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’s hard to believe we’re on the last Friday of October. Soon holiday season will be here! Here’s what I am thankful for this week:

1. Pumpkin decorating. We had our annual pumpkin carving/decorating on Saturday. Always a fun time!

2. Caramel corn and apple cider, two treats I always make for this occasion! Making the caramel corn is labor-intensive, but the recipe makes a lot and is so good.

3. Productive days. I got a lot done around the house this week, plus some work on the blog, an article, and my book. Usually either physical work or computer time gets done, so it was nice to make strides in both.

4. A successful new recipe. I’m trying to find leaner main dishes. I tend to have a lot of starches in mine, with a fair amount of meat and a few vegetables. So I am trying to find healthier ratios. These Juicy Air Fryer Chicken Breasts were so good.

5. Intersections. It’s amazing how often the different sources I read all contain the same message on the same day. The Bible passage, devotional book, commentary, and a couple of blog posts I read this morning all spoke of waiting on the Lord.

Do you have any blessings to share from this last week in October? I’d love to hear them in the comments.

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.

Somehow this week has gone fast. They all do these days, but this one got to the end much sooner than expected! Here are some highlights from it.

1. Our ladies’ Bible study met in a home rather than outside due to rain, but had a Zoom option for those who didn’t feel comfortable meeting inside. I was the only one to Zoom in, but it all went well.

2. Tutorials. I mentioned last week frustration with the new WordPress editor. After neatly pulling my hair out trying to do Monday’s post, I decided I needed to dedicate some time to figuring this out. I looked up a few WP articles as well as some tutorials from others on YouTube. And I told my brain that learning new things was good for it. 🙂 I got a handle on the basics, which is probably all I will need (I told my family it was like someone created a high end camera with ten lenses and scores of bells and whistles when most people just want to point and shoot). I especially appreciated finding out here that if I revert to a “classic block,” the beloved toolbar that I had been missing will show up.

3. Family time and games. My son and daughter-in-law invited us over Sunday evening for grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, chocolate cake, and games. One we tried was Pictionary Air, which integrates with an iPad. I don’t draw well on paper, so I figured drawing in the air would be even worse. But I found I was decent at it! It was a fun night.

4. Early voting. I appreciate the privilege we have to vote in our country. There was a long line, extending out the building and around the corner. But it moved pretty quickly, and everyone was masked and distanced. The time we waited outside, it was a nice temperature with a pleasant breeze. We had fill-in-the-box ballots rather than the usual electronic screen. But everything went efficiently and everyone was pleasant.

5. Takeout pizza. We got done voting right around the time I usually start dinner, and Little Caesar’s was on the way home. 🙂 And I had loaded and run the dishwasher in the afternoon, so no cooking or kitchen clean-up that night—always a fave.

I hope your week went well!

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.

The first full week of October was cool and lovely.

One NOT-favorite thing this week is WordPress’s new block editor. Is anyone else frustrated with that? I didn’t even like the Classic Editor—I liked the old editor before that. It had a toolbar across the top and a sidebar with everything I needed. Now I’m having to look up how to do the simplest tasks. It’s maddening when a simple process is done away and replaced with a complicated one. They’re allowing us to still use the Classic one, at least for a while—but sometimes the post will switch from classic to block when I am right in the middle of it. Grr!

Well, on to more pleasant things:

1. Cleaning off my desk. Probably no one else would be able to tell a difference. But I can. 🙂 Plus, in cleaning out my “in box,” I found three gift cards that I had forgotten about!

2. A church picnic. We seem to be having these a little more often than the pre-pandemic potlucks we used to have. We have them outside on a covered pavilion with everyone distancing and bringing their own food so as to avoid cross contamination. We did share cupcakes this time, though, for the pastor’s son’s birthday! It was nice to catch up with folks, especially a few who are not on Facebook much.

3. Cleaning catch-up. I’ve been keeping up with dishes and laundry and occasional sweeping, but not much else since my hospitalization a few of weeks ago. I can’t say I enjoy housework, but I enjoy the results. 🙂 I got caught up on some routine housework tasks plus did a partial cleanout of my closet, including throwing away a few things that I should have last spring.

4. A meal from my daughter-in-law. I know I mention this often. But it’s a favorite every time. 🙂 This day in particular, I had my annual physical then went to the grocery store. My husband usually helps bring in and put away groceries, but he was away that day and Jesse was working–he can only take breaks on schedule. So by the time I got done, I was a little frazzled. Then I got a text from Mittu offering to bring over rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, and banana chocolate chip cake. Though I always appreciate it when she brings over a meal, it was especially welcome that day. Then she and Jason cleaned the meat off the bones and let us have the leftover meat, enough for 2-3 more meals.

5. Fixing an iPhone and iPad glitch. I have two email accounts and hadn’t been able to access one on my devices. I could read email but not send or forward it. I’ve just been handling mail for that account on my computer. But this week I uninstalled and reinstalled that email account on both devices, and it seems to work ok now.

And that wraps up my week. How was yours?

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.

Here are some of the bright spots of the last week:

1. Apple Crisp. Sunday night we Face Timed with my oldest son (always a favorite though I don’t list it every time). He mentioned picking apples with friends. As we discussed different things to do with apples, I began to crave Apple Crisp. I had an appointment the next day and stopped at the store afterward for a few apples, among other things. And then made Apple Crisp. 🙂 I love this recipe because it doesn’t use oatmeal for the topping—oatmeal never tastes quite done to me in toppings like that. This tasted so good, and the house smelled wonderful while it was baking.

Apple Crisp

4 c. sliced, pared tart apples
2/3-3/4 c. brown sugar (packed)
1/2 c. flour
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 c. butter or margarine, softened

Heat oven to 375. Grease square 8×8 pan. Place apples slices in pan. Mix remaining ingredients thoroughly. Sprinkle over apples. Bake 30 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is golden brown. Serve warm, with light cream or ice cream if desired.

I used the lower amount of brown sugar and Golden Delicious apples. I may try a tarter variety next time. I think I could use a gluten-free flour with it for our gluten-intolerant family members.

2. A walk with my husband. I know some of you are avid walkers and hikers. I usually exercise via my stationary bike, but Jim headed out for a walk Sunday afternoon, and I joined him. I can tell walking does things for me that stationary biking doesn’t. Plus I enjoyed the company and conversation. 🙂

3. Crunchy leaves. There was a smattering of leaves on the sidewalk as we walked, and walking over crunchy leaves is just one of life’s little pleasures for me. 🙂

4. Follow-up appointments from my hospital visit with afib.I saw both my primary care doctor and cardiologist. The latter doesn’t always explain things to my satisfaction, but if I can formulate questions ahead of time and have them ready, he’s happy to answer them. I felt I was able to ask and receive answers to everything I needed. We’re adjusting medications for now in hopes that will help. Another surgery to “patch” the problem area in my heart is an option, but not one I want to hurry toward without trying medicine first.

5. October! Turning the calendar page to a new month is a another little pleasure, and October is one of my favorite months.

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.

I was so sorry to miss FFF last week due to being unexpectedly hospitalized for a couple of days. I’m doing better now—waiting on a couple of follow-up appointments to see what, if any, next steps should be taken.

But I have two weeks of favorites to catch up on! These are not in chronological order: most of the events happened before the hospital stay.

1. Jim being with me in the hospital. I didn’t think he’d be allowed due to COVID restrictions, but I am so glad he was.

2. An in-person Ladies Bible Study. We met sort-of outdoors in our pastor’s wife’s garage so we could spread out and still allow for air circulation. I sat just outside the garage door so as to maximize fresh air flow. I actually enjoyed the Zoom meetings, but it was good to see each other in person again.

3. Grandparent’s Day September 13. My daughter-in-law made Sunday lunch and Timothy drew pictures for us. 🙂 I was gifted with beautiful roses and Godiva chocolates, and Jim with coffee beans.

4. Jesse’s birthday.

He always asks for stroganoff for dinner and lemon cake for dessert. I’m usually more of a chocolate person, but I do look forward to this cake every year! Since he’s looking to move out soon, I’m trying not to think about this being his last birthday while living at home….

5. Cool weather. The fall-like temperatures some of you mentioned finally arrived here! I love the cool crispness of fall after the heat of summer and before the chill of winter. A few leaves are starting to change. I changed my front wreath, but will add some other fall decor this weekend when someone can get boxes down from the attic for me.

Bonuses. My daughter-in-law brought shepherd’s pie over for dinner the day I got out of the hospital. We had stuff in the freezer for easy meals the rest of the weekend. Then she brought chili and cornbread over last night. I took advantage of the cool weather to cut back our rose bushes and some ivy in planters that was trying to take over. I’m not a gardener by any means, but I enjoy working outside every now and then.

And that wraps it up for me. I hope your week went well!

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.

Remembrance

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?