I thought it was time for a new look on my blog, and this is the (free) design I decided to go with. What do you think? I like the colours, the brightness, and it makes me think of summer back home.
In my last post, I mentioned about being sick with the flu. Well, I also ended up with a cold and it lasted a couple of weeks. Although I had a little bit of the cough left, it wasn't bad and it was pretty much gone. Well, last Saturday (about two weeks after I had been sick with the flu) I woke up to a congested cough and have had it for the last week. I've had a bit of sneezing and runny/stuffy nose with it, but it's mostly been the cough that doesn't seem to want to go away. And, Wednesday I ended up with my right eye being a little itchy and by the end of the day it was red and watery as well. No, I didn't (and don't) have pink eye. The redness has pretty much disappeared (except if I've been on the computer too long), but it's still watery and the itchiness only lasted a little bit at work - though I guess from time to time there is a little bit of an itch, but it's not bad and it doesn't last. I really can't wait until I'm all better again. I hate being sick.
I decided to take this weekend to rest and hopefully get myself better. I've been catching up on some knitting (started a new fair isle hat), a little reading, and I've been working on the Bible study for the one we recently started for this session at my Monday night Bible study. Tomorrow is a holiday here (Family Day), and I keep forgetting and thinking I have to go to work, but I don't. I hope to do some more knitting and maybe some art journalling.
In my Bible study, the first chapter is dealing with the verse that talks about not worrying about tomorrow (well, there is more, but this is the part I want to focus on). I'm a worrier. I think I get that from my mother. Part of the study includes journalling our prayers. I've written down prayers in a journal before, but just specifics like "praying for my cold to go away" and then drawing a line to write the date when it gets answered, as well as the date I record it. This one, however, is requiring much more than that. We have to write down the actual prayer we would pray, the situation, etc. So, while I was doing that, I made a discovery (it probably came from the Holy Spirit) that my worry seems to be rooted in fear and lack of trust. I won't go into specific details, but that is what I am concluding so far.
I hope through this Bible study I will grow in my faith and walk - and in other areas of my life as well.
Well, I'm off now to watch some more of the Olympics and cheer for the Canadians!
Sunday, February 09, 2014
Saturday, January 11, 2014
My BFF gets annoyed when people mistakenly indicate they have the flu, but actually they have a stomach bug. When you are vomiting and have diarrhea, you have a stomach bug. When you have a fever, cough, can’t breathe very well and ache all over, that is the flu.
I have the flu.
The night before last, I had a bit of a raw feeling in my throat. It didn’t hurt, but I knew I’d be getting a sore throat within a day or so, unless I was lucky and it didn’t turn into anything worse. By the next afternoon my throat hurt a little more, but it still wasn’t bad. I went to coffee with K, “little” K, and J after work, and I mentioned it to them. We had a discussion about the flu and how it’s making its way around Alberta. There’ve also been several cases of H1N1 in Alberta (as well as one case of H5N1 – the bird flu, and sadly, the lady who had that died). K asked me if I’d heard that and was now thinking I had that (H1N1). I said no, but another friend and I had talked about it in the morning as well and hoped I was only getting a cold.
Well, this morning I woke up with a cough (I sound like a smoker at times, but I don’t smoke, and neither do any of my friends), a headache, and the chills. I was up for about 45 minutes, did my Bible reading and devotions, and decided to go back to sleep. I feel exhausted even though I’d had enough sleep.
When I woke up from that “nap,” I was sweating and hotter than I don’t know what. I think that might have been from having a warm housecoat and two blankets over me while I slept, and I had put the heat up to try and get warm. I checked my temperature, and found that it was getting higher and higher. So far today, the highest it’s been was 38.7C (which is 101.66F). It seems to be going down now, though as I have taken some Buckley’s Cough, Cold, and Flu pills. I’ve taken these twice now today, and will take more again in about an hour. Hopefully these will help me feel better by tomorrow.
The last two days at work, I’ve been alone in the class, and my one E.A. (the second one has been off work since before Christmas) was out both those days. I wonder if this is what she had (I was never told the reason for her being out).
I talked to K about half an hour ago, and she said she now has a cough and fever as well. So, it sounds like she has what I have. I would imagine we both got it from work (we both teach at the same school). Hopefully, we’ll both be over this before we have to go back to work on Monday!
I had hoped to get a lot of writing done today, but since I’ve been sick and sleeping most of the day, that didn’t happen. I debated not doing anything for the My 500 Word Challenge, but since I’m feeling a little better now, I thought I’d see if I could get anything done up. And this post is it!
Friday, January 10, 2014
Lately I’ve been feeling like I’d like to move back home, and often feel the homesickness erupt when I get this way. In fact, I’m kind of feeling that way tonight. I wonder how long it takes for homesickness to go away after you move elsewhere.
It’s only been nearly two and a half years since I moved out here to British Columbia, but I often find myself desiring to go back home because I feel homesick. That could be for a number of reasons – anything from not having a car, or access to a car, and not being able to get around and come and go as I please (I have to depend on others if I want to go somewhere else, like shopping or visiting someone who doesn’t live near my location. The bus system here also isn’t the best, and while I might be able to get places in the evening – providing I leave after supper – the buses stop around six or seven o’clock, so I wouldn’t be able to get home), to feeling alone – and lonely.
In 2007, I moved to South Korea to teach, and lived there for a year. There were times when I felt homesick, particularly after finding out my father had cancer – and especially when I found out he was getting worse. I also find that when I end up in a situation where I feel sad, upset, angry, etc. I often feel like I want to be back home – not that doing that would solve any problems, or that I wouldn’t have any bad times there, because I would.
I think part of my homesickness came from the fact that I was so far away from my home and my family, and I couldn’t just hop a bus or take a taxi, or even rent a car to go and visit them. It also could have been caused by being in a different culture and not having access to foods/brands, English TV shows, etc., that I am used to from living in North America.
In 2009, I went to Australia for two months (doing my teaching practicum) and I really enjoyed it there. Actually, I loved it there and I didn’t feel homesick, but that might have been just because I knew I’d only be there for two months and then be heading home again. When I did come home, I found that I felt homesick for Melbourne and could picture myself actually living there. Even now, five years later, I find there are times when I feel homesick for that area. It seems weird that I would feel that way for a place I only visited for two months, but Melbourne must have had a hold on me or something. Someday I’d like to get back there again.
I really don’t like feeling homesick, but then does anybody? I find it difficult, when I feel this way, to get out of the slump it puts me in. I’ve had nights where I would wake up and while I’m still half asleep and my eyes are closed, have such a strong feeling that I was back home in my bed there. It even seemed that when I’d open my eyes, I’d see my room the way it is set up back home.
When I’d open my eyes and see that I wasn’t there, but I was in my room here, I’d give my head a shake and feel a little stupid, but it seemed so real. And then I’d want to go back home again. I’ve mostly had that feeling after being home during the summer. At any rate, I’d start to feel little bits of homesickness creep up at those times. Thankfully, though, the homesickness doesn’t usually last for more than a day or two at a time.
Have you ever moved away, across the country or to a different country or continent, and felt homesick? How did/do you deal with it?
Thursday, January 09, 2014
So today marks the 9th day of the “My 500 Words” challenge. So far it hasn’t been too bad, and I’ve been able to get over 500 words each day. Today it seems a little more difficult. Part of it is not knowing what to write (though I suppose I could look at some of the prompts and ideas I’ve written down), and part of it is that I’m finding it difficult to write when I get up in the morning (after I’ve gotten ready for work), and when I get home from work I’m tired. So, I end up putting it off until later in the evening (much like I’m doing now) and feel like I have to push myself to write something.
On the positive side, this little challenge is helping to develop discipline in writing. I haven’t been focusing so much on the novel or any story, but I’ve been writing on my blogs. And even though it might not be “quality” stuff, I am writing.
Mostly my posts have been written on the fly, without much thought as to what I’d write. I think that is because I’m quite tired by that time and I’m just doing the assignment to get it completed. I hope that when I have more time (like on the weekends), I can sit down and write a better quality post, or add to my novel or short stories.
Maybe what I could do this coming weekend, is take the writing prompts I’ve got and outline what I could say about each topic (or take a couple of them at a time and do this), or jot a few ideas downs to remind myself of what I could include. Then I might have some direction, and could write a better quality post, rather than rambling on.
I think right now with this challenge, I’m just trying to focus on the discipline and getting in the habit of writing each day. Once this habit forms (or after the challenge, even weaning it down to once every other day until I have more time to be able to write each day – like on holidays and vacations from teaching), then I could focus on doing more research for topics, more editing, or more significant passages.
I just hope it’s this is not a case of “I’m doing this because I’ve been issued a challenge and I don’t want to fail at it,” and then give up for whatever reason and not write for large chunks of time. Otherwise, I’ll never get anything written – well, except for some blog posts.
Well, it looks like I’m going to finish today’s quota, thought it certainly won’t be nearly as long as any of the previous posts (or at least the majority of them). I’ve only got another couple of sentences to write and then I can call it a night. Hopefully, since tomorrow is Friday, and providing I take a little nap in the early evening to take the edge off, I can get more writing done (or at least create a few blog posts that I can schedule for later dates).
For the first week back to work after Christmas vacation, it’s seemed long and tiring. I’m looking forward to hopefully sleeping in on the weekend, but for now, I need to get to bed so I can try and get rested for tomorrow, otherwise I’ll need an IV of coffee!
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Well, this is only the second day of the week, the second day of the work week after Christmas vacation and I am already looking forward to Friday – or at the least, the weekend.
I am tired, soooo tired. Yesterday, Monday, was find. I wasn’t tired during the day, but a couple of hours before I went to Bible study; I had to lie down for a bit. I ended up falling asleep for about 40 minutes. Had set the alarm so I could sleep for a little over an hour, but I woke up about half an hour before the alarm went off. I felt better, and was confident I wouldn’t be yawning or almost falling asleep during Bible study. And, I was also able to get to bed around midnight (I could have gone before, but I wanted to read a little before bed – and I also had to read my Bible for the day as well), which allowed me about five hours of sleep (pretty typical for me).
I made it through work today and didn’t do any yawning or feeling tired, which is good. But, once I got home and sitting down, relaxing, etc. I soon began to feel my eyes drooping, and that general “I’m so tired I want to go to bed” feeling.
Unfortunately, it’s too early for that. If I go to bed now (or a littler earlier like I wanted to), I would either do one of two things: end up sleeping for 30-60 minutes and then not be able to get to sleep until 2:00 in the morning, or I’d sleep until 3:00 and be awake for the rest of the night.
So, I’m pushing on, trying to stay awake for another hour or so.
Another reason I had for staying awake longer, was the fact I needed to do my 500 words for today. I’m seven days into this, and I didn’t want to miss a day of it. I knew I wouldn’t be writing anything spectacular (not that anything else I’ve written has been that great), but I still needed, and wanted, to do this. If it will help build a habit of doing daily writing (or at least a decent amount of words each day), and even help me blog more frequently – like I used to a few years ago – then I can’t be missing days here and there. I know for me, it’s far too easy to just dismiss it because I’m tired, or I just don’t feel like it. But if I do that one day, it will lead to another, and pretty soon I’m not getting anything written for great amounts of time. So, to develop that kind of behaviour this early on into the challenge would just spell disaster for me.
As I pause at this particular moment to check my word count and think of something else to say to bring me closer to my minimum challenge requirement, I am realizing that I seem to have developed a bit of a second wind. Hopefully I will be able to keep this up for at least another hour or two, and then I’ll head to bed at a decent time. Hopefully.
And with that, I’ve now exceeded the 500 words – not that many, but still. I made it. And, hopefully I’ll be more creative with future posts, rather than just rambling on about the day to day boring things like this one.
Monday, January 06, 2014
Today is the first day back to work after a two week Christmas Break. I had been dreading getting up at 5:30, but I knew it must be done. And I had to be sure not to hit the snooze button for half an hour. I honestly don’t feel tired at the moment (it’s now nearly 7:00), but I know that will change as the day goes on.
And since today is Monday, I won’t be getting home until around 5:00 p.m. because I have drama practise after school and I have to wait around until one of the students gets picked up (the child is in my class, and her mom made special arrangements). I don’t mind staying, but there are times when I really don’t want to stay that late. Also, on Monday evenings, I have one of the Bible studies that I go to (I only go to two of them), which I am enjoying. I won’t have a chance to even think about taking a nap when I get home. I’ll probably have to go to bed early tonight, but I won’t even think about that right now.
I’m kind of looking forward to getting back into my routine and going to work. While I always enjoy days off, vacations, and holidays, there are times I want to get back to work – simply to get back into my routine.
I am supposed to have one less student now, as one little boy informed us, on the last day before Christmas vacation, that his mom wants to home school him and his sister. We’ll see how it goes. I don’t think she realises all that is involved in teaching/home schooling, and she was always talking about how busy they were. The only thing that it will probably save her, is travelling (they live outside of town). She could surprise everyone and do a great job with home schooling, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the kids end up coming back to the school – even if it isn’t until next fall. And, now that her son won’t be in my class, I’ll have to find someone else to help with Bible memory, as she would come in to ‘test’ the kids for me (it was a big help). Hopefully there is someone else willing to step up to the plate.
I’ve also got a few things that I want to try this term, such as a novel study with my language arts students (I have eight ESL kids who have a separate language arts class with another teacher, so they aren’t in my class). I don’t know if they can handle this, but we’ll see. I hope it works out well and doesn’t end up causing me grief. I’ve already warned them that the second half of the year is going to be more difficult and more will be required of them. It will probably be difficult for the first little while with them testing to see if they can get away with less effort, etc. So, I will definitely be needing prayer for a little while!
Anyway, I hope you all have a great day, and if this is also your first day back to work after a long break, I pray that you have a great one!
Saturday, January 04, 2014
This morning I had to go see the manager of my apartment building (unfortunately I wrote the wrong date on my rent cheque and had to bring her a replacement). She invited me in for a few minutes, which turned into an hour.
This is a woman who likes to talk, and while there are times you can’t shut me up, there are also times when I’m not really in the mood to hold a conversation with people. I had hoped this would be a quick visit – I’d drop my cheque off, get the receipt, make a bit of casual conversation, and then leave. It didn’t turn out that way.
The building manager (I’ll call her P) proceeded to tell me how she had hurt her knee and arm recently, and I mentioned about my sciatica bothering me over the Christmas break. This then led to a discussion on how she (and her husband) ended up coming back to manage this apartment building (and another one or two).
During the time I had mentioned about my sciatica, I had told her about being in Australia a few years ago and having done something to cause it to flare up. Our conversation then turned to her mentioning a cousin from Australia that she was going to be meeting for the first time in May, and how she had discovered this cousin.
For the rest of the time I was there (the conversation about our injuries might have taken about five minutes), we discussed genealogy. I have been interested in genealogy (researching your family tree) since I was about 16.
P told me about all the research she had done (she is legitimately related to royalty, and both Princess Di and Camilla, and has aristocracy in her roots as well), especially after being in contact with a distant relative from Australia (a different cousin). She’s done loads of research, contacted various archives from different countries, been put into contact with people who could help, and has been given lots of information from others. It sure sounded like she has done extensive research! She also told me that she helps other people with research and she’d be willing to help me (or point me in the right direction) if I wanted it. I’m not totally sure, but I would think she’d charge a fee for her research services.
P and I discussed how important it is to remember our past – who and where we came from – and the details. She had told me how her mother had always wanted to write a book about her life story (and from what I was told, it would definitely be an interesting read), and now P is thinking about writing it – or some about her mother, but more so about her grandmother or great-grandmother.
P mentioned that she has been trying to write things down in the evenings (stories and research), but she finds that she gets tired very easily and ends up not accomplishing much. She wants to record everything for her children and grandchildren, and thought making a book out of all her information would probably be wise. I suggested that maybe she could record things on one of those little hand held tape recorders and then when she’s not feeling tired or has the time, she could then transcribe it, or have someone do it for her. She said she hadn’t thought about that, but it was a great idea and she might just try it.
Since talking with P a couple of hours ago, I have also been thinking about doing more research on my own family tree. I have a lot, but it’s all back home in New Brunswick. My ancestors don’t have an exciting background, or as interesting stories as the ones P told me about her relatives, but that doesn’t matter. Just because one of my ancestors was the first shoemaker on Prince Edward Island and not a duke or lord, doesn’t make him any less significant. Everyone is important; every story is important, and I want to have a record of them.
The Bible does say in Titus to “…avoid foolish controversies and genealogies…” (3:9), but I don’t think it’s meaning that we shouldn’t be involved in working on our family tree (after all, Jesus’ own genealogy is recorded in the New Testament twice). I think this verse is dealing with deception. My study Bible has a cross-reference to 2 Timothy 3:13 which talks about evil men and impostors deceiving people. So, maybe these men, the impostors, were showing genealogies to try and make people think they were important, or someone they were not. So, I don’t think it goes against Scripture when you do your family tree.
Anyway, I think it’s important to record information (names, dates) and stories about ourselves, our ancestors, and family members, for future generations. Unfortunately, I don’t have any kids of my own (which makes me sad, but that’s another story), but I do have a nephew. I do have cousins who have children. And one day, one (or more) of them may have an interest and would like to read about their family history.
Right now, I’m in the mood to work on my family tree. I sure wish I had my information here now. Oh well, it will probably have to wait until the summer. I’ll have to look for it when I go back as I’m not sure where it got placed – especially the computer program I had used to record the bulk of my information! I just hope it hasn’t been lost. I’d hate to have to start from scratch again.