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 great week. Here are some of the best parts

1. Time with Timothy. Jason took Mittu out for a date lunch last Saturday, and Timothy stayed with us for the afternoon.

2. Mother’s Day. My family always goes the extra mile to make me feel special on Mother’s Day. Jim grilled his wonderful teriyaki chicken, Jesse made cheesy potatoes, Mittu made a salad, and Jason outdid himself with his first-ever Chocolate Pretzel Pie.

The pretty plates and napkins, flowers from Jason and Mittu, thoughtful gifts and sweet cards, games, and a FaceTime call with Jeremy in the evening made the day wonderful.

3. Energy. Monday and Tuesday, I kept falling asleep almost any time I sat down. On Monday I had just a mild case of chills and nausea, so maybe I had a little bug of some kind. Thankfully, symptoms didn’t get worse and I felt more energetic and awake later in the week.

4. A guest post. I mentioned this on Saturday’s Laudable Linkage, but wanted to share it with folks who might not have seen that post. I was able to submit a guest post to the Almost an Author site called Sculpting a Masterpiece. It’s exciting to submit something and have it accepted.

5. Take-out from a favorite Asian restaurant. You know I love take-out. Jim surprised me Thursday night by offering to pick up dinner from a place we hadn’t bought from in some time. It’s a little farther away than most restaurants we frequent, so we don’t get it often.

As a bonus, I’m thankful Jim found gas this week. All the stations had long lines, but he found a little place that people seemed to have forgotten about. Yesterday most stations had signs up that they were out of gas. I had an almost full tank, so we should be fine for a while. Most of the places we go are local. The long lines reminded me of the gas shortage in the 70s. So weird–you truly never know what a day will bring forth. But, thankfully, God does, and we can trust Him for our needs.

How was 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.

Let’s end the first week in May by thanking God for what He has provided.

1. A housewarming party. We had a family housewarming party for Jesse to congratulate him on his new apartment and give him some odds and ends he didn’t have yet. He even made dinner for us! Or the main dish, anyway. It was good! Mittu made a side and I made dessert. It was a fun evening. I told him getting excited over a new skillet was a sure sign of being an adult. πŸ™‚

2. Jesse’s new coffee table. Jesse made this coffee table by finding a photo he liked and having it printed on wood at PhotoBarn. Then he and Jim built a frame for the legs to screw into, attached the legs, and Jesse got glass cut to fit the top. It turned out nicely.

3. Replacement parts. A couple of things I had ordered arrived damaged. Reporting the damage and arranging for replacement parts was relatively painless. One arrived today; the other should soon. I was also thankful they just sent a replacement part and not a whole new item, so I didn’t have to box up and send back the items.

4. Safety in the storm. We had some pretty heavy thunderstorms this week. Jim and Jason both had to be out, but were safe driving. Thankfully there was no rain when I had to go to the store, even though it was forecast. We didn’t lose power–it didn’t even blink.

One night the rain stopped, but clouds were still out. I noticed this one from the kitchen window, and called Jim to come and see. We went outside and watched it for several minutes. I don’t think I have ever seen so much lightening within one cloud formation. This isn’t even the worst of it.

5. A Hobby Lobby excursion with gift cards. This is only the second or third time I’ve been into Hobby Lobby, one of my favorite places, in the last year. I have several gift cards to the store and used part of one for some card supplies and items for the new guest room. Fun!

Hope your week was good.

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 last Friday of April! I love these opportunities to press “pause” and reflect on the blessings of the week. It’s too easy to let them slip by with hardly a notice. Here are some from this week:

1. A new retirement home ministry. Our church just started a once-a-month service at a local retirement home. I was surprised they were allowing services, much less random visitors—I’ve heard so much about even family members being restricted from visiting in some places. I don’t know the circumstances—maybe they’ve all been vaccinated. Anyway, this was to take place on a Sunday afternoon, when Jim and I are usually zombies until we take our afternoon naps. We talked off and on about whether we should go, and finally decided to just the night before. I’m so glad we did. After the short service, which seemed to go well, we fanned out and talked with some of the residents individually. Jim and I talked with a lady from Germany whose name sounded like Isla or Isala. At first the conversation was general introductory pleasantries, but then we felt like we got to know each other a little. I so enjoyed it. I was involved in a nursing home ministry in college, but have not done anything like that since except for the years when my husband’s mother lived in facilities nearby and then with us.

2. A free and quick lunch at the park. Our church and the retirement home were far enough away from our house that it wouldn’t be practical to come home for lunch and go back. We’re still not quite to the point of feeling comfortable eating in restaurants yet. My husband suggested we get take-out from McAlister’s Deli and take it to a nearby park. We hadn’t gotten anything from them for more than a year, so that idea was welcome. When we placed our order over the phone, they said they couldn’t offer curbside delivery: one of us would have to come in to pick it up. As I waited for Jim in the car, I wondered what was taking so long. As it turned out, they were short-handed: they only had two people working, and Sunday lunch is one of their busiest times. They gave us our lunch for free because we had such a long wait. We only had about 15 minutes to eat when we got to the park, but it was enough. We watched people setting up a massive event tent while we were there (probably for a wedding reception). They were working on the top part, and we were hoping we’d get to see how they got it up on top of the main part before we left. That didn’t happen, but we enjoyed the quick break before heading out to the home.

3. A break from cooking. I was running late getting dinner started one night, and Jim suggested bring home Arby’s Then a grocery shopping excursion ran late, and I suggested pizza delivery. Then the next night, Mittu offered to come over and make dinner Friday night. Then we got McAlister’s Sunday. Good food, and a nice break!

4. Dinner and movie night. Jason and Mittu suggested having a movie night, which was the occasion of her making dinner for us all. We streamed Scoob with the family, a remake of the old Scooby Doo cartoon. We hadn’t watched that one regularly, but we were familiar enough with it to appreciate some of the nods to it in this movie. It was cute in places, meh in other places.

5. Outfitting the RV. Jim’s desire for the RV is to have it set up so that all we need to do to use it is buy whatever food we’re bringing. I had extra sheets and a bedspread, so he made up the bed. We went out last Saturday and got a couple of towels, hot pads, some kitchen items, etc. He found a small collapsible dish drainer online. Our first excursion will probably be somewhere local as a test drive—in case we forgot something essential. πŸ™‚

How was 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.

We’re having another cold snap—but I hope it’s the last one! We enjoyed a much-needed quiet week. Here are some of the best parts of it:

1. A day with no agenda. After a couple of busy weeks, it was nice to have a Saturday with nothing on the schedule and nothing that had to be done that day. I slept until 7 for the first time in I don’t know when (though it’s a little sad to think of 7 as “sleeping in!”) I enjoyed a leisurely start to the morning and caught up with computer stuff. I don’t even remember what else I did, but it was a pleasant day! And we ended up with Wendy’s take-out for dinner, so I didn’t even have to cook.

2. Pretty gifts. My daughter-in-law’s mom brought me these when they came to visit for Timothy’s birthday. We had them here for dinner their last night here on Friday.

3. Roasted vegetables. I tried roasting squash and zucchini before, but it was hard not to get them too mushy. I tried roasted broccoli in the oven last Friday and then in the air fryer this week. Then I tried roasted cauliflower Wednesday night. I made extra to try loaded cauliflower—because isn’t that the American way, to take something healthy and load it with cheese and bacon. πŸ™‚ We enjoyed all of them.

4. Air fryer pork chops.I hadn’t done much with my air fryer since I’ve had it because the basket is small, and doing several batches of something for the whole family took longer than other methods (while the first batch got cold). But I figured I might use it more often now that just two of us are here. I tried these Air Fryer Pork Chops. They were so good! I usually just use seasoning salt, pepper, garlic powder, and minced onions for pork chops and love them that way, but it’s nice to have al alternate recipe.

5. A surplus. My husband had solar panels put on the roof a few years ago, and the energy they generate is subtracted from our electric bill. Sometimes enough has been generated that we get a check back—two whole cents this month! πŸ™‚ I’ll take that over owing any day!

What’s one highlight 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 full week at the Harper household. Here are some of our blessings.

1. A used RV. My husband has been dreaming of this for years. We were originally thinking of getting an RV when he retired. He’s been researching them and looking at used ones for some time. We wanted one small enough to be easily maneuverable but big enough not to feel claustrophobic. When he found a good deal on this one in great condition, the time seemed right. We’re still figuring it out. They took him through a three-hour orientation, but it still takes going through the procedures on one’s own a few times to get the hang of it. We’ll probably try it out somewhere nearby at first. And then, who knows? One goal eventually is to visit our oldest son in RI.

2. Timothy’s birthday! Our little grandson is seven! And not so little any more! On his birthday, numerous Facebook memories popped up about his premature birth and God’s faithfulness to bring him and our family through that time.

3. Timothy’s birthday cake. My daughter-in-law is amazing. Timothy is into the Minecraft video game, so his birthday used that theme. This Minecraft-inspired cake used cake squares, Rice Krispie squares, and Jello squares.

4. A clear day. His parents had planned to have lunch at a park on Timothy’s birthday, and then his birthday party would be in the evening when everyone was off work. Rain was forecast that day, but it held off until later in the afternoon. I know there were multiple reasons for the weather beyond one boy’s birthday, but I was so thankful the rain was delayed.

5. Timothy’s other grandparents were able to be here from OK for a few days this week.

It’s been a beautiful spring week here in TN. Even with rain one day, the weather has been gorgeous, and so many trees are blooming. That makes for pollen and allergies . . . but nothing is perfect. πŸ™‚ The weather this week has been pretty close to it, though.

How was 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.

The first week of April, 2021 is in the books. I hope yours was a good one. Here are some highlights from mine:

1. Easter. Though we think of the resurrection of Christ through the year, it’s special to focus on its meaning on Easter Sunday. And we enjoy the fun parts of Easter as well. All the family but my oldest were able to come, and we Facetimed with him. We enjoyed a good dinner and dessert, and the kids had fun with hunting Easter eggs. Then everyone left and Jim and I crashed. πŸ™‚

2. Watching Timothy while his parents were getting their COVID shots.

3. My late package came in! I almost never have trouble getting Amazon packages, but three of them disappeared somewhere between Amazon and here recently. One contained a sewing machine cabinet I had ordered to replace the desk I’ve been keeping my machine on. I know none of the packages were delivered and then stolen because we have a camera on our doorbell and would have seen that—plus Amazon still shows the packages as out for delivery. I got refunds for the other two, but held out on the cabinet, hoping it would come in. It finally did Thursday afternoon!

4. Jim and Jesse being willing to put the cabinet together. We had already asked Jesse if he’d be willing to help put it together, and he was. Jim has said that Jesse is good at figuring out the instructions and multitudes of parts of projects like this. As I am writing now, Thursday afternoon, the plan is for Jesse to come over for dinner after work and then start on the cabinet. If they get it done tonight, I’ll take a picture.

Update: They did get it finished!

I don’t know why the carpet looks gold in the top photo: it’s beige. Anyway, I am looking forward to transferring my sewing stuff over.

5. A successful grocery trip. Though we’re not experiencing the shortages of early pandemic days, I often can’t find everything I’m looking for in stores. This week I had to go to two places, but found what I wanted.

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.

Here we are at the first Monday of April. We’re having another cold snap, and I am hoping this is the last one. You just never know. But the temperatures have been lovely in daytime.

Here are some favorite parts of the last week:

1. A new sewing/craft room. I mentioned in my end-of-month post that since my youngest moved out, we transferred my sewing and craft things from the small bedroom they were in to his larger room. But first my husband patched holes, painted walls, and cleaned the carpet. The room is so much brighter, and everything fits in it much better. Jim helped me move most of the things in last Saturday. I have a few more small things to do in the old room, then he’ll patch and paint that one. Then we’ll turn it into a guest bedroom.

2. Pegboard accessories. Jesse had a pegboard in his room but didn’t want to take it. I decided to keep it. My work table fits just perfectly underneath it. And I’ve discovered a wide world of pegboard accessories! I had only known of the metal industrial ones from the hardware store, so I am having a blast deciding what I need from these cute options.

3. When kids want to come over. One thing about having adult kids is that they all have their own lives. Which is how it’s supposed to be. We see Jason, Mittu, and Timothy usually at least once a week, often more. With Jesse just moving out, we weren’t sure how often he’d want to come over. And he got a washer and dryer already, so he doesn’t need to come home for laundry any more. πŸ™‚ We knew they all had plans last Saturday. We thought we might hear from them Sunday, but we didn’t. We enjoyed a restful day. Then Monday Jesse texted and asked if he could come over for dinner and just hang out with us for a while. I was touched. πŸ™‚ I texted Jason and Mittu to see if they were free to come, too, and we had a good evening. I’m not sure how often schedules will work out for all of us to get together with Jesse on his own now, so I appreciate those times even more.

4. Ladies Bible Study. This was my first one in person in a year, though most everyone else has been meeting in person for a few months now. We spread out across the conference room.

5. Sarku from the mall. I love their chicken teriyaki. They are on the way home from church, so we used to get take-out from them often. But we haven’t done that in a year, either. πŸ™‚ Until this last Sunday. So good!

With this being Good Friday, I can’t let it go by without saying how thankful I am for Jesus’ death for our sins. I was just recounting to someone recently how I almost got swept up in a false religion as a teenager. I was so lost and confused, and my life could have gone so many bad ways. I can’t adequately express my gratitude for God’s drawing me to Himself.

I hope you have a wonderful Easter 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.

It’s hard to believe we’re at the last Friday of March already. Here are a few good things from this week:

1. A visit and a repair. My computer has taken to flashing a blue screen and then restarting itself several times over a few weeks. I finally was able to take a picture of what the blue screen said (there wasn’t enough time to read it before the computer restarted itself) and sent it to my oldest son. I happened to catch him on a day he took off, so he remoted into my computer and updated a driver, and we had a nice chat. Unfortunately, the computer did crash again this week. He said in that case we might need to open it up and get the dust out. So that’s next—as soon as my husband or youngest son can get to that. I’m thankful I have people in the family who can help with things like this.

2. Jim is painting Jesse’s old room. I’ll let you know what’s in store for the room in my end-of-month post next week.

3. Church in person. Since we got our COVID vaccinations a couple of weeks ago, we felt it was probably ok to start attending church in person again. They ask that we wear masks coming in and out, but we sit in family groups distanced from each other and can take our masks off during the service. Last Sunday also happened to be the Sunday for bringing our own lunches and eating in lawn chairs (still distanced) on the pavilion (as opposed to the potluck dinners we used to have, so we don’t spread germs). It felt good to see everyone in person. But honestly, it also felt a little weird. I don’t know if it will just take a while to get used to being with people again, since we’ve been mostly home for a year—or if it will still feel weird until we’re able to put masks away. But, overall it was good and a step toward normalcy.

4. The first day of spring. I always love the official end of winter.

5. A new quick sweet snack. I wanted something sweet yesterday but didn’t have anything in the house I liked. I looked through an old cookbook I had put together from recipes torn out of one of Taste of Home’s old magazines, Cooking for One or Two (I wish it was still in publication). I was trying to find something simple and quick and came across Chocolate Chip Quesadillas. I used one tortilla cut in half and used margarine instead of oil. It hit the spot!

How was 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.

Fridays do seem to come around rather quickly! It’s time for another pause to remember how God has blessed this week.

1. Jesse’s move went well. Rain was forecast for the day, but, thankfully, none fell while we were unloading. Jason came over to help. I mostly unpacked and washed the dishes, cookware, etc. that Jesse had bought or been given the last few years. It’s fun to see him excited about having his own place.

2. My daughter-in-law cooked up a storm last weekend. She brought dinner over here a couple of nights, then made several things for Jesse to just heat-and-heat. He won’t need to cook anything but these for at least a week.

3. Pi Day. Since the date 3.14 is the designation for pi—it’s a good excuse to have pie. Yes, we’re silly. πŸ™‚ I didn’t even take a picture since my Facebook memories showed we’d had the same menu the last several years: Hamburger Pie, salad, and Chocolate Pretzel Pie. Here’s the picture from a couple of years ago—they looked the same this year:

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4. Industrious Timothy. Jason texted me one day this week that Mittu had a migraine and laid down for a while. Timothy entertained himself while Jason worked and checked on him at intervals. One time Jason came out and saw Timothy dusting the blinds, and he said he had also swept the stairs.

5. Jesse’s first laundry visit. πŸ™‚ He bought a washer and dryer, but they won’t be delivered for a couple of weeks. We had invited him to do laundry here even before he bought his own appliances. It was fun to have dinner together an catch up on his week.

Bonus: COVID vaccines. Jim’s company has sponsored a few vaccination sessions in conjunction with a local pharmacy for those in certain age groups or with certain physical conditions. Both of us had health issues that qualified us. This last session included the kind of vaccine we wanted, so we went ahead and got them. Normally I’m a little wary of vaccines, since many people I know with transverse myelitis, the illness I had, contracted it after a vaccine. But, all things considered, after doing our research, we felt the risks involved with the vaccine were less than the risks of getting COVID. Everything went well, and we didn’t have a very long wait. We didn’t have problems afterward except a sore arm for a couple of days.

And that wraps up another week! 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.

We had a lot of good things going on this week. Here are a few:

1. My husband’s birthday. We had grilled hamburgers with all the sides and Boston Creme Pie. It was a joy to celebrate his special day.

2. My youngest son’s job. When Jesse first started his job over a year ago, he was hired as a contract worker for six months. Then the company was supposed to evaluate whether they’d hire him on as a full employee. And then COVID happened. The company asked everyone to remain at their current status until things settled down. Jesse just got word on Friday that they are hiring him on—and giving him a raise! God’s timing is so perfect: Jesse is moving into his own apartment this weekend. Having more security in his job and more breathing room in his budget are a big help.

3. Friends’ generosity. A few of us are still Zooming into church. Last Sunday afternoon our pastor’s family dropped off a gift bag for Jesse from the church to wish him well on the next stage of his journey. There was a card everyone had signed, a couple of batches of cookies, and about half a dozen gift cards to area stores.

4. A voice text from Timothy Tuesday afternoon asked us if we wanted to “come eat pizza and hang out with me.” Well, what grandparent can refuse an invitation like that? πŸ™‚

5. Signs of spring. While getting Sunday morning breakfast ready, I suddenly realized that it was light outside. The sunrise has been gradually occurring earlier, but it just hit me that it wasn’t dark that time of day. Though it’s still been cold at times, we’ve had some pleasantly warm afternoons. And these little beauties are up as well as some bigger ones in the back yard.

As I mentioned, Jesse is moving out this weekend. We’re happy we had him home longer than usual due to his school and employment situations. But it’s time. We’re excited for him. But we’ll miss him, and our “nest” will be truly empty. Thankfully he won’t be too far away, and he’ll come home to do laundry for a few weeks at least. πŸ™‚

What’s something good from your week?