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TO CURL OR NOT TO CURL

Curling is on everyone’s minds these days. I heard of the sport in the 1940’s when my father went to see the curling rink a farmer had set up at his farm. It really didn’t catch on. The first time I curled was, way back when, as a young wife and mother, I was coaxed into joining the Powder Puff derby in La Ronge. It was fun.

That’s where I learned how to throw a good take-out weight. Well, it actually was just to get it across the hog line. We didn’t have artificial ice and on a nice day, the side softened and got sticky.

We were all on equal footing because frozen bumps on the ice from dripping condensation messed up everyone’s game equally. I was the lead for our rink so I had to learn how to set up guards in front of the house, to protect our stones. I was never too good at draw weight, but thanks to La Ronge, I could throw a good take-out shot.

I didn’t curl again for a few years until we moved to Moosomin and again I got drawn in by some good friends. I had to decide if I really wanted to curl or not to curl. I decided to curl. I bought a Teflon slider to use as needed. And, yes, I did put it on the wrong foot at times and landed flat on my face. I spent hours diligently learning how to slide, how to put a curl on a rock, the difference between an inside or outside curl, how to sweep without tripping over other rocks and when to sweep or not to sweep. While I was learning the finer details of curling my kids were Jam Can Curling at school. You might want to explain that to your grand kids.

Things were primitive back then. We used straw brooms and there was a reason why the skip yelled, CLEAN! CLEAN! CLEAN! Lest you think I became a great curler, I faintly remember winning a set of steak knives at a bonspiel once.

Then came the day when people started using the ‘Rink Rat’, a fabric broom that made an impressively loud whop, whop, whop sound. Now the sweeping is done with a brush and one of the much-loved sounds of curling has disappeared.

The granite for curling rocks comes from Scotland and Wales. The Kays of Scotland did the last harvest of Ailsa Craig granite in 2001. They provide granite for all the Olympic Rocks and have harvested enough granite to meet the need until 2020. A quarry in Northern Wales supplies, or did supply, the Trefor granite for our Canada Curling Stone Co. Today curlers  know the characteristic of every individual rock. I’m glad I’m not curling anymore. I’m not good at math!

Avid curlers wore fancy curling sweaters and had shoes with the Teflon slider built-in. In all my years of curling I never advanced to the level of elite clothing. I will close by mentioning that heart-breaking change in the sport when the Norwegian Olympic curlers appeared wearing excruciatingly loud plaid pants. Tragic!

Enough reminiscing! I have a curling game to watch.

 

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THE JULY 4TH THAT WENT TO THE DOGS

The Canadian side of our family usually spends July 4th in the USA with relatives. This year was different in many ways. the kids have grown up, started new lives, and found new activities. There was not one child in our midst, and the majority of us were 50 and older.

The eight-hour trip was spent reminiscing, which equaled eight-hour of free counselling. “Remember the hammock in our converted school bus?” “I don’t remember that.” “I never got to sleep in it because you weighed less.” Glare, giggles, laughter.

Our destination was Auntie Judy’s house in North Dakota and when we arrived one tent was in the process of being set up. For many years, there have been five or six tents, campers, and six or seven vehicles in the yard. This year, there were only three tents and eight vehicles (prime corner lot on the parade route). Some opted for motel rooms – age does that to you.

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As families arrived it became evident that dogs had replaced kids this year.

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Fluffy little Sunshine was the resident dog and this was her turf.

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Second to arrive was a full-sized golden retriever named Toby, laid back and poised.

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Next to arrive was Piper, a long-haired Chihuahua, most happy in human arms.

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Last to arrive was regal, calm, Deacon blue, a blue Weimaraner.

Four dogs, four temperaments, and four sets of owners. They might have been great friends if they didn’t have to protect their owners. Add a parade with fire engines and police cruisers blaring their sirens, a city band, and bag pipes, and you get the idea.

This July 4th had gone to the dogs, but it wasn’t the dogs fault.

With no children to pick up candy thrown from the floats, our young-at heart adults fought over every Freezie,Tootsie roll, and sucker. One float had a sign, MAKE NOISE FOR CANDY. We made noise, candy was thrown, our young adults scooped it up, and gleeful guys on the float drenched them with super soakers. Toby sat calmly on the curb, enjoying it all.

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Candy was thrown with a scoop shovel from the back of an ancient truck. The Tavern float even gave out Lite Beer if you were of age and asked for it.

A lot of families in our small town shoot off fireworks on the street. This year we had our very own pyromaniac, shooting off home-made boomers containing bits of dynamite. Neighbours in both directions kept cheering him on. Poor Toby turned inside out with the first blast, but an ‘uncle’ put him back together again, while Piper and Sunshine shivered in their owner’s arms. Hard to believe our family has been doing these crazy things for years with no injuries. (We’re all fast runners.)

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The evening of July 3rd we watched 20 memory lanterns float through the sky in a long line, sent up by a neighbour. The evening of July 4th was when our plans went to the dogs. (Apologies to our dogs). Some of our fireworks didn’t fly! One rocket exploded right in the tube. From out of the dark a voice said they had some like that too. Then there was the memory lantern: that, held up, pushed up, prodded, nudged with a pole and finally saw its demise, crumpled up on our campfire.

By that time we had all dissolved in laughter.

DSCN6371Disclaimer: No dogs were injured in the making of this blog.

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The outlaw side of the gathering.

L-R top:

Carrie Seavers, Dean/Glenda Ferguson, Bob Shomo, Cathie Ullrich

Front: Janet Shomo with Deacon, Carol Ferguson (me).

Families are a great blessing from the Lord.

 

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THE DAD BLOG

Today, in preparation for Father’s Day I am posting my daughter, Carrie’s, Dad Blog. I am so proud of her. She’s way ahead of me in sharing her heart. She has written a tear jerker that will make a Happy Father’s Day for lots of dads. Enjoy.

 

The Dad Blog

By Carrie Seavers

So I have a love/hate relationship with social media.  On one hand, I love that I can follow some of my family and friends that do not live close by me and I feel somewhat connected to them in a way that wasn’t possible a few years ago.  On the other hand, I am very frustrated with the feelings that come over me when I read and see some of the stuff that people are not afraid to post for the world to see, and who doesn’t get weary of the drama that seems to follow some people??

These feelings of frustration overtook me recently when I read a post from someone proclaiming how much they missed their father who had passed away.  There must be something wrong with me, I thought, I don’t miss my dad.  Am I a terrible daughter for not missing him??  I wondered if I were unnecessarily dragging around things from my younger years that kept coming to mind that I needed to let go of.  Like most people, I have my share of good memories from my childhood, and like most people, I have some memories that are not so good, and I have some memories that are just snippets of events we participated in or places we went, neither good nor bad, just memories from days long ago. (really, really long ago I might add!)

So in light of Father’s Day around the corner, I have decided it’s time for me to tell the world “My father was not perfect and I still loved him.  I was not a perfect kid and he still loved me.  I was not a perfect adult and he still loved me. He was not a perfect adult and I still loved him.”

So all in all, there was lots of love around.

In talking about this with one of my sisters recently, she said something that I didn’t really think too deeply about, until after I had mulled about the ‘missing my dad’ question for a few days.

She said “Maybe you don’t miss him because there has been/are other men in your life that have had good input and been good role models for you so there is not that empty void that maybe other people are expressing.”

Oh good one sista!

That got me thinking.   Who are the men/dads in my life who have filled this position so wonderfully that I have not been burdened with the deep feelings of loss because my own father is not with us anymore?

I therefore, dedicate this post to all the men who I will tell you about right here, and how their lives have enriched mine by our paths crossing.

Maybe you don’t know them and maybe you do, but I am willing to bet that reading about them will trigger something in you about someone in your life that you need to be reminded to be grateful for.

So here goes, in no particular order of importance (or anything that reveals their age and how long I have known them!! LOL   )

My husband Jim,,or Jimmie as I sometimes call him:  here is a man who took me in my broken up mess, with my little 3 month old son, and made us his own.  Even though we grew up in homes that could be considered totally different, he is a perfect fit and balance for me. He is – not a sniff of embellishing here – everything that a naïve little 15 year old teenager wrote on her list of things she wanted God to give her in a husband; a believer, a music lover, an outdoor enthusiast, good sense of humor, and good with kids.  I am blessed to call him mine.  There is not enough ink to tell all I have learned from and through him and with him, and look at us, we ignored that marriage councillor and have made it 29 years and counting!  I love this guy.

My brother-in-law Cliff:   this man came into our family later in life, and he has been a good fit!  hahaha   If anyone knows his bible and how to apply it,  he does, and he is calm and fun, and encouraging, and honest, and he hunts and shoots and fishes and all those fun things that we love to do!   And he loves my sister -and her family, and he loves his boys and their families.  He’s been a spiritual giant of sorts to me.

My brother Dean; a brother has a place in the heart that is indescribable.  For all the times us girls picked on you, and in spite of all the times you picked on us, we still feel the love.  Whenever I hear “The Red Baron” song from Snoopy’s Christmas album I think of you, really I do.  For some unknown reason that song has made a come-back on one of our radio stations so I think of you often during the Christmas season.

My brother-in-law John; you are one of the few people I know who came to Christ as an adult. How thankful we are for that, and how we enjoy our visits with you. You are real, and true, and down to earth.

My brother-in-law: Paul;  on the rare occasion that you are not on the other side of the earth, literally, I have noticed that there is laughter wherever you are.  In the serious business of spreading the Good news of salvation and redemption there is a need for joy and laughter, so keep doing that.  And thanks.

My other brothers-in-law; Mike, Tom, Eddie,  our friends Dave, Jeff, Miles, Doug and more:  It’s always overwhelming to me to have known all these guys for so many years, and see you all as husbands without children, and then see you with babies, and then with teenagers, and now with grown children and even some grandchildren!!  My brain knows you are so tough (yeah you are!) but you are all really just a bunch of big soft mush-pots where your kids are concerned and it’s been so much fun to see.  I could write a story about each one of you, but I won’t – you can thank me later!

Who would have taught us to ride a dirt bike (not me personally but Jim), or how to shoot a bow, or how to be really rowdy during a Scrabble game (yes it’s true), and foster a love of being on the water in a pontoon boat – even deathly afraid of water like I am, or shared quiet moments sitting in a lawn chair around a campfire staring at the stars together, and who else would we have had those deep conversations with when we were disappointed with life situations or just needed some family and friends time? I have seen these dads handle joy, and pain, and upset, and illness, and all that life throws at us and they came out shining.  These are things only a dad can teach, and talk about, and these are all the dad’s in my life that do it.

My parents were Missionaries in Northern Alberta and then Dad became a Pastor and we lived and roamed around Saskatchewan.  I have these things in my life that I know are embedded in me from my parents:

-travel – yup, just do it…where to next? Jump in the car and go?  Okay.

-camp – yes, in a big outrageous blue bus?  Or everyone in a tent?  OK

-animals – yes, how many? which one haven’t we had? Dogs are the favorite.

-people –  love them,  all are welcome, point them to Him.

-work – yes, work hard, Be helpers.

I had a dream once that a bunch of us died and went through a big gate and there was my dad sitting in a big lazy-boy type chair, and he said with a big smile “come on in, I’ve been waiting.”  And with a wave of his arm he welcomed us in.

Maybe this is why I do not miss him, because I will see him again, and I have all these amazing men in my life that have filled the gap in his absence.

I look forward to seeing him again one day and telling him about you all.

Happy Father’s Day   from my heart to yours.

You can see more of Carrie’s blogs at : clsfergy.blogspot.com

Follow her.

 

 

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ILLEGAL U TURNS

I’m using my daughter, Carrie’s, format for this blog to share with you about my terrible, horrible, very bad trip. It all started with a letter from City Hospital in Saskatoon with an appointment for me at 9 AM on December 17. Why would they schedule an appointment for an out of town patient at 9 AM? I arranged to go up the day before, and spend the night with my daughter, Cindy, and I tucked the letter into my purse.

I am a bit paranoid when it comes to traveling so I went on-line and printed off a map with her address and even a picture of the house. I also wanted to drop some things at a grandson’s home while I was in the city, so his address was added too.

A road trip is no small thing for me since I have to take along all the stuff for changing the dressing on my feeding tube, my syringe, my pills and some ready to eat food. Oh, yes, and my boogie board since I can’t talk. I’ve traveled alone many times and never had problems. Until now!

It was a nice day and the road was fairly good but I was barely on the way when traffic threw a nice layer of dirty snow on my windshield. My windshield washer tank was empty. Bummer! The trip was uneventful and as soon as I got into Sk’toon I filled up with gas for the return trip. That was a plus with the gas price  cheaper than in Moose Jaw. I didn’t think of washing my windshield or filling the washer tank. I headed out with directions in mind, turn left on Taylor and right on Grovsner AVE.

There’s a school on Taylor and there were cars, buses, hundreds of students on foot, and my windshield was blurry. I soon discovered that the street signs are often on one side, on one corner and the opposite side on the next corner, and with all the traffic I couldn’t slow down to read them when I did get them in view. I wasn’t going in the right direction, so I found a corner, waited for a break in the traffic, made a U-turn and inched back through the congestion around the school.

Eventually, after passing a couple Grovsner CRESCENT signs I got on the AVENUE and even the right block. That’s when I discovered I had left the maps and addresses at home. I drove up and down a couple blocks, made a U-turn, repeated, but didn’t recognize their house. I finally decided to ring a doorbell and get help (using my boogie board). The man was willing to help, but didn’t know my daughter and she isn’t in the phone book. Sometimes I hate cell phones! When I mentioned that any Alliance Church would know her, he sent me across the street to another house because they were Alliance people.

That lady there was very helpful too. Except she had just had eye surgery and had a hard time reading my boogie board. She phoned her husband at work and he knew where I was going and would be home soon to help me.

We spent an awkward few minutes together with our limited communication. When the husband came home, he rode with me ONE block to where I was going and then walked home. My plan was to pick up my granddaughter and take her with me to my grandson’s house. He lived on Preston, only a couple blocks away, same street numbers.

We got to Preston and I turned the wrong way again and was on a divided street with lots of school traffic. As soon as I could, I made a U-turn and got headed the right way. Trying to read the numbers on houses was even worse then reading street signs but a couple U-turns later we found their house. The one redeeming clue- their house was pink. We found it.

After a nice, but fairly short visit there, we returned to Grovsner. Did I mention that my daughter and her husband were in Regina so we missed each other but the grandkids looked after me.

My youngest granddaughter gave up her bed for me. It was interesting being in a pre-teen room.  I woke up in the middle of the night to discover my watch had stopped. I’m a bit paranoid about time too (I have four clocks in my one-bedroom suite, plus time on my microwave, stove. computer and TV). It took me long time to find a clock in that room. Finally, a big red spider man helmet with red numbers showed me it was 3 AM.

The next morning I was off by 8 AM to be at City Hospital by 9. I’ve been to the hospital many times so I knew where I was going. Did I mention that I HATE cities that are built on rivers with bridges? I was within a block of the hospital when I suddenly found myself on a bridge headed back across the river. I ended up on the college campus, made another U-turn (illegal, I’m sure), back across the bridge and within minutes I was in the hospital parking lot. One circle through it and I knew it was full. I had to turn in my ticket, leave that lot and go into overflow.

The doctor I saw was new to me but what a great man. He met me in the hall, knew who I was, and wanted to see my boogie board. He knew how much it cost and where to buy one. He even  stopped a couple of the staff to look at it. After a nurse did all my preliminary tests, she asked if I was worried: my BP was high. I told her it was the traffic!

This new doctor is in the process of expanding the MS/ALS clinic so I also had a session with the new speech and swallowing doctor too. That was an unexpected plus. I was headed home by 10:30 AM and the road was good.

At home I discovered I had missed a parcel delivery. Because some parcels have gone missing from our building. we’ve been told to check the box for a signature at delivery. I did that but I wasn’t home to sign for it so they took it away. Twice! I went on-line to locate the pick up site.  Guess where I’m going tomorrow. REGINA! The address is in my purse!  Family names, addresses and phone #’s are going into my glove box and fluid in my windshield washer.

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee.” Or at least calm ‘him’ down after all the illegal U-turns. I’m just afraid my kids will never let me travel alone again. But then, their trips aren’t always perfect either.

 

 

 

 

 

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BLESSED BY A HURRICANE

BLESSED BY A HURRICANE.

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4 People We Must Avoid AT ALL COSTS.

This is a truth we need to take to heart and put into practice. It can mean the difference between night and day in our lives.

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“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” – Jim Rohn

Well, I think it’s more like ten to fifteen. The ten to fifteen people we see the most have the greatest impact on us.

Surrounding ourselves with positive people changes our perceptions. As our social groups encourages, pushes and lifts us up, our own system does the same for them.

Conversely, toxic individuals are completely exhausting to be around. When we surround ourselves with negative people, it will take a toll on our mind and body.

Eventually it seeps in and consumes us. Slowly, we become complainers, judgers, gossipers, and victims.

The distractions and emotional baggage that toxic people bring into our lives are unnecessary obstacles that we must inevitably cross.

We all know a few toxic people – they might be our distant co-workers, family spouses, or our closest friends. Even a…

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P.T. Forsyth on religious exile

That is so true. Is this where the Word divides between soul and Spirit? Bolivia has many Mennonite colonies, believers who came from Russia and Germany for religious freedom but have since been ‘absorbed so as to forget the first principles of Christ.

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