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.