends and touch base with what everyone is up to. They had the same weather as Kelowna at that time - rainy and cool, but now since the first week of July summer weather has come to both places.
Harvey and Pearl are doing fab. We walk the trails in the field a few times a week. Early on the weekends and later in the evenings. It is too hot for their little bodies earlier than 7:30 at night. I just take lots of water and we take pit stops under the shade of the big trees. But they also just love laying on the couch in the RV too, lapping up the cool air from the ac.
Work is going great. I am teaching my regular classes, but also the sports program in the afternoon. That means I get to wear shorts and play football, soccer, basketball or some other game with the students in the park in the afternoon. Some of the girls are so funny - especially from Korea. Two of them dropped the class at the end of the first week. I asked them why. They said they didn't realize they actually had to exercise. They thought SPORTS PROGRAM, meant that we read sports articles everyday together. :-/ But several more took their place so it all worked out fine in the end.
My Friday night Bible Studies are going good. The first class 65 families logged on for the class. But it was so overwhelming with all their voices, that I suggested that we limit to a smaller group of friends the next week, so then only 18 families joined. Now I have convinced the families that I will study with six at a time, and give them all 30 minutes lessons back to back so that everyone can have a fair chance to talk. They like that idea. As long as everyone is learning and enjoying, then that is what is important. :-)
Okay, gotta go. Time to teach. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
Love to all,
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Hope everyone is having a great week,
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Meetings are great, but not always for the talk delivered or the WT covered. As usual this morning I was making Jehovah God's ears bleed as I told him how I missed riding my bike back and forth to work such as in Palm Springs, Vancouver and Korea. I have always liked exercise with a purpose. At the end of a day of teaching the thought of working out in a gym is just dreadful. So anyway, at the end of the meeting I slid up beside a sister, and asked her about life - I like her because she is very honest saying she is too tired sometimes to do much more than watch some videos, do laundry and wash a week's worth of dishes - basically do everything just to get ready for Monday again. Which pretty sums me up. Anyway, she was telling me a few months ago her boss which is an avid biker convinced her to start biking to work from Lake Country - 15 miles. It has been taking an hour and she is loving it. Inspired, now I am going to do it too. Every time I mentioned it before I got the side-eyed glance from people, so it was nice to find someone like me in the congregation. The sister's name is Erica, and really, if she can ride along a highway, and have a good time, I know I can do it too. I will keep you all posted on how it goes.
Okay, gotta go check on the bone-chewers. Love to all,
Anyway, it rained, rained, and rained more this week. Sometimes I think it rains here almost as much as Vancouver, but now it is Sunday and we are supposed to have sunny skies. I really hope so. On the gray, wet days, I constantly fight the inclination to plot my escape.
I am house-sitting for dad and mom. They were able to go down to the coast for a young relative's grad party. Would have been nice but when a person works full-time the long drive and quick return is just too much. So I am dog-sitting for mom and dad so they can go down and enjoy it. And it is going great. I was pretty worried about Harvey playing a lot, but his back is holding up good. Yesterday was very cool. Pearl spotted a big deer that came up to the fence-line. She started running in circles barking, which alerted Harvey and Otto, so all 3 of them stood face to face with it barking through the face. The deer wasn't fazed at all and stood there with its face over the fence chewing, seemingly intrigued by the 3 little crazies.
I pushed my motorcycle under the awning yesterday and did my best to do an oil change on it. Saves about $150 every few months, but this time I couldn't get the filter screws off. Grrr...will have to wait til dad gets home to apply some brute force to them.
Okay, must start thinking about the meeting...WT..what to wear, etc. So everyone have a great day.
Love to all,
Monday, May 28, 2012
Since Harvey and Pearl also saw it I quickly grabbed the garden hose because that is Harvey and Pearl's cue to run and hide – as they are not keen on baths. Then I ran and got the little thing and put it through the fence. I only hope he develops somewhat better skills at where to hangout for future outings. I... just found the most incredible thing at the Women Shelter Shop (where I like to wander and browse on some of my lunch hours). A lady dropped off a doggy booster seat including the seatbelt and harness, and I scooped it for $3..yay!! Anyway, now no more fighting over the one booster seat I already have. :-)
And finally here are some pics of where Harvey and Pearl and I walk everyday. Pearl has turned into quite the little “farm dog”. The blades are taller than her but she loves to run through them. And Harvey's back is healing good now and I haven't had to carry him home for about 5 days straight now. So that is a great thing too. :-)
Love to all, d :-)
Monday, May 7, 2012
Everything is going o-k-a-y here...actually good, when thinking about situations in the world. But it has been a tiring week. Harvey pickled his back. After seeing a picture the vet showed me, I am sure it was when he was having a great time playing with Otto – doing the tug of war thing, but the whipping back and forth caused a disc to rupture in his back. I feel very fortunate because the vet said many dogs lose all feeling and ability to walk for several weeks while it heals. Harvey has just had severe pain when being touched ANY place on his body. The first couple days he just stood to go to the bathroom and then laid back down in a small area I made for him in the kitchen. Now he does walk around but is wobbly and weak. As the disc heals the vet says the symptoms will alleviate. It is a big adjustment for him because we were walking over two hours a day. So even though he can't walk right now he cries and whimpers to go, so I decided our walks would become strolls. I put him in the big buggy I have and push him along the route. He does seem to understand though, because he waits for me to pick him up to get in the buggy or out of buggy rather than jumping like he used to. Even though jumping is forever out of his life due to the risk of re-injury, the vet said the goal is to get the blood vessels healed around the disc so that we can be walking our long routes again. ...Pearl is doing okay with it. The first few days I had to lock her in the bedroom because she would hop all over him wanting to play and he couldn't get up. Now with the stroller, when she gets tired she hops in the grocery basket underneath the main buggy and looks like she is in heaven as we stroll along. Meanwhile I have built ramps in my place so that Harve can start walking around my place again. The one off the back deck area was the most challenging because after I built it I watched out the window as Harvey went out the door. Instead of using the ramp he did a full blown leap off the edge of the deck. Heart sink. So I took our gogo pen for traveling and boxed the deck in with it and left only the space where the ramp is open – now no choice to go up and down. So hopefully things will heal quickly. He is on Tramadol and Metacam to control the pain and making the swelling on the spine go down. For the first couple days it was breaking through and I found him laying just absolutely vibrating with pain and his eyes looking very scared, day and night – I would just massage him until the pain meds kicked in. But now they seem to have kicked in full force. In 10 days we will start to wean him off and see how he does.
One thing I learned though, is that dogs can still sense their toe nails being cut even when they are high. I got the idea that when Harvey was sleeping on his drugs, which are very strong, I would use the opp to cut his nails. Will have to wait for assistance. Even in a stupor he knew what was going on. :-(
….So as you can see this has pretty much consumed my life this week with no tons of other stuff to report. :-/ We had one nice day of weather, and another day that made me think the second coming of Noah's flood had arrived. The WT studies have been particularly good lately, and I am looking for ways at work to encourage ones to think about the Bible.
Oh, there is something I did different a couple weeks ago. Mom and I went downtown and painted on the street corners. Mom of course is very good, and I was there basically for the excellent cookies and sandwiches she brought along. I did produce something, but a little too scary to post. :-) Anyway, here are a couple pics of that too. And there is a pic of the patient too. I plopped him on his pillow and gave him his squirrel. He can lick it for hours. He was very good and laid there and watched me barbecue.
|Mom's Unfinished painting...pretty|
|The patient licking his squirrel and watching me barbecue|
Okay, I better run and make breakfast. Have a wonderful week everyone.
Love to all,
Thursday, April 26, 2012
School life is great too. Love going there everyday and now that the weather is nice I am using Friday afternoons for field trips or outdoor activities. Adds some extra fun to the week.
Meetings and service are fine too. Haven't got any spectacular calls in the territory but I did have a very nice stimulating conversation with one of my students about deteriorating world conditions and how the Bible used to give people guidelines, but now many people float aimlessly because of not knowing anyone who is wise to help them. I think I mentioned before the students that told me they made decisions about life by watching television. :-/
Since Pearl's bee sting nothing serious has happened to them. They are presently laying like doggy-potatoes on the couch probably. We have increased our walking time another 30 minutes in the evenings. A man in the resort inspired me. He told me a couple weeks ago that in the last 11 months he has lost 103lbs only by using his dog as an exercise program. They walk two loonng walks each day. I don't have 103 lbs to lose, but I do want to stay fit. :-)
Okay, will go. Students are pouring into the room.
Love to all,
Monday, April 16, 2012
I hope everyone had a great weekend.
I am sitting here on the couch a little bleary eyed - got my taxes sent this weekend, my place cleaned out after a water problem, and the window on my truck fixed using one of the in-store products (dreary story on how that happened :-( )
Was planning to wash the truck and motorcycle yesterday afternoon but decided to take Harvey and Pearl to the lake instead - which lead to a heavy duty evening and night. They were playing on the beach when suddenly Pearl started yelping and crying. People were coming from all directions to see if she had broken her leg. I couldn't see a thing so with her crying at high pitch stuffed her in my coat and thought that maybe she had twisted her leg and it would wear off. But no. The pain and loud wailing escalated after an hour, and the swelling grew.
I started to think that maybe a snake was in the grass that I didn't see, or maybe something else was...so I left Pearl laying on the bed crying and ran the 15 minutes back to the beach myself. It was almost completely dark but I got down on my knees and felt for ANYTHING that could have done this. Finally I picked up a bee in my fingers and knew this was the culprit. So ran back home at high speed. The internet said: make a baking soda paste and apply to entire area to draw toxins out and neutralize pain. And give plain Benadryl to stop swelling. It worked. Before the internet people would have had to go to the vet, because bee stings are often dangerous for dogs - so yay internet! But by this time it was quite late and I got up during the night to make sure the skinny white dog as responding well to the treatment...therefore, a little tired this morning but had a big smile when I saw her bouncing into the yard a few minutes ago to do her business.
Other than this a splendid talk by Chris Docksteader yesterday. He has a great way of painting mental pictures. Now, off to work. Looking forward to a great week. :-)
Okay, hope everyone else has a great week also.
Love to all,
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Hope all is great. The weather is finally warming up. Was about 70 yesterday, which is definitely moving in the right direction. :-) Now, I know everyone is pretty busy with service activity and meetings and LIFE everyday, but if you want something a little fun to throw into the mix there are a couple things we started doing at the college that I think fit the bill - the first one is called GEOCACHING. It is kind of like treasure hunting using GPS coordinates. There are routes planted in most cities now. I was amazed that most places are already really active with this - and it is free! Yay!! I am kind of hoping we can use it for a congregation outing. In Kelowna there were over 400 and in Palm Springs there are over 500 routes. A team or individual follows the coordinates to the final "treasure". Then you leave it where you find it (hidden for the next seeker) or take a picture of it before you leave. ...The second is SCVNGR. Both these website can be googled. This one is more like the Amazing Race where a team or person does challenges around the city or landscape earning points. Anyways, just wanted to share because sometimes it is fun to do something a little different when one has some time.
Harvey and Pearl are doing great. At this moment Pearl is doing a sausage sprawl across the couch giving me the sad eyes hoping I will break down and give her something from the fridge. And Harvey is still curled up in bed. Ahhhh a dog's life!
Hope everyone has a great day.
Love to all,
Saturday, April 7, 2012
My keyboard is gradually wearing out so if you see some weird spelled (missing (“a”s mostly) words you'll know why. :-)
Life is going okay this week. We actually had our last snow last week and I am riding my motorcycle again. Yay!! At least I am hoping it is the last snow. :-( It was a long cold winter. Fine though. No matter how cold it got outside it was warm and cozy inside our little home. Did have a couple glitches though. When a public water main burst in January the resort turned off my water pipes for 10 hours while they fixed it. But at -30 it caused my pipes to freeze and my back water tank to burst so had to bypass tank for 6 weeks until that was fixed – thanks to Dad. A challenge, but doable. Then a couple weeks ago the electrical pedestal caught fire. That was the one that made me cry because it happened while I was at work. Miraculously it didn't burn the RV down. But it was teary for me because Harvey and Pearl are at home alone during the day, and it the RV went up in flames it would be the end of them. As a joke, when I am leaving in the morning for work, as they are sitting on the couch staring at me, I give them instructions: “if someone knocks growl once then run and hide under the covers, if a flood happens run and hide under the covers, and if there is a fire run to the corner of the yard and wait for someone to save you.” Never thinking that any of those things could actually happen. ...Now that the weather is improving I am just looking forward to a nice uneventful Spring and Summer.
All is great at work. I work with really great staff who are nice people, great teachers that are really invested in teaching, and of course the students that make each day interesting. I am so thankful Jehovah gave me the motivation and ability to get that training. However, I was recently reminded of what people think of teaching, or maybe it is about what people think of teaching English. :-/ When I was taking my teaching program, the instructor told us that many native speakers think that anybody can teach English because they speak it. But when you actually hear someone say it, it leaves you feeling deflated. When a group discussion about teachers came up among none-teachers recently, I just sat there and said nothing, and then eventually tried to offer a couple small insights into what being in a classroom is like, and then someone turned to me and asked, “you still just teach English, right?” ...yup...sure. When other people talk about their jobs inside my head I am always in awe because I think about the skills that person must have to do what they do, whether it is working at McDonald's, or being an artist with special talent, or doing some job of intricate skill a person got special training for. (When it was slow a while back I had time to talk to a McDonald's worker about the best things about her job, and it was really nice to find out some details and gave me some insight.) Anyway, this morning, I was feeling a bit defeated about this. I guess I don't have pride about my job per say, but feeling it is nice to be somewhat respected for what you do...like anyone else, so I started reading an essay written by another teacher on the subject and it really put things into perspective for me. He was a molecular biologist that decided to become a teacher and what he learned. Since some of you reading this are classroom teachers too, if you want to read it it is can be found at this link: http://www.musingsonlifeandlove.com/2010/09/13/the-hardest-job-everyone-thinks-they-can-do/ And you know what....maybe I will never be respected for my work by some, and I guess that is okay too. :-)
Okay, it is the long weekend. Very exciting. :-) Soooo, I am going to study my WT, then go into town to do some GEOCACHING. A cool activity where a person hunts for hidden “treasures” or spots in an area. I decided I will take my GPS unit on my motorcycle and see what I can find. There is an international website of maps for anyone interested.
And finally, wash the truck and motorcycle so they can be all sparkly for the week. :-)
I have been able to have a couple discussions with students about the Bible lately so that has been great, AND our Memorial attendance on Thursday was 189. Awesome numbers for our area.
Have a great weekend!
Love to all,
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Well I guess Jehovah heard me whining because exactly on March 1 nice weather appeared. An older lady here told me that the way to tell Spring is here is when the Snow Drop flowers shoot up. They apparently come before Crocuses or anything else. They are tiny with a white head, thus the name. So things are looking up.
I am sore like no tomorrow. Two days ago I was carrying something out of my RV and my foot caught the door edge and I fell down the metal steps, hitting the door frame first and then the edge of every step before the hard cement full force. I think it was the worst fall in years for me. I just laid there for a bit because I felt faint every time I tried to sit up. Harvey and Pearl knew something was wrong and came and pawed at me, and then hopped up on my chest and just curled up. Must thought I was providing a nap opportunity for them. :-/ After about 15 minutes I could get up, but now I am blue from my kidney to my behind on one side. Will take a few days to heal up I guess. The good part of living in a resort is that if I needed an ambulance or something I could yell and for sure someone would hear me. High point to almost everything. :-)
Work is going good this week. Meetings have been good. So life is humming along. Harvey and Pearl are doing awesome, and playing in the yard lots. Pearl is barking at my neighbor Frank as usual as he works in his shop in the next yard. Entertainment for her, and he says he likes hearing her...mmm...he really is a nice man...if I had a chihuahua as my own private fan I am not sure I would be as sweet. :-(
Okay, bus is almost downtown so will close up. Have a wonderful week!
Love to all,
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
I have to admit, this week has been hard..really hard. For the last four days it has -10 and -12 again. I am officially ready for winter to be over, and for it to stop being cold. However, tonight we are expecting four centimeters (2.5 inches) of snow. :-( When I was at school this morning I was talking to another teacher and asking him how he copes with the cold all the time since he moved here from Uruguay. He said he reminds himself how clean the air is. That makes him love it. Mmm...I will give that one a try. :-/ In the BIG picture though I just remind myself that I love my job - and that to me is very important when a person has to work to support a home. Going to work each day is hard enough at times, but loving the job and appreciating the people you work with helps a great deal. ...And then there are the students.
Three months ago a Japanese university student became one of my students at the college. He is very uptight and rigid. He was quick to tell me that he is not fond of his family and had no intention of keeping contact with them while he was studying abroad. We had many “chats” about his conduct in the classroom (grumpiness). This week the students had to produce a writing assignment about someone in their life. I was kinda wondering who he was going to write about, but didn't want to ask. I got the paper yesterday and laughed to see it was ME. He started out by saying how “she is the strangest teacher I have ever met. When she does role play in class with us she uses many different voices. I have never heard someone with so many voices in their head. And also, when I look at her in class I see she touches her glasses too much, and they have fingermarks on them. This disturbs me greatly. However, I have learned she is a very good teacher because now my English is good.” It makes me sound like some weird teacher in an old movie, but I laughed and laughed because I knew where it came from.
Then there is Diego. I have learned that good manners, and bad manners cross all cultural barriers. Diego is from Mexico and has been over indulged his whole life. He does his best to be obnoxious in the classroom and will take moments to attempt to make other students cry by his remarks so I have to intervene frequently. Recently he was saying some nasty things and I told him that he needed to stop and think about how he could express himself in a more mature manner. He proceeded to fling up his shirt and say, “mature? I am mature. I am a MAN! Look at all this hair!” I have a whole slew of responses I save for such moments. :-/ Oddly, whenever his program expires he keeps renewing, knowing that he will get me again, and again, and again. However, on the program evaluations yesterday the College Director was laughing because on the bottom of his evaluation form he added his own category of things he hates, and listed only one item underneath: me. The Director says it is okay though, because no other teacher wants to teach him. I actually think the training at the Ministry meetings comes into play here because we are taught to be nice or tolerant no matter how rotten or defiant someone is. ..and as post note to this, as I wrote this initially in the morning - Diego came to me later in the day and said he wanted to change himself but didn't know how. We sat down and made a plan together, and gave him the analogy of a highwire walker that becomes the star of the show - before he achieves his goal he falls a zillion times but he keeps trying otherwise he will spend his life on his back in the net. He understood and now each day we are working at his internal and language goals.
Even with the stress of the job I have to say I love it, because there truly never is a dull moment. From the moment I put foot in the class to the moment I leave, it is an adventure. I just have to work on appreciating this cold time of the year here. :-/
Okay, I must run, as the bus is almost pulling into the bus loop. If you have a meeting tonight have a great time!
Love to all,
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Hey hi everyone :-)
I am almost ready to run out the door to the meeting this morning, but wanted to share a couple pictures. The first one is of Pearl riding shotgun. It is pretty cold right now and after about 20 minutes she wants to ride. Harve does good with all his hair, however when it hits -5 and below there is no way he wants to go out so I wait til the sun warms things up a bit. His only problem is that when he is walking in the snow it collects on his body and he gets HUGE snowballs that we have to pick out along the way or when we get home. Sometimes he can't walk until we take them off because they get under his paws. The second is of our walking lane. In the the park there is a 3km trail. It is all fenced and safe. The last is of the lot with the miniature train. In the summer the owner has trains running through a perfect little village he has built with people and cars. When I was walking through the resort this morning, I was thinking that I absolutely LOVE resort life. After living in apartments, condos, and houses, I really prefer this lifestyle. Simple but interesting. I think I will always be a full-time RVer, because no matter where a person goes - down south, Mexico, or up north here, it is just such a nice way to live. Okay, enough blithering, off to the meeting!
Love to all,
Friday, February 17, 2012
Well it is snowing again! This morning on the way to the bus, I went down hard on a snow covered ice area. One second up, the next second looking up. The good thing is I didn't hit my head because as usual I was wearing my backpack with the neck pocket behind my head. The worrying part was the laptop. But Samsung came through again! This mini laptop takes a licking and keeps on ticking. It has been pulled off the table a couple times by clumsy Harvey, pulled on my desk by unobservant students, and then today took my full body weight as I landed on it, as well as being hauled back and forth to work everyday – but it turns on every time. I do know that one day it will die, but I really think I will look for a Samsung again due to the beating this one has taken and done so well.
Anyway, almost to work, so time to start staring out the window as I listen to the WT being played on my earphones.
Love to all,
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Hey hi everyone :-)
All is going good here. Still icy cold, especially in the mornings, but it gradually is getting warmer...kinda. By my estimation we are exactly 4 weeks to Spring. I got out before work this morning and shoveled the yard a bit, but then it is supposed to snow again for 3 days starting Saturday. It should be very very pretty and maybe it will be our last big snow so I will get out with my camera and take lots of pics.
Pearl is paying for her naughtiness. I rarely buy any hot food because I am always afraid that Harvey or Pearl with get at it somehow and make themselves sick. Well when I was shopping at Walmart last week they had a tray of HOT SPICY SAUSAGES on sale for $5 and I decided I really wanted them.Well last night I cut them up into chunks and cooked them up. As I was taking them out of the pan suddenly everything flipped and sausage bits went all over the floor. I was screaming NOOOOO! to scare Harvey and Pearl away, and grabbing bits up and throwing them in the sink. I was feeling pretty good about how fast I moved...and then I looked over my shoulder to the couch and saw Pearl standing on the couch looking back at me with a sausage between her teeth. I yelled at her to DROP DROP DROP! but instead she started chewing as fast as she could like a rabid gerbil as I ran toward her. Her pointed little teeth never moved faster. I was horrified knowing how hot the thing was, so I immediately put her on the floor and gave her some cream and cheese to try and neutralize the spices. I could tell by her face she was amazed at the fact that she had been naughty, and then got rewarded for it by being able to eat two of her favorite things. I checked the internet and it basically said she would be sick and either vomit it up, or poop it out. She seemed fine during the night, but when I came home tonight I could see that she had done both. But she seems fine now, thank goodness.
Work is great this week. We are having spirit week (not the type where we all wear sheets with eye holes) so that means the teachers and student body have theme days. Today was hat day. For any guy that showed up without a hat I made little paper hats and pinned them to their heads. The other teachers said they all looked like Burger King workers. :-)
Anyways, hope everyone is having a lovely week.
Love to all,
Monday, February 6, 2012
Remember that old show from the fifties where they had eery music and then went on to examine some odd occurrence, like Why Mrs. Smith's oven kept working despite the knob being broken? From what I understand, the new Twilight show is more along the lines of blood guts and sex – part of the times we live in. However, this morning I had my own twilight moment. When I walked out the door this morning to the bus there was a full on blizzard going on. All the way to the gate of my resort – then suddenly it stopped. When I got to the highway I looked back and a person could see this blizzard cloud engulfing the resort, but everything around it was clear. So weird. :-/
This was a good weekend. I stayed home and did organizing things. The meeting in the morning was good. I figured something out though. Our conductor ALWAYS looks to his left when he first asks a question. By the time my hand goes up five times (that is my limit due to the possibility of tears) I give up. However, this time due to coming in at song time I had to sit near the back and could observe more to see this pattern. So if I sit to the left of the platform I HAVE to only answer secondary questions because first answers will go to the right. That is okay. Years ago, in my congregation in Burnaby, we had a brother who was also the city overseer give our special needs talk on commenting. He reminded everyone that even if a person doesn't get called on each time they put up their hand they have commented in Jehovah God's eyes. He always had such a loving perspective about things.
Well now I am sitting on the bus flying down the highway to work, and Pearl and Harvey are no doubt laying spread eagle on the couch or bed. So everyone have a wonderful day and hope you had a great weekend too!
Love to all,
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Hey hi everyone! :-)
Sometimes I feel like I really do have one of the best jobs in the world. We just had international culture day at the college. Each national group of students made dishes from their countries and then everyone wandered from classroom to classroom sampling everything. It was sooo good. I was able to eat all my favorite Korean dishes, but also try quite a few new Brazilian ones. Just an absolutely wonderful afternoon. ...and no Pearl wasn't on the menu, but she is just soooo cute when she lays around that I had to include the pic. :-)
Monday, January 16, 2012
I wish I had my camera on my yesterday. Harvey and Pearl and I took our afternoon walk along, or should I say ON Duck Lake. It is completely frozen and snowy now, and flocks of ducks and geese were skidding across it as they landed. With the sun hitting it, it was just beautiful.
This weekend was really good. Kind of. Actually was good, but had to work hard for a bit too. You see a pipe burst under the road in front of my place. The workmen all arrived to fix it and turned off the water for the road. The only problem is, that when they turned it back on it realeased a blob of wadding from their pipe fix material that went straight through the pipe to my unit causing no water. :-( So I broke open my plumbing manual, and made a quick call to Dad in Mexico to make sure there was nothing extra I needed to know about my pipe system and get some tips, then gathered my tools and got to work. First problem to solve was that the water system box is really tall. I couldn't reach the area I needed to work on unless I had arms like a gorilla. After finding my small stool I just balanced my stomach over the box and hung down. Thank goodness it was strong. But the pipe fitting was really tight, and the wrench kept slipping and then the water started spraying everywhere because even though I turned off the second water valve I missed the first. And it was minus 6. So I started to cry. But just momentarily. Once of those hard moments. I personally don't believe that crying means you are a wimp (unless you are a wimp or whiny by nature :-/ ) but rather that we are human. And after a good sobbing moment we can pick ourselves up, finish what we need to do, and have accomplished or learned something in the end. Now my water is working good again. :-)
Meeting was really good in the morning. Brother Elair gave a really good talk about visualizing ourselves in the future, and changes we may need to make in order to get there - everything from entertainment to helping one's wife clean up after dinner. In other words, how to be a better person. Then a good WT.
I hope all of you had a great weekend too, and have a great week ahead. Wish I had pictures to share - next time.
Love to all,
Monday, January 2, 2012
Hey hi everyone! :-)
The last few weeks have been busy busy. A while ago I broke the bridge piece in my mouth. I phoned EVERYWHERE up here in Canada to get it fixed. All the dentists were asking $3000. Way out of what I could afford. So I knew eventually I would have to save up and go down to Mexico and get it done...saving was sloooooow though - just so many expenses this year. Anyway, Dad and Mom gifted me a ticket down there for the middle of December. Even though it was a rush trip to get the dental stuff done, seeing Tracey, Eric and the kids, and all my friends in the congregation was definitely the best part of the trip. That congregation really does feel like family to me. When I walk in the door I feel like I know them - small hall but really great people. I was telling Dick Lee that he is so consistent at being the door greeter, that I KNOW 100% when I open that door that he will be standing there, no matter how much time passes. :-) And to make it that much better I hit the CO week, and he was an AWESOME speaker. His Thursday night talk was "Continue Making The Truth Your Own". He laid everything out so clear, and covered every angle for each age group and circumstance, that I am grateful I could be there.
The break from the cold weather here was perfect too. Having warm weather for a week made it nice to get off the plane here. I really want to get down there regularly now because with Allegiant Airlines out of Bellingham it makes it affordable. If a person flies on specific dates during the week they can get there and back for $39 each way. Really can't beat that.
The last couple weeks back here though have been great though too. Mike and Marcelle, and Tyler and Janelle have been visiting with all their kids. So lots of hanging out and chatting. Marcelle and I even went to Silver Star tubing together one day. I haven't done that is sooo many years - and never on a professional run. The only tubing I have done in my life involved climbing hills in an exhausted manner, then bouncing down the run, richocheting off trees or moguls and then hoping not to break a limb in a pile up at the bottom. :-) This however, was more cool. I highpowered ski lift thingy would grab YOU and the tube at the bottom and pull you up the mountain as you bounced along enjoying the scenery. Then there was an attendant that would launch a person, and their partners or partners off the run, and a pile of straw at the bottom to slow you from break-neck speeds. It was absolutely fabulous! :-)
Today is the last day of official government holidays. Tomorrow back to work. But that is okay. For the last few days I have been breezing through the 2012 YEARBOOK posted online. Rhwanda is featured, and it is REALLY REALLY good. The whole book is very motivating. So this afternoon will continue on with that which is just fine as it is minus 7 out there right now. I keep waiting for it to warmup a bit so I can take stinky and stinky out for a walk, but no movement on the temps yet.
Okay, love to all. Hope that everyone is having a great holiday weekend.