Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Scrabble Challenge

Finished Game #4 with Granny just awhile ago. I WON! It was so exciting -- only about 5 minutes into the game, I played "lanolin[s]" and played all my tiles. Result? 77 points in one word. Then, a few minutes later, the word, "jato," something about jet propulsion (Granny didn't believe me, but it's in the dictionary). Final score? Deb-- 363; Granny -- 291.

Here are the results so far:

Game #1 -- Winner Granny (280 pts) Loser Deb (266 pts)
Game #2 -- Winner Deb (350 pts) Loser Granny (301 pts)
Game #3 -- Winner Granny (345 pts) Loser Deb (264 pts)
Game #4 -- Winner Deb (363 pts) Loser Granny (291 pts)

Highest score in this tournament: 363 (Deb)
Lowest score in this tournament: 264 (Deb)

You win some, you lose some. We're going to make this tournament best out of 5. May have the last game tonight. Brenda comes tomorrow, so we'll have a new tournament.
Stay tuned.

Must do some work now. Work has been consisting of a bike ride this morning (lots of uphill work) and a bike ride on the marsh beside the beach (work driving through the sand for a few feet).

Monday, 28 June 2010

Kim & Angie -- the visiting 'cousins'

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Happy Birthday, Jack!

Today one of our sweet grandsons, Jack Gregory MacDonald, is 4 years old. Hard to believe that our little 'Charlie Brown' is 4!

Dear Jack...we love you, precious little man...

Gram Deb & Papa
It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring. Well, he was earlier, and perhaps the old woman was as well. Only the old man would know. It is raining apour today here in St. Martins. We took a trip to Saint John so Jed and Granny could buy a TV for their RV, as theirs went on the blink the other day. A quick stop at Sobeys and we were on the way back. Should I do laundry, blog, read or do taxes? Hmm, let me see. It’s so busy here, it’s hard to know just what to do next.
Yesterday we had a few visitors on a beautiful, calm day. Basically sat all day long and visited with people. Rick and Patricia Green from Fredericton arrived in their Nissan Cube, an ever-so-neat vehicle. After they sped away, Kim & Angie arrived, a surprise to me, although Doug knew they were coming. They escaped from their families for the afternoon and evening. A pleasant surprise for me, and we immediately had a symposium. Haven’t had one since Bahamas (John & Laurie, David & Shelly, Cheryl & Allan, Carolyn & Brett, Max & Dale – looking forward to our August long weekend symposium!).
Kim, Angie and I went to Fiori’s restaurant on Main Street and after they donned large Mexican sombreros, and after Angie rearranged the whole outside dining room, we sat down to enjoy a lovely meal, although our attention was diverted several times to the happenings on the street (4-wheelers without helmets, people cycling on fold-up bikes, and an unusual sighting of an older woman with a bikini bra and jeans, which Deb tried frantically to capture on film). What is happening to St. Martins? We felt like we were on a strange TV show.
If you get a chance to come down to St Martins, make sure you take advantage of the many fine eating establishments here. Mr & Mrs Fiori are from Colorado and they have refurbished this old house into a fine restaurant and B&B. Angie especially liked eating the bowl with her meal, and Kim wished she had. After a trip back to the campground and a few brainteasers, we ventured up to Icecreamville for a few cones and bowls of ice cream. And more brain tests (a book I have acquired for keeping the brain active, although I’ve been too active to use it).
We said our good-byes and off they went to rejoin their broods. Doug fired up the campfire and we sat again for awhile, until Mom and I decided we had not played our daily Scrabble game in our tournament, so off to the trailer we trotted, minds all aglow with words. The game went quickly, and at 10 pm, we were finished. Score: Mom – 350. Moi – 301. A tie so far in the ‘tournie.’ I went back to the campfire to finish out the day.
Back to today: Waiting for the power to come back on, so I’m plugged in at Jed & Granny’s. Doug just hooked up their new TV and is loading more minutes on Gran’s phone. So much technology! Even when we’re trying to slow down, we’re still working on machines. Perhaps we should sell our vehicles, computers, phones and go to a deserted island.
Doug has now come up with another idea, Nat & Jon… to build a winter garage/house over TOP of the RV. He says we could travel all summer and park the RV inside this new garage and live in it all winter. He bought some graph paper today and has already drafted our new house for me to see. I just humor him, but it will no doubt come to pass. His other inventions have. When you have an inventor for a husband, you never live a boring life.
Granny and I had a Scrabble game -- #3, while waiting for our laundry to ‘laund’ at the l’il brown building here at Century Farms. There is something slightly soothing about waiting for your laundry to laund and playing a game of Scrabble while waiting. Could life get any slower? And drink a Jones cream soda while doing so (it tastes like cotton candy on a sunny day). Granny beat me bad – 345 to 264. Once again, I had mostly vowels. I know vowels are important, but that game was ridiculous! So, the tally is:
Granny – 2 games
Gram Deb – 1 game
Must get supper—corn and salad. I see Doug is graphing our new home.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Two Baby Owls Sittin' in a Tree

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The View in St. Martins

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Papa Doug

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Our View

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Beauty in St. Martins

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Still Life in St. Martins

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Scrabble Tournament

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Aloha St. Martins!

We are in the Village of St. Martins, southern New Brunswick, at Century Farm Campground, one of our favorite places to be. This is Day #2. Day #1 was a gorgeous day, not too hot, not too cold. A few visitors in the afternoon – Almira, Brenda, her son Connor and Nurse Cherry. They brought Almira here to surprise her, out from a day pass from Saint John Regional Hospital. A bit of a break in her chemotherapy regime. They had a rather short visit, with Brenda, Connor and Cherry driving to Sussex to pick up daughter Katie. In order to get more time with Almira, I drove her to Sussex to meet up with them there. We had a good chat about going through cancer treatment. Not fun, for sure, but I reminded her that I made it through, by the grace of God, and that she will to.
We had a very small and short campfire last evening, after picking up a few pieces of driftwood from the beach. Doug and I decided to watch a movie about 10 pm. He watched it and I watched the inside of my eyelids. About midnight I awoke and rewound the movie a tad to see how it ended, and then ended up trying to get to sleep by 2 AM.
Day #2 – Saturday (is it really Saturday? I’m on vacation and already don’t know what day it is). I got up at 6 to look at the horizon and went back to bed. At 9:30 I decided to crawl out of bed and over to the couch to read the book I found in the rec room. It won the 2005 Governor General’s Award for translation into English. I’ll let you know the title of it after I decide if it’s a good book or not. That way, you’ll be wondering to yourself, “Whatever could she be reading now?” It’s strange for me to read fiction, although last week I started a book about a city Mennonite living in a country Mennonite setting. Last year during chemo, I read a trilogy of Amish books. I just gave Mom a book for her birthday about a Shaker woman. She says it’s OK. For me to settle down and read is a miracle. To keep me settled down and doing nothing is a miracle, too.
This morning Doug and I went for a walk to look at clotheslines on RVs, to see how he will invent one for our rig. Talk about a slow day and slowing down! Then we went up to the excitement here in the park –a pair of baby owls sitting in a tree, told by their mother to stay there the day while she went shopping or something. I got some pictures and will post them when I figure out how.
Mom and I started our first game of Scrabble this afternoon, outside at the picnic table, with the wind howling around us. I wrapped up in a blanket and Mom in her ‘shirt,’ and Dad fishing in the pond. Jed brings home the fish for Granny to fry up in a pan. We played Scrabble for a couple of hours, both determined to beat the other. We have a goal of one game per day, with the winner buying something for the other by the end of the tournament. The Scrabble Challenge. Already had three RV neighbours come over to see the game. We had a bit of a struggle trying to play in the upper hemisphere of the board, however, and ended up with many consonant tiles left over that we had to deduct (I was left with the Q). Mom played “Pood,” (A Russian weight), which totally messed up the board. Anyway, Game #1 winner – MOI at 280 pts; Granny at 266. YES! I beat her. I’m not competitive.
Doug has been shining his chrome all afternoon on his Peterbilt truck, which hauls this home on wheels. I just spent half an hour talking with retired U.S. military RVers about their lives, Paige organs and dogs. They are part of a traveling caravan called SMART, and these retired military personnel and spouses travel all around North America. They are currently on a Maritime tour. Lana and Larry have been RVing for five years and have no fixed address. Hmmm, they may have something there. Sounds nomadic to me. Reminds me a bit of the book I’m reading. Let you know about that later if I remember. I will recommend it to you if it meets my ‘standards.’ Time will tell.
Well, must go and slice some strawberries and prepare the evening meal. Very busy here. Hard to find time to write. Happy Trails

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Today I spent the day staying home, apart from a quick trip to the credit union to get some bank statements. This afternoon I worked in my office, trying to complete our ministry return to the government. Finish it? Why, I basically started it today! And it is due next Wednesday. What am I thinking? I need an accountant (oh, I guess I am one; or used to be).

You know you're tired or stressed out when you answer the phone and eat a BabyBel piece of cheese at the same time, and end up trying to use the cheese as a receiver. Gave me quite a laugh. Slow down, Deborah. Lentement.

Taking off for St Martins tomorrow after Doug gets off work. First to the Kingston Penisula to pick up some random sugar factory barrels for Doug to reinvent into biofuel containers for our trip out west next summer. Capiche? I don't, so don't expect you to understand, either.

Must go call someone. It's not even midnight yet. And eat some toast. I'll try and write some adventures from St. Martins.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Well, I'm a bit tired tonight after a very full day. After the radio show this morning, a visitor (O.) on my verandah. Beautiful day to have a conversation. A trip to the grocery store for a few items resulted in a much larger amount than I wanted to spend (why does that always happen?). Jed and Granny came up this afternoon to help me. You see, with my wrists, it's hard for me to do a lot of physical labour. Jed and Granny tackled the lawn together, and Gran made up the guest bed for the mystery guests next weekend. I vacuumed the house. Some things I CAN do. And even if I can't, many times I do them anyway, and just wince with the pain. But hey! I'm alive, thank God. And feeling full of energy. I will be glad, though, when my wrists are working right again and I can do whatever wherever whenever with them.

Now having said that, tonight Doug and I went up to his mother's place and I worked in the garden, while Doug mowed the lawn on the rider. Then I took over for about an hour. Round and round I go, a place to rest and think, upon this unusual mowing machine. The sky was a pattern of clouds and sun that would take one's breath away. I love mowing the lawn -- it makes me sit down for awhile to rest, think and pray. Another drive tonight, to DQ and finding streets we've never been on before. Fredericton is certainly growing. How far it has come since I was a little girl. Last night, Doug and I drove over town and looked at car dealerships. Looking for a Jeep -- a used one that we won't mind getting scratched up when we go off roading, like we used to when we were young. Good thing we like to drive. It seems to be all about driving with us.

I am thankful for being able to live and move. Are you?

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Century Farm Family Campground

OK, if you haven't been to Century Farm Campground in St. Martins and you like to tent or RV, or even stay in a quaint little cabin, make plans to do so this summer (1-866-394-4400). It is one of the most beautiful places we know of to camp -- the ocean, the red cliffs, the quaint little village, and of course, the best campground we have found to date. Again, thank you to Linda and Byard Moran for your hospitality, and we will see you on Friday this week for another long stay.

Jed & Granny were there with their trailer, and of course us with our huge truck (only a few tours of the RV this time). Jon and Alicia, Afton, Jack & Ivy arrived on Friday evening. Jay and Holly and new baby Ruby arrived Saturday at noon. We ate, walked, beached, sat, cooked, campfired the weekend away. A bit sunburnt, too, as we didn't notice the sun being hot because of the gentle breeze. Today we packed up and left our RVs at the campground, and drove home in Jed's CRV. Jon & Alicia joined us at our house, and after a sit on the verandah enjoying the rain, we piled in the vehicles again and traveled to Kings Landing to eat a Father's Day meal at The Acorn restaurant, a fabulous place to eat (very busy today).

Alicia and the children are coming back down tomorrow, and I will go to Samaria House in the morning and keep them in the afternoon, while she goes to Moncton to buy a violin. There's never a dull moment in our family.

Pray for Almira, our friend, who is undergoing very intensive chemo for lymphoma. In the very near future she will require a bone marrow transplant. We are praying for a short treatment regime and a short, speedy recovery. God IS able to do immeasurably MORE than all we ask or imagine.

This time LAST year, I was finishing up radiation in Saint John with Nurse Cherry taking of me. This year, she is helping Almira, along with Almira's Brenda. I had my Brenda, my sister. Almira has a Brenda, too. Good to have Cherries and Brendas in your life.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Mystery Travel

I'm back from a three day mystery mission trip to an undisclosed location. Nurse Cherry and I had a great time, and a time of rest as well. Drove many miles on Tuesday (about 490 km!). Met some new people, and one of them may be a long lost cousin with blue eyes like mine (actually a customs officer). Going to search the family tree and email Customs Officer Devon Fox and tell him if we are related. It was like looking at myself in the mirror. You just never know. And you never know who you are going to meet when you go on a mission.

Anyway, we had a good visit with whomever we went to see, but it's a secret for now. (I know, we're not supposed to keep secrets, but I want to protect the innocent). Smile....

All is well...

!Travel Bug Deb

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Flowers and Oceans

It's hard to believe that I haven't written since Wednesday? Where DOES the time go? If I haven't written for awhile, you can be assured that I'm on the run. Except I ran to water, plants, flowers and oceans. Thursday found me at Davidson Lake, sleeping in a lawn chair on the dock in the afternoon. Friday found me there again, face down on the dock, sleeping again. Mom and Dad came up on Friday as well, and Dad fished for chub in the lake. I slept. Thanks, Doris, for the lake on which to sleep. I don't walk on water, I sleep on water.

After the sleep, I took off in the car to meet Doug and piled into the RV at Longs Creek and off we traveled to St Andrews By The Sea. And by-the-sea we were, with a rosebush hedge, ocean side. Saturday found us walking, walking and walking to Kingsbrae Gardens and the amazing flowers, plants, shrubs, trees, sculptures, alpacas and a fascination with three peacocks which kept us entertained and delighted with their plummage. Another walk down town to the library, a restaurant on the ocean, and a walk back. A campfire by the rose hedge and the stars above. What could be nicer? And lots of nice people to talk to. As usual, we gave many tours of the RV that Doug built (I call it the 'house that Jack built').

Left the campground today at 3 pm, after having coffee time with Uncle Kenny and Aunt Marilyn. Off to Longs Creek again to pick up my car. But first, another trip to Davidson Lake to have supper with Doris and Laurie again, and a cup of tea on the deck overlooking a calm lake. Thanks, D., once again for a time of respite.

Now to have some strawberries and prepare for tomorrow's adventure. It is summer, and we're on the road again!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Writing, Meetings and Gardening

Today was another full day. Sometimes I wonder: "Is this the same day?" This morning I got up at 7ish and went to my office, coffee in hand to write an article for the newspaper, River Region Reporter, first issue last Saturday, and I had an article in it. This morning I composed another article, and then recorded my radio show, took the article to the paper, came back to the house for things I forgot, and then to Marysville to M & C's house to meet with them and one of the Bobbsey twins, to network about what is happening in the city. After that meeting, Doris and I went to Currie's gardening centre and I bought some vegetable plants and seeds.

Then to Doug's mother's place to plant in the newly tilled garden that Doug tilled up last evening. It is so NICE to have a garden! I have never really had one in our 32 years of marriage. Doris and I worked hard, and she worked the most.

This evening, Doug and I did yard work at his mother's. I got on the rider mower for an hour and a half. We mow her lawn and the neighbour's, and share the work with the neighbour. It felt like freedom to sit on a rider mower. Haven't done that for years. Mowed around Jon & Natalie's trees. You see, years ago, we owned the neighbour's house -- it was the MacDonald homestead. But we had to give it up and sell it because of financial problems. So it was like being home again.

Now it is almost 8:00 pm and we are starved. Must go find somewhere to eat, because I'm a bit weary to cook.

Monday, 7 June 2010

The Weekend

The Weekend. Quite a thing, isn't it? And we seem to be able to pack quite a bit into a weekend. Started with Friday's morning study here at the house with the BEADY Bunch PLUS. Teaching Romans 3. It was so difficult I didn't even understand it, and I was trying to teach it! Hope they got something out of it. Then a beautiful gourmet brunch that the BEADY Bunch PLUS served up. Doris and I were then off to Saint John to Almira's hospital room, and made several trips to the van with her possessions, using a wheelchair to cart it out. Finally packed her into a wheelchair and took off to her home in Sussex, after a few stops for things she needed. She only had a few days' pass, and she's back in the hospital again tomorrow for more chemo starting on Wednesday.

Doris and I arrived back in Fredericton to Sandra & Randy's house to join Laurie, Doug, Linda and Michel awaiting us, and we all watched a slide show of R & S trip to Israel. Awesome pictures.

Saturday morning Doug served me coffee in bed and said, "I have a plan. Get up and we're taking the RV and going to Lansdowne (wherever that is; somewhere up near Florenceville). Jonathan is helping Stephen put on a roof. I'm going to help." So, all day in the pouring rain, Doug handed up roofing while the boys roofed. Congratulations, BTW, to Stephen & Becky on the birth of a new baby girl yesterday (Laney, a sister for Callia and Lily). I spent all day with babies and toddlers. Jay and Holly showed up with their new baby, Ruby, one month old. And of course, our grandchildren, Ivy, Jack and Afton.

That reminds me -- WE are going to be proud grandparents once again. It is now official and I have permission to post this on the blog: ALICIA is pregnant again, due the end of November. This will be baby #4. And NATALIE is pregnant again and due in late January, baby #2! So once again, the girls are pregnant together. They had Ivy and Aiden within 9 days of each other two years ago. They always wanted to be pregnant together and their wish came true again. Too bad they don't live closer to each other.

We are excited, and I can't believe that we will have 6 children by February 2011. And I'm so young! Well, some days I feel young.

Back to the weekend....After the roofing was completed and a great supper, we powered up the RV and headed down river again, this time taking Rte 105 (I think) towards Southhampton, where we parked in the Baptist Church parking lot overnight. I was due to lead worship and preach there in the morning at 9:30. The church people were surprised to come in the morning and see a big rig sitting there. You never know where the Nomad truck is going to show up. At 10:30, we hopped in the car (we had pulled it behind the rig), and went cross country to Temperance Vale, where I did the service over there. Always feel like a circuit preacher when we do these two churches, and I feel like I should be on a horse, but I'd never make it in half hour like we do with the car. After the service, back across country to the RV, and I prepared lunch before we pulled stakes and headed downriver to Fredericton again. Had a bit of a nap, and we were off again.

The evening was spent at St Margaret's Anglican Church, where I led worship with Linda, Max, Carolyn, Dawn, Phenny, and Sandra for a healing service. It was a beautiful time there. Then home finally for the night.

This morning I was up again early and after recording the radio show, I took off for Sheffield (NB, not England, but you never know). Arrived at 10 AM to Samaria House, where there were four 20-somethings (women) waiting for me to lead them in a Bible study. I never met them before today, and well, I fell in love with them. Samaria House is a place of refuge and healing for women with addictions. It is a very structured environment, and I was on the slot from 10-11. I fell in love with them immediately and taught them from Matthew 6:25-34, my favorite passage to teach from. Left with hugs all around, and assigned them a creative project for next week.

Lunch with Carolyn Landine, one of the Bobbsey Twins, and we solved the world's problems. A walk with Doris down to the river and back. Home to teach a music student. Back down to Doris & Laurie's for supper. Over to Mom & Dad's for a couple of hours. Now home again, jiggety jig. Doug is asleep on the couch, and I am blogging so I don't go to sleep.

Pray for Judy, one of our Bible study ladies, who was just diagnosed with breast cancer today. She had it 20 years ago. And Q's mother, who was diagnosed with lymphoma today. What is happening around us? And continue to pray for Almira.

And Jalene, as she continues to mourn for baby Hope. Hoping to go down to Campobello soon to see her.

Tomorrow takes me to Greenhill Lake Camp in the morning, where I will play the piano and sing for the seniors at their program and luncheon. Home to teach again, and meet with Sam in the evening, a student of mine that I am reconnecting with. Very excited about that.

A full life. Yesterday I preached twice about the same thing: LIFE == and seizing the day. Live each day to the fullest. Live IN the day. Live to serve others. Live to do the will of God for your life. And EXPECT the BEST, not the worst.

Enough said. Gearing down for beddy bye.... I remain, !DEB

Thursday, 3 June 2010


Today, I went to the OT department at the hospital to have splints made for my carpal tunnel arms and tenosynovitis arms (inflammation and pain). I took the OT Director with me and she watched the OT girl make the splints. Perhaps she could set up a splint shop, since there is a great need for it. My referral to OT was in January and this is June and I just got in. Anyway, the OT Director was observing closely to learn how to make splints for people like me.

Then we walked over to the Rehab where Doug works, and he was having his own OT experience driving down the halls with his new invention: a Lazy Boy powered by a wheelchair. Yes, my dear husband made this new motorized vehicle. The base is a wheelchair and an actual full-size Lazy Boy chair is sitting atop the contraption. You should see Doug fly through the halls, powered by the joystick that he mounted on the arm of the chair. The patients are getting jealous and the staff enjoy occasional rides as well. There's talk that his invention may show up on Friday at the legislature as it is disability awareness week or something like that. My husband -- always inventing, and you can tell that he is on the countdown to retirement (Feb. 9/11 he is eligible).

OT day -- making our lives more comfortable. Tonight we had a gathering and later on the sewing machine came out as one of the girls sewed a pillow for her nephew, others ate chocolate macaroons (I made some because I announced today on the radio show that it was Chocolate Macaroon Day, and it would be hypocrisy not to make them, wouldn't it?), and others talked and laughed. We love having lots of action here at the Soul Cafe.

Friday morning brings another gathering as we study Romans and have a pot luck for lunch. What will I do now? The macaroons are consumed. Perhaps it will be Banana Bread Day tomorrow.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Paperwork, Schmaperwork

I planned to do paperwork today. Nah. Did none. Too many other things 'popped up' in the day. Radio show, then a call: "Record this script for e-learning and mp3 it to me!" Record, record. Then another call: "Do you have your article for the newpaper ready?" No, but I can....type, type, type, think, type, type, type. Ready for the press! Down to drop it off -- first issue out this Friday -- River Valley News or something like that (you'd think I would know what publication I'm writing for, wouldn't you?) Look for it in convenience stores and newstands this weekend. 'Deb's Column" or some such title.

To the mall to return a pair of pants (they were too big -- YEAH!. Well, actually they had spandex in them, and you women know about that, don't you? Too much of that stuff and you're swimming in your pants, or your pants are swimming around your body type of thing). Met Nancy D in the store and long conversation, then to Kings Place where I had to park on the top of the world. Ran in the rain to Read's Newstand to meet with Rick & Patricia (he's another DJ; my radio mentor buddy). He signed a deal today for us to record for an electronic learning company, and they liked our voices. Imagine that -- my voice may be reading script around the world. You just never know, do you? By the time I got out of the parking garage and home again jiggety jigg, Mrs. Hvwiggins had completed her tasks and signed out for the day. And students starting at 4:30 gave no time for no paperwork (forgive the grammar; you wouldn't know I can write occasionally).

Well, we did get our ice cream sundaes last night and they were some good (forgive me). Now Doug is outside having arrived home from Coldstream with a pile of steel for his new project. Did I mention this yesterday? A trailer for a car and biofuel for a future trip to the west. Will we ever stop creating and inventing? I think not. Nite