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.

Friday’s Fave Five

Here we are at the last Friday of June. 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.

I’m running a little late today due to an appointment this morning.

1. Father’s Day. We had a nice time with the family, eating ribs and cheesy potatoes and apple pie.

2. Father’s Day breakfast. Jason and Mittu brought over quiche, hash browns, and sausage for Father’s Day breakfast, and then stayed for our church via Zoom and dinner and presents afterward.

3.Sewing buttons on is not a favorite activity, which is probably why I had a stack of items needing that attention. I determined I was going to take care of them this week. Once I got set up, it didn’t take very long.

4. Lactose-free ice cream. I don’t have ice cream much through the year, but it often hits the spot in the summer. Once I became lactose intolerant, I didn’t have ice cream for a number of years. I’m thankful there are lactose-free versions now.

5. Naps. I think I’ve had one every day this week.

How has your week been?

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s so hard to believe we’re almost 2/3 of the way through June already. Whether the days contain good or bad, they fly by. 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. A haircut. My daughter-in-law graciously agreed to cut my hair for me last weekend at her house. I know it was nerve-wracking for her, and I appreciate that she did it anyway. 🙂 She did a good job. My hair just does not cooperate when it gets a certain length, so it’s nice to get it to a place where it responds better.

2. Lunch with Mittu and Timothy. While Mittu cut my hair, my husband was outside with Timothy doing a bit of yard work. Then Mittu made us a lunch of egg salad sandwiches and chips. Jason, unfortunately, had to work, and Jesse had stayed home. While Granddad worked outside some more, bleaching the mildew off the sidewalk and patio, Timothy and Mittu showed me some funny You Tube videos they had enjoyed.

3. A belated Mother’s Day gift. My son and daughter-in-law pre-ordered Nathan W. Pyle‘s Stranger Planet for me for Mother’s Day, but it was just released a few days ago. They brought it over as soon as they received it. You can see some of his work here. The book was so good! I love his beings’ observations about life. The only downside: I finished it in one evening.

4. Old pictures. Our church is putting together a Father’s Day collage slide show for this Sunday, and anyone who wanted to participate could send in photos of themselves with their dads. I had a couple I could use, but started looking through old photos to see if I could find any better ones. It’s always fun to look through them. I’m ashamed to say I have at least three shoe boxes of photos from before the digital age that have never been put into albums yet. I was able to organize them a bit, which will help whenever I finally do get to them. I need to redo all my photos that have been in the sticky photo albums (which they say is not good for them, and some of the pages have browned and lost their stickiness). So that’s going to be a big job someday, but one I look forward to.

5. A special moment. Last Saturday morning, I started reading Jen Wikin’s None Like Him on the attributes of God. Wow. So good. All morning afterward, the song “None Like You” came to mind. When I got into the car to go for my haircut, I plugged my phone in and set my playlist to shuffle. The first song that came up was “None Like You.” That just made me feel so seen and loved and cared for. It reminded me of this meme:

I discovered a couple of songs with similar names concerning there being none like God. This is the one I am familiar with:

Friday’s Fave Five

Every Friday, Susanne at Living to Tell the Story invites us to pause for a few minutes and recount some of the blessings of the week. It’s harder some weeks than others to find them, but they are always there. And looking for them can transform our whole outlook. So here are a few from my week.

1. A park outing. We went with my son, daughter-in-law, and grandson last weekend to Norris Dam State Park for a picnic lunch and fishing. We had our little picnic area to ourselves most of the time. The few people who came and went stayed more than six feet away. Jesse and I left a little early after watching the others fish for a bit—neither of us was interested in fishing and the heat was getting to me. I can’t remember if this was Timothy’s first time to fish, but it was fun to watch him get the hang of it.

2. A potty tent. 🙂 Though the state parks are open, the restrooms are closed. Personally, I’d rather use a public a restroom and sanitize than wonder where people might have relieved themselves outdoors. A while back Jim had invested in a camping toilet and a little pop-up tent to put it in, so he brought all of that and set it up. Yes, I did feel funny using it when another family was in the area, but it was much better than finding a tree to hide behind. I don’t know if they thought it was really weird or a good idea. 🙂

3. Time off. This was something from the week before last that I forgot to mention. Everyone in my husband’s company was required to take a week of vacation in May since business was running a little slow and some of their clients were closed. Jim chose the last week in May plus a couple of Fridays before that. He got a lot done in our yard and our son’s, rearranged his office a bit, cleared some things out of the garage, and took some things we both had culled to the thrift store.

4. An actual letter! My oldest son and I used to write back and forth when he first moved out-of-state, but that eventually fell by the wayside since we FaceTime pretty regularly. So it was a nice surprise to get a letter from him.

5. An unexpected history. I’ve had this little mini cedar chest for years. Lane mini cedar chestIt had been my mom’s, and I kept all kinds of childhood treasures in it. Now it just has odds and ends. It never occurred to me to ask when or where she got it. Then my friend Susan had a post about these Lane chests. It turns out that for many years, the Lane company gave these out to female high school seniors who requested them. It was fun perusing this site and finding out about the history of them. They share a way to find out when a box was made by its dimensions and inscription (which I have not done yet).

Lane mini cedar boxIt was so fun to discover that this little box that I have used for decades had such a history!

That was 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.

There are so many sorrowful things going on in the world today. It takes intention sometimes to look for the good. Here are some of the bright spots in my week:

1. Little Caesar’s. We haven’t felt comfortable getting take-out while the pandemic is going on. Some of you know how much I love take-out, so I have missed the breaks in cooking. We decided we’d be fine with something like pizza, which isn’t touched by the makers after it’s done and put into a box. A couple of times in the past couple of weeks we’ve been out just before dinner and brought Little Caesar’s pizza home. Hit the spot.

2. Ankle feeling better. Ever since contracting transverse myelitis, my right lower leg registers pain as tingling. I had a few days where my right ankle was tingling like crazy and giving out sometimes when I put my weight on it. We decided to give it a couple of days to see if it righted itself, and it did, thankfully. I remembered later that when I had gone to my sewing machine a few days earlier, the foot pedal was too far away and in an odd position. I tried to maneuver it with my right foot. I must have wrenched my ankle somehow then without realizing it.

3. Time at my son’s house. My son and daughter-in-law invited us over for dinner last Saturday. We had a nice meal and visit and ended by eating brownies and ice cream while watching Timothy play outside.

4. Submission acceptance. A writing blog I follow has people guest post sometimes. I submitted a post, and it was accepted this week! I’ll let you know when it comes out.

5. Ladies’ Zoom Bible study. We were a bit fewer in number than usual, but we had a great time.

Bonus: These beauties are blooming:

HydrangeasWhat are some bright spots 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.

Once again we’re pausing to commemorate and “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Here are some of the things I am thankful for this week.

1. Memorial Day. We often watch the Memorial Day concert on PBS the Sunday night before Memorial Day. They usually have actors portraying real-life stories of veterans. I’m so moved by what people went through for their fellow men. It’s good to remember how much our freedoms cost and to appreciate those who fought for us.

2. Roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. We often grill burgers on Memorial Day, but since we’d just had them on Mother’s Day, we went for hot dogs with all the trimmings. Jim grilled some but set up his fire pit for those who wanted to roast hot dogs and marshmallows. Timothy had his first s’more, and evidently loved it, because he chowed it down. It was a fun time.

3. A productive day. Saturday I got lots done, and it felt so good. I think the brain fog from the first few weeks of the pandemic is lifting. Maybe because I’m getting used to the new normal, or because we know more about COVID-19 than we did, or because there’s hope that the pandemic is starting to lift a little—or all of the above.

4. An apple pie visit. My daughter-in-law and grandson are gluten-intolerant, and their favorite bakery advertised apple pies this week. They got one and brought it over to share with us. This place has really perfected gluten-free pie crusts. The frozen ones I buy aren’t nearly as good.

5. Celebrating the end of kindergarten. Timothy finished up his first school year yesterday, and we went over for a visit. We ended up at an outdoor shaved ice place that had a fenced-off area of picnic tables with umbrellas. I didn’t have any this time—I wish they had servings about half the size that they offer. But everyone else enjoyed theirs, and the place itself was set up nicely to be out yet distanced from the other tables.

For those of you who prayed for Mason, the grandson of a former pastor who has been battling leukemia, there have been some small improvements since last week. He’s still sedated while his lungs heal from the bleeding and pneumonia. They’d had him on a paralytic so he wouldn’t move and worsen his bleeding, but they’re starting to take him off of it for a few hours at a time. It did his mom’s heart good to see him moving a bit. He still has a long way to go.

I’ve grieved over sad things happening in our country this week, and may post about them once my own thoughts have been sorted out. It’s timely that my Bible reading was in Amos 5 today, with some of these phrases:

  • 14: Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you…
  • 15: Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate…
  • 24: But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Amen.

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.

It’s been a quiet week, both here and among the blogs I read. You’d think that would mean I got lots else done. 🙂

Here are some of the best parts of this week.

1. Praying people. Thank you so much for praying for Mason, the little boy I mentioned Monday night. On Wednesday he’d had some “baby steps” of improvement but was still critical. This morning they are doing some sort of lung procedure to help him breathe. And once his lungs heal, he still has to get healthy enough for a bone marrow transplant to battle against his leukemia. It’s a long road, but I hope and pray they start having some good news and progress. (Update: Mason’s body is weakening. It’s going to take a miracle for him to survive. His parents are at peace if it’s God’s will to take him home, but of course they long to have more time with him here.)

2. A haircut. My husband asked me about cutting his hair, but I was afraid to. I’m not very dexterous with my hands. Most of my craft and sewing projects have at least one mistake in them that I have to fix or work around. I didn’t want that to happen with Jim’s hair. My daughter-in-law has experience cutting her husband’s and son’s hair, but we didn’t know if she’d feel awkward cutting her father-in-law’s. But she graciously agreed. She did a great job. Jim was pleased and I was happy to have someone else take on that job.

3. An impromptu get-together. My son and daughter-in-law called one evening to ask about bringing some sandwiches over because they “just wanted to be with people.” So we pooled together our bags of chips and I brought out some baby carrots, and we enjoyed some distanced fellowship outside. Then Jason and Timothy washed their car and played with the water hose afterward.

4. Allergy medicine. All this outside visiting has been nice, but the spring pollen was getting to me.

5. Visiting inside! We dropped a couple of things over at Jason and Mittu’s one night, and they said that since things were starting to open up in our area, and our city’s COVID cases were low, they felt comfortable having us come inside. We’re still refraining from hugs, but it was nice to visit inside again.

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.

This has been a good week! Here are some of the best parts:

1. Safety. My son and daughter-in-law’s Ring doorbell camera caught someone peeking in their window one night. My son spoke to the guy through the speaker. The guy ran off, but my son called the police. The policeman searched the area, but of course, the guy was long gone. The policeman said the guy wasn’t likely to come back because, if he was a thief, he was looking for an easy target. But the police would still patrol the area for a few weeks. It shook us all up a bit, but we’re thankful for camera doorbells and outside lights and policemen, and, most of all, God’s protection. Timothy was very brave, though, and had his flashlight and megaphone ready for use when the policeman came. 🙂

2. Mother’s Day. My family always goes above and beyond to make the day special for me. My husband grilled burgers and we ate on the patio so we could spread out a bit. We’ve had some socially-distanced visits in the last few weeks, but it was so good to have a meal together again. My daughter-in-law made a wonderful chocolate peanut butter cake.

3. A gift of meals. My daughter-in-law’s Mother’s Day gift to me was four meals she prepared. It was so nice this week to have four nights without thinking about what to have or preparing beyond warming up what she had made.

4. A cup of encouragement. This was a gift from my husband. I don’t know if I can call myself an author yet (does that happen when you publish a book?) The cup is so cute! But mostly I love that he has always supported and encouraged my writing in any form.

5. A great picture with Timothy. Timothy has been doing this boy thing lately of wanting to make funny faces during picture-taking (or do girls do that, too? When my boys were young, it was bunny ears in every picture. 🙂 ) His dad tricked him into laughing for this one with my lovely daughter-in-law and me.

We did get a little closer than 6 feet a couple of times. But all of us have been home except for my husband and son, and they’ve mainly just been to grocery stores.

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.

This has been another of those weeks—not bad, but pretty similar to the last several. We enjoyed another distanced visit with my son’s family in the back yard on a very pleasant evening. We’re continuing to find the supplies we need. We were especially thankful to find our favorite TP! 🙂

Here are some other things I am thankful for:

1. Losing five lbs. was a surprise, especially since I have been craving homemade baked goods. The only thing different is that we haven’t been getting takeout food.

2. Benadryl Cream. Somehow I got a couple of super-itchy bug bites on the back of my thigh. Cortisone cream wasn’t helping, but then I remembered I had some Benadryl cream in my purse. That worked much better.

3. Culling the closet. There were a few items I needed to get rid of, so I finally took the time to sort through my closet and pull out things I didn’t use or need any more. I need to check with the thrift store to see if they are accepting donations, but it feels good to have the closet less cluttered.

4. The end of a hard week for a couple of sons. One was asked to work overtime, specifically an hour earlier than usual all this week. Another had been working from home, but Mother’s Day is one of their busiest times, and they were shorthanded.  So he had to go in and work 12-hour (or more) days all this week, last weekend, and I think even some of the week before. This is Timothy’s Daddy, so it’s been hard for the whole family. I’m hoping things go back to normal for them next week.

5. Moms. Speaking of Mother’s Day, I’ve been thinking of the moms in my life. My own, of course, my mother-in-law, my grandmother, a dear lady in my church who I counted as my spiritual mom. Sadly, they are all gone. But I am thankful for their memories and their continuing influence in my life. A lot of women along the way have mothered by speaking an encouraging “word in due season” right when I most needed it. And now a new generation of moms like my daughter-in-law, my friend Rebekah, and others, have been encouraging me and teaching me new things. I hope I can be a blessing to them, too.

I hope you have a special time remembering your mom this weekend.

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 first day of May! Turning the calendar to a new page is one of life’s little pleasures for me. But this month, especially, I look forward with hope for safe first steps in returning to normalcy.

Meanwhile, here are some highlights of the last week:

1. Working through a to-do list around the house not only got things done, but felt good.

2. Zoom Bible study. Our ladies only get together for Bible study about once every six weeks. We had our first attempt to do so via Zoom on Saturday, and everything went well. My husband always set things up for our church meeting, and I had thought he would be nearby in case I needed any help for this. But he was working on a project outside. It wasn’t hard at all to figure out, though. Our leader’s Internet cut out near the end, but one lady called her and put her on speaker so she could finish out the session with us.

3. A refurbished basketball goal. I’m not sure why we hung on to the basketball goal that my kids had. The rim was oval instead of round after being laid down for so long. The bottom, which is supposed to be filled with water to provide enough weight to keep the goal upright, had sprung a leak a long time ago. It has been out behind our shed for years. But my husband decided to fix it up for Timothy. He used a car jack to fix the rim, painted the whole thing, and bought a new net and balls. He filled the base with sand instead of water, so it shouldn’t leak as easily. It looks really nice now, and Timothy and his family came over to try it out last weekend.

4. Chocolate chip butterscotch brownies. Mmmm. I’m not sure why they’re called butterscotch. They don’t taste like butterscotch. But they taste good. 🙂 I only make half a batch for just the three of us.

Butterscotch brownies5. A great movie. I just finished a delightful movie over several mornings of stationary bike riding that left me smiley and teary at the same time: This Beautiful Fantastic. Thanks to Laura for recommending it.

Bonus: quick return of power when it went off during a storm, Face Time calls.

What’s something good from your week?