Seasons — yes seasons. The season is changing. Though we have experienced some wonderful warm and even windy days, for the harvest still going on, there at times is that chill in the air that brings us back to the reality of the calendar. We are reminded once more that time marches on.
We near the end of calving in our small fall -calving herd. The calves are so neat to watch, especially in the cool of early evening when they start their calf-racing — running along the top of the old fence-line ridges, some of the mothers mooing their disapproval of their distance of travel from them.
The work in the garden is gradually getting complete. The potatoes are dug, as are most of the carrots. There are still a few dahlias to dig and cut and dry in the sun. The onions are curing in the garage and out in the sun on nice days.
As usual there are lots of fall jobs to do in preparation for winter and freeze-up. We are doing some extra electrical work, so that our well is less susceptible to high water and will actually work when the water gets above a certain point.
We are thankful for good fall pasture, a real savior on the winter feed supply.
Last week-end was Thanksgiving week-end.
Perhaps you took some time to think what you are thankful for. If not — this idea is not restricted to a day or a week-end, but involves a life-time of daily thoughts and conversations.
At church, during our “story time” we discussed things we are thankful for.
Some really good thoughts came out.
Many of us have experienced some very painful losses in our lives of very dear people.
We are thankful for family and friends that have rallied around. This does not take the pain away, but eases the burden.
We are thankful for our health-care.
We are thankful for living in a free and peaceful country — something we will soon be remembering especially when October turns to November.
We are thankful for food and clothing and shelter, for those in service industries that help us to keep going, despite weather and equipment failures.
There are just so many things — that sometimes we may take for granted.
We are thankful for an educational system, for public schools, for the opportunities afforded us in our country, to learn.
I am thankful for new friends as well as the old faithful ones, those who offer fresh and challenging perspectives, for the chance to hear someone’s life -story, complete with all the ups and downs that we all have.
I am thankful for music, for how it touches us to the depths of our souls.
I am thankful for memory. It allows us to bring back thoughts of good times with those no longer with us — and can bring a smile even in the midst of a sad day.
A list of things I am thankful for overflows from my mind:
For our pets, whether guinea pig or cat, budgie or dog, who offer us company and humour and faithfulness.
For the soil, how it nurtures seeds and hides life in winter, gets covered up and returns once again to its life-giving properties
For those who work the land, not always an easy proposition, especially in this challenging year of farming.
For veterinarians and doctors, nurses and hospitals, for babies, children, teens, Moms, and Dads, brothers and sisters, cousins, teachers, friends, caregivers.
For those who smile at us.
Who challenge us.
Who bring another point of view to change our minds.
For sunshine, for drying winds, for warmth, for heat and insulation when it is cool.
For the support of friends, for words of encouragement that can have such power in our living.
For understanding, for compassion
For friendly waves when we pass a neighbor on the highway or street.
For coffee and conversation with a friend.
For the gift of sleep when a person is weary and in need of rest.
For relaxation after a stressful day.
For company in loneliness.
Encouragement in the midst of a bad day.
For whenever we have safe travel in the midst of busy lives.
Whenever there is healing from sickness.
For whenever we get through the downs of our ups and downs in life.
For the smallest of blessings in the every days of our lives.
For the power of gratitude to change our view of things.
For the God who gives us all and is in all.
Hoping for everyone, even a moment of Thanksgiving, in each of your days.
Terry Klippenstein, enjoying the book "You Might Be From Manitoba IF..." by Dale Cummings
For over 30 years Dale Cummings' work appeared as the editorial cartoonist with the Winnipeg Free Press, as he gave his take on life in Manitoba. In September Dale took that knowledge and insight, and created the book -- you might be from Manitoba...IF......and then completed the sentence complete with an illustrated answer
Here are some examples:
You might be from Manitoba - IF - three pickups and a combine is grid lock.....
Or, You might be from Manitoba IF you're off to the Community Hall with a bowl of pot-luck
Dale joined the CJRB Morning show Friday and explained his interest in illustrating
Congratulations to Joanne Bos, Dianne Unrau, and Ann Evans who called in to receive a free copy of the book
For the second time in 6 months, skywatchers are being treated to a Blood Moon! Did you get a chance to see it between 5:30 and 6:30 this morning?
The Moon appeared 5.3% larger than it did during the last lunar eclipse on April 15, because of where it is in the sky...not to mention, Uranus can be seen as well, it's a twinkling blue/green star to the East of the moon....
I’m a runner. It even sounds ridiculous when I say it, but I guess it’s true.
You might be picturing a Nike ad, or maybe the cover of Runner’s World Magazine. So let’s just clear this up right here and now. There are a lot of walk breaks involved, and the speed never really gets past ‘Slow as molasses in the January that the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting.’
Once, during the final few hundred yards of a marathon, I was passed by very spry little man who, I swear, was at least 70. He zipped past me as though I wasn’t even moving, patted my back, and cheered, “Come on, let’s go!!”
The back of his shirt said, “Running with Jesus.” I’m pretty sure that had something to do with it.
When I run, I run by myself. Always. I love the solitude. I probably love the solitude more than I love the running, but still. Between family, work, home and community – alone time is a rare commodity. Almost as rare as a toilet paper roll that’s been replaced. By not you.
Another reason I like to run alone is because I’m the slowest person I know. And while I know running with a faster partner makes you faster, I don’t like the pressure.
I enter the occasional event to give myself a kick in the pants, but my racing strategy is much like that of the utility guy who needs to do some work at your house, and says, “I’ll be there between 9 and 3.”
In other words, I’ll get there when I get there. Same with me and the finish line.
Once I was out on an early morning run, it was still dark, and I ran into my brother-in-law. And he is not just fast compared to me – he’s actually fast. He offered to run with me, and said he didn’t mind my pace. But I couldn’t shake the knowledge of how painfully slow it must feel for him. I just couldn’t get past my self-conscious hang-ups, and after half a mile, I was like, “Oh, water break… you go ahead. No, really, I’m fine. Actually I also need a fake stretch break. Just go. It’s better this way. Really. OK, just git!”
He later accused me of not letting him join my ‘running group’. Haha. Funny.
I used to run with music. Every time – no exceptions. No matter how short or long. The last thing I wanted was to be left alone with my own thoughts. It was like being left alone in a room with an MMA fighter who’s been told that I just keyed his car. Yep. This is gonna hurt.
Or as Anne Lamott says, “My mind is a bad neighbourhood I try not to go into alone.”
I never wanted to go there, and I avoided it at all costs. This wasn’t just some paranoid fear of the unknown. This was based on experiences of times I’d gone in alone and been sucker punched by my worst enemy. That’d be me.
You know, just the usual, “You’re not good enough, you keep screwing up. You can’t talk to God – he stopped listening a long time ago. Look at your insides, nothing matches what you try to make everyone believe. You are a fake. And a really bad one.” Ad. Nauseum. Well I guess that last part was true.
The main problem was that I wasn’t smart enough to fool myself. Or maybe I was too smart.
I’ve spent a lot of my life with a focus on externals. As a kid, I remember sitting in church while the preacher told us specifically that it was wrong to wear big earrings. Being a teenager in the 80’s, the earring rule was especially tricky. Here I was, sitting in the back pew, trying my best to look like Pat Benatar, all the while sinning away with malice aforethought.
I don’t know if Jesus would have set earring size parameters on his followers. Even still, there were a million other ways I fell short.
But lately I’ve begun to see things a little differently. I began to see myself a little differently. And in a short story that would be too long to tell, I had an a-ha moment.
It has to do with catching a glimpse of grace. Which is more than I could describe in a paragraph, if at all.
In Philip Yancey’s book, What’s So Amazing About Grace, a pile of things jumped out at me. Statements like, “God loves people because of who God is, not because of who we are.” And, “The solution to sin is not to impose an ever-stricter code of behaviour. It is to know God.”
And also this, “Sociologists have a theory of the looking-glass self: you become what the most important person in your life (wife, father, boss, etc.) thinks you are. How would my life change if I truly believed the Bible’s astounding words about God’s love for me, if I looked in the mirror and saw what God sees?”
So anyway, lately I’ve been running without tunes. On one hand, there is a bit of adrenaline that kicks in during Irene Cara’s Flash Dance or Survivor’s Eye Of The Tiger. Or my favorite go-to for a burst of speed, AC/DC’s Thunderstruck. And by burst of speed, I mean negligible increase.
But lately during my runs – even the long ones – I’ve been okay, have even embraced, venturing into that neighborhood that is my mind, my thoughts. As it turns out, I was never alone.
It’s official. My blender and I are, what you might call, mortal enemies. I know we’ve had some uncomfortable moments. But lately the ‘accidents’ have been occurring so often, that I really don’t think I can blame myself anymore.
In fact, I’ve come to the conclusion that this machine might just have a mind of its own. A personality, really. And it is decidedly not benevolent.
It’s becoming quite apparent that when my blender shows up for morning smoothies, it arrives with ill will, like some culinary version of a Stephen King character. Except, instead of a car, it’s my kitchen machine. I’ve named her Martha – after the most formidable kitchen force in the universe.
I have to back up a bit, and provide some history so that y’all know that this is not me making stuff up.
This blender is actually a machine with a mixing bowl and blender. It all began with an innocent batch of chocolate chip cookies. I mixed the wet ingredients and had just added the dry, when the phone rang. I never had a chance to attach the lid (insert ominous violin music).
As I chatted on the phone, I spotted one of my kids, maybe 5 years old at the time, wander up to the mixer. I watched the events unfold as though in slow motion. Her eyes inspecting the machine, a burning curiosity clearly written on her face. But with the phone to my ear, and my unhelpful linear brain, there was nothing I could do. I was paralyzed as I watched her little hand reach up to the on-knob, with its perfect shiny numbers, just begging to be turned…
And then…. POOF. It spun to life, and a mushroom cloud of flour, sugar and chocolate chips spewed up into the air, hit the ceiling, and settled over the kitchen like volcanic ash.
As my daughter and I stared at each other, our facial expressions were slowly overtaken by the sure, sad reality that there would be no cookies. And I knew exactly who to blame. Martha.
When I asked my daughter why she had turned the knob, she simply said, “I wanted to see what it did.” Of course you did, my Angel.
Martha knows our weaknesses.
To be fair, I suppose I should go even further back to a time that one of the kids – actually it was the same kid – was making her own smoothie. She added all the frozen stuff, poured in the milk and put the lid on. She might have forgotten to attach the blade section, and basically poured milk directly into the motor. Martha never really sounded the same after that. I suspect that had something to do with her ummmm, temperament.
I recently got a different blender. It’s ancient – avacado green. But like most appliances that were built in the olden days, it works really well. As long as you don’t mind the slight burning smell as it starts up.
This morning, in my usual cloudy stupor, I added all the smoothie ingredients, and poured in some milk. As I was rummaging around in the cupboard for the lid, I came across – you guessed it – the blade and entire base section. Which I had not attached to the pitcher. Sigh…
I just stood there, staring at it with my usual deer in the headlights non-response. **Side note, I have no quick thinking – only quick speaking. Which is not nearly as useful. When I see an actual deer in the headlights, my one and only reaction is to close my eyes, and cover them with my hands.
One of the kids ran over with a bowl and was like, “Tip it over into here!!” All I had come up with was to try to quickly lift it and get my hand under there as everything poured out. Kind of like a really bad reverse version of the table cloth trick.
So, I don’t really know how to end this. On the one hand, I’m tempted to give up on early morning gadgetry – THE COFFEE MAKER DOES NOT COUNT SHAME ON YOU FOR EVEN THINKING IT.
But that would mean either giving up my morning smoothie, or trying to blend ice, spinach and frozen bananas the old fashioned way. Wait a minute – is there an old fashioned way?
No. There isn’t. Why not? Because my grandparents didn’t throw their breakfast in a machine so that they could slurp it on the drive to work and at their desk.
They made a full course meal and then sat down to eat it.
So anyway, I think I’ll try this again. Maybe add a few cleverly placed stickie note reminders for myself. Something like, “Do you ENJOY scraping spinach off of the floor and cabinets?” Or, “Do you HAVE TIME for a minor mental breakdown before work today?” Or perhaps, “How do you FEEL about yourself when you curse in front of the children?”
Martha will not get the best of me. I’ll have my fresh, delicious, healthy smoothies. It’ll take a little more than a few messy kitchen mishaps to ruin my morning routine. And besides, the kids hear worse language at school anyway. ;)
The 2014 Killarney Growing Project harvest was another success.
Farmers and supporters gathered at their field about 18 Kilometers north of Killarney just off of Highway 18.
Nine combines, grains trucks, volunteers and close to 60 supporters turned out for the annual harvest. Money made from the crop goes to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank to help with its projects around the world.
Manitoba Co-ordinator Harold Penner was at the harvest and pointed out the Killarney group has been a long and steady supporter of the fooodgrains program.
The day included a noon luncheon, some musical entertainment and then the harvest.
It is one of the premiere evenings recognizing the role of business in the community of Winkler, which has recently become an opportunity to be inspired by a nationally recognized leader. Last night's keynote speaker was WestJet co-founder Don Bell. WestJet, based in Calgary grew from having three used Boeings and flights connecting Calgary, Edmonton, Kelowna, Vancouver, and Winnipeg, to serving 90 destinations in 20 countries throughout North and Central America, the Caribbean, and Europe. Last night's gala included a number of speakers sharing a "Westjet" story, highlighting the "fun" environment at the airline. Don, pictured with MC Al Friesen, mentioned as well that was not by accident
They are referred to as the PW Enns Business Achievement Awards, and organized by the Winkler Chamber of Commerce, with recognition for Business Excellence, Business Builder for fewer and more than 10 employees, not for profit service award, and Customer Service Award, which was awarded to GTP. The G in GTP is Dale Gislason, who told Al Friesen later about the business partners in the Winkler business community
World Refugee day is June 20th, but for one Manitoba based organization, refugees are a year round concern. Hospitality House Refugee Ministry, based in Wpg, has over the past 25 years, grown into the largest single private sponsor, in terms of numbers sponsored, and landed here, in Canada. This faith based organization, was formed by sisters of an order of the Roman Catholic church, and has grown to include Anglican, Presbyterian, Catholics, United and Mennonite supporters. Today, we put the spotlight on the work of Hospitality House. And for that, we contacted Executive Director Tom Denton. Here is Tom's conversation with Al Friesen on the CJRB Morning show.
Contributions can be sent to Hospitality House at 1039 Main Street, Winnipeg, R2W 3R2...or you can find out more information at hhrmwpg.org
To everything there is a season, a time to leave the past behind,
By Barb Alston, Melita Presbyterian Church
As I write this, the weather forecast is calling for cooling temperatures. I look around the garden and see the beauty of flowers blooming. I feel a pang of sadness in knowing that one morning the leaves and stems will be blackened because of frost. I remember at one time, I would be rushing around with blankets and tarps to cover the flowers so that I could enjoy them into the late fall. But, now I just cover some late cucumbers, peas and beans, because they are laden with produce that just needs to ripen slightly or grow a little more. Black birds and geese are flocking. Only one humming bird came to the feeder today. The baby barn swallows have left the nest over the front door. Apples have been picked, or are falling from the tree. Tomatoes are gathered in. Soon it will be time to dig the onions and other root vegetables.
Acceptance. That is a big word. Each year we need to accept that the time for producing crops in the fields and fruit and flowers in the garden, has come to an end. We do our best to harvest what has been produced and move on to the next season.
The past sometimes binds us, with bad feelings linked to memories, of people, places and things that are no longer part of our lives. Anger, resentment, from things that happened long ago, may still imprison us. We are urged in this Scripture from Isaiah to—“not remember the former things, or consider the things of old.”(ch. 43)
Conversations often turn to the way that things used to be, when there was more population in the rural areas, when life was simpler, when there was not as much technology.
Sometimes we talk about the good old days.
Where does this get us? Sometimes we may find ourselves in the midst of a mire of negative feelings.
We remember when churches were filled, volunteer organizations were thriving —our families gathered without so many empty chairs . . . . .
But the past is gone. We continue to read in Isaiah 43: “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it”?
What hopeful words!
No matter what is going on in our lives, no matter how bad we feel. No matter what we fear, or what from our pasts holds us back, there is God, about to do a new thing!!!! No matter how low we may happen to feel. No matter how hopeless things may look. No matter how sad we may be, or how lost, confused, or tied to the past we may be again, there it is. There is God, about to do a new thing!!!! And just what is this new thing? How will we know if we hold onto the past and complain that the present is not like the past, if we dwell on what we have lost, instead of what we have gained?
Part of living is not in living in the past, but in DEALING with it, not in living a life of grief, but eventually, whatever time it takes to get there, a life of hope in this new thing that God is about to do!
What are we talking about? Well, it’s up to each person. Perhaps, there is a new purpose for us: a new friend who needs you, or an old friend who needs you for something new, a cause that you can take up, because of your gifts and experience, a job as a volunteer that just fits into your schedule, a name that comes into your mind of someone to phone, right now! Maybe it is a book to write, A song to sit and play on the piano, a choir to join, a lunch invitation to give, a child to cheer, a dog to walk, a smile to give, a meal to serve, a conversation to share, a game to play.
Not only in Isaiah do we find God’s promise that he is about to do a new thing; we also find the promise that God will be with us, and will strengthen and help us.
“I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. “For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.”(Ch. 43)
In a song sung by George Strait, called “I saw God today” we find a humble song that talk about recognizing God in the weeds that grow through the cracks in the pavement or concrete, in the beauty of the sunset and in the face of his newborn baby girl. The chorus goes like this:
"I've been to church, I've read the book, I know He's there, but I don't look, near as often as I should,
His fingerprints are everywhere, I just look down and stop and stare, open my eye and then I swear, I Saw God Today,"
As late summer rapidly slips into early fall, and we feel the chill in the wind, my prayer would be that each person where-ever they are at in life, whatever they are dealing with, may take a moment, to recognize, God here with us today —- in nature, in Scripture, in the seasons, in the everyday activities, decisions, and experiences of our lives. After all surely, those hopeful words we find in Isaiah, “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it”? Surely these hopeful words are for each one of us on this day and this moment.
Many of Manitoba's musical bright lights gathered at the Metropolitan Entertainment Centre last night to pay tribute to one of Manitoba's most popular and enduring musicians. Al Simmons, Don Amero, Jaylene Johnson and others joined Steve Bell, who is celebrating 25 years as a solo artist in 2014. It's a milestone that is also being recognized with the release of the documentary, Burning Ember, the Steve Bell Journey. Al Friesen was part of last night's VIP screening, and caught up with Director Andrew Wall of Refuge 31 films. Andrew shared how he first came to know Steve, and feel the story was worth telling
Aaron Burnett and Don Amero, who will tour with Steve this fall, were also at last night's screening
When the Westman region wants local news, weather, and sports online and on-demand, they turn to Discover Westman.
As Westman's website for local job listings, free classifieds, garage sales, family events, business directory and weather cancellations, Discover Westman makes it worth the trip.