Friday, 31 December 2010

Out with the Old, In With the New

Dec. 31, 2010. This is it, folks. Soon it will be January 1, 2011. Where has the time gone? Where has the year gone?

On this last day of the year, a unique thing happened here at the MacDonald house. My Christmas tree, having been up for three weeks, was a bit weary and worn. However, I still wanted a tree up for a party I'm having here next Wednesday night. So, my crafty friend, Doris, came up with a brilliant idea. I dismantled and undecorated the old tree, and she went to the tree recycling place at the middle school, where everyone brings their used Christmas trees to be chipped. She found the best one she could, tied it on her van and brought it to my house. I had the other tree ready for recycle, and she carted that outside. I rearranged the living room and she plunked that tree in the stand and put the lights on for me, and I got the pleasure of decorating my second tree of the season. If you recall, the last tree erected was the day that Croy was born -- Dec. 8th and Doris put it up and decorated it for me because I was busy with the new baby and teaching.

Thanks, D. It was nice to decorate my own tree this year, and I am doubly blessed to have two Christmas trees grace my home this year!

Out with the old, in with the new. This tree should do me another two weeks. I like to keep the season going. Happy New Year, everyone!
Our condolences go out to Cousin Els (Elsbeth Kelly) and her family because of the death of her dear father, Charles Kelly of Fredericton. Many of you may remember Mr. Kelly as a math teacher at FHS. His funeral is today at York Funeral Home. We mourn with you, Cousin Els... a precious father...

The DuBois Family

Josh, Aiden, Natalie and ?Baby DuBois

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Visiting with Pippin and Uncle Earl

Here at Mom's, visiting with Aunt Pippin and Uncle Earl, from Cloverdale. Cuppa coffee and sweets. Pippin is Dad's younger sister. Good to see them again. Miss them -- they used to live across the street from us years ago. They were like our second parents. They just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, so thought I'd put on an old pic of them. Happy belated Anniversary, Aunt Viv & Uncle Earl!

Sleeping In

I'm on holidays. Staying up late. Sleeping in. No schedule. Strange. Things out of order. Messy house. Kids everywhere. I love the confusion -- for now. But after next week, I'll probably be looking forward to getting back to work. It IS nice, however, to have a rest, and that's what I'm doing. Resting. How about you?

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas!

Today I'm missing our daughter Natalie, and son-in-law Josh and grandson Aiden at this time of year, and wishing them all the best. We'll be there soon, love! February 17 to March 13th in Manitoba! And you'll have a another little baby to grace your family. Can't wait to see her/him!

Just made a raisin pie for my husband for Christmas. He gave me a Christmas love letter this morning that he's been working on for days that made me cry. So I decided to make him a raisin pie -- his favorite. Cousin C came over and helped me put the pie in and out of the oven. Another elf that graciously appears to help me with my one-handed holiday preparations. I need another elf now to help put my bandage on correctly, with something other than duct tape, which I found in the wee hours of the morning to secure the bandage until a proper dressing can be found.

Merry Christmas, everyone! Hope you have a blessed holiday time as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ!

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
(Luke 2:8-14)

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Top Ten Christmas Albums

Christmas is known for its music. During the holiday season people who seldom attend flock to the churches for a performance of sacred music or to sing a few carols with friends. Why not bring the glory of the season into your own home? These CD's are sure to uplift and inspire, filling your home with joy!

1) Handel's Messiah

This is the grand-daddy of them all. G.F. Handel put not only the Christmas story, but the entire narrative of Christ's life, death and resurrection to music. This work will keep you listening from Christmas, right on through until Easter. There are numerous versions out there. The one I like best features Kiri te Kanawa, soprano, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. It's on the London label.

2) Noel: Christmas at Kings

When many people think of a Christmas Eve Service, what they probably have in mind is the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols as sung by the King's College Choir, Cambridge, England. This album contains all the classic carols in that service and many, many more. Nobody does this better as this double album powerfully illustrates. A wonderful gift of pure inspiration!

3) A Very Special Christmas, Vol 5

For more than ten years this series of albums has benefited the Special Olympics and thousands of people with mental retardation. Not only does buying this album support a great cause, it brings you some winning Christmas music performed by contemporary artists. This year's album features Cheryl Crow, B.B. King, Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty and more.

4) Time Life Music: Treasury of Christmas

If you are just starting out collecting some of the more popular Christmas music, this two disc album is a good place to begin. From Bing Cosby to Nat King Cole, from Eva Cassidy to Charles Brown and the Chipmucks. For more information and a complete listing of the tracks on both albums.

5) Songs 4 Worship: Christmas

If you find collections such as A Christmas Treasury too secular, you might prefer this one. This album contains two discs of the most favorite Christmas music as performed in what has come to be know as the "praise song" style popular in many worship settings. All the selections here are specifically Christian.

6) If Every Day Was Like Christmas

By Elvis Presley. Believe it or not, Elvis Presley recorded more Christmas music than almost anyone, and he performed it better than most. This album contains some of his best.

7) A Christmas Album (Light of the Stable)

By Emmylou Harris. This collection has become a classic since being put out first in 1980. In addition to her rendition of familiar music such as "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and "The First Noel," Harris also includes less familiar pieces such as "Angel Eyes (Angel Eyes)" written specifically for this project. Harris teams up here the likes of Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and Neil Young.

8) Noel

Another classic album is Joan Baez's "Noel," originally published by Vanguard in 1966 and remastered for digital CD and cassette. As Christmas carols are, in essence, folk music, who better to bring these alive in a contemporary folk idiom that the queen of folk, Joan Baez?

9) John Rutter: Christmas Album

Rutter is one of the best contemporary composers of classical music. He is also a choral conductor, arranger, publisher and editor! In 1981 he founded his own choir, the Cambridge Singers, which he conducts and with which he has made many recordings of sacred choral music (including his own works), much of this on his own label, Collegium Records. He lives near Cambridge, England, but frequently conducts other choirs and orchestras around the world. If you are not familiar with Rutter, and want to get to know his music better, this is a good place to begin.

10) Dream A Dream

This is Charlotte Church's third album. The young soprano seemed to gain instant stardom when she recorded "Voice of an Angel" at age 13. Here she applies her remarkable talent to some of the most familiar Christmas music. Maybe Charlotte's is not literally the voice of an angel, but it is well worth a listen.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Spa Treatment

Well, I had yet another spa treatment today-- surgery on my left hand. Walked myself down the hall to the spa OR (the docs laughed at me talking about it being a 'spa.'), hot blankets, pillows, needles pierced into both hands and VOILA, the fun began at 9:20 this morning. Done about 10 a.m., then recovery for quite awile, banana popsicle, grape popsicle, tea with milk and a glass of gingerale. What could be a bettter activity on a Dec. 22? I told the doctor that I didn't have any more hands, so no opportunity for surgery again. Max called and said, "that's all, no more!" I agree. I'm home now resting comfortably, and nursing a very sore, throbbing, wrapped up hand. Keep it on for two weeks, then stitches out on Jan 4.

Watching movies and shows all afternoon so far and soon to take my penicillin.

Thanks for all your prayers!

My nurse Doug just walked in and will feed me penicillin now. What a man.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Flash Mob, Anyone?

Today was a day of flurried activity: radio program, wrapping, picking up Sam and we took a hurried trip to Keswick Valley Pharmacy to buy some last minute Christmas gifts, up the ridge and over to Scotch Settlement to see Janet White #1. Her house looks like Green Village -- trees everywhere, decorations galore. Beautiful!!! Had a cuppa tea and conversation, then a frantic trip back into town to drop off Sam, and get home in time to teach four students. Even made a recording of two 11-year-old boy guitar students for their parents for Christmas. After teaching, zipped up the hill to the Regent Mall to join the Fredericton Ladies Choir, where we sat patiently amongst all the people, and at 6:30, stood up all over the food court, singing "GO, TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN" in four part harmony. It was awesome. It is now on YouTube, so you can watch it.

Here are two links


Just copy the links (one at a time) and paste in your web browser and you should be able to see what we did. It was wonderful and we want to do it again.

Home again to prepare for surgery -- cleaning up and trying to do things while I still have the use of two hands. And eat my supper, a tomato sandwich and cottage cheese. I missed lunch and supper, but had a nice helping of Laura Secord French Crisp ice cream at the mall. Why not? It's Christmas, and I'm having surgery YET again, so why not treat myself to my fav ice cream?

Cleaned up my office, Doug finished the students' recordings, and finished a knitting project for Christmas. Do you think I have enough time before tomorrow morning's surgery to complete another? I'll take it with me to the hospital just in case.

Well, I would appreciate your prayers once again for this surgery. My appointment is at 7:45 a.m. I should be home by noon. Cousin C and W are having a party next door tomorrow night, so am hoping to have a rest in the afternoon and take in that party.

I'm a bit disappointed I didn't get all of my Christmas cooking and wrapping done, but HEY, maybe the elves will show up again.

The Weekend

The weekend in point form (considering it is now 12:13 a.m.!): (a 'sort of' point form)...

1. Friday afternoon -- a drive to Doakadelphia and beyond to sing Christmas carols with my guitar to Lloyd, an 88-year-old uncle of L's. I told him he was as old as the piano is long. He was blessed, and I enjoyed his woodstove in the kitchen. D. enjoyed some of his zucchini muffins.

2. Friday night -- a retirement party for R, who has just retired from the government. Lots of food, conversation and laughter, as we played Catch Phrase, and later did Jib Jab videos.

3. Saturday morning -- up river to Symonds to pick up a propane generator, and later to Jon & Alicia's to keep Afton, Jack and Ivy for the day and evening. Made bags to hang on their doors that D. sent with me. Pretended we had our own kids restaurant. The kids named it the "Chinese Dooga Beach Kids Restaurant." They all helped me prepare a veritable feast, and Ivy designed a new drink at the cupboard: "Water with lemon juice." All three kids were the chefs in the restaurant, and they decided to put their bathing suits on while cooking. You should have heard Jack pray at grace time. It would melt your heart. "Thank you for our family and that we love each other. For Mom and Dad, for Gram Deb & Papa and for our meal," etc. The kids had baths with their bathing suits on, as if they were at the beach. Three books and they went to bed like angels. Oh, they are such good kids. Hope they always stay that way. Croy went with Mom and Dad to Kings Landing Dinner.

4. Spent the night back in Coldstream (wherever that is), and we crept in quietly, up the back stairs to the Green Room. Immediately after getting into a 'double' bed, I fell out onto the floor and slept on the laminate floor all night, with a mat and a quilt under me. Not much sleep that night, for sure. In the morning, Aunt H. and Uncle F. told me that there was a foam mattress under the bed that I could have pulled out and slept on!

5. To church to sing with Amy and Robin -- Mary Did you Know and Breath of Heaven. We love to sing together. Saw Aunt Viv and Uncle Earl at church. Aunt Pippin, that is.

6. A meal at Aunt & Uncle's with Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and her Farmer husband. Dr. Quinn brought me some potion for my wrists. I like it and it seems to help somewhat with this pain I have.

7. Dr. Quinn, Doug, Aunt H and I went over to the Pirate's house for a couple of hours where they were having band practice. Of course, I got to play a couple of numbers with the band, and even played the drums for a couple of their songs. Considering I am only a beginning drummer, it was a miracle that I could play with them.

8. Down to the Undertaker's house to have a visit with them for awhile and show them some Jib Jab movies. Then back up to the Pirate's house to tune a banjo for a fella, have some hamburger soup and play some more guitar and sing with the Pirate.

9. Then it was time to go back to the Undertaker's House and try to heal his headache using a mandarin orange (although I'm not really like Dr. Quinn when it comes to healing), but he just laughed at me and I don't think his headache went away. We picked up Robin, who traveled with us and talked all the way home about kinesiology. Very interesting stuff, but don't expect me to repeat it. She and Amy had a great time talking, watching movies and sleeping this weekend.

10. Drove Robin to Kingsclear and noticed that my cousin Joe was there, Dusty's son (Pippin's grandson), so had to go inside and give him a hug.

11. Then it was time for Papa and I to head 'er home and retire for the night. I really need a rest. So, Wednesday, I will have surgery on my hand. Perhaps I will stay put for a day or two.

Today was busy with shopping and teaching til 9 tonight. Then Charles, Barb and Arend arrived to do some recording for the radio. (Precious Memories of a Christmas Past). I just got that all uploaded for my show tomorrow. Now, I believe it is time for me to go to bed. Tomorrow has lots of opportunities and a storm is supposed to be a'comin'


Monday, 20 December 2010

Stay tuned for details of the weekend. In the teaching mode right now

Friday, 17 December 2010

Christmas Recipes from Natalie

My daughter, Natalie, made these Christmas goodies and said they are very good. So, wanted to share them with you....

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 6 oz. package Craisins
2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips

Preheat oven to 375. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together
until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Combine oats, flour, baking
soda, and salt in separate bowl, and add to butter mixture in several
additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in cranberries and
chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12
minutes or until golden brown.

Makes approx. 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Cheese-filled Shortbread Tartlets

1 package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Fresh raspberries, kiwi, and mint sprigs (optional)

1. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in the
milk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate.

2. In another bowl, beat butter, flour, icing sugar, and cornstarch until
smooth. Roll into 1-inch balls. Place in greased miniature muffin cups, and
press onto the bottom and up the sides. Prick with a fork.

3. Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately run a
knife around each tart to loosen completely. Cool.

4. Pipe or spoon 1 tablespoon cheese filling into each tart shell. Cover and
refrigerate until set. Just before serving, garnish with raspberries, kiwi,
and/or mint if desired (I used cherries).

The Elves Were Here

Two elves showed up here yesterday. One cleaned my oven, stovetop, and refrigerator. She reminded me not to buy groceries for awhile, after cleaning out my fridge! So, I went to the Superstore and bought a few things.

The other elf wrapped presents and I did the gift tags, among other things. What a blessing to have these elves at my disposal. Thank you!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Precious Memories of Christmas

On my radio program for the next couple of weeks, I will be reading people's memories of Christmases in their past.

If any of you out there in Blogland would like to have your precious memory on the radio, on my "Soul Cafe" show, please feel free to type it and send to me at

Hey, Ann P. out in SK, how about you and Don write one? People know you here in Freddytown, since you lived here forever.

Anyone can contribute -- should be about 1-3 minutes in length when you read it aloud. I will attach my voice to it once I receive your email, and will attribute it to YOU when I read it. Don't want to plagiarize*, you know.

*(to take and use ideas, passages, etc., from another's work)
Do you feel like you're running in all directions this time of year? I do. From recording precious memories of Christmases past for the radio show, to looking for a lost music book, to shopping at my favorite store again (Zellers, of course), to traveling to Maugerville to look at the Saint John River flooding the land, to delivering the lost music book and some Christmas cooking to a friend, to teaching music, to preparing tomorrow's radio show, to running all over the city trying to retrieve an elementary Christmas music book from one student and delivering it to another for a recital tomorrow, to doing Christmas cards and talking on the phone, and so on. Yes, it's been a busy day.

Tomorrow, I think I have a couple of elves coming to help me in the morning. One is going to help me wrap presents, and the other is going to clean my oven and my refrigerator. Am I Santa?

Monday, 13 December 2010

The Weekend

Wow, what a busy weekend. How could I describe it? It was so jam-packed that this afternoon I had to have a nap on the couch.

Friday night -- Funktional Independence -- the Rehab band I'm in -- we performed our rock songs for the Christmas party, and then Doug and I were DJs for the dance. Got home after 2, and to bed after 3 a.m.

Up early Saturday morning -- traveled to Bristol to spend the day with Jon, Alicia, Afton, Jack, Ivy and Croy. Wow, this family is sure growing. Tried to fold laundry, do dishes, hold baby, play cars on the floor, have a nap on the couch, buy pizza, sing, and come home by 10. Doug got called in to work late Saturday night.

Sunday morning found us in Maugerville Baptist Church, where I played the piano for the service and sang with Dawn Marie. Got to speak a bit as well, about an experience I had the other day at Sears. Sunday afternoon, I picked up Max and Jed and we went to St. Paul's Cathedral to hear the 110 voice ladies choir that I'm supposed to be in (I'm on hiatus right now). The girls did a fantastic job. Granny, Beth, Ann, Judy at 100 other voices. And the Garden Creek boys choir were so cute. There was even some excitement in the crowd, as the paramedics had to come in with a stretcher and care for a woman who had had heat stroke or something. The choir sang on, though -- the show must go on, right? I hope the woman is OK.

Sunday night found us at D & K's house for coffee and conversation, a quick trip to D & L's, a drive-by Mr. Fix-it visit at Ann's house where Doug will fix some stuff there this week, and coffee at Tim Horton's with Bill til 10:30. Then I left my purse there and had to travel back and get it. Oh, where oh where is my brain?

There....then I thought today I would get organized, but checked my calendar, and realized I had a pre-op appointment for my surgery next week, so off to the hospital I went for an ECG and blood work. Saw Clark in CIU == Hi Pat! A trip upstairs to 3SE to visit Jake, who broke his leg in two places (Phen's son), a trip to see Doug who was falling asleep, a stop at Sobey's for a chicken where I talked to Carolyn, and finally home to make supper and have a nap.

Just finished teaching. Now will talk to Nat and relax. The rain is pouring outside. Just heard thunder and saw lightning. Isn't this weather strange?

That's what I did on the weekend. I have to get a lot done this week -- shopping, wrapping, cooking. Need to get everything done before next Wednesday as I will be a bit incapacitated with my hand wrapped up. But it will at least make me relax, right?

Thursday, 9 December 2010


This morning I spoke and sang at a womens' Bible study -- on Joy, and cried tears of joy == over a newborn baby, a new life, precious memories of Christmases past, and the hope that we are awaiting in the future -- a life without pain, disease, injustice, etc. Then we had a nice lunch.

Went shopping at Sears. Talked to a former student's parent and found out she had an irregular mammogram and was awaiting a core biopsy. I hugged her and said, "I know what that's like." She began to cry, and I told her I would pray for her for the next couple of weeks while she waits to have the test, and if the test is not good that I would talk with her. I told her to look at me and see that I was standing in front of her -- that I had gone through all that and more, and was still living and well. She said that gave her hope. She said "I guess I was meant to meet you today." I love to encourage people, and feel SO blessed to be able to help in any way I can.

I went to the Northside to my fav store -- Zellers. And went to pick up my father to help him shop for Granny. Can't say any more about that, since Granny reads my blog. We had fun, though. "Snail male" (that's what I call him because he walks so slow everywhere) had a nice time in the mall. And at Lawton's he picked up a couple of things to eat that he specifically told me not to tell Granny about (Brenda and Nat, I'll tell you on the phone). He certainly is cute!

Went to Doris' to have tea and stare at the Christmas tea for an hour. Her tree is lovely at her house, and the tree that she decorated at my house is lovely, too. Anyone need a tree decorator? She didn't charge my anything. Perhaps she's for hire.

To Maugerville to practice music for Sunday with my friend Dawn-Marie for an hour. Then home to have a 20 minute nap before we went out again to meet new friends. Also met two very active cats, three geckos and a cricket. But it was fun and we enjoyed it. Now I'm home with lots of energy again, and it's almost 11 pm. Doug is watching "Ice Road Truckers" and I'm going to watch a New Day episode that D & C told me to watch -- about resting.

Well, here goes -- I am resting, watching a video about resting. Is that a 'freedundancy," as Croy's father calls it?

Oh, now Doug is going to watch the resting video with me. I have a feeling he's going to rest his eyes while watching it -- he usually does this time of night.

Quite the day. Tomorrow will be an interesting day.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

It's a Boy!

We took a flying trip to Waterville Hospital, between Woodstock and Hartland to arrive in the room and Afton shouted, "It's a Boy!" We couldn't believe it. He is beautiful - 9 lb 2 oz. Not sure of what his name is yet, but before we left at noon, they are pretty sure it is CROY DOUGLAS MACDONALD. The name "Croy" comes from Jonathan's love of the St. Croix River (which he has kayaked many times). They had a baby book in their room of 100,000 baby names and the name "Croy" is not in it, therefore, he is very unique. A Scottish boy has been born this day. Rejoice!

And to top it all off, Doris and Laurie went and got me a Christmas tree, delivered it and she is now decorating said tree in the music room while I teach. What could be better? A beautiful bouncing baby boy Croy and a Christmas tree, snow on the ground and presents under the tree. And people coming tonight. Rejoice! We are blessed. We now have three grandsons and two granddaughters -- and one more mystery baby to come January 22ndish.

Croy Douglas MacDonald

Jonathan calling Natalie to tell her "It's a Boy!"

Grandparents and Siblings

New Baby!

New baby has just arrived. Got the phone call from Jonathan, and I couldn't find the phone beside my bed before it went to the answering machine. Just went to sleep not even half an hour ago! Errrr! Jon quipped: "I hate to leave this kind of message on an answering machine (why didn't he call back???), but there's a new baby in town, and you know the protocol: can't tell you what it is until you come. So I'll call you in the morning!"

Now, Son, why do you tease us so? A trip up river in the morning is in order, as if we wouldn't come to see this new arrival! You turkey, keep us in suspense a little longer, why don't you?

Another grandbaby! Hallelujah!

Rejoice with us -- today in the city (town) of Hartland, a baby is born which will bring great joy...

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Cookies are out of the oven, still no phone call regarding a baby. I guess I'll go to bed.
Alicia and Jon have gone to the hospital about 8 pm tonight. Contractions are 5 minutes apart. Waiting to hear when and what it is!

Pray for easy delivery!

I guess I'll make shortbread cookies. Certainly cannot go to sleep. A December baby is a-comin'!

The Mystery and Health Benefits of Ho Ho Ha Ha Ha

In my seminar, "Live, Laugh, Love," I tell of the new trend that laughter therapists are using: Saying, "Ho Ho Ha Ha Ha" with the audience until they all get laughing, thus increasing endorphins in the brain, feel-good hormones. Recently, I was speaking of this at an up-river ladies' night out, and a couple of days later I got a call on my answering machine left by a woman who must have been there. She chanted, "Ho, Ho, Ha Ha Ha" to me and hung up. Never left a name, nothing.

The mystery was solved this past Sunday night over at St. Margaret's Anglican Church. I was preparing to do the music and an older woman looked at me and chanted, "Ho Ho Ha Ha Ha!" I looked and retorted, "IT WAS YOU!" A Cheryl, from Nackawic, who happened to be at the meeting, and found my number in the phone book.

Then she told me that her heart races in the night and wakes her up, so you know what she does? She chants, HO HO HA HA HA aloud and her heart rate calms down, and she goes back to sleep.

Go figure. Will wonders never cease. God uses the funniest things I say and do to affect people's lives.

Must go teach for awhile.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Whew, what a weekend!

A jam-packed weekend of music: Saturday night benefit gospel concert, where my group, "First Love" sang "Mary Did You Know" and "Carol of the Bells." Unfortunately, I got carried away on the piano and played it hyper-speed, much to the chagrin of the sopranos carrying the melody, "Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas." A laughable moment, for sure.

Sunday morning at Morning Gate, then a three hour practice at Musicplex for the Rehab Rock Band (this coming Friday night is our performance), and a three hour stint at St. Margaret's Anglican Church in the evening, where I played piano and sang for 2 hours with the friends who were with me.

This morning I got up at 9:30 -- slept in. Wonder why?

No baby yet for Alicia and Jonathan, although she is now 3 cm. She is now one week overdue. Hope she has it tomorrow. If not, the doctor is going to induce her on Thursday.

Soon, another baby to grace our family! Grandbaby #5 is almost here!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Letters to God

We went to Capital Community Church tonight and watched "Letters to God"
-- you must see this, but be prepared to cry. It affected me deeply - very
close to my heart -- about a boy with cancer. I cried and grieved...another
part of healing for me, yet so close to home for anyone who has gone through
cancer or is going through it... BUT, it made me realize that God is in the business of doing miracles.... I don't want to
give any part of the movie away, so you'll have to see it yourself. VERY
well done.

Thursday, 2 December 2010


I love rainbows. God gave me the promise of a rainbow the day my radiation ended last June (09), on the last day of radiation, at the Millidgeville Superstore, in the bathroom, a photograph of a beautiful rainbow on the wall in that bathroom. It was His promise to me that I'm going to be OK.

Ever since then, I see rainbows all the time, and I smile, because I know He is pointing that out to me. Today, already -- two rainbow things I have encountered. First, a picture on a magazine, and then an email from Phenny, my friend:

"The rainbows of life follow the storms." Unknown

That is so true -- the rainbows DO follow storms! Just wanted to write about rainbows today on this rainy day. Wouldn't it be neat to see a rainbow in December in the sky? Now that would be a 'wonder,' but isn't this the 'wonder' month?

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Miracle on 34th Street

Do you remember that old black & white movie that we watch every December? Well, a miracle happened today -- in Saint John, not on 34th street, but at the Saint John Regional Hospital.

Our friend Almira, who was diagnosed earlier this year with lymphoma, and has been in hospital since May, was declared cancer free today, even though LAST week, they were sure she had more tumours in her body. A bunch of us have been praying fervently to the God that we trust in, and TODAY, doctors, nurses and many others were astonished to find that NO cancer resides in her body.

We're all rejoicing and saying, "Thank you, thank you, God, for hearing our prayers!" Thank you for your prayers, as well for our dear friend. Cancer CAN be beaten -- prayer works!

This is so encouraging to us all. Like the Bible says, "NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD."

Monday, 29 November 2010

I went for a country sunshine-snow-on-the-ground drive this morning. Out the Royal Road, a left to Kingsley, up on Balsam Ridge (sounds like a song) and into Burtts Corner, back through Keswick, Douglas and into Fredericton, back to where I started. Beautiful. Then to the gym to meet with a new trainer, Ross, a young man (30 years old). He is adorable and very considerate of all my 'issues' in my tissues, if you know what I mean. Aches and pains here and there, scar tissue, back problems, oh, the list... I worked out for an hour and felt great. Now I'm writing down everything I eat in a food journal. Now, that's a job, I'll tell you, but it certainly makes you conscious of what you're eating. I ate VERY well today. But sure would like some toast. I'm off bread for a few days.

Now I must fold clothes or something. Oh, Doug just got home. So I guess I'll go talk to him. He looks like he fell into a bucket of grease, head and all. He has been working out at Floyd's in Charters Settlement, building a trailer to haul behind the RV. A new invention. Will the ideas ever stop coming to Mr. Invention? We never get bored here, between the two of us. Our life is far from boring.

Saturday, 27 November 2010


Today has been very eventful. This morning I was at Smythe Street church to a women's brunch. Great time. Helped clean up afterwards, then a quick trip to the Lighthouse Bookstore to load up on Christmas books for gifts. Over to CJRI (radio station) to work until 6 pm in our Praise & Pledge Share-a-Thon Weekend. On the air from 4-6 with my co-host, Barb Prosser-Winder, and Lynda Lewis dropped in as well. We had a good time together. We raised a good amount during that two hours, and we were excited, let me tell you. I played a few Christmas songs as well, while the snow fell softly outside the window. We got a lot of snow today. It was amazing. Then to Beairsto's with the Winders for a late supper. Home in the snow was fun -- I love to drive in the new snow.

Tomorrow is another full day. Must get my beauty rest tonight.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010


Sarah, a 10-year-old student of mine, just told me that the fear of long words is:


Say that 5 times quickly.

I am learning SO much today teaching these amazing students!

Mrs. Mac

Want to hear a couple of kid's jokes?

One of my 5-year-old students, Ella, told me that today she took out a book at the school library called "101 Jokes for Children," and she was VERY disappointed because they were not funny at all. I told her that perhaps she could write a joke book for kids. Then she asked me if I wanted to hear a couple of jokes. "Why yes," I replied.

Here they are:

"Why did Tigger look in the toilet? ...... To look for his friend Pooh!"


"Why did the chicken cross the playground?".......To get to the other SLIDE."

Thanks, Ella -- you're a great joke teller. You made my day!

Mrs. Mac (that's me)
You are who you are for a reason.
You're part of an intricate plan.
You're a precious and perfect unique design,
Called God's special woman or man.

You look like you look for a reason,
Our God made no mistake.
He knit you together within the womb,
You're just what he wanted to make.

The parents you had were the ones he chose,
And no matter how you may feel,
They were custom-designed with God's plan in mind,
And they bear the Master's seal.

No, that trauma you faced was not easy.
And God wept that it hurt you so;
But it was allowed to shape your heart
So that into his likeness you`d grow.

You are who you are for a reason,
You`ve been formed by the Master`s rod.
You are who you are, beloved,
Because there is a God!

(Russell Kelfer)

Without God life makes no sense.
(Andrei Bitov, Russian novelist)

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


Oh, it's so good to get a good night's sleep, isn't it? I think it has something to do with Kefir. I drink some right before bed. THe Jolly Green told me he drinks it and sleeps like a baby. And I read Scripture before bed as well. That helps, I think. To begin and end the day with the B-I-B-L-E. What a comfort it is to me.

Today I received a two month free membership at the gym plus a Good Life hoodie. Favor. And I just had brownies and ice cream. Now to go talk to Natalie on the phone. She's making a million cookies for Aiden's pre-school fund raiser this weekend. Imagine. A PRE-SCHOOL fundraiser! It seems so strange that Aiden, at 2 1/2, is in school. Can't wait to see him and the baby-to-be. Making plans to go out in mid February for three weeks. Nat's excited and so are we. Not sure whether my students will be too happy. But, grandchildren take precedence over work, don't they?

Stlll waiting for grandbaby #5....Alicia, are you ready???

Monday, 22 November 2010

Waiting for Baby #5

Alicia is due on November 28 -- Sunday... Saw her yesterday at Doug's birthday party at our house. She's ready. Would appreciate your prayers for her as she nears Sunday! Don't know what it is, but whatever -- boy or girl -- we are excited! Can't believe that yet another baby is being born into our family. Natalie is due January 22nd. Making plans to go out there for three weeks (yes, Nat, we are!).

Just finished teaching and practicing my guitar after teaching. My fingers are tired, sore, and my back is aching. Time to put the musical instruments DOWN, Deb, and relax. You've done enough today -- cleaning, cooking, radioing, studying, teaching. Thank you for yet another wonderful day.

In everything, give thanks!

!Gram Deb

The Daily Gleaner

Hey -- I'm in the paper on Saturday, Nov. 20th -- "Riverside Neighbours." Margaret Laking wrote a wonderful article about me and the ministry and our trip to McAdam in September. I've never been featured before in the paper. And on Doug's 55th birthday to boot!

A HAPPY Birthday weekend

Doug and I at Don & Elsbeth's house on Friday night, the beginning of Happy Birthday Weekend. What a weekend! (Note the headlamp that Doug received during gift exchange!). You know, his grandfather WAS a coal miner.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Happy Birthday to You!

My husband, John Douglas MacDonald is officially 55 today! Happy Birthday, my love -- may God grant you many more years of wedded bliss!

Your beautiful wife,

Deborah Susan MacDonald

Thursday, 18 November 2010

It’s Late and I’m Still Standing

It’s Wednesday. Finished three days of intense teaching—so many cute children and teens I get the opportunity to teach piano and guitar. Teaching music inspires me to play myself and increase my skill, so I just finished learning a blues tune on the guitar.
The last few days I’ve also ‘nested’ in the house. Natalie said she has been nesting, but she’s pregnant. And Alicia is pregnant, soon to deliver (due date is November 30!). So perhaps I’m a ‘sympathetic nester,’ I don’t know, but I have felt like staying inside the house and doing many things – staying in my upstairs office for long periods of time, laundry, cooking, etc.
Now I need to go nest in my bed. Go to bed, Deb. Bed is Deb spelled backwards you know. You think I would go to bed earlier since that is the case.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Prison & Prayer

This morning I preached on Acts 12 -- Peter being in prison and the prayers of the people causing God to act, and Peter's release from prison. Nothing is impossible with God. Nothing.

Angie sent me this video which matches my sermon this morning. Check it out if you's the link:

This morning I preached on Acts 12 -- Peter being in prison and the prayers of the people causing God to act, and Peter's release from prison. Nothing is impossible with God. Nothing.

Angie sent me this video which matches my sermon this morning. Check it out if you's the link: (paste it into your web browser)


Saturday, 13 November 2010

What Doing?

What doing? You may ask of me. Well, let's see. In the past few days, I have taught a whole whack of students, gone to Southhampton (wherever that is, north of here) with Max on Thursday night to a Ladies' Night Out, where I spoke on LAUGHTER and we laughed let me tell you. Doug was out in the car with the windows rolled up, having a nap, when all of a sudden he awoke with a clatter....No, wrong song. He awoke with a start from hearing all the women INSIDE the church laughing so hard. It was probably the Ken and Edna joke I was telling. Anyway, the benefits of laughter, plus a few inside stories of the past year of treatment (only for women, of course, sorry guys).

Friday morning I had a pedicure and had an awesome time with my pedicurist and now we are friends. She even sold me her decorative shelf, we bonded so well. Now to have my trusty husband put it up for me. Friday afternoon we took a trip up to Bristol to see the grandkids. Took Doug's sister Joy, and his mom with us. Very nice visit with the chilluns, and the chillun to be in a couple of weeks. Alicia is getting ready to go, and then there will be four!

Today I went to Charity White's wedding. Janet & Duane White's daughter. Keswick Church for the wedding -- a bit of a tearjerker when Charity tried to sing a song to her father, now in heaven. She so wanted her daddy to give her away. Perhaps he was watching from heaven. I came home to work on my sermon for tomorrow morning. I'm at the Church of the Nazarene on Brookside Drive, and some girlfriends are coming to help me sing. After an hour of work on that, I drove to New Maryland to the reception, where we were served a lovely meal, catered by Edwina's, an awesome caterer here in Fredericton. Was nice to catch up with some friends there, and after the dance started I decided to hightail it for home because my sermon is not done. And here I am writing my blog. But it's important to me to update you on my life for some reason. I don't know why, but if you're still reading, I'll still write.

During the reception, Charity was crying about her father not being there, which got me crying, too (and a whole lot of other people). I said, "stupid cancer" out loud. It takes so many people. Makes me kind of mad. Perhaps it does you, too. BUT GOD is able to bring good out of bad, and that's how I'm looking at it; how I CHOOSE to look at it, even though it makes me mad. I KNOW God raised me from the dead and is allowing me to LIVE - for a reason -- to give Him honor and thanks and to tell people there IS a God, and He IS real, and HE IS there for you -- in ALL Things.

There, now I must go work on my sermon about Acts 12 and God and His 'A' Team (angel team). Read it and you'll know what I mean.


Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Today has been two years since my diagnosis -- Nov. 10, 2008. Now it is 2010 -- Nov 10/10. 11/10/10. Reminding myself today that it's just another day on the calendar, yet a day to reflect on what the Lord has done these past two years -- with treatment, support, encouragement and ultimately healing me. He truly has sustained me on my sick bed and restored me to health. This is a time to reflect, and to be thankful to Him for His faithfulness and care for me.

And thanks to all of you, too. Without you, what would I have done? Thank you SO SO much. Words cannot express my gratitude to you.

The past has gone -- the NEW has come!


Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Doctors' Report

Yesterday we met with my surgeon, Dr. Bryden (the best surgeon in the world in my opinion). She examined me and told me that it wasn't necessary to have another mastectomy for medical reasons on my left side, but I could if I wished to, for personal reasons. We will talk about it again next year. She is more concerned with it coming back on the mastectomy side, as I had so many lymph nodes involved with cancer in them. But she said I have good follow-up and if anything was found they would deal with it. And I still have a lot of pain in that area. She said it was because of the radiation. Nothing will be found, amen?

Anyhow, she was pleased. I was pleased. She said that I am on Arimidex and to stay on it; that she went to a conference on estrogen inhibitors and that the people told them to help women stay on these drugs for the five years and to treat the side effects rather than allowing them to quit the drug. I have to keep reminding myself that I am on a drug for breast cancer, and also remind myself that I have GOD on my side -- the God factor, I call it. Doctors are so brutally honest, aren't they? She told me of one patient who had cancer in 15 lymph nodes and was coming to her for 10 years, when she finally told her to stop coming to see her. Pray that it NEVER comes back. NEVER AGAIN. I think I've heard that slogan before, and how fitting, since it is Remembrance Day in two days.

Tomorrow was my diagnosis date, two years ago -- Nov. 10, 2008. I had a hard time flipping the calendar over to the month of November and didn't do it til yesterday, after realizing that I needed to get over that 'fear' and flip the flippin' calendar to November. I love November, yes I do. And I thank God for November -- especially this November! I'm alive and well. And by God's good graces, I will be alive and well for a very long time, considering I'm going to live to 120 years of age. (LOL)

Monday, 8 November 2010

I just had a call that I am going to be interviewed and featured in the new
year in the newspaper! Probably January.

Wow. Will wonders never cease. Now to get ready to go see Dr. Bryden, AFTER a trip to the Superstore, of course!

He Sets the Lonely in Families

"God places lonely people in families. He leads prisoners out of prison into productive lives..." (Psalm 68:6a)

Today is World Orphans Day

"The pandemic of homeless and orphaned children is exponentially growing, leaving 145 million children orphaned or displaced globally.

143 million children are suffering from malnutrition, and 400 thousand of those will die this year.
HIV and AIDS is devastating global communities and millions are facing the horror of war and abuse EVERY day.

All of these things mean that every TWO SECONDS another child is orphaned.

November 8th, 2010 We encourage prayer, vigils, events, media promotion throughout the United States and the international community. The second Monday in November is observed each year to raise awareness of the plight of orphans and displaced children around the world. To commemorate and strengthen the ideals of humanitarian goodwill towards these children, global non –governmental organizations, humanitarian aid organizations, civic groups, and individuals are asked to observe World Orphans Day in their own diverse, effective way." (


It is Monday morning after a jam-packed weekend at Greenhill Lake. Anne Grant and friends doing a womens' retreat. Great time. Anne is a fabulous person and woman of God. Women were truly blessed this weekend. I was the special singer/piano player (what a privilege to sing and play, something I LOVE to do), a sometime cook, and registration person (took me two hours yesterday to figure out all the money. Felt like a moneychanger!). Laurie H. was the dancer (she did a fantastic job). Cheryl and Rhonda performed various tasks. Max, Phenny, Linda, Sandra participated as well. Am I tired this morning? A bit. Still in my housecoat at 9 am! Will spend the day very slowly and relaxing. Dr. Bryden appointment at 2:20 this afternoon for a check-up and to discuss another mastectomy. God is in control!

A picture of Anne Grant from Bahamas and myself after the retreat... And one of the Dancing Queen (me), and Laurie the Dancer in her beautiful outfit. This was after the retreat (although we did a good deal of dancing during. We love to dance!)

Thursday, 4 November 2010

He Already Sees

I was listening to this song this morning in my radio show by The Collingsworth Family, and thought I would share the lyrics with you. (I heard the word 'rainbow' in it as well, which is God's way of reminding me that He is in control of my life and His promise to take care of me)...

He Already Sees

When the storm raged about them
The disciples were afraid
For the waves were high and the ship was tossed
They could not find their way

Then they awoke the Master
Saying Lord please save us now
He rebuked the winds and the sea grew calm
And they all wondered how

God sees the storm from the other side
He knows the lessons learned
And just beyond the clouds He sees clear skies
He speaks peace to the raging storm
When peace cannot be found
He already sees the rainbow when we see only clouds

Like the man on the sea did
I have called on God in prayer
When it seemed to me all hope was gone And in my deep despair
I remembered what the Lord said
When He calmed that troubled sea
And I know once more how He sees the storm
And peace floods over me

God sees the storm from the other side
He knows the lessons learned
And just beyond the clouds He sees clear skies
He speaks peace to the raging storm
When peace cannot be found
He already sees the rainbow when we see only clouds

And when the storms of life come crashing in and trouble me
I can feel God's arms around me and He whispers
Let it be, Let it be

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

I'm in Japan!

Just found out that Chizuru, the Japanese friend of Doris & Laurie's (and mine), is listening to me on the radio in Japan, learning English. Here is her email:

Hi, Laurie,

I could listen Debbie's radio tonight!
It is very unbeliebable thing.
Please tell her Chizuru listenes her voice through the radio station and good job!
I will continue to listen her radio station.
It is good for me to be used to listen English.
Thank you for your telling me the web site.
It is 1:20 AM midnight in Japan now. I should go to bed.


Will wonders never cease? Global technology -- isn't it amazing. Hard for me to fathom, although I do realize that can and is listened to around the world. I just forget sometimes. Thank you, God, for the opportunity! And it's also amazing that I went out west to school seven years ago to take a TESL course (teaching English as a second language). I didn't take the course, but here I am, teaching English. Will wonders never cease again!

And thanks, Chizuru for listening!

!Global Deb

PS: Doug just called me and he has been hired as a DJ for the Christmas party. Will wonders never cease again!

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Live Well Laugh Often Love Much

This is the title of the women's conference we held at Morning Gate Church on Saturday. It was wonderful. Laughter and tears, music and sharing (and eating!). It's great when women get together and share events from their lives. We even had our own 'Laugh In' segment. I love to make people laugh. I don't like making people cry, but it does happen. I cried, too, as I told a couple of things from my life. My ministry partners also told their stories and we cried (and laughed). Laughing....crying...both linked together, and God created them both to heal us.

Live well....Laugh often....Love much. God wired us that way.

Today is going to be a busy day -- music at Marysville Heritage Centre for a celebration church service, then off to Funktional Independence band practice (the rock band I'm in again this year), and then who knows? A meal somewhere in this fine city, perhaps.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010


Just got back from D & L's house. Had a nice dinner. R & S were also there, and Jill, D & L's daughter. Chizuru, from Japan, was the honored guest, visiting from Japan. We met her 10 years ago when she lived with D & L as an English language student at UNB.

Chizuru appeared in her Japanese kimono to start the Japanese tea ceremony. We sat on the floor. A woman reporter arrived to take pictures and interview Chizuru. The reporter took pictures and will write an article about Chizuru and her visit to Canada. Some of us enjoyed the tea, some did not. It was certainly interesting to watch Chizuru prepare the tea for each person.

She served us very green Matcha tea in a bowl. We drank the tea out of the bowl, one person at a time. Chizuru wore a beautiful kimono and explained the ceremony to us, even though in Japan we would have been quiet during the ceremony. But hey, we're Canadians! And we like to talk through everything, don't we?

It was nice to see her again and we bowed and said "Sayonara" when we left to each other.

Sayonara. It's been quite a day -- again.

Good News

Don't we all love good news? News item #1: Almira, our friend in Saint John Regional Hospital will be receiving bone marrow transplant soon. Thank you God! Continue to pray for her, however, as the treatment is not without complications and pain. Pray for pain free treatment!

News item #2: I went to Dr. T., my family doctor this morning. Blood pressure: 112/73! So, the medication worked and I will remain on it.

News item #3: Had a flu shot -- didn't even hurt! Pretty minor, considering what I've gone through.

News item #4: Dr. T. gave me the results of my mammogram: GREAT! Nothing on the mastectomy site (he checked it out again this morning), and nothing on the Left side. I wanted to hug him, but didn't. Dr. T. is great. I hopped down off that examining table like a calf ready to jump out of the pasture.

Praise the Lord! Thank you for praying and to continue to pray. I go to Dr. Bryden in a couple of weeks and she told me last February that if I could get to the 2-year mark, we would consider the next step...I'm alive and blessing God. I love good news, don't you?

Now I'm waiting on carpal tunnel surgery for my left side, and an excision of a mole on my collar bone. Simple.

Monday, 25 October 2010

The Weekend and Today

Had a "Sketchy Night" on Friday night, where I invited some 20-somethings (Becky, Elizabeth, Samantha, Amy) to pencil sketch the night away. They are very good artists. Me, however, still a budding artist searching for what's inside of me to come out on the paper. Becky served us food from a vast array of snack foods. I stayed up late after they left and kept sketching til my eyes crossed.

Saturday we went up river to Bristol and had lunch with Jonathan -- just Doug and I. 'Twas nice. Alicia and the children were down here in Superior City at the Clay Cafe, for cousin's birthday party. After lunch, Doug and I drove to Coldstream, wherever that is, to have coffee with the Pirate and Marie, and the other Pirate came and visited awhile (Richard). You don't hear much of the other Pirate, 'cause he's always traveling across the country in his transport truck.

Sunday was a full day of activity and people: Morning Gate Church music, lunch at Frank's with the Jolly Green and his wife, rock band practice at Kim and Peter's (yes, it's that time of year again - for our Christmas party band), a stop at Grace Memorial Church to watch youth band practice, and then to Pizza Delight with B & L. The day was certainly filled to the max, but isn't every day? I am so excited that I have energy again, but must remember to pace myself, I know, I know...

Today was more relaxed. I even had time to go to the gym for an hour and work out. Then to painting with Granny and the gals. They were so helpful and not standing over me barking out orders. Much less stressful than my Tuesday painting fiasco. Not sure if I'll go back there or not, but I suppose I'll have to or she'll say I quit, and I'm not a quitter. But perhaps I'll take a break from it instead! Not sure if I like the whole watercolour thing. I actually like pen and ink with a watercolour wash, and tried some of that today. Know what I'm talkin' about?

Had a good teaching night. Music is art, too. Now I'm not making any sense, so I better stop.

Enjoy life. Live each day. Don't worry about tomorrow.

Today's thought:

Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you. At least that's what the Bible says. I have everything I need.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Had a great Bible study this morning with the 'girls' (50+). Studying Romans. Our nicknames are now "Justy," for 'justified.' Taught piano to Granny and Ann H., and they left with a raft of music to study. Els, look out! When you're not at a lesson, you get the homework piled on!

Now I must go get some avocadoes and snack food for tonight's event here at The Soul Cafe: "A Sketchy Night" -- art lessons anyone? Come on over!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

All is well. Up at 6, to Saint John Regional Hospital to be examined by Dr. Nancy Grant (who I think is also related to me), up to oncology unit to see Almira who feels better today. She is awaiting bone marrow transplant and more chemo. Such a rough ride, but her spirits are good. We stayed about half an hour. Good to see her again.

Over town to Salvation Army again, where we dropped stuff off to Shelly and met a homeless woman again who we blessed with a bit of money. She was overjoyed. And so were we. Home to teach all afternoon and part of the evening, then declutter the RV and bring stuff inside. Now where to put it?

So tired! But a bit of a lay down (5 minutes), and we're off to meet a friend at McDonald's. We can either sit here and relax or down in front of the fake fire.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Art Lessons?

I went to my second watercolour art lesson today at the Seniors Centre here in Superior City. Yes, the Seniors Centre. I admit it. I've been watching the activities in the newspaper for a couple of years now, and thought, "when I get to 50, I'm going to take advantage of the inexpensive activities that seniors get to do." However, this $25. for six week watercolour class is inexpensive but the lessons are difficult! What made me think of taking art lessons, anyway? Musicality? The right side of the brain working, as in music? That I could be a 'paint artist' like a music artist? My teacher is hard on us, and we're a bit timid of her and her analysis of our work

How hard IS a tree to paint in watercolour? Very difficult. Erase, erase, wash, wash, start over again. Sitting there scared that the teacher is going to come view my work. She only gives compliments when we 'deserve' them, she said. No placating us, for sure. There are three women who don't know how to paint in the class, but at least they painted a tree on their painting. I got watercolour blobs, and learned about Chinese brush strokes. How is this going to help me in my life? I went there to do something for myself, enjoy a couple of hours painting, not leave stressed to the max! I told her I didn't know if I could master the art of watercolour, and she gave me a lecture on whether my students learn a musical instrument in the first couple of lessons. She's got a point. I wonder if I'll go back, but she loaned me a brush, so I have to return it. Unless I do a drive-by throwing of the paintbrush on the Seniors Centre lawn with a note attached: "I'm NOT an ARTIST!....Deb"

I went to Mom's for help after my fiasco. She got the paints out and doctored up the painting. I think I'll learn from her and her painting buddies. At least they're not so hard on me, a budding artist.

Tomorrow morning we head for Saint John again, bright and very early. My yearly check-up with Dr. Grant, my radiation oncologist. She'll look at my chest and examine it. Don't know what she looks at, cause I look at it everyday. Would appreciate your prayers, once again.

Love to all and to all a good night.

!Deb, Artiste Extraordinaire (not)

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Saint John

Back from a weekend in Saint John, where we did a women's retreat at the Salvation Army Church. LIVE LAUGH LOVE, and we did just that. So many stories to tell, and can't tell them all. Sang, I spoke Saturday and Sunday morning in church, and my partners in crime (I mean, ministry), washed feet, painted nails, did manicures and spent time with many women of all sorts -- young, old, homeless and near homeless. It was a life-changing experience for all involved. Our faith was put to the test as we came out of our comfort zones. I don't want to write about it here, but if you come over to the Soul Cafe sometime, I'll tell you an amazing story.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Jack, Kalia & Ivy
Jonathan & Ivy at Chimney Rock
There's a baby in Stephen's pouch
Outside the kitchen window at the Farm
Southshore Sister's son, Aaron

More Pics from Thanksgiving Weekend

Balancing Rock a.k.a. Big Rock
Jon and Chimney Rock
Brenda and Jack going down to Chimney Rock
Stephen and The Pirate
Alicia the Fiddler
Stephen & Jonathan
“Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.” (

Thanksgiving on the Farm

I could go on and on about the weekend. It was awesome. We counted 50 people there throughout the weekend. Here are some highlights:
FRIDAY NIGHT -- music night at the Pirate's house. Different music for different folks: country, gospel, kids. Deb and Aunt Helen showed off their incredible dancing skills as they step danced with the kids. The Pirate sang his Waylon and Willie songs with a bit of CCR thrown in. Jon and Stephen sang a wonderful rendition of "I'm My Own Grandpa." Granny Mom crooned a couple of hymns. Brenda, Mary, the Pirate and I blasted out "Hey Jude" like nobody's business. And so on and on and on. Afton made her debut on the piano with the band, playing along like she'd been playing for years. She told her mom she wants to be like Gram Deb (isn't that sweet?). I went to bed way after 1 a.m. I could have played all night. The Pirate and I love to play well into the night. After the party, the Southshore Sister and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman (the Pirate's sister) climbed into one attic (two women in their 40's acting like kids) and frantically tried to scare Amy and her friends in the other attic, although they never heard the commotion they were making.

SATURDAY -- a car rally to Cloverdale, and out the Little Forks, past our previously owned cottage. Funeral Director Wayne, the Pirate's brother, led the way with his van and managed to get us lost several times. Well, he'd only been there once and believe you me, it was very complicated to find where we wanted to go (much more difficult, I'm sure, than embalming a body). We finally arrived and hiked up to Chimney Rock, an enormous rock in the midst of a gully in the forest. Later, we traveled to Balancing Rock and had a potluck picnic. The younger men climbed the tall rock formation that was balanced on the ground and then they proceeded to jump off the rock utilizing a birch tree that was adjacent to the rock. Why do boys like doing this? The challenge was tremendous and not for the faint of heart. I'll try and post a pic when Embalmer Wayne sends them to me. It was a very cold day, and not for the faint of heart. The tea sure tasted good out in the woods.

After arriving home, we prepared the vegetables for supper and the kids painted pumpkins. The teenagers basically had a pool tournament all weekend. The food and desserts were tremendous and there was no lack of fare on which to feast. Auntie & Uncle's house was invaded by people eating, playing, sleeping all weekend long. It was good to see everyone, and spend time with each other. Take note of the three sisters -- Deb, Brenda and Janet. Good to see Janet again.

Capture the Flag on Saturday night proved to be a most interesting game. Right at the start of the game, I ran after Stephen, and he ran into a tree (note the picture below and the tree he ran into). Later, I was run over by cousin Jordan, as I reached out to tag him. As I lay on the ground with the stars above and the stars swirling around my head (pre-concussion, I think), Alicia came over and remarked to Brenda, "I was hoping that was you lying there, and not Deb!" (I think because of my recent carpal tunnel surgery, perhaps, and Brenda's general good health to endure such an attack from a teenager). I felt like I was run over by a truck all weekend, and am just now recovering. I had to play the game. I refuse to get old and have to keep up with my son and the other young ones. It is such an exciting game; the suspense of running and tagging people in the dark.. Makes you feel like a kid again. Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman sauntered like a model through the darkness, getting caught every time we noticed her. The Southshore Sister was in suspense throughout the game and ran like the wind. We're not getting older, we're getting braver playing these kids' games! Every year we have injuries. Good thing we have Nurse Amy (Funeral Director Wayne's daughter). We certainly do NOT want to use the Funeral Director's services. I said that next year, we need to pray first and then play the game.

Sunday morning took some of us to church. I was in so much pain, and Stephen looked worse. Our own fault, I know. Home for a BBQ with everyone. The Flintstones (well, at least they looked like the cartoon) took a ride on the Mule with their children. Uncle is pretty proud of his new four-wheel-drive machine. The Pirate took Brenda and I up the hill to his garden and we gleaned quite a harvest. People started to disperse from the hill, but some of us stayed. A Scrabble tournament at the kitchen table provided much conversation and arguing over the rules. Score: Funeral Director Wayne and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman at 147, Granny at 133, Southshore Sister at 131 and me at 129. Dr. Quinn massaged our shoulders at the table and got out her magic herbal wonder balm to sooth our wounds. We remarked that we didn't want to use the Funeral Director's embalming balm.

Anyway, Doug and I stayed til Monday afternoon and brought the RV home, thinking that this is the last trip for this season. These were just the highlights and I'm sure I'm forgetting things. All in all, it was a wonderful 3rd annual Thanksgiving Harvest Weekend. Looking forward to the next one.

Thanksgiving on the Farm

Friday, 8 October 2010

I've been cooking and giving thanks. For the beauty of the day, for the sunshine, for the pine needles softly falling like long threads of snow. Two pumpkin pies, chocolate macaroons, five cup fruit salads, magic lemon squares. Granny, Jed, Southshore Sister, Husband and Aaron and Luke are on their way with the trailer. Waiting for Doug to come home from work and we'll fire up the RV for probably the last time this season (boo hoo) and head to the farm in Coldstream, wherever that is. Tonight, a meal of brown bread and beans with potato salad and dessert. Yum. Then music of all sorts. Taking my piano with me. Good thing Doug is Mr. Strongman.

Would appreciate your prayers for a fun-filled and blessed weekend with family. And I pray for you, too. That you will experience joy and God's goodness this weekend.

Tuesday morning brings my yearly mammogram on the left side. Pray that all is well and that this fall will have no surprises, only good things. Bless you all. Give thanks!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend

The family is getting ready for our 3rd annual Thanksgiving on the farm in Coldstream, wherever that is. Music night, hiking to Balancing Rock with a potluck picnic in the woods, outdoor games back on the farm, artwork on the verandah (we hope to let loose our creative instincts with painting), a huge meal, Capture the Flag at night, where we will have a record number of attendees no doubt. Good thing we have Nurse Amy as part of the family! There is usually an minor injury or two that she has to tend with.

I'm trying to figure out what to cook today, but my mind is foggy, as I stayed up too late last night. We went to Anne & Laurel's to visit them and Aleica and stayed way too long, laughing and sharing stories. Perhaps a nap is in order.

Be thankful, every one of us -- for life, for breath, for family, and for our wonderful God.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010


You buy one thing, you sell another. Purging of 'stuff,' and acquiring other stuff. Sold a guitar, bought a guitar (or two). Bought a 2000 four-wheel-drive, sold a van tonight. Been talking to a lot of people that have been getting rid of their 'stuff' lately. Even today, a couple from Grand Manan that I saw here in the city -- we talked about the 'stuff' we acquire.

We need to get rid of our personal stuff as well. Emotional stuff. Do you know what I'm sayin? Sometimes it takes awhile for this to happen, just like getting rid of stuff from years gone by.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Spiritual Life

Today's encouraging word for you:

“ We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. ”
(Romans 5:3 NLT)

Endurance from problems and trials. The Apostle Paul sums it up well. Do you have trials and problems today? Know that you are in an endurance race, and that God is your strength! You can do all things through God, who strengthens you.

Have a great day!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Kermit the Frog here, Roving Reporter...Oh, it's me, Deb, reporting the last few days. So much has happened and I've been everywhere, man! And seen a lot of places and a lot of people!

Thursday morning at Smythe Street Bible study where I taught for a few minutes (did I already say this, forgive me?). The afternoon was spent getting ready and cookin' up a storm for a big ol' pot luck here at The Soul Cafe. Bunch of people in the house, and a myriad of activities after the meal: Amy and Robin singin' at the piano with Sam listening; Doug teaching Fr. Jon Garage Band on the Mac (interesting, Mr. Mac teaching a Mac); E. sketching at the table, inspiring us all; conversation in the living room; food flying everywhere (figuratively), opera out on the deck, radio show demo upstairs, etc. etc. Had to be here. Wish you were! Come over anytime, seriously.

Friday morning was Bible study here at the house with the women. Teaching Romans and does it ever stretch the brain! Then the BEADY bunch piano (less the 'B,", so I guess it's the 'EADY' bunch). A trip over town to Tony's Music Box (my favorite store outside of Zellers) and then home again to get ready for another trip in the RV. This time, to Pine Cone Campground in Penobsquis, wherever that is. Actually just outside Sussex.

And it rained. And it poured. And our RV was solid and lovely to hear the rain. A get away in a near-empty campground, although Angie, Kelly and Ang were just around the corner, but we couldn't go out in the rain to see them.

Saturday morning dawned bright and clear, so by lunch time we decided to have a walking tour of downtown old Sussex. A stop at the health food store for some unpasteurized honey, paprika gouda, and gluten-free goodies, and we were on our way back to the car. But alas, we went by Morris Music and I succumbed to the temptation to go inside. And the rest is history. You can imagine what happened when I get in a music store. Let's just say after a few negotations, we jumped in the car at 2 pm and headed towards Fredericton to pick up one of my guitars to bring back to trade. We were back by 5. Good thing we like to drive. Thanks, Jessie, for staying open longer so we could spend money.

On to a benefit concert at Bethany Bible College for Almira, who is still in hospital in Saint John. She is in her last chemo (hopefully) for lymphoma, and then on to bone marrow transplant. Our prayers are still going up for her. The concert was beautiful, and the new chapel there has unbelievable acoustics. It was very near to my heart and moving for me, as last year I was the recipient of a benefit concert (two, actually). Almira was too weak to attend, but watched via livestream video from her hospital bed. Get well, Almira! Cheryl, Brenda and Connor were there as well as Melissa.

We went back to the RV and I played with my guitar(s) and amplifiers while Doug went to sleep. My music puts him to sleep for some reason. Come to think of it, Doug has been sleeping ever since I met him (not all the time, just every evening for a time; he's a very relaxed type of guy. 'Guy Smiley,' I like to call him sometimes).

This morning, another beautiful daybreak. We took off up the road to Central Penobsquis to the Baptist Church, where we heard Dr. Rev. Neville Gosman give a fantastic sermon on "Does God Exist?" It was awesome and part #2 is next week, however, I found out you can go on-line and hear his sermons. He is a wonderful teacher.

After some lunch at the RV, it was time to leave Pinecone. The park brought back memories of Doug's childhood when he and his family trailered there while his father was working for Diamond Construction on a road or something. We were going to go to St. Martins if we couldn't get in, but they had many sites. After all, it is October! Thanks, Linda and Byard, for looking out for us, even though we never showed!

We hightailed it down the highway towards Saint John and stopped in Norton at Wayne and Angie's house. Kelly and Jamie were there (not Jamie Hall, Jamie Sutherland! inside joke), and we had a great meal together. Thanks, girls. And Angie even made me gluten-free apple crumble, which they thought tasted horrible, but I absolutely and thoroughly enjoyed. She sent me home with the remainder. Yeah! It definitely is an acquired taste, but hey, when you are used to it, it's normal.

Of course, we all sat around the living room and the eight, yes 8! children played inside outside and all around. We tried to solve the world's problems and get to know each other. It was awesome, and we hope to do it again in November. I adopted Angie and Kelly as daughters awhile ago, so it's good to actually see them and 'my grandchildren' every so often!

Now we're home and trying to sell both of our vehicles -- whichever one sells first. Perhaps we'll end up without two vehicles and I'll have to walk everywhere. Oh well, we'll see.

Natalie has been training Aiden all weekend and updating me via email. Must go call and get an update.

And that's the last few days, folks. Tomorrow I'm getting special visitors -- Laureen and her mother Marlene, who read the blog and have been so encouraging to me (as everyone has, of course). Marlene had breast cancer a few years ago and lives out west and is home for a visit. I've never actually met Marlene, just on the phone, so it will be good to catch up.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Is it hot or what?

Is this July? August? or almost October? I have new roses budding on my rosebush! And string beans hanging off the verandah posts!

I awoke after trying to sleep with a wheezing cough. Up in the night making a concoction of hot water, concentrated lemon juice and honey. Downed that in the dark so I wouldn't upset my REM sleep. To the spare room to bask in the heat and try to go to sleep. Woke up dizzy and nauseated and stayed that way, with sleep deprivation throughout the long teaching day. How many students you ask did I teach today? Let me count....10 and one didn't make it. Finished off the day with Katrina, a grade 12 student who drove herself here (I always feel old when the students drive to their lessons). Katrina and I tuned up our guitars and crooned Taylor Swift's 'Teardrops on My Guitar' and 'Tim McGraw.' One thing about Taylor Swift's tunes -- they are catchy and fun to sing. I have a feeling I'll be singin' a lot of Taylor's songs this year. Perhaps on my 'Taylor' guitar.

Doug and I went for a long talk/walk to catch up on the day. I value those times together. I am so hot that I wish I had a pool in the backyard. Perhaps I should go jump in Janet White #2's hot tub while she's sleeping. Just might help me get to sleep.

Oh, I bought another violin from W last night and played it all the way home on the street. A traveling minstrel, so to speak, although the sounds coming out of it weren't that pleasant, considering that I really don't know how to play the violin well (and I have two!). People ask me if I teach the violin -- "NO!" emphatic NO. I think I would pull my hair out if I had to teach it. I can hardly stand the noise and screeching of learning how to play it! Move over Natalie MacMaster. Deb Mac is on the highland trail with her fiddle.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

I started teaching yesterday for this season. I love it! I'm in my element when I'm teaching and making music. Or anything to do with people, actually. I can't shake this cold I have, and am going to Dr. T. this afternoon to have him check my throat and ears. Wonder if it has anything to do with my white blood cell count being lower than normal, or just that it's a long time cold. Doug has it now, too. Someone told him this morning that it hangs on for a month! Yikes. I did my radio show this morning and apologized for sounding the way I do.

Well, we have a new premier, David Alward. He is Stephen Alward's older brother. We love Stephen, so if David is anything like his brother... Almost a landslide victory.

I see the leaves falling from the tress outside -- a beautiful yet sad sight, as winter nears. I love the fall, even though it does bring back memories of my diagnosis last fall. But I will cast that aside and cast my eyes outside to the beauty I see.