Ancestry

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Happy Sunday! I was expecting rain today, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised with sunshine so far.  It was a lovely drive up to St. George’s this morning, for a baptism.  It’s the most people I have seen in attendance yet!

I was mulling over a bunch of topics for today and had pretty much settled on ‘Rain, rain, go away!’, but not only am I tired of seeing the rain, I’m tired of talking about it.  Working with folks in Alberta and Texas before I retired, weather in general was always the topic of conversation. And, I suppose that there is almost always something to talk about where the weather is concerned, but please, no more rain! We had several roads closed here in Cobourg due to the Thursday night heavy rain.  It’s the worst I have ever seen.

So, off to another topic.  Several weeks ago, I took the plunge and got the 23andMe kits for Cavan and I to send in our spit samples to discover our DNA etc.  Interestingly enough, both of our samples arrived and were registered as received by them on the same day, but Cavan had his results about three weeks before mine!  

I must confess that I was getting a little worried. I had disclosed that I was adopted, when I filled in my data, so it occurred to me that they might have found something that was, concerning, shall we say. Well, when I did get my results, there was nothing concerning at all.  It turns out that I’m 73% British and Irish 17.1% broadly northwestern European, a little Scandinavian and German as well, but also 0.1% North African.  Hm, interesting.

Cavan took our detailed DNA results and uploaded them into MyHeritage, which gives a nice little presentation about it. They define the North African part as actually being western Asian, including Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Israel.  Now, that’ really interesting.  Perhaps I’m a distant relative of Jesus! Wow. You never know, do you?

In addition to the DNA part, 23andMe also tells you about genetic risk factors, drug response and inherited conditions, as well as a whole bunch of other stuff.  Again, there was nothing earth shattering that showed up.  I have variants that show a higher risk of Alzheimer’s and Celiac.  That shouldn’t be a surprise.  I have memory issues already that I blame on the MS and have had difficulty with wheat for years.

Nothing else of real interest showed up.  I guess that’s a good thing.

As to the DNA stuff again, based on others that have submitted their spit samples, some second, third and fourth cousins have been found that I guess I could reach out to, if I wished to. Years ago, before I was diagnosed with MS, I put in a request through the Brant Children’s Aid to find relatives.  I did find a birth brother.  He also, had been given up for adoption and is a year younger than me.  I did meet him, but felt no real connection, so I guess that means that I am quite happy with the family that I have.

Life is interesting. You never know what you might dig up, if you start digging.  Some things, you are better off not knowing, I suspect.  I did know one woman who had been tested for MS, when she was in her 20s. She didn’t find out that she had it until she was in her 50s. Her doctor felt that she would be better off not knowing.  I know that there are people who would take that diagnosis and live life to the fullest and others who would take that diagnosis and crawl into bed and stay there, or worse, crawl into a bottle and live there.

What is the answer?  I guess it depends on the person.  I was a single mother with two very young kids when diagnosed with MS, so I always said I had not choice but to move forward, but there is always a choice and my choice has always been to do the best with the cards I have been dealt. I think that is the best thing to do.

What did I expect to find out from 23andMe? I think it was really just some answers for my kids, if they were wanting them and as it turns out, it’s all good!  May your choices in life lead you down the kind of path you can deal with.  God bless.

Essential Oils

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Happy Saturday! It’s lovely and sunny out there today and we were getting ready for friends to come to a big rib roast, but alas, they cannot make it, so the ribs are going in the freezer for another day. Of course that means that I get to get some chores done, including my blogging!

I usually try to blog on Sunday, but I’m spending it with my girls.  It’s Father’s Day, but they don’t see their father, so we are going to a Salt Cave.  Perhaps blog material for next week? It will be a nice day together no matter what and the salt cave is a new and different thing to try out.

Today, I am blogging about essential oils.  I will confess that I am only just learning about them, but I think I am pretty much sold so far.  I was looking for something non-medical for various things.  Cavan has trouble sleeping and one of my daughters suffers from anxiety sometimes. I think it is nice if you can go the natural route, rather than the chemical route.

For Cavan’s sleeping, there are several alternatives.  I have a diffuser and I love the lavender in it myself and I’m even trying various combinations so that I don’t wake up with my usual allergy symptoms.  The diffuser doesn’t help Cavan because he uses a CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure) machine. For those of you who don’t know, it is for people who stop breathing when they sleep.  I will probably blog on that in some detail at some point, but for the purposes of this topic, it is relevant because his nose is covered, so the effect of the diffuser cannot help him.

A friend of mine, who got me involved with the essential oils, pointed me to a site that sells an attachment for the hose of the CPAP machine, so that I can put a drop of the oil on an insert and we’ll see if that makes a difference.  I only just received the attachment, so we have yet to try it.  I’ll report on that after we have tried to find an oil that works for him.

Lavender is the most often used oil for relaxation, so we will try that first, but I am buying oils from doTERRA, so I have a few blends that might be helpful.  We’ll keep trying them until we find something that works, or find that none of them help.

What I did discover about the lavender, however, is that it is helpful with a burn.  I was helping Cavan drill holes in our brick wall to install a hose reel.  The drill bit gets VERY hot.  At one point, my arm was tired, so I lowered the drill enough for the bit to touch my leg (I was wearing shorts!) and I got quite a burn.  The lavender applied directly took the pain away.  After several days, it is still looking pretty nasty, so I applied some frankincense, so hopefully, I can avoid an infection.

For my daughters, I have purchased a starter kit for each of them (from doTERRA, with points!), and I also got them necklace diffusers, so we’ll see if they find it useful. I also got them each a different oil blend from doTERRA.  I chose Cheer for Alysse and Peace for Kaitlyn.  I couldn’t decide which to give to whom, but I let my cat smell both.  He really did not like the Cheer, so that settled it, because Kaitlyn also has a cat.  Alysse’s dog isn’t as likely to be as fussy.

So, this is the beginning really, of my essential oil journey. I will blog again, when I know some more about how they have helped (or not helped) us.  For now, I shall enjoy the new scents!  God bless!

Retirement?

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Happy Sunday! We have a sunny day today, the fifth sunny day in a row. I believe. This spring, we haven’t seen that until now.  It’s wonderful!  A bit too warm for my liking, but then, we always have to have something to complain about with the weather, don’t we?

Now that ordination is over, I’m just trying to figure out where I’m at.  It has been such a busy few weeks, that I wonder where the rest comes, with retirement. But then, it all comes down to choices.  I wonder if I have taken on too much.  Not surprising, as I’ve done that many times over the years and had to back off a few things to make life manageable.  I seem to forget sometimes, that I have MS.  Mind you, it will remind me occasionally, if I am not paying attention!

The only real thing that I have committed to on a regular basis is the friendly visiting for Community Care Northumberland on Thursday afternoons.  I have two different places that I go for one hour visits, and I’m going to see if I can book them a bit closer together, so that I can fit in one more.

I have also really committed to visit with three residents at Extendicare, which I have scheduled for Wednesday afternoons.  These visits tend to be a bit shorter, and the two gentlemen that I visit are a bit of a challenge, so I am starting off with short visits and working my way up.  I have more trouble talking with the guys, than the woman, but I’m just looking at it as a challenge.

On top of that, I can be visiting palliatives through either organization, and I just had a time when I was spending time with a palliative for both and it was a challenge. I don’t know if that will happen often, I’ll see how it goes.  Both of those palliatives passed away, so I have none at the moment.

I’m trying to keep my mornings free to do my daily posting of Bible verses and quotes to Twitter and prayer to Facebook and just getting organized for the day.  Once a month, I do help out at the Anglican church service at Extendicare facility on a Thursday morning.

Throw into that mix appointments which. If they are in Cobourg, I try to keep to Friday morning, or early afternoon.  If the appointment is in Toronto, I keep Mondays and Tuesdays for that drive, which I combine with a visit with Viv and/or my kids, as well as any errand that has to be done in the city.  Friday morning is also the time for the recording of the Community Catholic Church Sunday service, which gives our Bishop time to edit and load up for 10:30 on Sunday. Speaking of Sundays, I like to get up to St. George’s for their morning service.

Saturdays are then left for chores; laundry, cleaning, gardening, all that stuff.

So, it seems to be all manageable unless I have several palliatives to visit.  The other challenge is when Cavan is in the city with the car.  He tries to avoid Thursdays, but sometimes that’s not possible.  I can walk to Extendicare (it takes me 15 minutes), but I do have to sit and rest my legs for a bit, when I get there.

This week, Cavan is in the city for three days, one of which is Thursday.  I can walk to Extendicare for the church service and I will visit my residents before and after that, so that I don’t have to walk there on Wednesday, as well. Then I have to figure out about the friendly visits.  I’ll check the bus schedule.  I think that it is doable, and it will be good to know if it can be done, for future reference.  I have taken the bus before, when I had something to do, when I didn’t have the car.

So, it appears that I’m not slowing down much, but I might have to revisit my schedule, as time goes by.

I hope that you are not overdoing it! Sometimes we need to let others step in!  God bless!

Ordination

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Happy Monday! It’s a cloudy day and raining on and off here in the resort town of Cobourg, but yesterday was a beautiful sunny day at Elcho Church in Wellandport for ordination!  Pretty much everyone drove from rain, into our sunshine.  It was a wonderful service!

I am so thrilled to have become a priest.  I even used my priestly powers to bless a palliative this morning. It was nice to be able to provide comfort in that way.

I am also thrilled to say that my good friend Dawn and her mother drove all the way from Newmarket to see me be ordained.  It was so nice of them to come from so far away.

As I said, it was a beautiful day.  The windows and doors of the church were open to the lovely breeze. At one point, a bird flew into the church.  It just circled three times and went on his merry way.

There were four ordained as priests and seven ordained as deacons.  Our little church is continuing to grow and what a wonderful; group of people we are attracting. Everyone is so very loving, giving and supportive.  We each have our own little ministries, drawing on our own skills and God given talents.

Some of our members just stick to weddings and are just marvelous at it.  Some have chapels in their homes and do their work there.  My interest is in working with elderly and palliatives. I spent some time with a palliative just this morning.  It is a wonderful little elderly lady, who is losing her battle with cancer.  I did not know her before she was palliative, but I understand that she loved to laugh.

It is nice to find out about the people you have the honor of sitting with.  There was another lady I had spent some time with who passed just last week.  She graduated high school at the age of 83!  How determined she was to go back to school and finally graduate. There are so many stories with these folks and unfortunately, sometimes, they have receded too much into dementia to get the story and those are the times that are quite sad. I met one elderly lady at one of the facilities I have been in, who was looking for her mother. This lady said that she couldn’t manage without her mother and was sure that she was there, somewhere. Heartbreaking. There isn’t much you can do, but listen to what they can tell you.

I was telling the administrator at the Extendicare this morning that as I get to know the folks at the facility, it will be more challenging to watch them become palliative.  It is one thing to sit with someone that you don’t really know, waiting to be called home, I think, but time will tell. For some, I imagine, passing is a blessing, as I have always believed that quality of life is much better than quantity. I also imagine that it is easier to deal with a palliative who is elderly and led a long and happy life than to deal with a palliative who should have had a long and happy life ahead of them.

Dear me!  I didn’t want this blog to be a downer!  I was just remembering the ordination yesterday and still feeling that I am walking on air.  Full of the  Holy Spirit, that I get to share with everyone.  It is wonderful!

Well folks, I guess that’s it for today.  I have tidying up to get done and a book that won’t read itself!  God bless you all!

Mini Retreat

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Happy Saturday! I know, shock of all shocks, I’m actually blogging early! I have been so busy this week that I’m even amazed that I’m fitting it in, but that’s the wonderful thing about doing the laundry, you toss the stuff in the machines and it kind of takes care of itself, until it’s time to  fold the clothes and put them away.

So, it has been a very busy week.  In addition to my usual friendly visiting and the last of my priest classes, I have been assigned two palliatives to spend some time with.  Unfortunately, because I am really busy this week, I can only be with them each, every other day.  I feel a bit badly about that, but I am a bit focussed on finishing a Catherine Ponder book I have been reading, actually trying to find my kitchen counter under the mess and preparing for a mini retreat before my ordination to the priesthood in a week. Whew!

So, I was given some reading and praying to do to make sure that I am ready for the ordination.  I had the same thing to go through before my diaconal ordination, but the priesthood has new, and quite a list of, responsibilities and I need to be sure that I am ready to take it all on. It’s a time for quiet prayer, that I have to fit in somewhere, amongst the palliative visits, church, two days in the city because of a couple of appointments, a visit from my oldest daughter, and, and, and… I’m sure that it will all work out!

It’s funny, but I was thinking that perhaps, I should give up the palliative visits, because that is the one thing that cannot be specifically scheduled.  I know, the nerve of people becoming palliative at such inconvenient times! I hope you get that I’m kidding!

Anyway, I realized that it was all because of the palliative visiting that I am taking on the priesthood, so I need to buck up and get my priorities straight! I think that my quiet prayer and contemplation time will help me to work this out. Perhaps it was the palliative vocation that got me to this point, but not the vocation that will take me forward. Time and prayer will tell.

I also know that I am really wanting to help our the Community Catholic Church of Canada. Our bishops and pretty much stretched to the max and I am hoping that there is at least one or two things I can take off their plates to make their burden a little bit lighter. Our little church is growing and that is amazing, but it does need to be managed.  I understand that between the chaplains, deacons, priests and bishops, we are over 50 folks, and that is quite a few folks to keep track of. Mostly, they are just going off and managing to do their thing quite nicely, but we do need to know what they are doing, and monthly reporting helps us to understand that, but there are some phone calls that are necessary to takes care of some things, as well.

Busy, busy, that is our little church and I am thrilled to be part of it.  They are such a warm and welcoming bunch of folks.

Well, off to get some other things out of the way, so that I can spend some significant retreat time tomorrow, after church and a palliative visit. I have everything else ready–vestments, etc. I am so glad for the ordination at Pentecost, because I love the liturgical color red! It is so my color. I will not get to my blog until after the ordination next Sunday, but perhaps I shall even have pictures!

God bless all! Please keep me in your prayers as I take this next step.

Tragedy

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Happy Tuesday! I’m finding that difficult to say, based on the events in Manchester yesterday, but that is how I start all my blogs, and my Facebook prayer posts, as well. It boggles the mind what must go on in the heads of people who cause tragedies such as the one yesterday.

Ariana Grande said there are no words. I struggle myself to find words.  I don’t often write on tragedies because the words I express cannot possibly make it better. The words I express cannot possibly communicate the fear, the anger, the puzzlement or the outrage that anyone must feel.

I understand that ISIS has taken responsibility and that one person died at the event and one person was later taken into custody. What is wrong with the world? As Erin Davis pointed out in her journal today:  How can the world be such a beautiful and awful place? There are so many great things going on in the world and yet there is so much hate and so much tragedy. How is this so? There is so much abundance for everyone.

It puzzles me. I will never understand hate.  I believe that perhaps it stems from jealousy in many cases, and often perhaps ignorance. The level of hate or anger that can cause such an event in unfathomable to me.Why did it happen? And why there? They were just kids, or mostly just kids, out having a good time at an enjoyable event. An eight year old girl was one of the victims. A child who had so much ahead of her in life, so many expected years, so many expected events.  All snuffed out by someone who didn’t even know her. Someone with some sort of misguided mission to kill.  How awful.

Can’t we just get along? We each have differing views on how we should lead our lives. That is unfortunate, because I believe that everyone should be kind, loving and caring. I know that there are many different customs, religions, languages and beliefs, but think of what we could do if we were all loving. Just to be super idealistic, if we were all loving and giving, we wouldn’t need wars, or armies, or equipment like guns. Think of how abundant life would be then, for everyone!

My kids always said that I like to believe in rainbows and unicorns. Yes, I like to believe the best in people and I think that it is possible and might be the only thing that saves the world from eventual destruction. We have enough to deal with the weather issues any regions face:  tornados, hurricanes, drought, floods, etc. We cannot control the weather, but we could control ourselves.

Let’s send a prayer to the world! For everyone!

Heavenly Father, we ask that you bless each and everyone on this planet, that we find a calm and loving way to deal with each other. That instead of reaching out a hand to push someone away, we reach out a hand to comfort. That our first instinct be to try to understand each other and when we cannot, we accept each other’s differences. We ask for your assistance in building a loving world that you will be proud of and that we will be proud of. We ask for forgiveness for our past frustrations and poor judgement and ask that you guide us to a calm place, where we truly help each other and build a safe world where we have no hesitation to go wherever we wish to enjoy this wonderful planet you have entrusted to us. We ask for your abundance to be seen and held by all, that we have no need for jealousy, or fear or hatred and that those feelings completely disappear from our thoughts, and never even be felt by the children we are raising, And may we radiate the love that you give us so abundantly, that everyone we encounter can see you in us.  We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Well, dear friends, that prayer has uplifted me from the doldrums that I felt based on the Manchester tragedy. If we all pray this and remember that ‘when two or more are gathered together we will have our request granted.’ We have something pretty powerful. God bless!

Mother’s Day!

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Happy Sunday! It’s Mother’s Day! It was a beautiful sunny drive to and from St. George’s this morning, but it’s raining here now, in Cobourg.  Oh well, after I managed to kill the dandelions in the front yard (and the grass around them!), we need some rain to help fix the grass!

I mixed up a recipe for the dandelion killing (vinegar, epsom salts and Dawn detergent) and it did work well. But as I said, it also killed the grass too.  Fortunately, I sprayed the dandelions directly and didn’t go crazy and spray everything.  We’ll see if I can get the grass to grow back where I killed it and get it growing enough to overcome the weeds.  I can hope!

Well, as we know, it’s Mother’s Day! Our minister today tiptoed around it carefully. He does have a point. Everyone has a mother, but not all remember their mothers fondly. Some children were given up at birth and were adopted by someone they became to know as their mother (that was me!). Some had mothers who were abusive, or alcoholics, or drug addicts (that was not me!), who probably should have given up their children to a mother who would have loved them and might have been better able to care for them.

I am not meaning to be judgemental. But as a single mother myself, I know there are challenges and if the best thing you can do for your child is to give them up, that’s okay. Not everyone is cut out to be a mother. Perhaps I should say that not everyone is cut out to be a mom, lots of women get to be a mother, but aren’t prepared to be a mom. It isn’t an easy job and no matter how healthy your kids are it can be a challenge.

On top of that, I give special praise to moms with children with challenges–physical and mental. Now that can be a real challenge and one of the most heart wrenching challenges of all. When I was expecting my first daughter, there was another woman in my church expecting a child.  Her first was born without a brain, only a brain stem, and the child was not expected to live for very long–possibly only days or weeks.  The little darling lived for three years and was loved and cared for every day of her short little life. Her mother was a very special soul.

So, I wish every mother out there a happy Mother’s day, and may your mothering be rewarding and teach you more that you ever knew you would know. I learned some interesting things, like; soup can be a finger food! Who saw that one coming?

And the greatest achievement a mother can ever have is seeing their children become strong and independent adults. I know that many kids the age of mine (27 and almost 25) still live at home. Both of my daughters are self supporting and rent their own condos in downtown Toronto. Even though I was a single parent from the time my youngest was four months old, my kids have grown into the kind of adults anyone would be proud of.  I did okay! I can pat myself on the back and say I did an alright job.  Yay me! I consider it to be my greatest achievement!

So, God bless all, especially all the moms out there, and may your Mother’s Day be great!