The Dangers of Mumbling

Do you know people who mumble when they speak ?

They are difficult to communicate with. There are various reasons why people don’t speak clearly. There are medical reasons, as when people are in recovery from a stroke, but most often, mumbling is a careless speech habit. People mumble when they are nervous or embarrassed. Victims of emotional trauma sometimes mumble because they don’t expect anyone to really listen to them. And, as parents know, teenagers may mumble when they don’t really want you to understand what they are saying.

Mumbling is a common speech pattern of rural Newfoundlanders. After being here for fifteen years, it is still sometimes difficult for me to communicate well with some of my neighbours.

This situation turned dangerous last year when my husband and I visited a local coffee shop to enjoy one of their delicious desserts. Behind the counter, my husband spotted a pale green slice of pie, which he thought was Key Lime Pie, his favourite ! We both asked the server if this was Key Lime Pie. He confirmed that it was indeed Key Lime Pie.

When my husband started eating it, he soon started sneezing and feeling unwell. I recognized, even before he did, that he was having an allergic reaction, and we headed up to the Emergency Department, where he was treated for what was indeed a severe allergic reaction.

When he recovered, we went back to the Coffee Shop to ask the owner what kind of pie that was. She said it was : ‘Kiwi Lime Pie.’ My husband has a life threatening allergy to Kiwi fruit, and this explained his reaction.

Just one syllable was so significant ! Key Lime Pie, and Kiwi Lime Pie sound so similar . We had not been able to clearly understand what the Coffee Shop server had told us.

As parents , or grandparents, let us encourage children to articulate clearly , and enunciate well. Clear speech always gives us more credibility.

As followers of the Lord, we also need to communicate clearly, to effectively share the good news of the Gospel with others.

Pictured are funny Puffins. Colonies of these birds live on the cliffs near our house in the summer.

Healthy Aging Tip

Do you have a favourite chair at your house ? Ideally, it is great to have a chair of one’s own.

I knew, at the entrance to old age ( which officially begins at age 60), that I needed a healthy aging chair.

It is good to shop carefully for a healthy aging chair. I sat in many before I chose my chair. It is leather, (sorry PETA), and ergonomically designed, for maximum comfort.

Ideally, a healthy aging chair should have two features, one for rocking, and one for reclining.

You know those stereotypes about old people sitting in rockers?

It turns out that there are many health benefits of rocking , including stress reduction. Much information is available on the internet on ” Health Benefits of Rocking Chairs”.

A second feature of a healthy aging chair is a reclining feature.

Sitting in a reclining position is comfortable for many people, since, if the chair is correctly fitted to the individual, it can be comfortable to the back.

The chair was a major investment, but, now that I am half way between Old Age and Extreme Old Age ( which officially begins at age 80), I know that it has been a vital component of a healthy aging process. ( The picture of me on my blog profile was a “selfie” I took several months ago. ) I rarely photograph myself, but an occasional photo can be a record of how the aging process is proceeding.

Let us thank God for his many blessings, including comfortable chairs, and the blessing of reaching Old Age.

Winter Blues ?

Do you know anyone currently suffering from the ‘winter blues’ ? Our island was dumped on by a huge amount of snow last week, and people are looking particularly glum.

So, at the coffee shop yesterday, I invited two friends, ‘Andrea’ and ‘Joyce’ over to my house to teach them them how to belly dance. This ancient Arabic dance is properly called ‘Raqs Sharqi’.

Both friends looked shocked, and declined my offer. Andrea said that her husband would not allow this. Joyce, with real indignation in her voice, asked me if I knew that she was Pentecostal.

They didn’t give me a chance to explain that this ancient form of dance has excellent health benefits. It increases muscle strength and flexibility, improves circulation, eases stress, promotes relaxation and helps to improve posture.

They refused my offer before I could tell them that this exercise also improves digestion.

Both Andrea and Joyce were ‘offended’ by my offer. Do you think, though, that Christians should be easily offended by small stuff ? Lord, help us not to become touchy, and easily offended . Such an attitude of pettiness does not draw others to the Lord.

Andrea and Joyce also missed out on the delicious Moroccan mint tea that I was planning to offer them.

For now, I will continue my dancing by myself. As my dancing skirt jingles and sparkles, I look out over the mountains of snow that are glistening in the sunshine now.

The days are getting longer, Spring is coming.

We have a choice of being glum, or choosing to be happy.

Choose happiness !

Sleeping on the Examination Table

We had a huge weather bomb in NL last week. So much snow and wind. The army had to help dig us out !

Part of our village, including our home, lost hydro. So we spent the night in the clinic where my husband still works part-time. We brought cozy blankets, silk pillows, and snacks. It was warm there, and quiet.

My husband slept on the examination table ( I cleaned it first),

and I slept on a lounge chair in front of him, to make sure he wouldn’t roll off. ( The things we do for love…)

Things are back to normal now in our outport, but St. John’s is still facing food shortages.

The storm was another reminder that God is in control, and we should appreciate every blessing of every day.

Gym in a Box

Are you a creative person ? Since you are a writer, I imagine that everyone answered : Yes!

God’s gift of creativity helps us with many aspects of life.

Right now here in NL, it is too cold to be exercising outside, but that is temporary ! God decides the temperature, but I can still stay in shape , because I have a Gym in a Box !

Pictured, in my portable gym, are the following fitness items:

  1. A piece of Theraband stretchy band. I hold it in both hands and pull it to exercise arms, hands and shoulders.
  2. A pink rhythmic gymnastic ribbon. This is a shorter length, I ordered it through Amazon for six dollars. I dance with it, and the twirling ribbon is very soothing to watch.
  3. Two tennis balls. Sometimes my husband and I play throw and catch with one of them, and other times I juggle with the balls ! Small pleasures amuse me !
  4. My ballet slippers. I do not have a barre in my current home, but I hold on to the kitchen counter to do my exercises. Ballet helps in maintaining suppleness and flexibility as we age.
  5. My yoga mat doesn’t fit into the box, but I store it under the bed beside my tiny gym box.
  6. Also included in my fitness routine is a two dollar hoola hoop. I have been enjoying these since they were first commercialized when I was about eight years old.

And, since aesthetics are so important, the box itself is beautiful. I store it with its lid on, and tied with a green ribbon, but I leave the shoes on top of it.

God always appreciates a grateful attitude ! It is cold, but I do my ballet exercises in the kitchen, and I say :This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad !

The Growing Season

From the picture, it really does not look like growing, season, since my garden is resting.

And yet I find that much spiritual growth can take place in the winter months. The salt on the window panes is visible in this picture. On stormy days, the salt from the sea spray settles on the windows and needs to be hosed off. It is just a reminder that followers of Jesus are to be ‘the salt’ , and ‘the light’ of the world.

January is the coldest month here in NL, and it is dry inside the house. We keep a ‘Saje’ diffuser going for part of the day to add moisture to the air.

I use Mulberry silk pillowcases. ( Yes, I know PETA doesn’t approve ), but they help my skin from forming wrinkles, because they are so soft and smooth, and the pillowcases also keep my hair from becoming frizzy. PETA would be unimpressed that most of our charitable donations go to the ‘Coalition for Life’, which helps defend the rights of unborn humans here in Canada.

It is impossible to attend church here now. The priest decided to hold Mass at 7:00 on Sunday evenings. Very few people will come out at that time. Dangers of slipping and falling on snow and ice, for anyone, and especially for seniors, are greater when it is dark. I tried to convince people to hold church services earlier, during daylight hours, for safety, but that would interfere with Newfoundlanders’ dinner, which is sacred time for islanders. ( This is no exaggeration).

And so we are cut off somewhat, but the silence of winter by the sea allows us to listen carefully to what the Holy Spirit is trying to say. My husband and I pray and worship together, and read a variety of edifying authors on WordPress.

January, at the edge of the continent, help us to develop patience and forbearance. God has reasons for his seasons, even those which encourage is to sit quietly, wait, and trust.

When a Joke is a Sin

Humour is fun, right ? God loves to see us laugh !

There is also humour which God considers to be sinful. Let me give you an example.

A few years ago, I helped organize a special evening devoted to “Christian Unity”. The weather was calling for snow that evening, and Newfoundlanders are notoriously afraid of driving in the snow !

Nevertheless, it did not snow, and our time of unity and celebration came to pass, and there was a very good turnout.

Just when it was time to go home, ‘Marisa’, stuck her head out of the door and announced :

‘Is it ever snowing outside!’ Everyone was upset, and ran to the doors and windows, only to find out that Marisa was ‘joking’, or lying. Not one snowflake was falling !

This is the kind of deceptive joking, or lying, that God does not like. Proverbs 26:19 tells us about how angry God is when Christians think it is acceptable to play ‘pranks’ on each other.

Marisa, the prankster, left the parish soon after, and told no one where she was going.

Beloved, let us not stress each other by playing ‘pranks’ on each other. God loves humour, but only the kind that edifies. God does not enjoy stressful humour !

Pictured is my water glass, which reminds me that older people are generally less thirsty than their younger friends. We need to keep sipping water to support our health.