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Posts Tagged ‘grace’

I have been talking to myself a lot lately. Usually when I talk to myself repeately, it means it’s time to update my blog. I just realised that I haven’t written since February. Where to start?

My little white Nissan, Melody, was hit by a snowplough. She was parked across the street as I couldn’t park in the parking lot (the snow was being cleared). The plough driver was coming around a corner and didn’t lift up the blade enough. Shattered the back windscreen, the two driver’s side windows, sheared off the drivers side mirror and gouged all along the driver’s side. I don’t believe I would have survived the accident if I’d been in my car.

At any rate, with some back and forth with the provincial insurance company and the city, I received a payout that more than covered the car loan. Excellent. For two weeks I was debt free! I then debated about whether to apply for another car loan as I had found a used car, excellent deal, online. I wasn’t sure if I wanted a car loan or a line of credit.

I have struggled with my finances most of my adult life. I couldn’t figure out why I was in my fifties and losing sleep about retirement, etc. Then I found K. Kenneth Davis, also known as “The Trans Capitalist“. He wrote an e-book, “The Money Talk” which, seriously, changed my life. It helped me understand that my ideas of financial success and freedom were outdate and were wrong for me. Check this man out. Seriously. You can find him on Instagram and Facebook.

I decided to apply for a line of credit, so I could use that once my “new-to-me” car “Hope” is paid for. It may come in handy when the time comes to buy that cargo van! I was approved for the line of credit ALL BY MYSELF, and “Hope” has come home to me. I’ve been picking up things here and there for her to make her into a micro-camper for days off and vacations. More on her in another post.

I’ve started simplifying my life. I started with my kitchen. I had too many gadgets that seemed like a fabulous idea, but were never used. I had way too many drinking glasses. I had wine glasses and I no longer drink alcohol. So they have been donated. I still have one very fancy heavy-duty wine glass that use to drink my sparkling water, when I’m feeling fancy. Most of the time I drink it straight from the Soda Stream bottle.

I’ve donated most of my shoes. I have five pairs left, three pairs of boots (one pair of winter boots, one pair of rain boots, and one pair of dressy boots. I pared down my handbags. I pared down my luggage. I continue to pare down my clothes. I took a swoop through my closet this weekend and I think I’ll be doing it again in about a month.

I read an article about a woman who wore the same dress for 100 days. At first I thought it was kind of gross, but the more of the article I read, I began to understand why. I have clothes in my closet for “just-in-case” purposes. I haven’t worn them in years. I have a number of blazers, all of which I like, but only wear about half.

Where is it written that we can’t wear the same ensemble over and over? I mean, truthfully, I do wear the same outfits over and over. When I do buy clothing it’s usually to replace something that has worn out or no longer fits. There are a few things I have learned through this pandemic. One of which is, I am NEVER AGAIN wearing a garment with a fitted waist. No thank you.

At any rate, I’m not striving to be a true minimalist, rather, I am striving to have a simpler, less-cluttered life. I want to be surrounded by things that are useful and also things that are beautiful…things which bring me joy.

I will put blogging into my calendar so I am more regular at doing so. There’s some interesting things happening with Sir Vincent, including an ongoing debate about whether or not it’s acceptable to stand in my ear to see out the window in the middle of the night. Sometimes multiple times! I sleep on my side, hence, he stands on my head, his paw in my ear.

Anyway, do please check out K. Kenneth Davis, The Trans Capitalist. He may well do for you, what he did for me. Buy his e-book and take a long, loving look at your finances. Maybe you’ll decide, like I did, that I don’t need more money, I need less stuff. I don’t need a big house to call a home, I can create a home on wheels. Etc.

I had the opportunity to talk to Kenneth about money. I was a total geeky fangirl when he approached me to talk about my reactions to his e-book. We were having a fabulous conversation about shame and money when technology failed. Isn’t that ALWAYS THE WAY? So, I’m hoping we can chat more about that. He has given me the confidence to understand that it’s never too late to learn about money, and budgets, and debt, and savings, and expectations.

For that, and for him, I am incredibly thankful.

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I’ve been trying to write a blog post for awhile…apparently a few months.  From the last time I blogged time has flown.  There’s been a wonderful community event called Chautauqua, the adoption of an 11 year old Domestic Shorthair cat called Buddy, the Ordination of our Deacon, a terrible tragedy that claimed the lives of three men, a Memorial Service for those men, and a surprise birthday party for my 50th.

Chautauqua took on a life of it’s own this year in a new format that had all events taking place in the historic downtown core.  The Fall Fair took place the same weekend and the grounds at City Hall were filled with animals of all shapes and sizes, vendors showing their wares, artists and crafters showing their trades and a community out to enjoy a beautiful Autumn celebration.  My little parish hosted the Community Ecumenical Service and it was an absolute success.  Folks started coming in just before the official event time and kept coming in for the first 20 minutes.  It was glorious.  We finished the service in time to get to the Senior’s Centre that was hosting a High English Tea.  A Harvest Supper at the Catholic Church rounded out a weekend filled with activity, history, wonder and joy.

Buddy is a cranky black cat, missing one canine tooth who was looking for a forever home.  The other cats on the SPCA website were all cuddly and adorable.  Buddy looked at the photographer like he could care less…or if he had pose-able digits would have raised his middle finger.  He’s cranky, he hisses a lot, has a mean meow and reminds me of my late father.  So of course, I was hooked.  He doesn’t like being picked up…or touched…I am allowed to pet him within very strict parameters that I have not yet learned.  He’s not particularly patient with me, hence the hissing.  He likes to hide under the dining room table.  He likes to be in the same room as me, but not too close.  He’s afraid of the mop and the vacuum and doesn’t climb.  So far so good…but I’m unsure of his assessment of me as his staff.  After all, they say dogs have owners and cats have staff.

Ordination is one of the great celebrations of the Church.  A faithful woman of God was Ordained in Christ’s Holy catholic Church and we gathered to celebrate.  We sang her favourite hymns, surprised her with an Anthem.  She was feted and celebrated and the parish commissioned a red Deacon’s stole for her which she helped to design.  An absolutely gorgeous design featuring flames and doves in shades of red, blue and white.  Absolutely spectacular for an absolutely spectacular child of God.

On the 17th of October my brother was returning to Calgary after visiting me overnight.  I took him to see the Church and he signed the Guest Book.  I went to a meeting at a Retirement home across the street from the local Arena.  Little did I know that our community would be rocked to it’s very core that day.  The winds were high and sky was a strange colour.  The atmosphere around town was eerie.  Hurricane force winds blew the power out twice and we were in the dark for a couple of hours the second time.  I was checking my Facebook feed and saw that there had been an accident at the Arena and the surrounding neighbourhood had been evacuated…including the residents I had visited earlier that day.  I went to the evacuation centre and tried to provide some comfort, some humour and a few hugs.  Three men died that day.  They went to work and didn’t come home.  And even now, months later, there is still a void in the community.  The residents returned home within a week, but there is still a sense of unease.  However, this community did what it does best and came together in a show of support.  We will always remember those who died, but too will we remember the community that showed support and love to one another.  The road is long before us but we will get there…together.

A Community Memorial Service was held on the 12th of November on the grounds of the high school.  It was damp, overcast, chilly day but there was an air of hope.  The community choir sang, my United Church colleague and I offered prayer at the beginning and ending of the service.  Three eulogies were shared, many tears were shed and a group of strangers gathered as family.

I don’t like surprise parties…especially when I’m the one being surprised…but that’s exactly what happened on the 25th of November, the day before my 50th birthday.  My congregation decided that I needed to celebrate this milestone and so I was duped into leaving town for the day with a friend who needed to run errands and I was there to be company in the car, navigate and carry stuff.  We got back at 5:30 and the street was lined with cars.  I thought my Roman colleague was having a larger than average attendance at Mass.  And then I saw a parishioners car parked where it usually isn’t.  Then I looked at the lawn of the Rectory and saw 50 pink flamingos…and a sign notifying all and sundry that is was my 50th.  I walked into the Church, down to the parish hall and opening the door heard “SURPRISE!”  I was shaking and smiling and unable to remember my name at that point as I saw friends, neighbours, parishioners and colleagues gathered to celebrate a half-century.  I was presented with a “birthday girl” pink sash, pink star sunglasses and a birthday tiara.  Many of the guests wore pink.  And everyone knew I was surprised…  We feasted on potluck fare, a birthday cake that read “Happy Birthday Princess Flamingo”  I took many photographs and opened many cards and gifts, one of the most special being a painting a parishioner and friend painted with birch trees and a winter sun…it is spectacular.  There was a trivia game with 50 questions related to my life…and those assembling the game had help from my brother, my spiritual advisor and friend.  It was great fun…and while I still don’t like surprises, it was a blessing to celebrate with so many wonderful people.

When the tragedy took place in October I realised just how much this community has become home for me…and how the folks that live here are my family.  Seeing such a large collection of people at the birthday party reinforced this to me.  I am loved very much here and I love this place very much.

If the rest of my 50th year is anywhere near as awesome as the first few weeks, I’m in for an absolutely AWESOME year!

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It’s now official…the announcements have been made, emails sent and articles written.  I am leaving my current post to travel across four provinces, over 3,000 kms to a new posting in a small town in southeastern British Columbia.

I’ve never lived outside of Ontario.  I’m excited and terrified all at the same time.  Information on how to change my license plates from Ontario to British Columbia, changing my health card, registering for health insurance as well as employee benefits, payroll, etc.

As a rule, I’m not big on farewells.  I don’t like a fuss.  However, I know there will be many folks I will likely never see again.  And that makes me sad. So that means there needs to be a gathering, or two.  The local Legion is providing a beautiful Going away party at the end of the month, the Saturday before I depart West.

My friends in the LGBTQ+ community is going to throw me a Bon Voyage party in the city on the Monday before I leave.  It’s going to be lovely to see everyone, but it’s going to be hard to say goodbye.  Yeesh.

So while I’m service planning here, I’m service planning there.  While I’m scheduling visits here, I’m thinking of who I should start with once I get there.

I know I have a lot to do, a great, huge to-d0 list and there will be some things on that list that don’t get done.  Some people I don’t get to see and that has to be okay.

To top it off, I slipped and fell the other day, wrenching my shoulder.  It’s quite painful and my range of mobility is limited.  I can’t lift, I can’t carry.  I can type and write for limited amounts of time.  I should be looking at this as God’s way of telling me to slow down.  But in reality it’s a pain the ass…or shoulder as the case may be.

So I suck it up, do my best and push through the pain.  Since I announced my departure there’s been a great burden lifted.  And in reassigning things to folks so they can take them over in my absence is quite liberating as well.  Writing up a list of passwords, that sort of thing.

This transition may turn out okay after all.

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