Friday’s Fave Five

Susanne at Living to Tell the Story hosts this opportunity to pause and appreciate the good things of the week. It really helps to pause and reflect a bit before the week floats away into memory.

It’s hard to believe we’re at the end of September. It was a busy month for us–maybe that’s why it seemed to go by even more quickly than usual.

Here are some of the blessings of the last week.

1. Extended family visit. My step-father, two sisters, and nephew from TX flew in to spend a few days. We all drove to SC to spend a day with two more sisters, my niece, and great niece there. It was the first time in three years all five sisters were together. We only wished my brother and his wife in CT could’ve come and made it a full family reunion. I had hoped the TX family might see a bit of fall color here, because they don’t have that in TX. There wasn’t a lot here yet, but we saw a bit driving through the mountains to SC. The weather was great the whole week except for a bit of rain and fog on the way back from SC. I wrote more about the visit in my end-of-month post yesterday and shared some pictures. We had such a good time and miss them already.

2. A completed extended to-do list. I tend to want to do a full-scale spring cleaning before anyone comes to visit, but I’ve learned the hard way that, 1) I never get everything done I want to, and 2) I wear myself out if I try. I made a master cleaning list I keep in the computer and added to it this time. For the first time ever, I got every “cleaning for company” item crossed off! That doesn’t mean everything that could have been done was–there’s always more to do. But the most essential things were. A very few items got crossed off without being completed since I determined they weren’t needed. But that’s a legitimate way to deal with them, right? 🙂

3. Pumpkins Spice Mini Donuts. I’m not big into pumpkin-flavored everything, but I really like getting these once a year.

4. Great American Cookie Company. I’m not at the mall often (probably a good thing), but I love this company’s peanut butter cookies when I’m there. I got some both at a mall in SC and then here in TN this week.

5. Cooler weather seems to have settled in for the season, and I love it.

How are things in your neck of the woods?

Friday’s Fave Five

Susanne at Living to Tell the Story hosts this opportunity to pause and appreciate the good things of the week. I’ve found this weekly break to be so helpful and encouraging. Here are a few of this week’s blessings:

1. Jesse’s birthday. I always love our kids’ special days, though they’re starting to make me feel old. I joked on Facebook, “How can my youngest be 29 when I’m only 39 1/2?” 😉

2. Queen Elizabeth’s funeral service. I didn’t get to watch it as it happened, but someone had told me they watched on YouTube where there was no commentary, just a recording of the service. The music was glorious and the message so clearly pointed to Christ.

3. The first day of fall. I’ve said often that I love the in-between seasons of fall and spring, where the weather is a nice change but not at the extremes of hot or cold. And both have such beautiful color. The leaves are just starting to turn. I have family from TX coming in this week, and though full fall color won’t be out for a few weeks yet, I’m glad they’ll see a bit of it.

4. A productive week. With my family coming, I got a few projects done around the house and have started a more intense cleaning than my usual weekly tasks. I’ve learned from past experience not to get so into getting things done that I am exhausted when they get here. So I am aiming to get the major things done, then we’ll see about the rest. I can’t say I enjoy the act of cleaning, but I do enjoy the results.

5. Weeding out items to give away. I keep a large box in the pantry to toss things in that I don’t want or need any more. When that gets full, I usually add to it some other items. With family coming, I wanted to get that stuff out of the way. I’ve got a few boxes stacked up to be taken to the thrift store. It feels good to create some space and get these things some place more useful.

Have a great weekend!

Friday’s Fave Five

Wow, this month is going by so fast. Susanne at Living to Tell the Story hosts this opportunity to pause and appreciate the good things of the week, lest they’re forgotten in the bur of passing time.

1. Grandparent’s Day was last Sunday. Jason and Mittu observed it by bringing over dinner and dessert as well as flowers for me and jerky for Jim. Timothy colored pictures for us both.

2. Not getting sick when I thought I was. I thought I was catching a cold one morning, but felt better that evening and the next day. It must have been allergies, but it was odd to suddenly have such a reaction when I have been taking Claritin every day for months. Jim saw a weather report that day showing a map of our whole state under an allergen cloud.

3. A customer service call that took care of a problem (actually a second call, but thankfully everything got straightened out). It’s nice to hear those words, “I can help you with that.”

4. The Tennessee State Fair. We haven’t gone to the fair since a year or two before the pandemic. It’s a bit of a sensory overload outside, but we enjoyed watching Timothy on some rides. Inside the main building we always enjoy the 4-H competition displays in various categories.

We had a couple of unexpected blessings, one in finding a parking space right next to a gate. There were no signs about paying for parking, so we parked close and free. Jesse rode with us, and as we walked to the gate, the attendant asked if we had tickets to the fair. No—we had planned on buying them at the gate. She said she had three that she had been given to hand out to family members, but none of hers wanted to come. So she gave them to us.

5. Delicious coolness. The afternoons are still warm, but the mornings and evenings have been pleasant harbingers of fall breezes to come.

What’s something good from your week?

Friday’s Fave Five

Susanne at Living to Tell the Story hosts this opportunity to look back at the previous week and appreciate the good things in it. Sometimes we overflow with things to give thanks for; other times we have to dig for them. But this is a good exercise either way.

1. A long weekend. My husband took Friday off before Labor Day to have a four-day weekend. We had the kids over for grilled burgers Monday, and Mittu made a gorgeous cheesecake. Jason and Mittu brought over gluten-free cheese pizzas and assorted toppings Friday night and then had us to their house for Sunday lunch after church.

2. A new light fixture above the sink. The one we had was broken and held together with tape. Jim used one of his days off to replace it. I always feel bad when a home project turns into a bigger deal for him than we thought it would be. He had to make four trips to Home Depot. The first light he bought didn’t work with our configuration. The second turned out to be an off color. I don’t remember what the other two trips involved. But he finally got it in. Not only is it more pleasant to look at, but it’s much brighter.

3. A super clean tub and sink. My cleansers and scrubbers weren’t taking complete care of the stains in the sink and tub. Jim has a drill with a brush attachment and scoured both fixtures til they were gleaming.

4. A breakfast biscuit. Somehow in talking with the kids I mentioned that when I used to take them to school, I’d “reward” myself by getting a breakfast biscuit once a week or so. But because I’m not usually out early in the mornings any more, I hadn’t had one in a long while. The next morning, Jim had to go out for something and surprised me by bringing back Chick-Fil-A biscuit.

5. A good critique session. I mentioned recently joining a writing critique group. Everyone in the group has a chance to “present” several pages of their work for others to edit and offer suggestions. It does feel very vulnerable, but it is so valuable. Even with running our pages through a spelling and grammar checker, mistakes are missed. And then there are larger issues, like when a phrase or paragraph is confusing or something hits in an unintended way. This past week was my turn to present, and the comments were so kind (as I knew they would be, even though I felt nervous beforehand). I had a chance to ask for feedback afterwards and got lots of good ideas.

Bonus: We watched Timothy last night while his parents went on a date. They brought me this wonderful cookie in the cutest little box:

Just before sitting down to start this post, I heard of the passing of Queen Elizabeth. She was such a stabilizing factor over the course of such a long reign. My heart goes out to her family and British friends.

Friday’s Fave Five

This is one of those Friday mornings where I sit down and think, “OK, what did happen this week?” I’m thankful that the Friday’s Fave Fives causes me to look back and evaluate and thereby see blessings that otherwise would have been missed in the blur of time passing so quickly. We join up with our hostess, Susanne and friends at Living to Tell the Story, to share the best parts of the week.

1. Quiet weeks. As much as I love having all the family here and doing lots of activities with them, and I’ve missed all that, it helps to have some quiet days with nothing on the calendar.

2. Help with a computer issue. I needed to do something simple: put a document in a particular group folder. But I couldn’t figure it out with the program I was using, and Google searches and tutorials didn’t seem to match what my screen was showing. When my husband got off work, I asked him if he was familiar with the program. He said, “Just barely.” But he looked at what I was trying to do and helped me figure out how to accomplish it. I not only appreciate having the problem solved and knowing what to do next time, but I am thankful for his willingness to help.

3. An impromptu get-together. We met Jason, Mittu, and Timothy at Olive Garden one day this week. That’s not a place we go often—I think this is maybe the fourth time in my life I have been there. But the food was good and the time together even better. Jim and I tried some Italian doughnuts for dessert–very good!

4. Encouraging words from a couple of directions.

5. Some new fun pens. Sometimes it’s the little things. 🙂 I saw some Flair pens advertised that are regular pens on one end but have designs on the other end–one color prints little flowers, another squiggly lines, etc. I got them to add fun little touches to notes.

I had mentioned some family outings briefly the last couple of weeks. I shared more details and photos about them here yesterday.

What’s something good from your week?

Friday’s Fave Five

I enjoy this weekly tradition of stopping with Susanne and friends at Living to Tell the Story to remember and acknowledge the best parts of the week, to thank God for them and savor them just a little longer by sharing them.

This has been another very full and very good week.

1. My birthday. My family does a wonderful job making me feel special on my birthday. Their love and care took a bit of the sting out of this being a milestone birthday. We went out to one of my favorite restaurants for lunch, and Mittu made my favorite Texas Sheet Cake.

2. More family time. My oldest son was here for about ten days, and my husband was off for a week. The rest of the family was here more than usual, and we packed a lot of visiting, feasting, and game playing into our time together. Mittu made dinner a few times and Jesse had us over to his place for one dinner.

3. Fun outings. I’ll share more about these next week, but we had several outings together. One was a hot air balloon festival.

4. The family all together at church. Jason and Mittu and Jesse attend elsewhere, but while Jeremy was here, we all attended together on my birthday. That was a special blessing to my heart.

5. A made-for-me cup-holder. I like my cold drinks super-cold, so I often put them in the freezer for a bit. It’s even better if they get a little slushy. It’s never been a problem before, but last week my glass of orange juice tipped over and dripped down the side of the freezer, on every shelf below, and made a little puddle at the bottom. My husband has a little 3D printer and made this cup holder to keep spills from happening in there again.

I hope you’ve had a great week as well!

Friday’s Fave Five

Once again we’re pausing for a bit with Susanne and friends at Living to Tell the Story to recount the blessings of the week. This has been one of those weeks with much more than five faves, but I’ll try to narrow it down. 🙂

1. Having the family all together. My oldest son came in from RI for a visit last Friday night and will be here a few days more. We’ve had lots great time all together chatting, eating, playing games. Then various combinations of family members visited in smaller groups. I love it.

2. Jeremy’s birthday. I’m so glad he could be here for it.

3. Several fun outings. We went to a car show, which included a kids’ area with Nerf target shooting, balloon animals, and other similar things. Then over a couple of days we went to a BrickUniverse LEGO Fan Convention, a bubble tea place (I didn’t try it, but everyone else enjoyed theirs), a French creperie, the art museum . . . I think that’s all so far. I’ll elaborate on a couple of these on my end-of-month post or in a post of their own. It’s been nice to chill at home between outings.

4. A new critique group. I’ve been praying about finding a group to exchange writing with and get feedback from. I was invited to participate in one via Zoom and was delighted to see a few fellow bloggers there I have known a long time. We had an introductory meeting, and I am looking forward to future meetings.

5. Password is a show I watched as a kid, and there is a new iteration of it that just started airing last week. It’s a little too hyped-up, but otherwise I love the game itself.

What’s something good from your week?

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?