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 fairly good week. Here are some of the highlights:

1. Lunch and haircuts. My daughter-in-law has graciously taken on the family haircuts since the pandemic started (except for Jesse’s—my husband still cuts his). It had been a while—December for Jim and some months before that for me. But they just moved, so we didn’t want to ask until they got settled in. Saturday Mittu invited us over for lunch and haircuts. We always enjoy visiting, and it felt good to get our hair shaped up.

2. Reading with Timothy. I don’t get to read to Timothy as much as I would like—he’s usually too interested in other things. But he asked me to read a book about grandmothers. My husband said that at first Timothy looked a little aloof, then got interested. He ended up snuggled against me. I love it!

3. Eye doctor visit. It had been more than a year since I had seen the eye doctor. I had a couple of concerns, but everything checked out okay.

4. Cookbook purge. I have some cookbooks I don’t use at all and a few that have only a couple of recipes I use. I’m not one to throw things out willy-nilly. I figured I spent time, thought, and money acquiring these things, so I need to evaluate them before getting rid of them. I’ve started going through them in the evenings while we watch TV and flagging anything I think I might seriously make. If there’s only a handful of recipes flagged in one book, I’m photocopying those, putting them with the recipe notebooks I made a few years ago, and donating the book.

5. Unexpected visit and mini donuts. Jason and Mittu asked to borrow our mini donut maker, and when they came to get it, they brought either a blueberry muffin or blueberry pancake mix and used it to make a round of blueberry donuts.

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.

Here we are at the last FFF of February already! Let’s jump right in to this week’s highlights:

1. My daughter-in-law’s birthday. It’s always fun to celebrate her special day.

2. Lunch with my son and daughter-in-law. One of our gifts to my d-i-l would not fit in their car, so we brought it over Sunday afternoon in my youngest’s truck. Mittu invite us for a lunch of chili and cornbread, and we also brought over the leftover birthday cake: flourless applesauce cake. Good stuff.

3. Closing on our rental house. We were looking forward to this last Friday, and now the deed is officially done. What a relief. There were a lot of good memories the years my son and d-i-l and grandson lived there. But now they are making new memories in their new house.

4. A celebratory dinner. While we were out for the closing and then ran a couple of errands, my son and daughter-in-law dropped off at our house a dinner of Costco shepherd’s pie and rolls, roses, and a sweet card. That was totally unexpected, and I so appreciated their thoughtfulness. We had already ordered pizza while on our way home, so we put the shepherd’s pie and rolls in the freezer and enjoyed them later in the week.

5. Flowers. For a few days this week, I had four containers of flowers on the counter! I should have taken a picture of them all together. The roses my husband gave for for Valentine’s Day were still there until recently, plus a plant of mini pink roses Jason and Mittu had given me for Valentine’s Day. Then we had the roses they brought for the house closing. And our realtor had given us an arrangement along with a card and gift card to a restaurant at the closing. I especially love having something pretty and growing inside when the landscape is barren.

Bonus: Cancer free eight years. My husband had surgery to remove a cancerous kidney eight years ago on my daughter-in-law’s birthday. Thankfully he has remained cancer-free. Kidney cancer isn’t likely to spread, but it can, so we don’t take being cancer-free lightly.

That’s our 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.

Winter is making itself felt in full force. But thankfully we’re staying warm and cozy inside. Here are a few favorites from the week.

1. Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. We had our traditional “meat hearts,” cheesy potatoes, and salad, and heart cupcakes and exchanged cards. Jim got me pink roses and Jason and Mittu brought us candy and flowers and coffee. A fun night!

2. Good tools. I make cards for the immediate family (I’ll share my Valentines in my end-of-month post). My little paper cutter has needed a new blade for ages, but I just kept forgetting about it. And then, I haven’t been in Hobby Lobby since the pandemic started. I just went last week and got a new blade plus a better glue stick than I had. They made such a difference!

3. Warmth and electricity. My step-father, two sisters, and a nephew live in TX, and they were all without power at different times during the winter storms there this week. Thursday I heard that they all had power back. I hope and pray it stays on.

4. Jesse’s apartment. My youngest found an apartment this week and is moving next month! He’s been looking forward to this for ages. We are excited for him! But it’s also hitting me that he really is moving out and our nest will be thoroughly empty then. We’ve had him home for longer than usual, though, so that’s been a blessing.

5. Jim shopping. Jim asked me what I wanted for Valentine’s Day, and I asked him if he’d go to the store. 😀 With the extra card-making and baking, it was a big help. Then, yesterday at lunch I was revising my grocery list, and he offered to go after dinner. ♥

Bonus: We’re scheduled to close on the sale of our rental house this afternoon! My husband is so excited not to have the responsibility of a second property any more.

That’s our 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.

This hasn’t been the greatest week due to grey, rainy skies and a series of minor frustrations. But taking a moment to count blessings helps us change perspective and see God’s hand at work. Here are a few from my week:

1. My husband had to take care of some caulking that had chipped off around our shower. Part of the process was cleaning the area he was going to caulk. He took the opportunity to clean the whole shower plus the sink. That saved me a lot of time and effort that day. Plus he does a much better job of it than I do! We have hard water here and have to fight lime build-up. I can’t always get it off in spite of multiple cleaners and much scrubbing, but he can. It was so nice to step into a sparkling clean shower the next day. Much appreciated!

2. Take-out food. Due to the pandemic, we had not been getting take-out except for an occasional pizza. Some of you know that getting food out is one of my favorite things, one of the times I truly feel like I’m getting time “off.” So I have missed it. My son and daughter-in-law texted to ask about coming over Friday night and offered to bring something. We got Asian food from a place they like that we hadn’t tried yet. So good!

3. Movie night with the family. My son and daughter-in-law suggested watching Ferdinand together, an animated movie about a bull that doesn’t want to fight in the bullring. It was cute and funny.

4. My son and daughter-in-law’s kitchen makeover. My son sent this before and after photo:

They really brightened it up and modernized it!

5. A word in due season. One of the writing blogs I follow had a post I particularly appreciated this week. A few days after reading it, I realized this post was the answer to some earlier musing about my own writing. I don’t remember if I had consciously prayed about it, but I had sensed a need to adjust how I expressed myself a bit. Then it dawned on me that this post laid out how handle the very concerns I had been pondering. God is so good!

What’s a blessing 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.

Welcome to the first Friday’s Fave Fives for February! It’s been a cold, rainy month with a dusting of snow. But every day displays a little more light! Here are some highlights of this week:

1. Jesse’s 10,000th day. My older sons figured out that my youngest’s 10,000th day was coming up. They suggested we all pitch in to get him 10,000 pennies and have a little surprise get-together to commemorate the occasion. Jason and Mittu invited us for dinner, and we were able to keep the purpose a secret from Jesse.

It was fun to hear Jason tell of the reactions he got at the bank when he asked for so many pennies. He had to go to three different ones. I had no idea they put pennies into $25 bricks like this.

This is Jesse’s “I can’t believe you gave me 10,000 pennies” look.

Mittu made a wonderful dinner of tilapia. I don’t think I’ve ever had it before, or if I did, it was in a pre-flavored frozen brick and not very good. But this was great!

2. Lemon Blueberry Cake. She also made a lemon blueberry cake–a couple of Jesse’s favorite flavors. I thought I’d take a polite very small piece, because I have never had anything with that combination that I liked. But this was so good!

The boys and that gorgeous cake

3. Drawful. This is a favorite game, and the boys figured out a way to use FaceTime and Zoom so we could play it with Jeremy. And I won! 🙂

4. A five-year journal. I saw this line-a-day idea at Lisa’s and liked it so much that I ordered one. I have not kept a journal for years beyond what I record here. But I love the thought of just jotting down a line or thought from the day. I just got it, so I have not started on it yet. But I am looking forward to it.

5. Good timing. I was literally just about to leave for the grocery store when my husband brought the mail in, including a coupon for 5% off my entire order at the very store I was going to. And I had a sizable order.

What’s something good from your week?

Friday’s Fave Five

On Fridays I like to pause for a few moments with Susanne and friends
to reflect on some of the blessings of the week.

It has been another fairly quiet week, for which I am thankful. Here are some favorite parts:

1. An offer of pizza. I had gotten out to the store a bit later than planned on Friday. By the time I got home and we got everything put away, it was time to start dinner. Then Jim said those magic words, “Do you want to order pizza?” It’s not that getting take-out pizza is uncommon. I ask for it sometimes when I’m tired. But the fact that he took into account that I was probably tired after a long shopping excursion and offered meant a lot to me.

2. A productive day. I’d had several days where I felt like I was just spinning my wheels, busy but not accomplishing anything. Saturday morning I specifically prayed that I’d have a productive day. I got several around-the-house tasks done that morning and a lot of computer work done in the afternoon. That felt good.

3. Sunday lunch at my son and daughter-in-law’s new house. We had eaten Mexican food take-out during a work day there, and I brought dinner over on moving day. But this was the first “official” sit-down dinner there. They have everything unpacked and have gotten quite a number of projects done. Everything looks really nice!

4. Cool Ranch Doritos. Normally I don’t care for ranch-flavored things. But I snitched borrowed a few chips from someone’s plate one day, and I was hooked. I think they put something addictive in them. And this week, the sore had a buy one, get one free sale on them!

5. Blue skies and sunshine. I’ve mentioned, probably several times, longing for them. Today (Thursday afternoon) is cold, but bright and lovely. Does my heart good.

How was your week?

Friday’s Fave Five

On Fridays I like to pause for a few moments with Susanne and friends
to reflect on some of the blessings of the week.

It has been a quiet week in many ways. Here are some of the best parts:

1. A friend’s very good news. She had waited many weeks to be able to have a biopsy. Finally had it last week, and the results came back this week: no cancer! Praise the Lord!

2. A peaceful transfer of power. Whichever administration you prefer, I appreciate that we have an orderly manner for a transfer of leadership in this country. We’re so used to it, we take it for granted. But it hasn’t happened this way for much of history and still doesn’t in some countries. (Please, no commentary on one administration over another. I try to avoid politics here.)

3. A rescheduled schedule. I noticed several weeks ago that I had four appointments bunched up together in January. On one hand, it would have been nice to get them all over with at once. But I just don’t operate well with that many outside appointments so close together. I made some phone calls and rescheduled them to about one a week and have enjoyed that pacing.

4. An impromptu visit. My son and daughter-in-law have been super-busy with projects on their new house. It needed a lot of cleaning, painting, and little fixes. Then she texted me to ask if they could come over Thursday night to escape paint fumes for a while. We always enjoy visiting with them, but had a fun time with dinner and seeing pictures of what they had accomplished so far.

5. Lindt Lindor milk chocolate truffles. This is my favorite candy, and I usually receive some on special occasions. But my husband has found some at a discount store he frequents, so I have had some on hand ever since Christmas. I try to ration them out to just one or sometimes two a day–it’s too easy to just pop them in one after another! I’ve been happy to have my occasional special treat a little while longer than usual.

It’s been a cold and overcast week. I’m hoping to see sunshine and blue skies sometime soon. I just saw a plump robin on the tree outside—a reminder that spring is coming.

Friday’s Fave Five

On Fridays I like to pause for a few moments with Susanne and friends
to reflect on some of the blessings of the week.

“Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our salvation!” (Psalm 68:19, NKJV). Daily! Here are a few He loaded into my week.

1. A quick offer on a house. We own the rental my son and daughter-in-law were in. When they bought their first home, we decided to sell the rental instead of trying to keep up with it. We had a good offer within a day and a half of listing it! We have to see if it all works out, but we were encouraged.

2. An online meeting. The online writer’s conference I attended in November included a fifteen-minute Zoom meeting with one of the faculty. The lady I signed up to talk to wanted to put the meetings off til January, since otherwise we’d be meeting just before Thanksgiving. That was fine with me. We met this week and had a good conversation. She gave me one key thought for my book project that I had not considered. It seems like every industry professional I have talked to through writer’s conferences has done that. Slowly the pieces are coming together!

3. Not as much snow as forecast. 🙂 Sometimes the blessing is in what we don’t receive. Snow is fun to play in but can wreak havoc or just shut down movement here in the South where we are not as equipped to deal with it. So when we got just a little snow, it was pretty but didn’t cause any trouble.

4. Short-lived knee pain. I have trouble with one knee occasionally. When it caused me significant pain on Tuesday, my mind immediately jumped to the worst-case scenario and assumed I was going to need knee replacement. 🙂 Thankfully, the pain abated over the next two days and I am back to normal now. I must have wrenched it in some forgotten way.

5. Old, meaningful hymns. I was puttering in the kitchen when The Haven of Rest came on. I used to hear that on the radio and in church a lot right after I became a Christian, and it meant a lot to me. I haven’t heard it in a long time. I was almost in tears singing along with it.

What are some of the benefits God loaded into your week?

Friday’s Fave Five

On Fridays I like to pause for a few moments with Susanne and friends
to reflect on some of the blessings of the week.

I’m incredibly sad over events in our country. But I am going to set those aside for now and concentrate on good things from the week.

1. Setting up new calendars. I love the blank pages and filling in birthdays and anniversaries or the year.

2. Moving day. We helped my son and daughter-in-law move into their new home last weekend. I couldn’t do heavy lifting or box-toting, but I kept Timothy company part of the time and helped load and unpack a few boxes. By the time we left, they had bedrooms, living room, and kitchen set up, so they could function pretty well.

3. Catching up. It’s been good to catch up on things that have been set aside or had piled up over the holidays—a bit of cleaning, computer work, etc.

4. A quiet week. I don’t know if it’s post-Christmas or post-moving tiredness, but I haven’t felt like doing much the last day or two. I’m thankful the schedule was clear enough that I could rest a bit and then get some low-key things done.

5. Old family videos. My uncle sent some old videos of a big family reunion from over 30 years ago—the only one like it that we ever had with my mom’s father’s siblings and their families. It was fun to see all of us thirty years younger. Plus several are no longer here—my mom, my grandfather, my aunt, and one uncle. I loved seeing and hearing them again. My grandfather had a distinctive laugh that I loved, and now I have it on video. What a treasure!

Bonus: Sales and special offers. I could use another couple of items of winter clothing. I looked up one site that I’d ordered from before. I love the quality of their things, but they are a bit more expensive, so I don’t shop there often. I found a couple of things on sale (one dress for $19.99!) plus a 35% off special offer that was expiring at 1:00 p.m. that day. I didn’t know if the special offer would apply to sales things, but it did–and I got my order in just a few minutes before 1.

How about you? Any bright spots in your week?

Friday’s Fave Five and Happy New Year!

On Fridays I like to pause for a few moments with Susanne and friends
to reflect on some of the blessings of the week.

What better way to start the new year than with thankfulness? And my heart is full from the last two weeks.

1. Our 41st anniversary. My daughter-in-law made us a wonderful anniversary dinner with chicken cordon bleu and cute cupcakes the night before our anniversary. We usually go out to eat for our anniversary but did not this year due to the pandemic. So Jim grilled pork chops while I made the side items, and I loaded the dishwasher while he hand-washed the big things. A nice evening.

2. All the family together. My oldest son was booked to come by train again, but the pandemic in general and our exposure to COVID in particular had a question mark over our plans. So we were thankful everything worked out for him to come, especially as he lives alone and had been isolated for a long while. I was thankful Jim was safe driving him to and from the train station three hours away in the middle of the night. We enjoyed lots of talking, laughing, games, and eating. Mittu found some cookie-decorating kits at the gluten free bakery their family likes, and we worked on those one night.

3. Snow and sleepovers. We experienced our second-ever white Christmas. It wasn’t a favorite at first, though, as my middle son and daughter-in-law were on icy roads Christmas Eve. They asked if they could sleep over so as not to take a chance on not being able to get here Christmas Day (the temperatures were supposed to get down to 12 overnight). They ended up staying for two nights, and it was fun to have everyone under one roof and to have Timothy pad in to say goodnight and good morning in his jammies. Then the day after Christmas, some of the kids went sledding and had a snowball fight. Timothy proclaimed it the “best day ever.”

4. Christmas, of course, with the celebration of Jesus’ birth, good food, thoughtful presents.

5. A tour of my son and daughter-in-law’s new house while Jeremy was here. They are doing some painting and small jobs before moving in. I am excited for them! And a new neighbor came over to introduce herself while we were there.

Bonus: I don’t think the actual Christmas star the wise men saw was the planets that aligned last week—I think that star was one-of-a-kind. But it was fun to see what they called the Christmas star. My husband has an interest in astronomy and used to buy and sell microscopes and telescopes on eBay, and he kept one big one. So we got to take a look.

I love setting up calendars for the new year and looking forward to a fresh new start. I hope you and yours have a wonderful and happy new year.