Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Saturday, April 22, 2017

40 Adventures for 40 Years, Part 4

Time for an update on the ol’ list of 40 things.

We actually took an unexpected, last minute trip to South Dakota to spend Easter weekend with Jon’s mom as well as seeing some extended family and friends who have sort of become family ever since Jon’s mom married our friend’s dad. It’s complicated. We took our grandson Allistar, age 7, with us. He was a real little champ and a joy to have along. Though this trip wasn’t on our list, it did offer some opportunities to add to our list of 40 different places to kiss, so we added Grandma’s house, our friends’ house, the U.S./Canadian border, and beneath the world’s largest buffalo in Jamestown, North Dakota. (Which, I argue, is a bison, not a true buffalo. In any case, it was built the same year I was born and it’s still standing strong. But I digress.) Allistar was a great sport to take a picture of us kissing and he did a pretty good job, wouldn’t you agree?

The jigsaw puzzle remains unfinished on our dining table and we continue to slog through Black Beauty at a first-grader’s pace. I have my theories about that book, but will save them for after we’re actually done reading it.
The one thing on our list we’ve actually checked off since my last post was:

#20. Eat at a Revolving Restaurant. I’d always wanted to visit the open-again, closed-again, open-again Prairie 360 Restaurant above Fort Garry Place in Winnipeg, so had placed it on our list. Lucky for us, it’s currently open again. Since we had an appointment nearby this past week, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to make a reservation. It was terrific! You ride up to the 28th floor in a glass elevator, then board a second elevator to the 30th floor.

The service and food were excellent (and yes, pricey, but we knew that going in.) The view was stunningly gorgeous, and we thoroughly enjoyed the complete circle we made as the sunshine transformed to twilight. Viewing familiar buildings from a decidedly unfamiliar vantage point reminded me that a fresh perspective can change everything! Life is not always what it seems from our every-day, limited, earth-bound view. Something to remember when days seem too difficult or too dull. Ask God what he sees, and see what he shows you!
The closer building is Union Station, mentioned in my books Maggie's War and Bleak Landing. The odd-shaped one is the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, which is also on our 40s list.

I wish we'd had the waiter take this when there was a better view behind us.
Of course, the experience provided us another new place to kiss (in the elevator) and our kissing list is now up to 21—more than halfway there, and the year isn’t half over yet. I’d say we’re doing all right in the smooching department. Now if we could just remember to kiss a little more often at home.

Until next time…

Monday, April 10, 2017

Win a Kindle Fire and more than 45 historical novels!

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

40 Adventures for 40 Years, Part 3

We’ve been able to knock a few more adventures off our list of 40, starting with…

Our Cabin
#5. Stay at Tallpine Lodges. Back in 1996, Jon and I went to Tallpine Lodges at West Hawk Lake, Manitoba (just inside the Ontario border) for a few days of much needed relaxation. It was a year after Jon’s amputation and we’d been through a lot, so those days of quiet solitude and reflection remained a warm memory and we always thought it would be fun to go back.

It only took twenty years, but we made it—and this time, we could afford to upgrade a little from the cheapest of their 16 cottages! It’s a couples-only resort with no visitors allowed, so it’s very quiet—especially during the off season. Our cabin had its own sauna and Jacuzzi tub, electric fireplace (they still had the real kind when we were there the first time!) and the grounds have tame deer that wander around being friendly and looking for handouts. I fell for their gorgeous big eyes and fed them our apples.

It was wonderfully relaxing and we combined it with…

#25. Have an Unplugged Weekend. We weren’t sure which of us would find this a greater challenge, Jon (who’s pretty glued to the games on his tablet) or me (who’s pretty glued to her laptop and Facebook.) We did “cheat” by checking our phones a couple of times just to make sure the kids didn’t have any emergencies, or at least that was our excuse. But other than that, we really did stay unplugged and we didn’t miss our screen time. We watched one movie the old fashioned way (DVD) and listened to some worship CDs. Mostly, we read and slept. It was also a perfect time to tackle…

#27. Play a Board Game. Technically, there is no board in Yahtzee, so maybe this was a cheat. But Jon’s favorite board games are conquer-the-world-or-at-least-the-economy games like Monopoly, Risk, and Cash Flow. All of which, I loathe. The ones I like (you know, the kind that build relationships and create opportunities for laughter instead of competitive greed) are Apples to Apples and the like. Which Jon loathes. So we had to find something we can both tolerate. Yahtzee fit the bill. We each won one round. We each got one Yahtzee. And we got a good start on…

#34. Read a Classic Aloud Together. It took us a while to select which classic we’d read. Looking at various online lists and not wanting to get bogged down in 600 pages of Tolstoy or endless passages of description from Dickens, we settled on Black Beauty. I was surprised, when I borrowed it from the library, by how thin it was. I figured we’d easily burn through it over the weekend. But who knew it would be boring? Really. To me, the most interesting thing about it is noting all the things author Anna Sewell did in 1877 that writers can’t get away with nowadays. Like sentences that fill entire paragraphs and paragraphs that fill entire pages. We won’t be checking this box off just yet, but hopefully before the book is due back.

On the list of kissing locations, we added our cottage and the top of a hill overlooking West Hawk Lake—it’s the deepest lake in the province at 115 meters (377 feet). The granite cliffs make for gorgeous scenery. There are several more places we could have added if we could just remember to kiss while we’re there.

Until next time...

Overlooking the beach at West Hawk Lake, still frozen on April 3