Sunday, October 28, 2007

Daylight Savings Time Confusion

It was the wierdest thing when the alarm woke me up at 7:30 this morning. Usually I look out the window, then just crawl into the shower, with my eyes half open. But when I looked out the window, it still looked too dark for 7:30am. So I consulted my watch, just in case I had mistakenly changed the time on my clock. It also indicated 7:30am. Then it occurred to me that this might be the "fall back" day at the end of Daylight Savings Time. So I went downstairs to consult my computer.

(Usually I rely on the preacher announcing the change the week before, to avoid half the congregation arriving one hour late, or in this case, early. I didn't remember any such announcement.)

The date on the computer indicated only 6:30am. So I googled, and found that in 2007, Congress in the US and Parliament in Canada had changed the end date of Daylight Savings, it WOULD have been this morning, but instead is November 4, 2007, next weekend.

So I crawled into the shower, this time with my eyes fully awake, but my body telling me I still had one more hour to sleep.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Small Cloud in a Blue Sky

While washing dishes in our south-facing kitchen window today, enjoying a rare Fall day of sunshine and blue sky in Vancouver, I noticed a dramatic shift in temperature and colour, as a small white cloud drifted and for a moment, blocked the sun. It made me reflect on how this is a metafore for so much of our life. We can let a small comment deflate our enthusiasm, or a small event discourage us, or a small disappointment challenge our faith. At the time, the feeling is dramatic, and all seems so real and overwhelming, but in light of our life and all that is possible, it is just a small cloud in an otherwise blue sky.

It made me also think about how life can go by, and we fail to appreciate and enjoy what we have right in front of us. I work from home, and other than trying to take on additional household chores and taking care of the kids' needs on top of my full time work, I too often forget to take a break, enjoy the awesome view from our office window, or stroll through our wonderful back yard gardens, or really enjoy the children and the stories that they share with me on arrival from school. Usually I don't even take time to enjoy lunch, I eat while thinking of what I am working on, and take more notes (I keep a book, as well as all my "flagged" emails as reminders) of what I need to do next.

So today I decided to enjoy the gorgeous blue sky, and sunshine. I boiled a pot of my favourite herbal tea (Celestial Seasonings Dessert Tea "English Toffee"), and sat on the deck for a short while, enjoying the heat of the sun on my face. The Sun gets way too much bad publicitly lately - it is the source of life, healing, growth, warm, relaxation. I noted how the Euonymus alata (aka "Burning Bush") which only days ago was a brilliant red, has dropped most of its leaves and is bare twigs. The fall asters, which were brilliant pinks, purples and whites for many weeks now, are starting to fade. The dahlias, close to the house, are still green, although the blooms are a bit smaller now, and they are quite fallen over. I will wait until a hard frost will turn them black, before cutting them down, and digging up the tubers for winter storage (leaving the ones protected by the house and overhang in the ground). There is the sound of leaves falling through the alders and cottonwoods in the nearby woods.

Then, in typical nerdy fashion, I return to my computer, and blog about my experience.

PS. Don't follow my example - get out there and enjoy it while you can! Invite a friend to join you, too!

PPS. Credit to Marsha J. O'Brien for the cloud photo, used without her explicit permission, but used in the same spirit as her blog :

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

When Gardening Turns Dangerous

Most of the time, gardening is very therapeutic. Even on days when I overexert myself (predictably related to me getting out the garden shovel), and return from the garden sweaty from head to toe, I know that the time spent in the plants and dirt and sunshine has done wonders for calming my spirit, lowering my blood pressure, and strengthening my heart and muscles. Gardening, to those who enjoy it, is one of the most rewarding activities for maintaining health and happiness.

Andertoons cartoonBut at times it can turn hazardous. I found out for myself, in my own small but distinct way, as I was weeding underneath one of my rose bushes in July. I suddenly felt a sharp pain in the back of the joint of my little finger. I was wearing gloves at the time, so pulled them off and looked for the thorn. Nothing obvious. I remember thinking at the time, what an irony it was, since I really don't have much fondness for roses in the first place, and have only 4 or 5 bushes which I either salvaged or bought on clearance ($1 is a hard price to resist).

That evening, after I had washed off my hands, I could see a very small spot in the skin where the puncture had occurred. So I took out a needle, and made a serious attempt to search for the thorn. Unfortunately, it was my right hand, so I was working with a handicap, using my left to poke around. The thorn was pretty close to skin colour, and went straight in, leaving little sign. No luck. So I decided to leave it, and see if it worked itself out eventually.

More than 11 weeks later of regular pain when bending or touching the finger or trying to wear gloves (I cut the little finger off my usual pair of gardening gloves, so I could continue to wear them), prayer, and two more serious attempts at digging out the thorn, I was finally successful tonight. I wish I could take a photo of it, but it would be too small (approx 1 mm) to show up well. But the relief I feel is so great, I knew I had to share this moment, even though it means working even later tonight (anyone following my blog and/or gardening painting project will note the infrequency of either lately!).

A big thanks to Mark Anderson, whose "Andertoons" have brought me many chuckles over the years, as I have enjoyed his "Daily Cartoon" on the sidebar of my blog. He generously provided the cartoon which is shown here. To view more of his cartoons and to order cartoons for presentations or cool merchandise, visit his Andertoons site.
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