Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas menu

When the question was put to this Grandson as to what he would like for Christmas dinner at Grandma Karin's house, this was his response:" a big fat turkey, potatoes and corn".

my question: "do you like mashed potatoes?"

answer: "no".

Would someone please remind me to not mash all the potatoes this Christmas? I truly want to please all appetites at our Christmas feast....

Saturday, November 26, 2011

a happy song

I read "For the Lord your God has arrived to live among you. He is a mighty saviour. He will rejoice over you with great gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will exult over you by singing a happy song." Zeph. 3:17

Then I looked up, out the window at the eastern sky. It was an incredible sight of light and colour. To me that is a "happy song".

In the midst of all the doubting, all the pain around me, all the hurts I see and all my fears I still choose to believe......

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I am off!

Off to visit the grandchildren, two different families, six grandkids! How good is that! How fortunate am I to be given the freedom and the ticket to go.

But I looked into the laundry/ sewing room today and thought 'what if something happened to me while I am away? What would the John Deere Salesman do with all this mess?' And I am not exaggerating about mess! It truly is a disaster. But anyone who quilts will understand how it is when one starts five or more projects, then thinks of other possibilities, piles fabrics together for something else, and so on.

So you quilting friends please, please, PLEASE rescue my fabric if you hear of my demise.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A new day

As the sun came up this morning I watched those big hills (the Rocky Mountains) on the western horizon. The sun was poking through the clouds and shining on the snow. The dark blue of the blue Canadian Rockies combined with the brilliant white of the snow was pretty spectacular, again!

Then I thought of the news report this morning, how the earth had shaken in Turkey, how, in minutes lives had been turned upside down, literally. Loss of life, families torn apart, loss of 'stuff', gone within minutes.

I thought too, of the phone call the John Deere Salesman had this week from the daughter of a friend from years gone by. She wanted us to know that her Mom had died this week. Mom had gone to the doctor regarding a continuing gall bladder issue. He told her she had 24-48 hours to live. She did not make the 24 hours.

Life in my corner of the world is incredibly easy and peaceful compared to so many places. May I be thankful for the new day that I have. May I live in this moment and remember what really matters, what really is important.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I have no title...... :)

It began as any other day. I don't get in much of a hurry in the morning, taking time to enjoy my coffee and watch the rising sun. Tending to be a procrastinator, I continued to meander through the morning until the clock reminded me that I had a lunch date, a 45 minute drive from home. So of course I did my usual scramble and thankfully remembered the birthday gift that I was taking.
By the time I came home in the afternoon I was doing the mental list of all the things that should be done, most of them not pressing but just a bunch of stuff that I thought was needing attention. Then the John Deere Salesman called and asked me to go with him to move equipment. Hhhmmm, what about my list? I went and enjoyed the beautiful afternoon. Next his question was , "would I go for a quick fly to see how harvest was going?". Of course I would go but that was when the guilt started kicking in. The 'list' became longer and more pressing in my mind. I told myself I had done nothing all day. I am lazy. I don't accomplish anything.
All of a sudden the thought came to me: instead of thinking about all the things I didn't get done why not think about what I did do. Yes, most of what had happened wouldn't be measured in cleaning, cooking, sewing etc. but there was good time with people I care about.
It was not a huge revelation but it has helped me to deal with the inadequate feelings that plague me, feelings that I don't 'do' enough. Somehow thinking of what I did get done instead of what didn't get done brought a freedom that I had lost that day.
I think of my friends with full/part time jobs as well as families, friends with little people at their feet, in their arms all day long. There is a saying "a women's work is never done" and yes, I suppose that is true. But today, instead of thinking of what did not get done, think of all the things that did get done whether it be reading the same book to your toddler, rocking a sad baby half the day, making pancakes for supper instead of some complicated casserole.
Sometimes we set the bar waaay to high and need to be kinder to ourselves.
Now I think I will just go to my very messy laundry/sewing room and dream about another quilt project or maybe sew a seam or two..........

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I have added another blog. I have not been that regular in regular 'blog land' so who knows how long this second blog will last. But I shall give it a try.

Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I have been doing much pondering since the last post. It hasn't been all good. Found myself floundering in sadness, melancholy, pain. I sent a long email to a couple telling them the many, many reasons why I don't like the end of summer, the onset of fall. I could come up with quite a list!

Yesterday I 'heard' , not in an audible way but still 'heard' "Why do you keep holding on to these things?". Good question!

This morning I looked up the verse that says "forgetting what is behind" (Phil. 3:13). I don't think that means to ignore, to try to blot out but maybe to not 'camp' on the past, to not find identity in the past.

I truly don't wish to become an old lady who only recalls the pain, the difficult times. And my pain is rather trivial compared to what others deal with!

So.... I trust I can have have a new outlook on this season. There is such beauty to enjoy and so much to celebrate. I have so much for which to be thankful. That is where I want to live.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hangin' on!

I have both hands and feet braced against the 'door frame' of summer, holding on, resisting and moaning about having to enter the next season. I realize the calendar says fall or autumn begins later in September but once I have to turn the page and read "SEPTEMBER" I know that it is here.

August was a glorious month of sun and warmth. We had time with 5 of the 8 grandkids and their parents. We had the joy of sharing the excitement of 3 of them seeing the Rocky Mountains for the first time. The memories are treasures to enjoy in the months ahead.

Family from Michigan spent time in Alberta, the first time in three years. For little people, 7 and 6, three years is a long time and there have been a lot of changes. Good visits, conversation, a ride in the airplane with the JD Salesman Uncle all made it special for us.

But, BUT, BUT now it is the inevitable with shorter days and cooler weather.

I need to turn the page in my mind and accept reality I guess.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

and one more...

.... makes 8, that is EIGHT grand children, six girls and two boys.

Lucy Kruse was born on July 5, smack dab between the birthdays of both grammas, one being July 2 and one on July 7. Lucy is her own person.

The trip to Manitoba was quick, hot, humid but so worth it to meet this little lady and see the rest of her family as well as her aunt, uncle and cousins.

We are so, so blessed........

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Who has seen the wind?

..... that is the title of a book by W.O. Mitchell, writing about the life of a boy in Saskatchewan. Good question! and I would add: who has smelled the wind, tasted the wind, held it one's hand, examined it under a microscope. But the effects of the wind are very visible to say the least. Watch the news, look at a newspaper, look out your window and all of us see what havoc the wind can cause. But there is so much 'good' about the wind. Who does not enjoy a breeze on a hot summer day. If you own a sail boat you appreciate the wind. The wind pollinates various crops/ flowers. In mosquito season humans and cattle alike are grateful for wind.

I still don't like wind. In fact a couple of weeks ago when the wind blew day and night I was rather resentful and depressed by the wind. But I know there is 'good' to be found in all things.

I read recently how Jesus described the Holy Spirit to the wind. We don't see the Spirit but he is working anyway. At times we see the results if we pay attention but many times I miss the good or take it for granted.
'who has seen the wind......'?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

spring time water

It would seem to my brain that spring is so painfully slow in coming this year. I did quite well through the darker months of January and February being deprived of sunshine but once March appeared on the calendar and then April with the totally covering of snow as well as dreary, foggy, snowy days I have been on this downward mental slide. I thought that once the sun started to shine and the snow STARTED to melt I would be bright and cheery, ready to tackle anything!
But no, I am fighting to keep my head above water!

Speaking of water......( a different form than what I was referring to in the above), we are into our springtime form of amusement! Are we, the JD Salesman and I, getting so old that we are entertained by spring runoff? Or is it the days-gone-by, having lived in a part of the province where every bit of moisture was treasured that makes us enjoy watching the coulees and streams as they fill and overflow. Whatever it is we have been taking evening drives to survey the melting snow and the flow of water. It really is quite spectacular when we take the time to check the lay of the land, the coulees, the ditches. Last night was particularly impressive. It seemed as though a number of culverts had just broken free of ice because the water had run over the road in many places. We stopped regularly and listened to the sound of the rushing water. It didn't have the same affect as listening to the ocean in Mexico but we still enjoyed it.

The JD Salesman keeps making the effort to check the level of water in our dugout which is at the far end of our quarter. He took the tractor out the other day but was pushing heavy wet snow so he came home. Then it was the Gator but to no avail. The snow is still too deep! And so he waits.......

And I wait too but not to check the water in the dugout. I wait for the cloud to lift from my brain, my mind. In the meantime, I continue to find great pleasure in my sewing room as I finish quilting projects and start new ones.

(how did I get from water to quilting? who knows and what does it matter!)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


We are barely into the first week of an election campaign and I can hardly listen to the news. Maybe I have my head in the sand, maybe I don't care enough. Maybe I just wish there wasn't so much smearing and slandering.
I hear so much about a coalition. WELL, I have my own theory about a coalition. There is one, that is for sure but I have my own idea of who makes up the coalition. It plays out like this:
Mrs. Harper strikes me as a quiet, gentle soul. She hails from small town Alberta. Sometime earlier this winter she and her husband were invited to a royal wedding. Can you imagine? Whether one is a monarchist or not it would be a once-in-a -lifetime opportunity to go to a royal wedding.
So..... Mrs. Layton ( yes, I know she goes by her maiden name so this is not politically correct) and Mrs. Ignatieff are jealous. They really don't want Mrs. Harper to be able to go to this wedding. Now we know that women 'control' the nation (???) don't we???? So Mrs. L and Mrs.I join forces and tell their husbands to get with it, create a ruckus, do anything to keep Mrs. Harper from going to this wedding. Hence, the non-confidence vote and the election being called for on May 2. The wedding is on April 29 so there is no way the Harpers will be able to attend.
So that is my theory. Why else would the Liberals want an election when their ratings are so low!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

p.s. to previous post!

I ended the last post in a hurry!

I meant to add that I will never write a book with 'my' story so for now I shall continue to blog and share some of what I experience, what I have learned, what I am learning. I want to be honest, to be real. Sometimes I find that difficult especially when I know it may grate other people or expose a part of myself that I would like to hide. The quote by Buechner was an encouragement to keep at it!

here's to blogging!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Stories to tell

I am not a consistent blogger and at times I think 'quit'. I 'write' posts in my mind but these often stay in my mind! Sometimes it is because I fear putting my thoughts out there but often just because I don't get around to it.

I enjoy so many, many others who share thoughts and ideas, tell interesting stories and bare their souls. I have cried over adoption stories, laughed about lizards, felt empathy for young Moms and the struggles of holding it together. I read list of thankfulness, personal challenges for fitness and weight. I am encouraged to try new ideas in quilting. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the expertise of quilters and threaten (in my mind) to quit! And then I take a class from a blogger and am encouraged again. I am following the writings of a young man who is graduating from university and then taking his doctorate as well as being a Dad, blogging about Libya, the frustrations of well meaning NGO's and then a recipe for pecan ice cream. I just finished reading "The Help" a book recommended on a blog. ( By the way, it is one of those books that made me feel like I actually knew these people!)

I think what has encouraged me to keep blogging, even though it may be sporadic, was this quote from a favorite author:
"My story is important not because it is mine, God knows, but because if I tell it anything like right, the chances are you will recognize that in many ways it is also yours. Maybe nothing is more important than that we keep track, you and I, of these stories of who we are and where we have come from and the people we have met along the way because it is precisely through these stories in all their particularity, as I have long believed and often said, that God makes himself know to each of us most powerfully and personally. If this is true, it means that to lose track of our stories is to be profoundly impoverished not only humanly but spiritually." Frederick Buechner

The challenge to me it to 'tell it right' to be authentic, honest. Sometimes it is difficult to be open and vulnerable. I appreciate those who are......

Thursday, March 17, 2011

take a look.....

Kyle has been working at 'film' for quite a few years. He doesn't talk a lot about it, at least not to his parents! We did get a glimpse of what he does at the Epcor Centre in Calgary last fall but recently he sent the above link. I don't know the musician, which is no surprise! but I do know the man who did the video!

Take a look! We are proud of this son!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The "clothes" I wear...

"His faith was not a seamless garment but a ragged garment with the seams showing, the tears showing, a garment that he clutched about him like a man in a storm."

I read this description of an author's seminary professor named James Muilenburg. The picture took on life in my own experience as I thought of the doubts, the fears, the questions that I have finally allowed myself to acknowledge in the last few years.

Then I thought of the other 'garments' that I wear. I thought of the shining, white, perfect gown that I have carelessly put on trying to cover who I really am. I am not referring to the gown of righteousness that I believe God would want for us. I am talking about pretending that I am better than the next person, comparing my goodness with another's and believing that I have it together, well, wanting to have it together. I don't really like this garment that I create for myself.

But in my mind I see another covering. It is not really that beautiful to look at, the colors are not vibrant or especially attractive yet it feels like the softest wool that has no itch! But I see myself wrapped totally in it, warm, safe, comfortable. At this stage of my life, at this time of my life I seem to be able to spend a little more time here, resting, relaxing and enjoying God's love.

Yes, there are days of coldness, wearing a torn garment. I don't feel the need to cover that with a fake 'whiteness' as much as I used to. But the sense of being loved and actually enjoying that love makes me wish to spend more time there.

disclaimer: don't take my metaphor too seriously or try to make it cover too many areas! I know it is not fool proof or very sound theologically! But it has been a real encouragement to me in this leg of the Journey.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

a mother's treasure

This young 'miss' is so eager to learn to read, to write. She is four years old.

But she is also very independent, wanting to accomplish tasks without help. So she made a card for her mother on her birthday, written phonetically. This is what it said:


Her Mom says she will treasure this card and I understand her thinking.

Friday, January 7, 2011

sounds of comfort

There is a Christmas song that has a line "tidings of comfort and joy". This led me to thinking of some sounds of comfort. Sounds that soothe, sounds that bring joy, sounds that satisfy my heart.

- the tick tock of the 100 year-old school clock hanging in our home
- the chiming of the grandfather clock in the night when I wake up and don't feel like opening my eyes to check the time. Yes, we have many, many clocks in this home.
-the 'stomp stomp stomp' of the JD Salesman's feet as he arrives home each day. This one is beyond soothing. It brings such joy and a settled feeling of comfort.
- the furnace coming on in the morning as I turn up the thermostat. All my growing up years were in a home with a coal heater to keep the house warm. I appreciate a dependable gas furnace.
- the 'pad-pad' of little feet coming up the stairs in the early morning when family is visiting
- the 'Hi Mom' on the phone when one of the three or their spouses call or I call them
- the sound of the vehicle when I turn the key. When it doesn't happen for some reason I realize how much I have to be thankful the many, many times it does start. I take it for granted so often.
- the whistle of the kettle boiling in the morning. Coffee is coming ! and I like my coffee......
- the 'quiet' when the wind does NOT blow

Not exactly profound but I am choosing to see the good, to enjoy all that I have. We are so, so blessed in this country, in this part of the country. I sometime complain about stuff that doesn't matter, about weather ( how unproductive is that!) and all manner of other things. remind me of my list when you hear me complain......

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

January 2011

How can this be, another year passed! The Christmas season over again for another year. To me it seems fitting to celebrate together with family as a new year begins. Somehow making those family connections brings a stability before facing the rest of winter and new territory.

Christmas was different for the JD Salesman and me. We celebrated with my siblings and some of their adult children. Quiet with a small group of 'old people' together! I would apologize to my niece and nephew for calling them old but they are less than a decade younger than I am so they will be included in that category. On Boxing Day Mr. JD and I ventured to Cross Iron Mills to check out what this shopping experience was all about. I really doubt we will try that again any time soon. It was amusing and a little sad. I looked around and wondered how we could possibly consider that our country is experiencing economic problems. I wondered how we as a people could be so consumed with 'stuff'. Do we worship things? Do we really think all this will satisfy? Maybe that sounds judgmental but I don't mean it that way. I had to talk to myself as I wandered around and remind myself of what I was there for, clothes for a baby gift, for coming birthdays and not to buy just because it was on sale!

Back to a more pleasant topic..... family. They began to arrive on the evening of the 29th, driving over miles of ice and barren sanded roads. A record time for one family driving from south of Winnipeg but oh they looked weary! After a good night's sleep we were ready to enjoy the season. The last family came late the next night and tucked sleepy kids into the beds made up on the floor.

So many memories were made. We celebrated new years with gift giving or merry new year or just a late Christmas. Seven beautiful grandkids, excited and full of energy playing dress-up, cars, table games with the adults and outside in the cold and in the shop where Grandpa had put the trampoline along with other toys. Meals prepared together, each family taking a turn to make a meal. Santa came on New Years day this year and now we are down to 2 grandchildren who are still in awe and wondering who this Man might be! The memory of those two standing and looking up at him, waiting for their turn to get a gift will be one to make me smile for a long time!

I loved the early morning cuddles with the grandson who came upstairs before anyone else. He sat on my knee and whispered all kinds of things including his scary dream. Then two more little ones came to sit at the counter and eat their breakfast. Gradually the other sleepy faces would appear and the days would begin. It can get rather noisy with 15 people milling around the kitchen table. But it was happy noise as Grandma sugared up each one.

I could go on and on because there are so many happy things to think about and this is a good way for me to add them up and mull over all the goodness we enjoy.

Lest I give the impression that it was perfect I will be quite emphatic that it wasn't. The JD salesman spent a day in bed with a bad back. He was in tears with the pain at one point. One Mama spent New Years day in bed with a raging flu. She was such a brave soul sitting through all the opening of stockings and 'under the tree' gifts without letting anyone but the Papa know how crummy she felt! There were misunderstandings, hurt feelings and some time outs for small people. Grandma put herself into a timeout once or twice. She snarled a few times at the JD Salesman! But there were no out and out wars that destroyed the good time together. I am thankful that all chose to set these differences aside and see the good, make the best of what is good.

When the last vehicle left the yard in the dark yesterday morning we stood in the doorway and cried. I muttered 'why did we have kids?' a question that comes out of the sadness of separation. The paragraphs above tell a little of why.......

Last night as I lay in the darkness, in those very few minutes before I fell asleep I thanked God that each family had arrived safely at their destination. And I thank Him too for this family that we are blessed with, that we enjoy together.