Friday’s Fave Five

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

I should probably switch over to a fall FFF graphic. But I think I’ll give it another week or two. 🙂

1. Lunch at my son and daughter-in-law’s. They had us over Saturday for some steak and fried rice stir-fry. Yum!

2. A church picnic. We’re still Zooming in for the service, but the picnics are out in the open air on a pavilion, so we feel safer attending those. Everyone brings their own lunch and lawn chairs, so we’re not all breathing over a table full of food. Some families were traveling for the long weekend, so we had a small group. But it was fun. The pastor proposed playing charades, acting out Biblical characters or scenes. At first I was reluctant and just wanted to talk, especially since we hadn’t had a chance to talk with folks there in a while. But it turned out to be really fun.

3. Labor Day weekend. Labor Day is an odd holiday that no one really celebrates per se, but it’s a nice end-of-summer get-together and cookout opportunity. We had my son, daughter-in-law, and grandson over for my husband’s grilled burgers, and my d-i-l made potato salad, home fries, and apple cake. All I did was shuck and boil corn on the cob and heat a can of baked beans.

4. A clean shiny fence. My husband and youngest son labored on Labor Day pressure-washing our fence. It’s so much brighter now!

5. Reading a funny book to Timothy. I’ve mentioned that he’s usually too engaged with other activities to want to sit down and read much. I had bought a book that I used to read to my own sons and loved, If Everybody Did. I don’t know what happened to the original. He was reluctant, but finally agreed to sit with Grandma while she read. It was so fun to hear him giggling more with each page.

One example: this is what would happen if everybody stepped on Daddy’s feet. 🙂

If Everybody Did by Jo Ann StoverI love how the typography also reflects the actions.


This day in 2001 was one of the worst in American history. Many promised we’d “Never Forget” those who died and those who ran into instead of away from trouble to help. While I hate the events of 9/11, I miss the camaraderie and acknowledgement of dependence on and need of God on 9/12. I hope it doesn’t take another national tragedy to get back to that place. Our current national troubles seem to be pulling us apart instead of drawing us together.

Friday’s Fave Five

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

1. A quiet week after a busy one.

2. A portable phone charger. My phone battery needs recharging in the middle of the day. Our chargers are in hard-to-unplug places behind end tables and nightstands, so I couldn’t easily transfer them to my desk or the kitchen. I’ve had to leave my phone in another room to recharge during the middle of the day. I asked for and received a portable phone battery charger to use at my desk. Works great!.

3. Pink charging cables. My husband knows my pink-loving heart.

4. Encouragement from a more experienced writer.

5. Sleep, for whatever reason, is sometimes elusive in “middle age.” But this week I’ve fallen asleep early most nights and gotten back to sleep pretty easily after waking up during the night.

What’s something good from our week?

Friday’s Fave Five

I’m glad to join Susanne and friends today to note some of the blessings of the week. It has been another full one.

1. Family time. My oldest son’s visit extended through last weekend. We had such a great time together as a family with everyone here. I wrote more about it on my end-of-the-month post yesterday. We added two more new games to our repertoire: Click Clack Lumberjack and Incan Gold.

2. My birthday was just beginning when I posted for FFF last Friday. I wrote more about this yesterday, too, but I appreciate all the effort my family puts into making it a special day for me.

3. A special gift from Timothy. He made a bracelet for himself and me.

And he also made his own card! It’s me with a hat on. 🙂

And he wrote his name on the back just like I do with the cards I make.

4. Reading with Timothy. We don’t read together often—he’s usually pretty busy when he’s here. But one day last week, his mom and dad had to go pick something up and he stayed here. He picked out a couple of books, and we cozied up under the throw blanket to read. I not only enjoyed the time with him, but it brought back a wave of nostalgia, remembering reading with my boys when they were little.

5. Sheltering a bunny. One day during a rain shower, we noticed a bunny taking shelter under a tree in our yard. So cute!

What’s something good from your week?

Friday’s Fave Fives

I’m glad to join Susanne and friends today to note some of the good parts of the week. It has been another full one.

1. My oldest son’s visit. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that he was going to try traveling here by train since it would be less populated. None of us is comfortable with air travel yet. He said he much preferred train travel in every category except time: the trip was about 20 hours. But on the first leg, in business class, only one other person was in the car with him. He had a private sleeper car the second leg. It was tight quarters in some respects, but much more room  than a plane or hotel room. It included a mini bathroom and chairs that folded down into a bed, so he could spend the nighttime hours stretched out. He said he slept well. We’ve enjoyed having him here, the first time he has been able to come since Christmas.

2. Jeremy’s birthday. The last few years he has come here during his birthday week, and we’re so glad it worked out to do so again! He asked for lasagna and Boston Cream Pie for his birthday dinner—yum!

3. Playing games is something we love to do when we’re all together. Timothy is old enough now to take part, and we had a rousing game of Go Fish, Sushi Go, and introduced him to Uno.

4. Paper airplanes. I had bought a kit a while back which contained paper airplanes that could be colored and put together, markers, and a squeeze shooter to launch them. I was saving it just for some day we didn’t have anything else to do and the weather was nice outside. I brought them out this week, and we all had fun with them.

5. Banana pudding isn’t something we have often, but we had some bananas ripening too fast, and it was too hot to turn the oven on for banana bread. Thankfully my husband found some gluten-free vanilla wafers so Mittu and Timothy could have some, too. Timothy had seconds and pronounced the concoction “super good.”

Bonus: My birthday is today! A lot of times when Jeremy comes for his birthday, the days work out so that he can be here for mine, too. That happened this visit! Jim took this week off for Jeremy’s visit, and Jason and Jesse took today off. I’m looking forward to what the family has planned for the day.

How was your week?

Friday’s Fave Five

I was so sorry to miss last week’s FFF! It was just a busy few days, with very little time at the computer. But I’m glad to join Susanne and friends today to ponder and share some of the good parts of the week.

And this week, there is an abundance!

1. Jason and Mittu’s anniversary. It was fun to remember everything involved with wedding week and to rejoice in their good marriage. I didn’t think we’d see them that day. We’re all still not eating at restaurants, which they would normally do for an anniversary while we watched Timothy. But I figured they’d get take-out from somewhere and eat at a favorite park or something. They did that at lunch. Then they texted asking if we had plans for dinner and could they come over and make something. I said, “On your anniversary?” Jason said, “Why not?” LOL! So he grilled lemon chicken and Mittu made the sides, then they worked together on this gluten-free apple cinnamon cake in a cast-iron pan on the grill. So pretty, and very good, too!

2. A crossed-off to-do list is a rarity. Usually whatever doesn’t get done is transferred to the next list. But I had one satisfying day when everything got done (everything on that list, at least. I have a running list of “things to get to if/when I have time” that will probably never be completed).

3. A church picnic. We’ve still been using Zoom to attend church, though the congregation has been meeting with safety measures in place. As long as cases are still on the rise, we feel we’d better stay home as much as possible. They were having an informal picnic this last Sunday on a pavilion behind the building, with everyone bringing their own lawn chairs and lunches and families seated at a distance from each other. My husband has read studies that outdoor meetings don’t have the same problems with droplets from our breath staying in the air as indoor meetings, so we decided to go. Since we decided to go just the night before, we hadn’t let anyone know we were coming. It was fun to surprise everyone and to see everyone in person. After we ate, people drew chairs closer but still distanced to the different families to talk and visit more.

4. Unexpected visitors. When we got back home from the picnic, we saw two adult turkeys in the yard space between our house and our neighbor’s. We had never seen turkeys in the neighborhood before. My husband stopped to take pictures of them while I unpacked our cooler. When he came in, he showed me there was a whole brood of little turkeys!

I was sorry I didn’t get to see the little ones. We haven’t seen them since, so hopefully they got back to wherever they’ve been living. The neighbors across the street have a big woodsy area behind their house, so the turkeys probably live back in there. It was a fun sighting.

5. A good doctor visit. I had my annual visit with the cardiologist this week. A few weeks ago, I’d had a seven-hour episode of atrial fibrillation—the first time I’ve had anything lasting that long since the ablation a few years ago. Of course, that raised concerns that this was all going to start up again and I’d have to have another procedure. I’ve had a few little blips, where it feels like my heart is trying to turn over into afib, and the doctor said that was normal. He didn’t think this episode was anything to worry about, since it was a single occurrence in the span of a few years. He prescribed another medicine to take if I have any episodes lasting more than an hour (in addition to the metoprolol I take regularly). But the best part of the visit was that I brought a couple of readouts from a device that Jim had gotten for me that detects irregular heartbeats and gives you an EKG-looking readout. I was afraid the doctor would laugh or scoff at it, so I started out by saying, “I know this is not as accurate as what you have here…” But he thought it was a great idea to be able to capture what was going on in the moment.

Bonus 1: I’ve mentioned a little discount store Jim visits almost every week.  He brought me some of my favorite Lindt Lindor truffles in candy bar form from there.

Bonus 2:Timothy was excited about starting school again, and he and his mom had a great first day! They’re using the same online program they used for K-5 last year.

How was your week?

Friday’s Fave Five

Here we are at the last day of July! It’s time to pause with Susanne and friends to note and appreciate some of the highlights of the week.

1. Good news. Some of you know that we’d had to cancel my oldest son’s visit last April due to the pandemic, and it looked like we might have to cancel August’s visit as well. He wasn’t comfortable with flying yet nor staying in a hotel if he drove (neither were we). Then my husbands colleague mentioned going somewhere in a sleeper car of a train, where he could basically keep to himself. We checked on prices and station locations, then ran the idea by my son. He thought that sounded feasible—so he’s coming in August! We’re so excited. We won’t be able to go and do like we usually do when he’s here, but we’ll get to see him in person, and he’ll get a break from his apartment. And I’m sure we’ll do lots of hanging out and playing games.

2. Early voting for our state’s primary will hopefully mean less of a crowd. My son and d-i-l voted yesterday and I am planning to before they close.

3. Jeopardy. My husband and I usually watch weeknights after dinner. Lately they pulled out some early episodes. It’s been fun to see how the program have changed over the years.

4. Kind comments. I so appreciated your kind remarks on my blog birthday and my ponderings about my direction.

5. My husband’s indulgence. I got to the end of Wednesday afternoon with little to no desire to cook, and suggested maybe getting takeout pizza. We usually save that kind of thing for weekends, but my husband graciously agreed.

Bonus: My husband stopped by my son and daughter-in-law’s house for something, and Timothy had just lost his front tooth. So he sent a selfie of Timothy’s snaggletooth smile—a phrase my mom used to say based on a cartoon character way back.

How was your week?

Friday’s Fave Five

As July speeds by, it’s time to pause with Susanne and friends to note and appreciate some of the highlights of the week.

1. Jason’s birthday. We love opportunities to celebrate each other, and I am thankful for Jason’s special day.

2.Chocolate Cheesecake. Mittu made this for Jason’s birthday, and I love the decoration she found for the top. If you can’t read it, it says “Happy Quarantine Birthday.”

3. Thoughtfulness. Jason wanted Indian food for his birthday dinner. Knowing that’s not my favorite, Mittu make a sausage/zucchini/pasta dish for me. I appreciated that she went through the extra work to make a separate entree, in addition to the other three entrees she makes for an Indian food dinner .

4. Conversations with Timothy. I love that sometimes he’ll seek me out to talk, like when I’m in the kitchen and everyone else is in the living room. When they camped out in the yard a few weeks ago, Timothy came into the bathroom while I was fixing my hair, played with my makeup mirror, commented on how his mom’s blow dryer was different from mine, etc. It had been a long time since I had little person company there!

5. Patient portals. Our doctor’s office has an online portal through which we can access our account, look at lab results, or send in a question. I don’t know why, but I much prefer using this rather than calling in. So I am glad that’s an option for things that aren’t urgent.

How was your week?

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday again! Time to pause with Susanne and friends to note the good things of the week, lest they slip by without notice. Here are some highlights of my week:

1. A meal I didn’t cook. I always appreciate when my daughter-in-law texts to see if they can come over and make dinner, but especially when I was just thinking I didn’t feel like cooking that night.

2. Taking care of plants. I don’t do that as often as I should. But our front planters have some ivy that likes to take over, and our roses badly needed deadheading and pruning. I kept planning to go out early before it got hot, but never made it. So one evening when Jim had to go somewhere after dinner, I did some work with the plants then. Plus I took a houseplant Jason and Mittu had given me and replanted it outside. It still had some green leaves, so hopefully it will do better out there than it did inside. Nice to get those things taken care of.

3. Root beer floats are my reward for getting hot and sweaty working outside. 🙂 We get these mini cans of root beer that are just the right amount for our glasses. And thankfully lactose-free ice cream is available now.

4. Air conditioning and ceiling fans. I don’t know how people survived 90+ degree temperatures and 80+% humidity without them.

5. A Zoom visit. I had not been able to get together with a friend that I sometimes go to lunch with since before the coronavirus started. We decided to have our own Zoom meeting. It was fun to catch up while seeing each other.

That’s my week. How was yours?

Friday’s Fave Five

Another week is almost done. They go so fast these days. On Fridays I like to slow down for a moment with Susanne and friends to note the good things of the week, lest they slip by without notice. Here are some highlights of my week:

1. The 4th of July. I love my country, though it’s not perfect.I love the opportunity to celebrate her birthday. Though the city-wide activities were more low-key this year, we did hear and see a number of fireworks around us. My husband’s grilled burgers were the centerpiece of our July 4th meal. So good, as always. But especially since we’ve not been eating takeout, except for an occasional pizza, our burger cravings were satisfied. And my daughter-in-law made a scrumptious cheesecake for dessert. The “4th” decoration is made from diced Reese’s cups.

2. Mostly homemade pizza. I found some ready-made pizza crusts at the store (Mama Mia brand) that were a good price. I bought toppings and made my own pizza sauce for a dinner at home. I thought they turned out really well. I liked the crusts better than the kind from a can that you roll out. Plus they have a gluten-free version we can get for when my daughter-in-law and grandson are here.

3. Zucchini cake. I mentioned last week that a neighbor gifted us with zucchini from his garden. We’ve used some as a side dish, and I made a sausage/zucchini/squash/noodle dish last night. I made a zucchini cake by halving this recipe. So good—hadn’t had something like that in ages. (What’s your favorite zucchini recipe? I still have a lot left. 🙂 I was pleased to learn I can freeze shredded zucchini.)

4. My husband washing my car. I stepped into the garage Wednesday to get some chicken from the freezer there, and I was surprised to see my husband washing my car in the driveway. It has some shields over the top of the windows that he doesn’t think would fare well in an automatic car wash, so it has to be done by hand at home. It was in sore need of cleaning, and I was thankful he took that on.

5. A clean kitchen window and windowsill have been on my list of things to do for a while. I finally got to it yesterday. Makes for a much brighter outlook!

How was your week?

Friday’s Fave Five

2020 is half over! Yay! I started to say that hopefully the second half will be better. But with the election coming up, and as much vitriol as there has been between sides, social media may not be a pleasant place for a long time to come. But for now, I enjoy this pause on Fridays with Susanne and friends at Living to Tell the Story to recount some of the blessings of the week.

1. Timothy’s first camping experience and brunch. His parents wanted to set up camp in their yard before trying it away from home, so that if Timothy woke up in the middle of the night upset, they could take him right in. He did great. Jim went over to “camp out” with them. The next morning, Mittu made a hash brown casserole and bacon and biscuits for the campers and invited Jesse and me as well.

2. Gifted produce. Our neighbor has a good-sized garden and always shares from his bounty. He brought over some zucchini this week.

3. A brief visit with another neighbor. We happened to be taking mail to our mail boxes at the same time and visited across the cul-de-sac for a bit.

4. Menu planning is something I know how to do, but I just don’t often do it. I’ll have a few meals in mind, but then I keep a lot of staples on hand to throw together. I don’t like to try to decide on Monday what I’m going to want to eat on Friday. 🙂 But, for some reason, I made up a list of meals for this week. I didn’t assign them for certain days: I decided on a daily basis which to do. But it was nice to choose from a list of meals that I knew I had the ingredients for rather than racking my brain to figure out what to make each day.

5. Timothy’s second camping experience! Everyone in the family had today off for the Fourth of July. So they decided to camp out here last night. Jesse and I slept in our own beds, but Mittu joined the campers this time. Timothy spent the night in Granddad’s tent instead of his parents’ and did fine.  I figured some time during the night he’d want his mom and dad, but he slept straight through. Then Jim made “camp breakfast” on the grill this morning. So good!

Belated Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends! And I wish my fellow Americans a happy Independence Day.