Saturday, January 31, 2009

Gallbladder woes

Oh, the pain.
I wound up in the hospital early thursday morning with what turned out to be a gallbladder attack. Turns out I've got gall stones, and these are the reason I feel like I'm dying every two to three weeks. It looks as if I'm going to have to get my gallbladder removed sometime soon - I'm just waiting to hear about a surgical consult now. They think that it should be within the next two weeks.

Unfortunately, I have to go to Ottawa next week for a few days. Normally I love Ottawa and I love getting to walk around and see the sights. Now, however, I feel as if I can barely walk from my bathroom to the bedroom, so this might cause a bit of a problem. Hopefully the pain will improve and things will normalize soon. I've got a bottle full of Toradol, so that should help.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Xin Jiang, Correction

I have been corrected about the Xin Jiang issue by my friend Lisa:

"Xin Jiang doesn't mean northwest, but is the most northwestern province in China. Perdominantly Muslim, so that is why there was no pork on the menu."

Now that we're all clear on that, let's go get some lamb.

Thanks Lisa :)

Oh, Australia

Here is the pic of Rebecca, Andy, and us minigolfing before they left for Australia last week. We had to do speed golf the last four holes because they were closing, but surprisingly, it didn't hurt our game. They will be sorely missed in Edmonton, but I wish them well in their new adventure together!

Toronto, Memories #2

2. Chinese Food with Lisa and Hangtian
Lisa and Hangtian took me to the North side of the city for some "real" Chinese food. We had:
Crazy flat noodles
Ridiculously spicy chicken
Super yummy lamb noodle soup
Lamb Kabobs
Yummy fried Chinese eggplant
Some flat bread that looked like Naan
and Red Bean and Tapioca for desert

IT WAS ALL SOOOOO GOOD! Now, that being said, I am going to screw the name of the restaurant up, but I think it was Xin jiang - Meaning Northwestern china, the locale the food comes from. It is also run by a famous Chinese Ex-basketball player, so that was cool. Thanks again guys for the hospitality!

Toronto, Memories

1. Subway shooting. Someone got shot two stops away from where we got on and off the subway when we were in Toronto last week. They had the stop closed down as a crime scene for the rest of the day, and understandably, people were mad.

Hunt continues for gunman in Toronto subway shooting
CBC News
Police are still searching for a gunman who fired shots on a busy subway platform in the heart of downtown Toronto on Thursday.Toronto police released this image of the suspect, caught on a security camera, Thursday evening. (Toronto Police Services)
A busy portion of the city's subway system ground to halt after a 19-year-old was hit by bullets at Osgoode station.
A large section of the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line, from St. George to Union Station, was closed for hours after several shots were fired at Osgoode station shortly before 11 a.m. Thursday.
Police have released a photograph of the suspect, whom they describe as "black with a light complexion, six feet to six feet two inches, approximately 185 pounds, wearing a black parka with fur trim around the hood, black pants and a black Blue Jays hat with the new logo."
The victim, whose name was not released, was taken to St. Michael's Hospital with gunshot wounds to the leg and stomach.
Toronto Transit Commission chair Adam Giambrone stressed Friday morning that the subway shooting was unfortunate, but rare, and noted that subway stations and buses are outfitted with about 10,000 security cameras.
The future fleet of about 230 subway cars, the first of which will arrive in the fall, will also be equipped with cameras, further enhancing safety for commuters, said Giambrone.
The Osgoode subway station is located just steps from Osgoode Hall and many of the province's most important courthouses. Hospitals, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts and other major tourist attractions dot University Avenue and nearby streets. Toronto City Hall is within walking distance of the subway station.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Toronto

So I'm off to Toronto tomorrow for business. I really like going there most times, but I'm sick again and it seems like a lot of effort right now.

On the bright side, I'm going to meet up with our friends who live there and go for some Chinese food. It's always nice to get out in a strange city with people who know it.

Be back on the weekend!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Spring?


This morning I stepped in a giant puddle of slushy ice. Normally I'd complain, but I fear if I open my mouth the Lord might take away our +11 degree weather today. So now, slush is my new bff. Wet socks anyone?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mustard Seed Night

Our pasta makers!

Mural on the wall


Boil, boil, toil and trouble....

Clash of the Titans

The hall, in between meals. It was standing room only once the doors opened.


Massive amounts of pasta - 33 kg dry.

Darryl and I had the privilege of serving supper at the Mustard Seed Church downtown on Monday night. This shelter helps hundreds of people on a daily basis meet basic requirements of daily living such as foodstuffs, blankets, clothing, winter boots, shampoo, etc. They serve on average 300-350 people supper nightly.

As one might expect, the amount of food needed to feed 350 people is massive. I totally underestimated the preparation that goes into the meals that are cooked daily. This supper consisted of pasta salad, beef or turkey on a bun with gravy, Cooked vegetables, and a banana for desert. People line up outside the church starting roughly at about 5:30 or 6 PM - supper is served from 7 pm until 8 pm and if you aren't there in time you don't eat.

The thing that struck me, meeting this community, is how grateful and pleasant they are. Many of them blessed us with kind words and compliments throughout the night; which is so funny since we had set out to bless them! Also surprising was the demographic of the community. While there was a good proportion of street people, many of the recipients of this meal were simply on the poverty line and struggling to get by. It is a choice of paying rent or paying for groceries, and they chose to have a place to sleep.

All in all, I feel totally and amazingly blessed by this opportunity. God is gracious, and we are so lucky to be in situations where we're provided for and safe. May you be blessed by reading this and bless others however you choose.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

Calgary



We had to run to Calgary overnight last weekend to visit my Grandma, who is in the hospital. Muffin, however, was not too pleased about the idea, and thought that she should be able to come along. I suppose she was just too conspicuous sitting on top of the suitcase.
As much as I don't love Calgary, I do love the view they have. You can see the mountains on the horizon, and they get the Chinooks associated with them. When we left Edmonton, it was 30 below with the wind. When we arrived in Calgary, it was 6 below. That seems crazy as we're only three hours away. In any case, Calgary redeemed itself for the weekend we were there.



Butt or Elbow?

This is a perverese little game Kevin and Jordan dreamed up on new year's eve. They were going to make a website entitled elboworbutt.com and post all sorts of pictures that I wouldn't dare look at. Basically, as you probably have already guessed, the point of the game is to guess if what you're looking at is an elbow, or a butt crack. A sample is included for your viewing pleasure.


The day Christmas Died, 2009

Well, I suppose it was inevitable, but today the Christmas decorations came down. Funny thing that. It took me a week to put them up just the way I like them and it took about an hour to demolish the entire house. Now all that remains is a bare tree that Darryl has to deconstruct - it looks kind of sad, to say the least. Now, instead of beautifully wrapped gifts and a tree skirt, all that's under it is some of muffin's hairballs. Merry Christmas indeed.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Engaged!

Let me take this opportunity to Congratulate my sister-in-law Jill on her engagement to Jeremy over the holidays. We've been putting up with this guy for a four years now, so it's about time he made it permanent. Just kidding Jeremy - it's only been three years.





Snow!

I wrongly assumed that since it was going to warm up this weekend we would be getting less snow. Right now, I'm not entirely sure that I'll be able to make it home today without some sort of accident or delay - and insult is added to injury when I hear that Calgary is -3 degrees today. I said it last weekend when I was there, and I'll say it again - sometimes I wonder why I live in Edmonton.

On a brighter note, we're going to West Ed (that's not the bright part) tonight to play mini golf with Andy and Rebecca (that is). I plan on winning even if I have to cheat.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy New Year!

Well, the New Year rolled in fairly unassumingly. We had the Sparling kids and spouses over for a fondue and hang-out night. I was still feeling a bit ooky from the stomach flu that had subsided the day before, but all in all it was a good night.

It seems as if this flu is going around like crazy. Suffice it to say that I have never been that ill before in my life - I threw up every half hour for 24 hours - not to mention what was going on at the other end. (Well, I guess I did just mention it). Pretty much everyone in our family contracted it, and although my brother seems to think my mom was the rhesus monkey that gave it to everyone, It probably would have happened anyhow. A word to the wise, however - Wash your hands frequently. And don't touch door handles if you can help it.