My Books

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Happy Sunday! We’re still waiting for the sun, after several days of rain, but I am blessed to be able to say that we have had no flooding here. Spring seems to appear for a day or two and then it chills out again, but at least the flowers are showing.  My tulips have yet to bloom, but the daffodils are out.

It has been some time since I have blogged about my books.  That is pretty much because I have been quite caught up in the priest course I have been taking, as well as the community work I am doing as a deacon.  My books are, of course, still available and still not selling like hotcakes.

I will one day find my audience and will sell a few, I’m sure, but since retirement, my focus has changed a bit.  My focus with the books was, of course, the Bible and although I have moved away from the books, I guess I can still say that my focus is the Bible, although even more of the content and the teachings of Jesus, most specifically, to love thy neighbour.

I am doing two friendly visits a week with a couple of lovely ladies, and I have monthly accessibility advisory meetings to help those in need.  I have also begun visiting with palliatives and find that quite fulfilling. I am hoping that the palliatives do, on some level.  Thus far, the palliatives I have had the opportunity to visit have been unresponsive, so it may be the family that gets more out of my visit than the palliative themselves.

But. back to the books. I still believe that they are helpful to Christian children from the ages of 3 to 6. I think that particularly Sunday schools would benefit.  If you want to have a look, go to http://www.janetkwarren.com/books.html.  All four books are shown there. The links will take you to Amazon.com, however, they are also available at Amazon.ca, and most if not all of the Amazon websites.

These make great gifts for young children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Each of the four books has six stories. Each of those stories is a Bible story told from an animal’s point of view.  This will make it easy for the child to remember the story.  That makes 24 stories and I haven’t duplicated an animal yet!

You will read of Noah’s ark from the dove’s point of view, the walls of Jericho from a dog’s point of view, Daniel in the lion’s den from a lioness’ point of view.  I think they are kind of cute and the illustrations are lovely

All books are available in hardcover, softcover and ebook, although for small children, I think that the hardcover is the most durable.

So, consider purchasing one or two (or the whole set!) and read them to your little ones. It will be a nice way to enjoy a little Bible reading from a different point of view.

Well, that’s about all the marketing I can manage.  Marketing is not my thing, but it seems that if you write, you also need to market, or the books just stay in the boxes, or on the shelves. I think that once I reach out to the right group, my books will find a home.

And, it’s time to get onto other things! I had the pleasure of delivering the homily for our Sunday cyber service, which you will find here:  http://www.communitycatholicchurch.com/onlineworship.htm.  I was also at St. George’s Anglican church in Gore’s Landing today for service.  This has become a big part of my life now and I love it! And not that I have blogged, I have some other things that need to be taken care of!

May you find what you love to do!  God bless!

Twists and Turns

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Happy Monday! Yup, late again with my blog, but Sunday busyness got the better of me, oh well.It’s a rainy day here in the resort town of Cobourg and Cavan is in the city working on upgrading network infrastructure for a client.  For me, I get to blog, tidy the mess in the kitchen left from repackaging the meat and poultry we bought at Costco, and working on a homily for the Community Catholic Church of Canada cyber Sunday service.  With some real luck, I’ll fit in a bit of reading

So often I sit at the keyboard to blog with absolutely no idea of what to write.  This one of those days, where I just set fingertips on the keys and see what happens.  Aside from the cursing and swearing that happens with the constant use of the backspace key because my fingers don’t wish to play nice, I just let the words come.

Yesterday, I had the honor of spending some time with a palliative and his son. We had a great discussion about many topics and I got to hear about this family and some of their challenges.  One of the things we talked about was the twists and turns of life, particularly around careers.  This fellow started out in the trucking business and when he was finding that he was spending too much time away from home, he discovered a new career in financial advising.  An interesting contrast.

I learned at some point in my life that people, on average, have three careers in a lifetime.  That’s not three jobs, as I’m sure that most have way more than three jobs in a lifetime.  Imagine, three careers.  I use, as an example, my own father.  He started out in the forestry business, and like the palliative’s son, time in that kind of career keeps you away from home a lot. Dad switched to teaching and had a long teaching career.  After retirement, he wrote little applications for fun and eventually, discovered matting and framing. I suppose that wasn’t actually a career, it was more of a hobby, but it was a skill that he became very good at.

As to me, after working for the board of education and a doctor after I graduated high school, while taking the first year of the Certified General Accountants course, I decided that none of those were careers I was interested in.  I took Fortran programming in college and I was hooked, graduating with a diploma in Information Processing, I began a 34 year career in the Information Technology business. After I retired from that, I began courses that have so far led me to be a deacon and, in five weeks, a priest.  Quite a change from accounting and IT. So, now, my focus gets to be spending time with the elderly, including palliatives, where I hope that I make a bit of a difference.

Along the way, with my post-retirement career, I have spent time at the local Extendicare, where I met a deacon from St. Peter’s here in Cobourg, where I met this lovely lady from St. George’s in Gore’s Landing, where I seem to have found a Sunday home.  What a lovely church!

So, there are the career twists and turns in my life.  I always taught my kids to ‘do what they love, love what they do’ and I have found that for me, as well. It’s very important, because there are far too many people who hate getting out of bed in the morning because they find no satisfaction in their career. Sometimes, it takes a while to find that, but it is so very worth it, it is essential.

So, dear friends, if you are in a place in your life where you are not doing what you love, try to find it.  I know that it can be tough, when you have to make ends meet, to start anew, but sometimes being happy in your career trumps the money and usually, things work out.

Blessings to all!

Family Busyness

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Happy Sunday! It’s a beautiful day outside and I’m looking forward to a smoked prime rib roast for dinner, as chef Cavan takes over most of the cooking now that it is barbeque season!

My apologies for not getting a blog out last week.  The last one was not even done on a weekend due to the busyness of life! We had Cavan’s uncle’s 80th birthday party on the 8th and stayed over so that I could meet my daughters to catch the movie ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in Toronto and then birthday dinner and overnight stay with Viv, on the 9th. Cavan was off to a Sunday evening Tenebrae on the 9th and then picked me up on the 10th to go to the Tenebrae in Mississauga, in the evening.  

We were then back home, because I had a bunch of things to take care of to prepare for Easter!  I had two crocheted bunny hats I wanted to make–one for Caleb and one for Alex.  That took a while that week, and then I had baking to prepare for visitors.  Cavan went back into the city for more Tenebraes, but had no Tenebrae on the Thursday night, so after he attended a conference in the city that day, he picked me up at one of my ‘friendly visit’ homes and we had a night at home before heading back into the city for the Good Friday Tenebrae at St. James. While Cavan was singing at Tenebrae, I went to have dinner with my oldest daughter and then she, her dog, and I went to pick up Cavan and headed home for Easter weekend.

The next day, my daughter had to go back into the city to do a wedding (she’s a hair stylist) and then came back to do some more baking with me.  Later in the day, Victoria (my daughter’s step-sister), Shavoy and their darling of a son Caleb, came out for dinner.

Sunday, was the Warren family gathering at my dad’s place in Napanee.  Many of us were able to attend, including my sister from Vancouver and her little darling Alexandra. As usual, a great time was had by all and Sally spoiled us, as always, with a wonderful lunch and dinner.

Monday, I drove my daughter and her dog home (my cat was very happy to see the dog go!). I then took my friend Viv to Bluffer’s Restaurant for dinner and we had a couple of games of Scrabble. The next morning, I had a couple of appointments and then headed home.  Wednesday was meetings, Thursday Communion at the Extendicare and friendly visits and then Friday, I was in Niagara Falls for an onsite session of the priest course, where we learned the ‘Holy hand waving.’ I headed back into the city, where I spent the evening with Viv.  We caught the movie ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’ and then played a couple of games of Scrabble–I actually won a game!! I stayed over and after breakfast and another game of Scrabble Saturday morning, I headed home, very tired from the week, to get laundry done.

Whew! This week is quieter.  I had church as St. George’s in Gore’s Landing this morning.  What a beautiful little church, with a great history. I got to do the readings and they were very kind to me. Tomorrow, is orientation at the Community Care Northumberland, so I can start palliative work.

Later tomorrow, I have a hearing test.  I lost the hearing in my left ear about three weeks ago and my doctor has confirmed that it is not an infection, or earwax, so we are taking the next step of the investigation and we will see where that leads us.

The rest of the week is relatively quiet, fortunately! It has been a few really busy weeks and I’m needing things to slow down for a bit. I haven’t spent much time just reading for ages! So, folks, that brings you up-to-date and tells you why I missed a blog in there somewhere.  I had planned to get one done in that time, but alas, it did not happen.

God bless all of you and I hope you are as busy, or not, as you wish to be!

Circle of Life

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Happy Thursday! It’s a rainy day here in Cobourg, as I sit to blog. I’m late for last week and early for next week, but weekends are busy! I don’t think that gets any easier until after Easter! Ah well, it’s all good.

This past weekend, my cousin was visiting from Ottawa.  I don’t think I have seen her since just after my mother’s funeral in 2005 and considering that she lives only about three and a half hours away, that’s pretty sad. It was great to catch up and reminisce and she is renting a cottage in Nova Scotia for the month of July, so I think I shall venture down and spend a few days.

This coming weekend, we have Cavan’s uncle’s birthday and then, of course, several Tenebrae services, so it will be a busy time.  I have also taken on a new ‘visitee’ in the Friendly Visitor program for Community Care Northumberland. I will be visiting both ladies this afternoon.

So, to the topic at hand:  The Circle of Life.  I had the honor of spending several hours with a palliative on Tuesday. This lady was only 68, but was in the final stage of early onset Alzheimer’s.  This is one nasty disease that robs both the sufferer, and their family of so much. She didn’t have people to sit with her, so I spent three hours with her, before one of the staff at Extendicare took over.

I was just getting my coat on to go back over Wednesday morning, when I was informed that she had passed early that morning. In some way, it was sad and yet I have always believed in the difference of quality and quantity of life. This lovely lady had lost the quality of her life and although she did not know who I was, I pray that I was able to offer some comfort in her declining hours. She was restless and in discomfort in the morning, but after a shot of morphine, she slept while I was there in the afternoon. I had prayed for God to make her passing as gentle as possible and I hope that was the case.

I also believe in life after death, so I believe that she had many people to greet her when she crossed over to a life without pain and suffering.

I have often joked about death.  I do not fear it, although I am not in a hurry to experience it, but I do fear pain.  But then doesn’t everyone? I have also joked that if I am ever on life support, to keep me attached until I am a size four and then let me go.  I’ve never been a size four.  I hope that no one has taken me seriously about that.  That would not be quality of life, only quantity.  There is no point to it.

I have become part of a program at Extendicare called ‘My Wishes,’ I may have mentioned it before.  I get to interview new residents at the facility.  There is a set list of 10 items and they want to find out which of the items are important at end of life.  I am fascinated by the fact that these folks even want to talk about it.  My own mother had no interest in discussing such things and so I had no idea what her final wishes were, except that she never liked open caskets and she want the hymn ‘Breathe on Me Breath of God.’ sung at the funeral. We did that, of course, although I cried through the entire hymn. But that’s just me.

It is great that folks can let others know exactly what they want. For me, I want no fuss and I wish to be cremated. Other than that, I don’t really care. I’ll be gone by then, so I would have far better things to concern myself with anyway.

Well, that was kind of an interesting topic, wasn’t it? It is often that the death of one causes you to think of your own mortality. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. To me, I will just be returning home, to see those who have passed ahead of me (including my cats!). I am not in a hurry, but I would really rather it not be a painful passing.

So, may you all have a gentle week and make your loved ones know of your wishes, please.  God bless!

Milestone

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Happy Saturday! Good afternoon blog friends!  I’m really tired today.  I was in the city on Monday, didn’t sleep well that night because I wasn’t in my own bed and arrived home about 12:15am Wednesday morning and I feel like I have been running every since.  This morning I got up at 7:30 to get ready and attend the Women of Faith breakfast at our local Anglican church here in Cobourg!

Doesn’t sound like much, I know, but I am getting older and the MS seems to want me to rest more. Not a bad week coming up, although I have something on every day, it seems.  Ah well, this coming week will end with a weekend visit from my cousin from Ottawa and her friend.  I’m quite looking forward to it.  I will do much ahead of time and use my slow cooker, so that I’m not spending too much time in the kitchen.

As to my milestone, I actually kind of missed it.  This is my 152nd blog post, so I missed the celebration of 150!  Wahoo!  I have managed to keep it up all this time.  I’m kind of proud of myself, I must say. I don’t exactly have any super exciting posts, but I am reasonably consistent.

This is simply a part of my spiritual journey that began when I was a kid. I have had a few detours along the way, but it’s all good. Major life lessons are always worth it.  It may not seem so at the time, but you get to grow as a person.

There was a lovely lady speaking at the faith breakfast this morning, and she mentioned more than once, that there wasn’t a person in the room who hadn’t gone through challenges in their life and, of course, she is right. Some have had rather minor challenges and some have some pretty tough challenges.  In her case, she married someone who became an alcoholic.  After her divorce about 15 years later, she met a wonderful gentleman, and after a time they planned to get married.  Two weeks before the wedding, he died of a heart attack and she was on her own again, not only with her daughter from her first marriage, but the two children of the groom-to-be. Very tragic.

Like many of us, she is a survivor and carried on.  She met and married someone else some time later and outlived that fellow as well and in the midst of all of that, her first husband died, too.  Wow, it kind of makes you feel grateful for your own challenges.

It reminds me of a story I heard recently about someone carrying a cross, signifying his challenges. The man complains to Jesus that it is too heavy a burden and Jesus takes him to a room filled with crosses of all sizes, giving him the opportunity to choose a new one.  The man looks around and feels that some are way too small and would be okay for a child, but not for him.  Others are too big and he feels that he cannot manage those.  He picks one out, convinced that he can manage it and Jesus tells him that it was the one he was originally carrying, given to him because Jesus thought he could manage it.

I believe it to be true.  You will only be given what you can manage.  As the saying goes, ‘If God will bring you to it, he will get you through it.’ Challenges may seem unmanageable, but be patient, you will get the help you need.  I certainly did, in my life.

So, hang in there! And, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Sometimes, the right people show up to get you through a rough time.  I remember as a single mother thinking that if I just went to the food bank once, I would be able to get ahead of the money running out before the month did. But I was stubborn and just kept going.  I did get through that time, but it would have been much easier, if I had asked for help.

I pray that you have a gentle week and may God bless you all!

Busy Times

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Happy Sunday! It’s a sunny day out here and actually above freezing, melting the snow we got this week.  Yay!

I’m looking at a bit of a busy week this week.  Heading into the city tomorrow for a physical, and then my selfish nail appointment and in the evening, I’m going to see the show ‘Book or Mormon’ at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto with my youngest daughter.  I haven’t decided if I’m heading home after that, or staying over for some Scrabble with Viv. Wednesday is a dental appointment.  Thursday is the friendly visit and the priest class. Then I wrap up the week with a couple of meetings and my selfish pedicure!  A stellar week, but busy.

I had almost forgotten to blog! I know that I do it mostly for myself, as I don’t actually have many blog followers, but I do like to put something out there, so matter how short.

I was so thrown off today with timing, as I was involved in the Community Catholic Church of Canada cyber Sunday service this morning. I got to write and present the homily.  I had written one for class a couple of weeks ago, but I have to say that I truly enjoyed writing and delivering another one. Perhaps this is the reason why I was drawn to writing?

I have much to learn yet about writing and delivering homilies, but I am enjoying the opportunity and the journey.  We will be doing these services weekly, but after today, I think we decided that live is a challenge.  We are talking about putting it together a day or two ahead and that way, we can edit. Unfortunately, we cannot edit the sounds of my cat requesting attention during my homily, but perhaps it is entertaining, anyway.

For any of you who would like to tune in, you will find us as the Spirit of Love Ministries on Blogtalkradio.  You can even set up a reminder to tune in each week. We expect to put a service out there for 10:30am Eastern.

I’m actually pretty excited about this.  The experience was great, and as anyone knows, there are any number of challenges with radio, especially, if there are several people involved in the show and we are all in different locations.  It was fun, nonetheless.

So, tune in next week (I hope you will!), and see what we are up to.

I thank those who did tune in.  I hope you found it worthwhile!  God bless everyone, have a gentle week!

Further Cat Troubles

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Happy Sunday! It’s a sunny one out there today, although perhaps the calm before the storm, as we are expecting snow tomorrow.  We were planning to go into the city Tuesday (Cavan to a work luncheon and me, just get beaten at Scrabble a few more times!), but we will see.  It’s not worth fighting snow over. Today, we are in the city for Cavan’s mother’s 85th birthday. We’re having dinner at his brother Sean’s. It will be a nice get together!

As to further cat troubles… I always swore that only three things wake me in the night–the phone, kids and cats.  Well, my kids are grown and on their own and they were the only ones that might have called past my bedtime, so now I just get woken by cats.

Jett, my only remaining cat has always woken me, about every other month or so, throwing up whatever was in his stomach. He has a habit of eating stupid stuff, like the lint off the bathroom mats, and plants, of course, but none of my plants are poisonous, and I think that a little greenery is good for cats. I, of course, leap out of bed and clean it up right away.  Fortunately, he throws up in my bedroom on the hardwood floor, so that at least I am not cleaning carpets in the middle of the night. I even have a flashlight in my night table, so that I don’t wake Cavan.

Well, Saturday morning, Jett didn’t start his issues until about 7am. Just getting me ready for the time change, I’m sure!  This time was different, though.  He threw up on the rug in the livingroom. But that was only the beginning, at least the beginning of what I saw.  He had also pooped in one of his cat beds (yes, there are two). That was really unusual, because he is really good about using the litter box, unless he is upset about something, like my daughter’s dog visiting. But it was the sign that I knew something was wrong.

He then kept squatting like he wanted to poop, but couldn’t.  He wasn’t straining or anything. He would even half lie down looking quite upset and would drop a spot of diarrhea here and there in the house. Poor fella.  It was too early to call our vet, as they didn’t open until 9am.

This went on for about an hour and then he had a regular poop (on the carpet in the basement, yay!) and then he seemed to be fine.  There was no blood in the stool, or anything, and he didn’t seem to be in any pain, just somewhat distressed that it was happening. As was I, I must say.

Any of us who love our little fur babies know how distressing it is when they are not well and watch them like a hawk, until we reach the point that whatever it was seems to pass, or we run them to the vet to see what’s going on.  In this case, it did pass and he had a long nap and then was eating and drinking fine, so I believe he is back to his noisy old self. As a matter of fact, he is sleeping on the blanket in front of my monitor, as I type this (which is why I use a keyboard tray).

I got to clean floors and spot clean rugs and carpets yesterday–oh boy! Swiffer Vacs and Swiffer WetJets are great inventions and I love the Bissel spot cleaner! But the good thing is that it is over now and all is right with the world, as he lays here snoring oblivious to the worry he caused.  But then, it’s what we do, right?

So, God bless you all, and your fur babies and may God especially bless all of you and your pets with good health!