Friday’s Fave Five

It’s been a good week, but a busy one between an online conference last weekend and getting ready for my oldest son’s visit this weekend and his birthday a little later. I’m thankful to pause a moment with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and friends to note the blessings of the week.

1. The Enrich Conference for writers, speakers, and teachers hosted by the Kauffmans of Lighthouse Bible Studies and Refresh Bible Study Magazine. It was totally free (except the in-person attendees had hotel and food expenses)—the Kauffmans just did this as a ministry. The sessions were all so good.

2. Takeout dinners. The one problem with attending a conference online is that you still have home responsibilities to take care of between sessions. My dear husband graciously got dinners out for us so I could rest a bit between afternoon and evening sessions.

3. Jason and Mittu’s 13th anniversary. It’s been fun to have memories of their wedding week popping up on Facebook. Then and now:

4. A boys’ camping trip. Jim, Jason, and Timothy camped overnight at a place that was not exactly a “glamping” site, but was more than a sleeping bag on a tent floor. They had a good time.

5. A pretty view. Our crepe myrtle must have just grown out enough to be seen from my sewing room window—I don’t remember seeing its blooms there before this year. I enjoy the view not only when I am in the room, but when I walk by it as well.

What’s something good from your week?

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s August! Many schools here have started or will next week. But to me, August still seems like summer. We seem to be in a pattern of high heat during the day and thunderstorms at night.I’m thankful we didn’t lose power one night during a torrential rain storm, though it blinked off for a few seconds several times. I wish I could send some of our rain to friends in TX.

We pause on Fridays with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story to think over the blessings of the week lest they slip by without notice or thanksgiving.

1. A government phone call went well. Odd how you have to go to an agency, then have a phone appointment, then they send you a form, instead of doing it all at once. But it all went well and didn’t take very long.

2. Hummingbirds. We got our feeder up late this year, and it usually takes them several days to find us. But right away we had a little family of them (at least I think it’s a family) visiting several times a day. I see two flying around together frequently. Another one looks like a youngster since he’s smaller than the others, and he’s not as skittish as they are. Most of the time, the adults are flapping their wings and darting in and out as they drink. But the little guy lands and sips and looks around and sips some more. It’s fun to watch them.

3. A virtual conference. The Kauffmans of Lighthouse Bible Studies and Refresh Bible Study Magazine are hosting an Enrich Conference Thursday-Saturday this week for both in-person and online attendees. Katy Kauffman is one of my favorite writers at The Write Conversation and Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference Blog, and I’ve taken one of her classes at the Carolina Christian Writer’s Conference. For all the negatives of the pandemic, one of the positives is being able to attend conferences online.

4. Feedly is working again. Feedly is the blog aggregator I use, and it was leaving out several blog posts over a few days. Then one day all the backlog came flooding in.

5. Our Ring camera. Jim was away one night when the Ring app alerted him that someone was at our door at 3 a.m. He called me and had me call 911 to have the police check around. As we looked at the Ring camera video, we saw a woman leaving something on our porch. When it became clear she wasn’t still around, while still on the phone with Jim, I opened the front door to find…a Door Dash delivery for someone named Elizabeth. Either Door Dash was given the wrong address or the driver didn’t find it. But while it was scary to wake up to news of someone on the porch in the wee hours, it was a relief to find out the situation was not threatening.

And I did turn my own Ring notifications back on!

Have a great weekend!

Friday’s Fave Five

I’m thankful we’re at the last Friday of July. I know we have several weeks before temperatures start cooling off, but each day brings us closer! We pause on Fridays with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story to think over the past week and commemorate the blessings, large or small. Otherwise, we’d too easily overlook or forget them.

1. Lunch with a friend at Red Lobster. Great fellowship and wonderful food.

2. Gift cards from my family that I save up for lunches with friends.

3. A good haircut. I go to a walk-in place because it works better for me to go when I can rather than making an appointment. But even when the same person cuts my hair several times in a row, and even though I’ve had the same style for eons, the haircuts can vary. I was especially pleased with this one.

4. Good weather. Last weekend, my weather app showed potential thunderstorms every day this week. Thankfully, we’ve only had one, and it wasn’t bad.

5. Providence. My oldest son’s good friend went to the ER, and the doctor who “happened” to be there that day was an expert in the young man’s particular issues. It was a situation that could have gone undiagnosed and gotten much worse before anyone figured it out. Though the situation is quite serious, getting immediate help and treatment is a major blessing.

What’s one good thing from your week?

Friday’s Fave Five

Here we are at another Friday. Time to pause for a few moments with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story to think over the past week and remember the good parts.

1. Jason’s birthday. Always a joy to celebrate his arrival into this world.

Mittu made the cake. Isn’t it cute?

And, because this is the kind of family we are, I have to include Jesse’s photo bomb. ๐Ÿ™‚

2. Lunch with a friend. I think this is the first time I’ve gone out with this friend since last fall—because she had a baby in the meantime. ๐Ÿ™‚ We’ve been in touch and seen each other at church, but it was good to have an extended visit.

3. A technology fix. My toolbar on my blog went missing, and every time I replied to a comment on my blog, it made me log in again. I asked my oldest son about it, and he sent me this article about Firefox’s Total Cookie Protection. I had gotten a notice from them asking if I wanted to turn off sites’ ability to use tracking cookies. Well, sure. But evidently it’s a little too aggressive. The article showed me how to disable it for individual sites, so I did that on my blog. My tool bar came back and I was able to comment normally again. Plus it seemed to fix the problems I was having commenting on a few sites. It’s definitely a first-world problem, but an annoying one, and it’s such a relief to have it fixed.

4. Safety and electricity. Wednesday night, we had one of the most intense storms I’ve experienced in a long time. Torrential rains and almost constant flashes of lightning, but not much thunder. We lost power for almost 24 hours. A neighbor’s fence was damaged on one side of his yard. A lot of people reported downed trees and branches and flooded roads on our community Facebook page.

We’re pretty well set when the power goes out. Jim has all kinds of camping equipment, and he powered up the RV Thursday morning with its generator for a few hours in order to do some work and have access to make breakfast, dry hair, etc. But it’s still a relief to have everything back on and back to normal.

I’m also thankful he was here. He was due to travel this week, but his trip got canceled.

5. A new discovery. Jim was on the patio one day when he noticed a weird bug flying around and sipping from some flowers in one of the planters. He filmed it in slow motion and showed the rest of us later. It looked like a cross between a hummingbird, a bee, and a moth. Jason looked it up, and it’s a hummingbird moth. I had never heard of them before. Ours was a pretty good size and had clear wings and looked like the ones in these pictures. I wish I could put Jim’s video up, but this is one I found on YouTube:

It’s fun to discover wonders in your own back yard!

Bonus: We watched Timothy for a few hours Monday night while Jason and Mittu had a meeting. He and Granddad enjoyed some Kinect Sports (video game) competitions.

How was your week?

Friday’s Fave Five

Time just keeps ticking away. Funny how it always does so at the same rate, but feels fast or slow. I’m thankful Susanne at Living to Tell the Story started this tradition of pausing for just a bit on Fridays to think through the blessings of the last week. If we don’t deliberately look for them, we too often miss or forget them.

Here are a few of my favorite moments of the last week.

1. The radio interview I mentioned last week went well despite scaring me by starting off with some technical glitches. Thankfully everything suddenly started working right (thank you, Lord!), and the interview was able to continue. Hereโ€™s a link to the interview, recorded by my oldest son.

2. A visit. Mittu texted one night that Timothy said he “really needed to see Gran and Grams,” so they asked of they could come over and bring chicken fried rice and banana bread. Well, of course! The banana bread was more like banana cake, with chocolate chips and a glaze on top. So good! Then another night they brought some gourmet popcorn and flavoring.

3. Indulgences. Jim has been very nice to acquiesce to my requests for takeout when I’ve been busy, tired, or very hot.

4. Sweet gestures. When Jim came in from the yard one day, he brought one of these little flowers because the darker pink looked like a heart, and I like heart-shaped things. I put it on my desk these week, and have enjoyed marveling at how detailed it is.

5. Relief. I’ve had some kind of weird off and on headache this week. At first I thought it felt like a sinus infection, but it hasn’t been behaving like one. It’s lessening a little each day, but still fades in and out a little.

How about you? Have you had highlights in your week?

Friday’s Fave Five

We’re a week into July already. Time goes by so quickly, itโ€™s nice to pause for a moment and recollect the best parts of the week with Susanne and friends at Living to Tell the Story.

1. Safety and comfort. This has been a week of extremes. We had heat warnings a couple of days as the heat index made the temperatures outside feel even higher (108F one day). Then we had strong thunderstorms three days, with 1-inch hail one evening. I’m thankful we didn’t lose power, though the lights flickered a few times. I’m thankful also that we didn’t sustain any damage from the wind or hail.

2. The 4th of July. Freedom, family, food, and fireworks. Doesn’t get much better than that. ๐Ÿ™‚ We can’t have fireworks in our county, but we could see some displays from our back yard. Thankfully, the weather was nice that day.

3. Favorite Asian take-out. There is an Asian restaurant we like, but it’s a little too far away to get take-out. But it’s not as far from church, so we stopped there to get dinner and bring it home Sunday. Good stuff–and the servings were enough for two more lunches of leftovers.

4. Free prescriptions. The last time I picked up prescriptions, there was no charge, even for a very expensive one. I didn’t process things enough in the moment to ask why there was no charge. When Jim picked up some others this week, he asked. They said that happens when our deductible is paid with our insurance. I had a colonoscopy back in January which met our deductible. But I don’t remember this ever happening before. He confirmed that the drugstore was getting paid what they were due. I guess that’s one advantage to having a procedure early in the year!

5. Things to look forward to. We booked my oldest son’s flights for his visit in August. Plus we’ll see some of my family later in the fall.

To let you know: The folks who interviewed me a couple of times before, Kurt and Kate Mornings on Moody Radio Florida, asked to interview me again on Tuesday, July 12, around 8:10 a.m. EDT or shortly thereafter. They want to talk about my blog post on regret. There’s a link on their page to listen live if you’d like to. Plus I’ll try to have someone record it like we did before. I’d appreciate your prayers!

Friday’s Fave Five

We’re halfway through 2022! And we’re starting a new month. Time goes by so quickly, it’s nice to pause for a moment and recollect the best parts of the week with Susanne and friends at Living to Tell the Story.

1. A “routine” cardiologist’s visit. I almost could’ve phoned it in except for their need to listen to my heart. Hopefully, if my heart behaves itself, after my next visit I can see them once a year instead of every six months.

2. A nice gesture. I had to eat lunch early before my appointment, so I got a little hungry while out running errands afterward. I went through a drive-through for a snack and found out the person ahead of me paid for my order. I think that’s the first time that has ever happened to me.

3. Lunch with Melanie. It was fun to eat out, though we were sad to learn O’Charley’s doesn’t do Free Pie Wednesdays any more. (We got pie anyway, though. I had been looking forward to their chocolate pie for days!) It was even more fun to catch up in person.

4. A yucky job done. An investigation into why and where our refrigerator was rattling led my husband o pull it away from the wall and vacuum its coils and clean the floor underneath it. I think most of us would say that’s not a job we do often, so the dust and such really builds up. I am thankful he took care of it all.

5. No thunderstorms. My weather app forecasted thunderstorms a few days this week. Though we heard thunder a couple of times, we didn’t get any heavy storms. We did get some needed rain, but I am thankful it wasn’t heavy and didn’t happen while either of us was on the road.

I wish my Canadian friends a happy Canada Day and my fellow Americans a happy Independence Day Monday!

Friday’s Fave Five

Here we are at the last Friday of June already. Itโ€™s good to slow down for a moment with Susanne and friends at Living to Tell the Story to think about the blessings of the week before their memory is gone forever. Please feel free to join in!

1. Father’s Day. We enjoyed remembering our fathers and honoring my husband and son. I am so thankful for my husband’s showing his love and care and faithfulness every day.

We got to FaceTime with Jeremy (He’s in the picture, on the phone. ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

Jason offered to grill burgers, so the rest of us made various sides. I made a Boston Cream Pie and Mittu made Maple Bacon Cupcakes—so good!

2. A fixed washer. Our washer’s spin cycle was so slow, it left clothes soppy. Jim ordered a part and got it working again just before I thought we might need to borrow my son and daughter-in-law’s washer. I’m sure they wouldn’t have minded, but I am glad not to have to haul laundry to their house. The washer is on its last legs, but I am glad it’s hanging in there for a while longer.

3. Consolidated errands. If I am out much of the morning, I like to be home in the afternoon, and vice versa. I ended up being out for both on Wednesday, but it was good to get my errands done all on one day so I could spend the rest of the week at home. Plus Jim acquiesced to my request for Subway sandwiches for dinner, so I had a break for the late afternoon and evening.

4. Getting past summer solstice. I do like having more daylight in the summertime. The lack of light is one of the things I least like about winter. But when the days are longest, it doesn’t feel like there is enough wind-down time in the evenings. It’s nice knowing we’re past the longest day of the year.

5. Getting a haircut has been on my agenda for a couple of weeks, and I finally made it out this week.

Bonus: I mentioned a potential shake-up last week. But it looks like everything will remain the same for now.

Happy Friday! Have you been blessed this week?

Friday’s Fave Five

Itโ€™s time to slow down for a moment with Susanne and friends at Living to Tell the Story to think about the blessings of the week before their memory is gone forever. Please feel free to join in!

1. Outside time. I’m very much an indoorsy person. But last Friday night, Jason and Mittu brought take-out barbecue over. Then we all sat on the patio and drew with sidewalk chalk, blew bubbles, and threw Pop-its on the concrete. It was before this week’s heat wave set in, and the sun was on the other side of the house. It was a pleasant evening.

2. Peace and security. There have been some shake-ups behind the scenes here which I can’t discuss just yet. But whatever else happens in life, we know God loves us and will take care of us.

3. Anticipation. We learned for sure this week that my step-father, nephew, and two of my sisters will be coming to visit us this fall. I can hardly wait.

4. Mini candies. I don’t usually make desserts much any more unless it’s a special occasion or we’re having someone over. With just two of us here, we don’t need extra sugar. But we keep Hershey’s miniatures and Reese’s mini peanut butter cups in the pantry when we want a little sweetness.

5. Flowers. My flowers are all doing well, thanks to my husband’s diligent watering. But my petunias, in particular, are flourishing more than they ever have before.

Bonus: Fathers. I am thankful for the fathers, father-figures, and grandfathers in my life and for the fathers my husband and son are. Happy Father’s Day to the dads out there!

Friday’s Fave Five

Itโ€™s time to slow down for a moment with Susanne and friends at Living to Tell the Story to think about the blessings of the week before their memory is gone forever. Please feel free to join in!

1. End of school celebration. We had a little party with pizza and confetti cake after Timothy finished his school year.

2. A long talk with an old friend. We had touched base on Facebook, but it was good to have an extended conversation and catch up on all the family.

3. Timothy’s help. Jim bought a big pile of dirt to fill in several paces in our yard. Timothy wanted to bring his shovel over to help. ๐Ÿ™‚

4. Not cooking. Jason and Mittu brought dinner the night Timothy helped with the shoveling. Jim was out of town one night, and I splurged with a takeout meal. With dinner for Timothy’s party and takeout Sunday, I’ve had a light week in the kitchen.

5. Humor. One evening when the sky was overcast, I asked Alexa if it was going to rain. It gave me a weather report, but said nothing about rain. Then Jim asked it, “Is it raining?” It said, “It will start raining in half an hour.” I sighed and shook my head and said, “We’re a long way from making a Commander Data,” the human-looking android in Star Trek. Then we began to come up with ways Data might answer like Alexa does:

Captain: Data, fire phasers!
Data: Would you like me to put phasers in your shopping cart?

Captain: Data, are the Borg nearby?
Data: Here’s what I found on the web. . .

Captain: Data, plot a course to Deep Space Nine.
Data: Setting a course for Deep Space Nine. By the way, I can also track meteors.
Captain: Okay, do that.
Data: Go to the Data app on your phone . . .

We shared these on the family group text, and my oldest son added this one:

Captain: Data, slow the ship to one-quarter impulse.
Data: I don’t know any devices named “Ship.”

This reminds me of a quote by Henry Ward Beecher: โ€œA man without mirth is like a wagon without springs, in which everyone is caused disagreeably to jolt by every pebble over which is runs.โ€ I’m thankful for the way humor can turn irritations into a fun exchange.