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Friday, August 19, 2016

Difficult Times

Hello dear friends,


I'm just stopping in to let you know I may be missing in action for awhile.

My mom had a massive stroke yesterday.  
Thankfully she is still with us and alert.  She knows what is happening but she can no longer speak
though she can  mumble a few words and move her hands a bit.
She is undergoing more tests and observation at the hospital.
Today she received a feeding tube. Today she failed the swallow test to receive a feeding tube but it seems like she may have had a slight improvement by end of day. No more tests will be done until next week as specialists are gone now for the weekend.
 I don't have much more information to share at this time.
Since I'll be busy dealing with her needs and responding to family and friends, I won't be here updating on a regular basis.


If you wish to keep her and the family in prayer that will be much appreciated.



 Thank you.


Monday, August 15, 2016

A Profusion of Colour

It's been a busy time preparing for guests and doing deep cleaning in advance of arrival.
I'm glad all the cleaning is basically done because it is going to get far too hot for it in a few days.

After days of cleaning, I relaxed by taking photos and catching up on my reading goals. I've become very behind on my reading goals for the year and needed to make progress.



 








At twilight the sky is serene.


It's hard to get a good night shot.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


This week has been rather warm but it is going to get very hot by Thursday. I'll probably be looking to go to a mall or movie just to sit somewhere cool


Reading Progress This Week

The Temptress by Paul Spicer. This book attempts to solve the mystery of who murdered Lord Erroll in colonial Kenya.  I read this book primarily to learn more about the life and times of the early British and American settlers in Kenya. I enjoyed the quick read.

The other book,  West With The Night,  is the memoir of Beryl Markham.  It doesn't follow a chronological order of events in her life. Instead it focuses on  her life as an aviatrix and to a lesser degree on her experience as a horse trainer. I enjoyed the first half of the book a lot.  About half way through I got tired of  the style of writing and the lack of detail about other facets of her life.


However, Beryl Markham had high praise from the well known author, Ernest Hemingway who had this to say about her book
  "Did you read Beryl Markham's book, West with the Night? ...She has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer. I felt that I was simply a carpenter with words, picking up whatever was furnished on the job and nailing them together and sometimes making an okay pig pen. But this girl, who is to my knowledge very unpleasant and we might even say a high-grade b*, can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves as writers ... it really is a bloody wonderful book."
 ~~~~~

 I  also made some good progress on a few of the books on raw food eating that I took out of the library a few weeks ago.


New Book Started

 The new book I've started is a musical memoir written by Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics.



I'm joining Lady Fi and others at Our World Tuesday.

Have a great week everyone!

(Note: Blogger seems to be doing funny things. It published my post twice but failed to publish several comments I've approved. I apologize to Melanie, Joanne, Teresa, Eileen and Sally. I don't know why your comments will not publish.  Thank you for taking time to leave a comment. I'm hoping they will yet appear).

Friday, August 12, 2016

It's a Great Friday

Hi friends,

It is summer and I'm doing all my Spring cleaning now! LOL. Each time I've been preparing for summer guests, it has given me an opportunity to do some cleaning, organizing and generally getting things refreshed. 

Today I re-arranged my living room. I haven't done that for awhile. Because my home is on the small side and I have a lot of stuff, it takes awhile to accomplish anything. Things are constantly being moved from here to there.

But I am very pleased with progress made over the past few days both indoors and outdoors just generally getting rid of garbage and freshening things. I have some plans to freshen paint in the master bath too but had to delay on that for a few days as I ran out of time.

The photos I'm sharing today were taken a  few weeks ago when I was out and about in another part of the city. I haven't had a chance to share them until now.

I like the flower pots on the top floor.



These are all taken with my cell phone camera.


Some people don't like telephone wires but they are a fixture in cities and towns everywhere and bring us our much needed electricity (unless you have solar power). so I leave them in the photo.


It looks cloudy in the photo but it didn't rain that day.
 However it has rained on and off since that day in early July.
Now suddenly yesterday it turned blazing hot. I don't think the hot temperatures will last very long.
I'm grateful that we haven't had many scorching days like last summer.

If you missed the Swahili worship music video I posted last night you can catch it here if you have time.

I'm linking up with Skywatch Friday 
and Friday Foto Friends  today.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Wewe Ni Bwana by Dorcus Ndambuki


Enjoy the song (sung in Swahili).


If you like it, I posted another song of similar name here along with translation.

Thank you for your visit.

Monday, August 8, 2016

My World in First Week of August

It's turned out to be a quiet but busy few days of  this and that.  Doing the usual things that one does on weekends to catch up around the house.

I'm still a little under the weather so continue to occupy myself with indoor activities. 
It's not all work though. 

At times like this I enjoy my small garden more than usual and look for opportunities to take more photos, especially after a rain. See some samples (click here)  if interested.


Earlier this week.


I've been catching to watching many of my recorded television programs so I can delete them and make room for more.

 I watch Masterpiece theatre and have almost caught up to the several different series I've been following. 
 A few months ago I was enjoying, "Jewel in the Crown" series, the  final season of "Downton Abbey" (I was a latecomer to the series), "Selfridges" and "The Paradise". 
 I think my favourite series so far is "Jewel in the Crown".


Now I'm watching "Inspector Lewis" but seem to have come in at the last season of this "new-to-me" series. I get these programs from  the PBS station in Washington State to the south of me.  The station gets a lot of viewer support from Canadians.
What about you dear reader?
Do you have public television or do you watch any of these series on TV or on line?

~~~~~~~~~

Another activity that's been keeping me very busy is "online window shopping".   I'm looking to coordinate a simple yet stylish and budget friendly outfit that I need for a daytime casual event.  I want to be comfortable and cool and be able to wear the clothing again as separates or altogether. I'm thinking of an all white, all natural tones, or a combination of white and off-white.

I often peruse all the deals at home and afar on line and try to see the styles and prices that capture my interest.  If the store is local I then go out to the brick and mortar store if I have time and try things on.  This kind of  activity is very time consuming.  But it beats in person shopping and not knowing in advance what is out there though certainly one can often finds nice things that aren't even on line.  The on line cost comparison is a frugal activity I like to undertake. Once I know what is on line and in stores I calculate the costs of buying in person or on line, factoring in shipping costs, taxes, my time, bus fares, etc. At the end of the day I prefer to support local shops as much as possible.

I'm mulling over several outfit possibilities. One possibility is a long, straight skirt. Here is a photo. Sorry it looks like a screen is over the image because I've taken the photo of the photo. The site wouldn't let me save an image.



The skirt has a bit of sparkle and I like that. I'm thinking of pairing a tank top similar to the one in the photo which I'll have to source from elsewhere because it doesn't seem to be on the website. I'm also thinking of a long sleeveless waterfall vest. But that is only one idea. The skirt is currently on sale.  On of that there is a time limited 25% discount so right now it is only half price. I don't go out shopping until Tuesday but I might order the skirt tonight because I like it that much.  I've never seen one like it in  the places where I tend to shop. (Update: I did try to order the skirt but wasn't happy about the price after shipping, customs and other charges were added. I also didn't like that I couldn't see the breakdown of costs before completing a whole lot of information on line. It might just be better to take a quick trip across the border and check the skirt in person.  Before I do that I will want to make sure that the discount will still be applicable because it is a time-limited offer.  To make it worth my while I would also check a few other shops nearby).

I have several other ideas for an outfit. which include:

- white top, style to be determined + white gaucho pants and long white waterfall vest
- white top, style to be determined (tank or Turkish tunic) + mid-calf skirt and long, white waterfall, sleeveless vest
- long white sleeveless or cap sleeve dress with long, white, waterfall, sleeveless vest

I also made a bit of progress in reading goals this week.  In an earlier post I mentioned finishing the book entitled "Circling with the Sun".  The book is about Beryl Markham, an early colonial settler to what is now the nation of Kenya.  Ms. Markham was a  pioneer in horse training and aviation and made her mark in both fields.

The book book was a very enjoyable read.  It gave me an insight into the life of  early British settlers to Kenya.  It opened my eyes to the lifestyle of the rich and famous in those days. The lifestyle of the rich and famous seems to be much the same today.  Aside from that,  Beryl Markham was a truly remarkable woman and very ahead of her time. She the first licensed female horse trainer and pilot in Kenya and became highly accomplished in both fields. She has the distinction of flying solo over the Atlantic Ocean from East to West (considered more challenging than West to East).  She is also credited with pioneering the use of small aircraft in safaris, a mode which is very popular today for those that have little time but more money.

 
After completing the books I'm currently reading  I will still be a few books behind in my readings goals for the year.  This year I set a modest reading goal because my focus this year is rest.  Even so, I got behind in my reading  due to being sick for much of the first quarter of the year with one cold after another. I've had another cold this past week but it isn't as bad as the winter colds. I don't recall a time when I've ever had quite so many colds as I have this year.  I think getting better sleep will help and I am working doing just that.

This book is about a young Palestinian man who builds a music school and develops an orchestra in Palestine.

This is an interesting book about a bookseller who has a store on a barge. He dispenses wisdom & appropriate books to readers.

What about you dear reader?
Are you reading any good or interesting books?
Do you set any reading goals for yourself or at least keep track of how many books you've read?
I never used to keep track of the books I read and have long forgotten many of them.
I now find it interesting to go back and see what I've read over the past few years and the types of books.
It seems that a lot of books I choose are of the historical fiction genre. 


~~~~~~~~~

My nephew called and paid a brief visit on Saturday.  He is on the way to a conference in Montreal where he will present a paper on Wednesday afternoon. I'm very proud of him as he is in the final year of his Master's Program in Psychology. He has been undertaking laboratory research for about 4 years and  has already been to several conferences in the USA and Canada to present his research findings.  He is a very busy young man juggling work, research, studies and a committed relationship. I haven't had a chance to visit with him much over the last year.  In  less than a year he will be finished his Masters degree before embarking on the final leg of his educational journey.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On Sunday morning I captured the beautiful sunrise to the east.  I went out to capture this after hearing the sad news about the young man in Kenya who passed away a few days ago from complications of cancer.

The colours in the sky were exceptionally beautiful.
My camera and I did not do full justice to the scene.


The morning reminded me of the wonders and beauty of creation.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It's only a few more days before my last guest of the summer arrives.
So much to do before she arrives but I made excellent progress today in the preparations.
Enjoy your week!


Linking up with Lady Fi over at Our World Tuesday
and
NC Sue over at image-in-ing
Thank you for visiting.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

News

I awoke to news today that was upsetting. The young orphaned boy I wrote about here and here has passed due to complications of cancer. He was barely 20 years old.

" Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."
James 4:14
I want to thank those of you who gave to help his medical bills and to those that have been praying for him.



The comfort is that he will never suffer again and as a Christian he is with his Heavenly Father.

 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” 
John 14:1-4


I was feeling rather emotional today upon hearing the sad news. Mostly because this boy is an orphan.  He's had a hard life so far and had to fight this terrible cancer. No doubt he went through periods of not really understanding what was happening to him especially during the chemotherapy sessions which weakened him a lot.  I am also grieving for the fact that he will never have an opportunity to reach his potential here on earth though in Kenya that is a very hard thing to do when you live in poverty.  Right now I am glad that this young man will never pain and poverty again.



In addition to the comfort of the biblical promises, I often find comfort in God's creation and from seeing nature close up.  Today it was in my garden.

I could hear the birds singing so beautifully.  Their warbling drew me outside.

I wasn't able to capture the birds in photo.  They are very well camouflaged in the trees and they fly away so quickly.  But I was delighted to find bees enjoying the flowers in the garden.




Beyond the enjoying the birds and the bees in the garden, I enjoyed the beautiful colours of nature.



I like the flowers and plants reflected in the bird bath.


This photo was taken a few months ago at Westham Island.

Joining up with Eileen at Saturday's Critters
and
Weekend Reflections.
Thank you for stopping by.
Have a wonderful weekend wherever you are.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Another Friday

Time for Skywatch Friday and Friday Foto Friends as well as a brief update on a few things.


We've had a bit of rain this week.


I did not mind as it came after a week and some days of rather warmish weather. 
In addition, I just like when the rain falls so the garden can get a good soaking.


You can see in the distance that there are now two cranes at the site of the high rise that will be built on the horizon.
The crane in the foreground has been there for a long time but things don't seem to be happening that quickly.
It suits me fine because the slower the building goes up, the longer I have a view of the mountains.

In related news, I found out that the new grocer in a small mall near by has signed a 20 year lease with the owner rather than a 10 year lease. That means that there is much less likelihood of the mall being torn down and condominiums going up in its place. I've heard the rumour for years that the new development was around the corner. Now at least there is a reprieve.

~~~~

In garden news, my vegetable garden hasn't done very well except for snap peas. I didn't even pick them except one to taste and some bird or animal ate the rest There wasn't a bountiful harvest as I only grew a small amount to try them out. Maybe I will plant more next year.
All the kale I planted was also eaten as were the cherry tomatoes.
The kale grew twice and some rodent or other, ate them twice.  The kale seems to be growing again but this time much more slowly.
The cherry tomatoes have grown once and been eaten before I could pick them. They are now regrowing but still at the green stage.
I'm waiting to see if they will have a chance to ripen before they are eaten by the birds.


My cucumbers did not grow at all.  It is my fault as I waited until the plant was too dry and root bound before I translated it. I tried to revive it but it didn't work.  It's too bad as I seldom see cucumber plants in the stores around town during the Spring season and I wanted to see how long it took to grow. A lot of things do grow in my garden but they grow slowly due to less sunshine and poor soil conditions.  Every year I am improving the soil bit by bit. It is challenging to get new soil and enough good compost into the garden given I am above ground and there is no way to access the garden from the outside.

The peppers have been extremely slow in growing. I don't know if they will ever come out but there is another month or so left in our summer so we will see. Perhaps they need much warmer weather than we've been having this summer.

My flowers seemed to do better.

First time for me to grow Black Eyed Susan

I forget the name of this plant but it attracts the hummingbirds.

I love to capture raindrops on the flowers.
The geranium leaves above have captured a pool of water.
The salmon coloured geranium below looks pretty with spots of water all over the petals.


The hostas did not do well in the main garden
(I did not take a photo of the remaining hosta in the main garden). 
For some reason it seems to do much better in a container. 
The soil in the main garden is probably still lacking nutrients despite my efforts to boost it every year.


I find it easy to grow plants in containers.
But if ones waits too long to water the container plants they can die so quickly.


That happened with my pansies but I managed to resuscitate them.
If I'm lucky they will survive the rest of the summer but they have thinned out a lot since the start of the season.


Petunias always seem to do well.



I think I over watered the Solomon's Seal this year because the leaves are turning yellow unlike other years.
But I still love how the raindrops look against the beautiful leaves.


The plant below is a  called Rhoeo. It doesn't like much rain and is prone to root rot. 
I've planted it under a tree so hopefully it will grow bigger. It's growth has been slow but suddenly it is starting to grow.  I love the colourful leaves.



In book reading this week I  read a wonderful book about early English colonial life in Kenya.  Circling the Sun is actually about the life of Beryl Markham (born Beryl Clutterbuck) and her life of adventure.  Beryl not only became the first licensed female horse trainer in Kenya, but the first female pilot too.



During the early days of aviation, Beryl was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west. She lived in Kenya during the time of Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) and Denys Finch Hatton as well as Lord and Lady Delamere.

When I am travel to Kenya I often hear others mention Karen Blixen (who lived near Nairobi) and Lord Delamere (who lived near Naivasha).  So I find it both interesting and useful to read more about their lives and the lives of others who lived during Kenya's early colonial times.

I am now reading 


~~~~


News in Kenya

Some of you will remember the young girl who ran away from arranged marriage and is now going to school far from her home. She was recently in hospital fighting for her life but is now back to her adopted home and recovering well. She is expected to be fine after having surgery to removed fluids from the lungs.
After release from hospital and further rest she is now back in school.
Please pray she will do well in school and be able to continue her studies.

There is also the young man who had the horrible tumour on his lower face and neck. 
He had the tumour removed in Nairobi and went home to undergo chemotherapy.
Due to multiple factors he didn't complete his chemotherapy.
He is not doing well and is very weak in ICU.
My friend has travelled to see the boy and be with him during this trying time.
Please pray for this orphan boy.

James 5:15
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

~~~~~

African Music & Happenings