Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week
with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

In contrast to last week’s quietness, this week has been pretty busy. Here are some highlights:

1. Grandparents’ Day. We had planned to get together with the family on Sunday. But two people in our church and three at Jason’s place of work tested positive for COVID this week. Just to be extra safe, we decided we should put off getting together. (The adults are vaccinated, but vaccinations aren’t 100% effective. Plus one can carry the virus even if not sick personally. And Timothy has not been vaccinated–and kids can get COVID.) Jason, Mittu, and Timothy dropped off a wonderful meal (ribs, potatoes, green beans, rolls, and cheesecake), plus pink roses for me and beef jerky for Jim.

2. Granddad book. Also for Grandparent’s Day, Jason, Mittu, and Timothy gave me a throw blanket for the living room to replace the one I’ve been using, which is so old the threads are starting to break off. They gave Jim the cutest book called Why My Granddad Is My Super Hero. Each page had a prompt for Timothy to fill in.

3. Jesse’s birthday. Love celebrating the family’s special days.

4. Cake reclamation. Jesse wanted this Lemon Blueberry Cake, which Mittu had made back for his “10,000th day” celebration. Cakes are not my best thing, especially from scratch. And replacing the regular flour with a gluten-free blend doesn’t always go well. But I gave it a try. To make a long story short, it did not go well. There were tears. I didn’t take a picture of it at its worst, but, once I stopped crying about it, we all had a good laugh. My dear daughter-in-law did a wonderful job redeeming it and even making it look cute–and it ended up tasting good, too.

To give you a clue of just one of the MANY things that went wrong in the course of making this cake . . .

. . .when I went to mix the wet stuff with the dry, I dropped the wet stuff bowl, and it splattered.

I so appreciated that Jim, Mittu, and Timothy pitched in to help clean up the kitchen, and Jim did some straightening around the house I hadn’t been able to get to before everyone came over.

5. Cake strips. One thing that did go right! The blogger with the cake recipe recommended cake strips, which you wet and put around the cake pan. Normally my cakes end up thin around the edges and domed in the middle. Evidently that’s because the outside edge cooks more quickly, and the cake strips help avoid that. They worked great! But I’ll share this tip: I bought the kind he recommended from Amazon, but then later I saw them for half the price in Wal-Mart’s craft section.

And a bonus: today there’s nothing on the agenda and nothing that absolutely has to be done, so I’ve already had a nap and am looking forward to some rest.

How was your week?

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week
with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

This has been a fairly quiet week, but that’s a good thing. Here are some highlights:

1. Lunch with a friend. It had been a little while since we’d seen each other. It was good to chat in person.

2. Cracker Barrel is where we met—lunch with this friend is about the only time I get to go there! I love it, but none of the rest of the family cares for it.

3. A long weekend. Labor Day is an odd holiday in that it’s not really celebrated per se. But it’s nice that all the family has the day off, and we had grilled burgers with all the usual accompaniments.

4. The first hint of cooler weather. I thought it would be a few weeks yet before it would begin to feel like fall, but I am happy to be wrong on that count!

5. Zaxby’s Grilled Cobb Salad. Wednesday evening, just as I was about to start making dinner, my husband said he was thinking about a Zaxby’s salad. Yes, please! I think this is my favorite restaurant salad, and the only one that seems like a full meal to me.

What’s something good from your week?

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week
with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

I seriously don’t know where this week has gone. But let’s jump right in to the week’s faves:

1. New school arrangement for my grandson. My son and daughter-in-law switched to a different on-line program than they had been using, and the whole family likes it much better.

2. Telephone doctor visit. I know many health care providers now offer some kind of telephone or online Zoom-like way to talk to them, but this was the first time I used one. For some situations, I might prefer to see the doctor in person. But for this concern, being able to show the doctor the problem, find out what to do, and get a prescription for antibiotics, all over the phone, was a great time saver–and helped me stay out of his office during another uptick in COVID cases here.

3. One step closer to autumn. August is one of my favorite months, with my birthday and my oldest son’s visit for his birthday. But it is also our hottest month. Turning the calendar to September encouraged me that fall is on the way!

4. Mexican take-out. My husband said recently that he’s not crazy about any of the Mexican food restaurants in our area, and wasn’t even all that into Mexican food lately. I was raised in SE Texas, where Mexican food is a staple. 🙂 One night this week, my husband was away until about 9—so I took the opportunity to have Mexican food take-out delivered.

5. Family group texts. We have a running group text with all our immediate family where we share news, concerns, prayer requests, funny things we’ve seen, photos of culinary masterpieces, etc. I love being able to instantly share with and hear from the family.

How was your week? Hope it was a good one.

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week
with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

It’s good to be back for a Friday’s Fave Five after last week’s break. We’ve had a full and busy couple of weeks with an overflow of blessings.

1. My oldest son’s visit and birthday. This was his first time to fly here since the pandemic: he had come by train the last couple of times. It’s wonderful to see him in person and not just on a screen.

2. Family time. My husband took the week of the 16th-20th off so we had something of a “stay-cation.” while Jeremy was here. Jesse and Jason had to work but took off that Friday and came over several evenings. So we had a lot of family time, visiting, laughing, eating, and playing games. Mittu made great dinners a couple of nights, once at their place and once at ours. Jesse had us all over to his place one night for honey garlic salmon–his first time to host all of us.

3. My birthday was last weekend. It’s nice when the dates work out that Jeremy can be here for both his birthday and mine. My daughter-in-law made lunch for us. We went out for dinner to one of my favorite restaurants on a lake. Then we went home for my annual Texas Sheet Cake that Mittu made and decorated and opened presents.

4. Safety and and new plans. Jeremy was due to fly back to RI on the 22nd, but the day before, Hurricane Henri was heading straight for RI. What we didn’t want to happen was for Jeremy to leave here on the first leg of his flight and then get stranded if the last flight was canceled. So Jim and Jeremy called the airline and got a very competent and friendly person and changed his flights to Wednesday. It turned out to be a good thing, because the second leg of his flight did indeed get canceled. He worked from our home Monday and Tuesday. The storm weakened and avoided a direct hit to his area after all, but we were happy to have a few more days with him here rather than having him have to hang out out an airport until it was safe.

5. A new sign for the guest room. Jason gets a few credits every year for products from the place where he works and he generously let me use some for this sign for the guest room.

I hope you’ve had a good week, too!

Checking In

There’s not an official Friday’s Fave Five this week, because our hostess, Susanne, has family visiting and wants to spend as much time as possible with them.

I’m in the same situation. My oldest son came in late last Friday night, and we celebrated his birthday Saturday. My husband took off this week, so we’re enjoying a stay-cation. Due to COVID and rainy weather, we haven’t been able to do any activities in the area. But we’re enjoying hanging out, resting, and chatting.

My two sons who live nearby have to work but are both taking today off. They’ve come over for dinner and games most evenings. Jason and Mittu had us over there a couple of times, and Jesse is cooking for us tonight.

My favorites from this week are:

  • Family
  • Food
  • Fun and games
  • Fellowship
  • Free time

And we’re looking to continue this weekend!

Hope you are having a good week!

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week
with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

It’s been a busy few days, and I was thinking of skipping FFF this week. But then several favorites came to mind.

1. A sweet gesture. When we get Chinese take-out, we look at the fortune cookie messages just for fun. When my husband opened his, he said, “Nope, too late. She’s already here,” and then laid this in front of me.

2. Easy meals. I keep a couple of frozen meals or Hamburger Helper on hand for days when dinnertime comes and I need something simple, quick, and easy. I forgot a couple of those things until I went to get something else out of the freezer, so it was a nice surprise and a relief for this week.

3. Ticking off a to-do list. I have rather a sizeable one today, but got the idea (thank you, Lord!) to race through several of the smaller things on the list first thing this morning. That makes me feel more optimistic about the rest of it.

4. Anticipation. And why all this busyness and to-do lists? My oldest son is coming for a visit! I know he won’t care if everything on my list gets done—he’s seen the house at it’s worst and has helped me clean it for company in the past. But you know how it is. Suddenly you want spring cleaning done as well as half a dozen projects that have been sitting on the back burner. Still, I know it’s better to leave some things undone than to be frenzied or exhausted when he gets here. I have my list divided into musts and hope-tos. And it wouldn’t be a disaster if even some of the musts aren’t done, especially since I did the bathrooms yesterday. 🙂

5. One project done. I had a couple of Scripture verses I wanted to incorporate into the guest room decorating. I’m working on a beachy/coastal theme in there. I found several ideas on Pinterest and Etsy and even got a couple of inexpensive printable downloads on Etsy. But they ended up looking green, when I preferred blue—and I don’t know how to adjust the coloring. So then I looked up free wave clip art and made my own. Even these are greener than I want, but they’ll do. (Sorry for the shadow.)

Now I just need to get them hung up.

Time to get back at it—hope you are having a good week!

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week
with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

It has been a good week for staying indoors. Here are some highlights from the beginning of August:

1. Dinner out and free pie. I had plans to meet a friend for lunch at O’Charley’s for their free pie Wednesday. Unfortunately, my friend texted me the day before that she was sick. I was sad that she wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t get together. And I had my taste buds all set for that pie. So I asked my husband if he wanted to take his wife out for dinner and pie, and he indulged me.

2. Dinners and a celebration. My and my son daughter-in-law invited us to their place Sunday night for enchiladas. Then yesterday she texted me to say she could bring over dinner Thursday night. I was a little surprised, since they had just made dinner for us so recently. Come to find out, the meal was a celebration of my 15th blogging anniversary, along with pink roses and a sweet card.

3. Lunch take-out. I didn’t intend to make my faves all about food this week, but not having to cook is always a favorite. There’s an Asian restaurant we like, but it’s a little too far out for takeout generally. However, it’s not far from our church, so we swung by there after the Sunday morning service to get lunch and bring it home.

4. An overdue haircut. The stylists at the place I go have always done an okay job, but I finally found one who does the layering the way I like it best.

5. A little project. I saw this idea of shells and fairy lights in a Mason jar, but when I saw this lantern in Hobby Lobby, I loved it. Thankfully it was half off and I had a gift card. I had a container of potpourri with shells and little blue balls and flowers that I filled the lantern with.

Bonus: An inspirational movie. I mentioned in my book review for Unconditional by Eva Marie Everson that I had watched the movie the book was based on. Jim came in for the last part of it. I thought it was very good, all the more so for being based on true events.

How was your first week of August?

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week
with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

Not just another week, but another month is coming to an end. It’s time to stop for a few minutes and appreciate the good things of the week.

1. Watching the Olympic opening ceremonies with the family. I made spaghetti, Mittu made Oreo cupcakes. We didn’t realize Team USA wouldn’t be coming into the stadium until near the end, so everyone here had to go before that happened. But it was a fun evening.

2. Olympic gymnastics. I’m not much of a sports fan, but I do like watching gymnastics in the summer Olympics and figure skating in the winter. I’ve caught a couple of the swim meets as well.

3. The retirement home service our church does once a month has occurred often enough now that some of the residents recognize us. The ones who come out regularly seem a cheerful bunch. The lady Jim and I have talked with the most wasn’t there this time. We were told her leg was hurting to the point of being unable to walk (she had a hip replacement after a bad fall a few years ago). An aide offered to take us to her room, but her son was with her and we didn’t want to intrude. I sent her a card this week and ordered a book for her—when it comes in I’ll see if I can go over and visit her in her room.

4. My patient husband hung a big piece of art work and a couple of shelves in our new guest room on Saturday. I can handle a hammer and nail, but I appreciate his help with things that need more than that.

5. Jeopardy! episodes on YouTube. Jeopardy! has had a series of guest hosts for the last several months since Alex Trebek passed away. The one I was most looking forward to, Levar Burton, is hosting this week. But our local station isn’t showing this week’s episodes due to the Olympic Zone program. The Jeopardy! web site seems to only have old episodes. I was pretty bummed about not being able to see them until someone suggested they might be on YouTube. And they were, at least the first couple! I hope they will all be eventually.

Anything interesting happen for you this week?

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week
with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

The days go by so quickly, we often forget what happened even a day before. That’s one reason I love the Friday’s Fave Five. I appreciate this pause in the week to ponder and remember the good things God has allowed, lest we not only forget them, but forget to thank Him.

1. A good performance review for my youngest son. Mamas always like to hear good things about their children, no matter what age. 🙂 But this was especially gratifying since a previous review didn’t point out anything being done wrong, but mentioned “not stepping up” without really defining what was meant. Apparently that has been rectified now. They told him he was one of their top performers.

2. Jason’s birthday. A fun time to gather as a family (online with our oldest) and celebrate our middle son. Mittu made a wonderful S’mores cake.

I didn’t realize Timothy was partly in the picture—didn’t mean to cut him off! I think Mittu took a better one with Jason and Timothy behind the cake, but I haven’t seen it yet.

3. Shared produce. A neighbor gave us some squash, zucchini, and bell peppers from her garden.

4. A successful new recipe. Several weeks ago, the store had “breakfast steaks” on sale. I am not sure what that designation means, except that the steak slices were very thin. We don’t often have steak, but I couldn’t pass them up at these prices. I put them in the freezer until this week. I used the aforementioned bell peppers to make this version of pepper steak. It was very good!

5. IT techs in the family. I’ve been having trouble with my computer going dark and then coming back on with a notice about “display driver AMD stopped responding but recovered.” It’s been happening so often, it’s hard to get anything done. A few times it didn’t come back on until we restarted the computer. My husband consulted with my oldest son, took the computer apart, blew the dust out, and tried a couple of other measures like replacing a cable. They think it might be the video card, so one is on order. I’m thankful I have people in the family to deal with things like that. I’m thankful, too, to have a laptop while I am waiting on the desktop. I don’t usually get along quite as well with my laptop, but we’re doing okay—maybe using it more has helped me get to know it better.

Thank you for your kind comments about my ear infection last week. I’ve been using antibiotic drops and am about 95% better. Hopefully by the time I am finished with them, the infection will be completely gone.

That’s about it for my week. How was yours?

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week
with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

I’m running a little late today, so I’ll jump right in . . .

1. Relief, at least temporarily. I’ve had an earache for the past three days. Wednesday night we got ear wax drops that my husband patiently administered, and then he flushed the ear with distilled water. It felt better that night and the next morning. But then it started hurting again. No wonder babies cry with earaches. I’m late this morning because I wanted to call the doctor’s office to see if I could get in today and see if this is an infection. I got ready to go first thing in case they had an opening right away. But they didn’t have one til this afternoon. (Update: diagnosis: ear canal infection. I hope my prescription ear drops start working soon.)

2. Baptism and church lunch. It’s always neat to see someone take that step of obedience, showing outwardly what’s happened in their hearts as they surrendered to Christ and were raised to newness of life.

3. Library system. Our local library is very nice but a little small. But I can look up books through the city library system online, place a hold, and have the book sent to my library to be picked up. So convenient.

4. Peonies. I’ve always thought they were so pretty, but I’ve never had one. One night this week Jason and Timothy brought over some cut ones they had found in a store. I didn’t know they started out as tight rolls. It’s been fun to watch them slowly unfold this week.

5. Good news for friends at church, including a young baby and an older woman home from hospitalizations.

How’s your week going?