Friday, June 28, 2013

Finishing off June

Well here it is Friday, and this part of my trip has just about come to an end. It has been an enjoyably quiet three weeks ( almost three). I've had some adventures with Laura and Jeremy, but I've also had some real down time for me, which I needed even more. Sad thing is that I could really get used to that pace of doing my own thing, when I choose to. Enough said.

There have been a few events of this past week which certainly should be recorded to my memory. I have continued to enjoy my morning walks, and have found some beautiful spots here in Calgary NW. I'm enjoying the walking program, and psychologically I think it motivates me to keep this going. Heaven knows I need a good kick in the pants

Some of walking views
Speaking of walks...I stayed up late one night to watch an amazing walk by Nik Wellensa...over the Grand Canyon. Having experienced seeing this wonder of the world...I had to watch him. It was so breathtaking....I snapped a few shots of him near the end...when he kneels, then hop, skips and runs to the end...and of course kissing the ground. My thought throughout it all was WHY ?
Why take such a risk, no matter how good you are...but then again...I walk across the street everyday!! He was spectacular.

Moving right along...Tuesday was girls time for a road trip...and off to Edmonton we headed.
Laura and Vanessa headed to see Taylor Swift's amazing concert, after dropping me of to visit with Scott and Jennifer MacIntyre and Family. I was excited to see them and their sweet family. They were so very welcoming, and both did not seem to have aged a day!!!!
Now the children had done all the aging....and now range from 20-12yrs. of age. The oldest, Jason is away at school, Justin is now 18 and finishing High School, beautiful Sarah is turning 16 soon and she is a delight, Jeffrey is 14, and seems like he's full of fun....and Joshua the youngest almost 12...was oh so much fun. We had a delicious dinner together, and then Jennifer and I took a nice walk around the park across from their home. It was beautiful and had everything. We came home for a divine chocolate cake with ice cream and lots of visit time.
Before I post more photos I will mention that I've seen some awesome clouds in these big western skies....and certainly did on the way to Edmonton.

Moving right along we entered birthday mode in the Dunford home.
Wednesday was Jeremy's birthday and we respected his no party day, and had fun as a three some.
There were presents, breakfast at Denny's, a great movie, Now You See Me, sushi and German chocolate cake for singing the birthday song.


enjoying sushi

has he changed much!!!
Thursday was our day of service in flooded Calgary...written about in another post.
Friday was laundry, walking, organizing time.
I also finished a book earlier in the week...very unique one by Jodi Picoult

More walking scenes.....crossing over the Crowfoot trail

So that kind of sums up most of this weeks adventures...Laura and Jeremy have a new person moving into their basement space next week, plus they are heading off to lots on their plate ....hope that Laura gets some rest while she's away ! She's earned it!!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Counting My Blessings

I'm a bit behind with my blog posts....been up and back to Edmonton, celebrated Jeremy's birthday, and been fighting a cold. However...before I do any catching up I must record today.

As I mentioned I have been fighting a cold, and it seemed no better this morning. Today was a day where we had the opportunity to go to some of the worst flooded neighborhoods of Calgary and lend  service. I wasn't sure that I would be up for it, but after my early morning walk, I knew that I couldn't
stay home and I'm glad that I didn't.

I headed off with a group from our church...who have been going in every day in 2-3 shifts at a time.
WE had several things to do. We brought in 5 gallon sized containers of cleaning kits that the church mass produces for such events. These are gifts that are brought to every household, and they were greatly welcomed. The kits contain a variety of equipment to especially combat mold . As we made these deliveries we were told to seek out needs....and there was no shortage. We shovelled mud and debris from basements, carted garbage to the curb ( and there was lots of garbage), tore down ruined things...I worked on a fence project....and lots more.

NOW...I don't write this to certainly brag...I simply want to remember the experience for the humbling time that it was. Calgary can be proud of the response of its people. I met people from many walks of life....and it was like nothing that I can remember ( even hurricane Juan)
Families would be walking down those muddy streets, mothers with children in strollers....offering cold drinks, and snacks to eat to those who worked. Others showed up with their trucks to take away trash...over and over again. Everywhere people were asking, how can I help. So very many people lost so much ruin! It boggled my mind to see how far inland the river reached. The people of Calgary are an amazing and resilient people.

The cleanup will continue for a long time....but Calgary will be back on its feet. I leave for Sask. in two more sleeps....Saturday....and I'm glad that I was given the energy, and the opportunity to serve these people.

So many people suffer throughout our world. May they constantly be in our prayers, and may we always be prepared to serve in any way possible....large or small. It will always make a difference!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Papa Bill's

Saturday, was a quieter day. More rain and another great walk ( 8km). The house is sleepy when Laura works nights, so that gave time for more rest and reading. I've finished a trilogy that Karen introduced me to by Ally Condie. The three books are Matched, Crossed , and Reached. It is a futuristic genre of love and free will which asks the question....Can there be freedom, without choice. It was an interesting read. This week's read is from Jodi Picoult and her daughter, Samantha Van Leer, called Between the Lines. The book is a classic fairy tale with a uniquely modern twist. A girl crosses the border between reality and fantasy in a perilous search for her own happy ending. Interesting, and well written to this point.
Tonight (Saturday) on the menu was Papa John's. This is one of Bill's favorite pizza places so we spoke of him often. Miss you husband. We picked up the pizza, grabbed some Jones soda, and called and invited sweet Michelle to join us. We had a great time, and watched Master Chef to add to the entertainment.
Lots of laughs and yummy food and drink!!
Note the new title on the box

No....I'm not applying!! photos of prayer!!! LOL


Let's make this a weekend post.....

Sunday was of course church. Last week I attended primary with Laura and Jeremy. This week I visited Sunday school and Relief Society and enjoyed them both. Following my classes I popped into see the children in Laura and Jeremy's class. They are so cute, and they adore their teachers so much. Following church they held a linger longer potluck which gives folks a chance to socialize.

and funny!!!

Calgary Temple

Amidst the great flood destruction here in Calgary, Laura, Jeremy and I found a bounty of sunshine and great uplift as we visited the Calgary Temple, on Friday. We headed up there late in the afternoon, and as often seems to happen when you walk on Temple grounds....all was at peace, and so beautiful. This was my first visit to this Temple, and I'm at a loss of words to describe the beauty within this holy house. It certainly is decorated with the west in mind, spectacular murals, and a great closeness to nature with colors throughout. Everyone that we met greeted us with such a welcoming love. The whole time that we were  there all of our worldly cares left....such is the gift of Temple worship. We toured through other parts of the Temple, and it simply puts me in awe of what great beauty is there. After our time in the Temple we walked outside, and very quickly looked down through the city with a heavy heart for what many are going through. Many prayers were offered today, and the church has been busy offering aid where needed. How grateful I am that I was able to attend the Temple with Jeremy and Laura and that they as a couple chose to attend regularly, reminding them of their Temple covenants, and assisting the great work for the dead.



A wonderful day together
love this great truth

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Reporting from the West

What a wild week. Wonderful Calgary has been crazzzzy with water..flooding....and so much more. Fortunately for this tourist it has all been at a distance...although I have been caught in lots of the rain. The whole city has been in a state of emergency...many areas worse than others. The Bow and Elbow rivers have reeked havoc...and many have suffered great loss because of it.
We're living north of the Bow, and on substantial high ground. The rain really started back on the weekend, and every day had some rainfall...but it got worse by Wednesday, and Thursday. I have been diligently trying to walk more since coming west....and in this course of this week I have invested in a rain poncho, and  umbrella. Hopefully hip rubber boots will not happen. As I mentioned we're in the north of Calgary, and some days it is hard to believe that this whole flood thing has happened so close by. I posted photos from our river walk on are some updated water shots.

This is where Laura used to run

This is Princes Island Park....totally under


 The ZOO
Now the next few photos are from today.
Early morning as I began my walk

Early afternoon...thunder lightning...downpour

The ever changing sky

Just wait....I'm sure that it will change again.....
To close on a sunny note....I love receiving photos from my other children....and they certainly make me smile!
Love these family photos



She's off to see Taylor Swift

On that sunny note....I'll say so long for now.