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.

October is almost over. It seems like it has been a long month in some ways but has flown by in others. On Fridays I stop for a moment to remember the good things of the week lest I forget them in the blur of passing time.

1. A family outing. With various ones of us being sick and our traveling before that, it had been about three weeks since we had all been together as a family (those of us who are local). That’s a rarity for us. So it felt good in a number of ways to have an outing Saturday. It was good to be together and do something fun and get out. We visited the Pinta, a life-sized replica of Christopher Columbus’s ship (I wrote more about it here.)

Then we went out to eat, another thing we hadn’t done in a long time.

2. Grilled burgers. My husband had stopped at the store for me Saturday morning and noticed ground chuck was on sale. So he bought some and grilled hamburgers for us for Sunday lunch, then invited the kids for burgers Sunday evening. So we had a second family get-together last weekend.

3. My husband not only grilled twice on Sunday, but he loaded and ran the dishwasher, unloaded it, and reloaded it all in one day. He regularly cleans up the kitchen after Sunday morning breakfast while I get ready for church, and I appreciate that so much. But it was also a joy to come into the kitchen after dinner and find everything done.

4. A radio interview. I mentioned this unexpected opportunity last week. Thanks so much to those who prayed. It went well, and I felt God gave me the words to say. Some of you mentioned you’d like to hear it. My oldest son recorded it and made a link to it it here, if you’d like to listen.

5. Dinner and company. Jim had to go out of town overnight Wednesday, and Jason and Mittu offered to bring over some Mexican food for dinner. Then last night, Jesse brought over some peanut butter cake, the first cake he ever made from scratch.

Thus ends another week, and almost another month. I hope your October is wrapping up well.

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 only have a week left in October. I enjoy these pauses every week to stop and reflect. They help time not to pass by in such a blur that we miss seeing God’s hand. Here are a few favorites from my week:

1. Feeling better. After being sick all week, I had a great Saturday. Then I had a horrible Sunday with head and body aches. I’m much better now. Jim still has a lingering cough from last week that’s plaguing him, but otherwise feels better.

2. Fall decorations. We finally had a day when we both felt like dealing with them–Jim getting the boxes up and down from the attic for me, and me placing them.

3. Sunday dinner with Jesse. I mentioned last week that we felt a little isolated, because we were trying not to share whatever illness we had. It felt almost like the beginning of the pandemic. Jesse asked to come over for dinner and a haircut, and since had been, was still a little sick, we felt it was okay to be together. It felt good to see him in person.

4. A cute new purse. I had not been able to find anything at my usual stores for months, so I looked on Amazon. This is a smidgen smaller than I usually have, but I think it will work okay.

5. Multi-tasking. A writer’s group I considered but decided not to join will still send me free videos sometimes. This week they had a series each weekday, but they were only accessible that week day–unless I wanted to pay $67 for lifetime access! No, thank you. When I wasn’t feeling well at the beginning of the week, I gave myself permission to just sit and listen. But I was too antsy to do that later in the week, so transferred stuff from my old purse to my new one and cleaned out files and old catalogs while I listened.

Bonus: an opportunity. Since some of you are only here for FFF, I wanted to mention something I shared earlier: I was invited to a radio interview next week, October 26, at 8:10 a.m. EDT. More information is here. It’s both exciting and nerve-wracking! I’d appreciate your prayers.

Hope you’ve had a great 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.

Is it Friday again already? This week has been a blur. Jim has been sick for around two weeks now, and I’ve been sick this week. We think it’s just a cold or maybe flu–we haven’t had the hallmark COVID symptoms of lack of smell or taste or trouble breathing. Still, it’s packed quite a wallop.

But there are always good things in a week, even when we have to look a little harder for them.

1. Soup and cookies. My son and daughter-in-law dropped off some chicken vegetable soup and peanut butter M&M cookies. Though she frequently makes meals for the family, it especially meant a lot this week when I had less energy.

2. Seeing our kids in person. We hadn’t seen them in a while, due to traveling for a memorial service and then being sick. We’ve Face-timed a couple of times, and though I enjoy that, I missed seeing them in person. When they dropped off the soup, we visited out in the front yard for a bit—like early pandemic days.

3. Naps. I can’t take decongestants due to heart rhythm issues, so I muddle through with cough drops, acetaminophen, and sleep. I’ve been letting myself doze off whenever the urge strikes.

4. Zoom services. Our church has kept the Zoom option open even when they resumed services. It’s been a help for those who are home sick or those who need to keep isolating due to heath issues. We’ve had four people in our small church test positive for COVID recently, so we’ve gone back to only using Zoom for a while. I’m glad that option is available. It’s more interactive for a small group than just using Facebook Live or YouTube, though I am thankful for those as well.

5. Jeopardy and AFV. America’s Funniest Home Videos just started their new season, and I am grateful for the laughs. And you may have heard of Matt Amodio’s 38-game winning streak that just came to an end. He seemed like a genuinely nice guy, and I really enjoyed watching him play.

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.

I was so sorry to miss FFF last week. We were out of town for a memorial service. I took my laptop, thinking I’d be able to put together a post Thursday evening. But we arrived later than planned and went straight to bed.

Here are some blessings from the last couple of weeks.

1. Our short trip to OH. Jim’s former pastor from ID, the father of his best friend, passed away the week before. He was in his 90s and had been declining, so his passing was not unexpected. But it’s still not easy. The whole family is like a second family to Jim. He said he wouldn’t go to many funerals these days during a pandemic, but he would go to that one. I wasn’t sure about going at first, because I just don’t travel well. But I am so glad I did. Everything went well with safety on the roads. God gave me remarkable calmness. We had hoped to have time to visit with the family, and we did: we were able to eat lunch with them and then go to Jim’s friend’s house for a few hours after the service. It was like a family reunion in many respects. The service was a blessing—though we were sorry to lose this dear man, it was sweet to hear more about his testimony and life and to hear from each of his five grown children as well as a number of people he influenced. I shared more about it in Thoughts From a Memorial Service.

2. First night in the RV. Jim had heard that Wal-Marts will let RVs park overnight in their parking areas. He called ahead to the one where we’d be staying to make sure, and they told us where to park. I thought it would be noisy, but it wasn’t. The bed was pretty comfortable, though it was a challenge to get in it. 🙂 The shower—well, I wouldn’t want to use it often, but it was okay. The only meal we cooked was breakfast, but we had taken other food just in case. It was nice to have the bathroom with us everywhere we went. 🙂 And it turned out to be helpful in carting some of the floral arrangements (one of which was a tree) back to our friend’s house (a few were left for the church’s Sunday service).

3. Good doctors’ visits. I saw the cardiologist’s nurse practitioner rather than the doctor. I was a little miffed at that at first, but I guess that means I am doing well enough that he didn’t feel the need to see me. And I do like the NP. She said she really liked this kind of visit as well, with no problems to report since last time. I also had my yearly physical, and all my numbers were good. (Does it seem like physicals these days mainly just involve talking about lab work and have very little actual physical examination?)

4. Dinner and games with the family. The weekend before the trip, my son and daughter-in-law had us over for chili and cornbread and games.

5. Low carb tortillas. I had mentioned a few weeks ago that we were trying to lower (not necessarily eliminate) carbs. It’s been helpful–my husband had his physical this week, too, and his blood sugar levels have been back in good range, and he’s lost 30 lbs. I found some low carb tortillas at the store recently that were only 50 calories each. They tasted fine and worked well in a couple of recipes.

How was your week? I hope you’ve seen God’s hand of blessing in large and small ways.

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.

As another week zooms by, I enjoy these Friday pauses to stop, think, and thank God for His provisions.

1. Dinner and SpaceX viewing.Timothy and Granddad planned to go fishing last Saturday, but plans got canceled for a variety of reasons. But he wanted to “hang out” with us, so later in the day Jason and Mittu brought over rotisserie chicken and mashed potatoes. I have not kept up with the SpaceX flights, but Jason has. They were due to splash down that evening, so we watched the coverage. It was a fun time with the family.

2. The first day of fall came right on time with cooler temperatures.

3. Low carb experiments. We’re trying to lower our carbs–my husband’s blood sugar numbers were running a bit too high, and we could both stand to drop some calories. Frozen riced cauliflower has been a good substitute for rice in soups, stir fry, and even as a side dish with pepper steak. It didn’t work so well in a casserole–it doesn’t absorb liquid like rice does, so the dish was a little soupy. We may add more next time or use half rice, half riced cauliflower.

We had tried frozen pizza with a cauliflower-based crust in the past and didn’t care for it at all. And not having pizza is not an option unless we’re at death’s door. 🙂 But we tried thin crust pizza the last couple of times. Jim prefers pan pizza, but he said the thin crust didn’t raise his blood sugar significantly. I’m a carnivore, and the thinner crust seems to bring out the other flavors better to me. (I’d love to hear any other low carb tips and tricks you have, other than just eat more salad.)

4. Restoring order. My utensil drawers in the kitchen had gotten jumbled up, so I spent a few minutes taking items out, putting like things back together, and cleaning out crumbs that mysteriously gather in drawers that are mostly closed. It’s an oddly peaceful thing to do, and opening those drawers now brings a smile of satisfaction rather than frustration over not being able to find what I need.

5. Preorders of books can be often be had for a cheaper price than what the book will be upon publication. I just found out here yesterday that Christmas in Mistletoe Square is available at $1.49 as a preorder. I’ve only read one of the four authors listed, so I hope it’s good. But $1.49 isn’t a bad risk. 🙂

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.

In contrast to last week’s quietness, this week has been pretty busy. Here are some highlights:

1. Grandparents’ Day. We had planned to get together with the family on Sunday. But two people in our church and three at Jason’s place of work tested positive for COVID this week. Just to be extra safe, we decided we should put off getting together. (The adults are vaccinated, but vaccinations aren’t 100% effective. Plus one can carry the virus even if not sick personally. And Timothy has not been vaccinated–and kids can get COVID.) Jason, Mittu, and Timothy dropped off a wonderful meal (ribs, potatoes, green beans, rolls, and cheesecake), plus pink roses for me and beef jerky for Jim.

2. Granddad book. Also for Grandparent’s Day, Jason, Mittu, and Timothy gave me a throw blanket for the living room to replace the one I’ve been using, which is so old the threads are starting to break off. They gave Jim the cutest book called Why My Granddad Is My Super Hero. Each page had a prompt for Timothy to fill in.

3. Jesse’s birthday. Love celebrating the family’s special days.

4. Cake reclamation. Jesse wanted this Lemon Blueberry Cake, which Mittu had made back for his “10,000th day” celebration. Cakes are not my best thing, especially from scratch. And replacing the regular flour with a gluten-free blend doesn’t always go well. But I gave it a try. To make a long story short, it did not go well. There were tears. I didn’t take a picture of it at its worst, but, once I stopped crying about it, we all had a good laugh. My dear daughter-in-law did a wonderful job redeeming it and even making it look cute–and it ended up tasting good, too.

To give you a clue of just one of the MANY things that went wrong in the course of making this cake . . .

. . .when I went to mix the wet stuff with the dry, I dropped the wet stuff bowl, and it splattered.

I so appreciated that Jim, Mittu, and Timothy pitched in to help clean up the kitchen, and Jim did some straightening around the house I hadn’t been able to get to before everyone came over.

5. Cake strips. One thing that did go right! The blogger with the cake recipe recommended cake strips, which you wet and put around the cake pan. Normally my cakes end up thin around the edges and domed in the middle. Evidently that’s because the outside edge cooks more quickly, and the cake strips help avoid that. They worked great! But I’ll share this tip: I bought the kind he recommended from Amazon, but then later I saw them for half the price in Wal-Mart’s craft section.

And a bonus: today there’s nothing on the agenda and nothing that absolutely has to be done, so I’ve already had a nap and am looking forward to some rest.

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.

This has been a fairly quiet week, but that’s a good thing. Here are some highlights:

1. Lunch with a friend. It had been a little while since we’d seen each other. It was good to chat in person.

2. Cracker Barrel is where we met—lunch with this friend is about the only time I get to go there! I love it, but none of the rest of the family cares for it.

3. A long weekend. Labor Day is an odd holiday in that it’s not really celebrated per se. But it’s nice that all the family has the day off, and we had grilled burgers with all the usual accompaniments.

4. The first hint of cooler weather. I thought it would be a few weeks yet before it would begin to feel like fall, but I am happy to be wrong on that count!

5. Zaxby’s Grilled Cobb Salad. Wednesday evening, just as I was about to start making dinner, my husband said he was thinking about a Zaxby’s salad. Yes, please! I think this is my favorite restaurant salad, and the only one that seems like a full meal to me.

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.

I seriously don’t know where this week has gone. But let’s jump right in to the week’s faves:

1. New school arrangement for my grandson. My son and daughter-in-law switched to a different on-line program than they had been using, and the whole family likes it much better.

2. Telephone doctor visit. I know many health care providers now offer some kind of telephone or online Zoom-like way to talk to them, but this was the first time I used one. For some situations, I might prefer to see the doctor in person. But for this concern, being able to show the doctor the problem, find out what to do, and get a prescription for antibiotics, all over the phone, was a great time saver–and helped me stay out of his office during another uptick in COVID cases here.

3. One step closer to autumn. August is one of my favorite months, with my birthday and my oldest son’s visit for his birthday. But it is also our hottest month. Turning the calendar to September encouraged me that fall is on the way!

4. Mexican take-out. My husband said recently that he’s not crazy about any of the Mexican food restaurants in our area, and wasn’t even all that into Mexican food lately. I was raised in SE Texas, where Mexican food is a staple. 🙂 One night this week, my husband was away until about 9—so I took the opportunity to have Mexican food take-out delivered.

5. Family group texts. We have a running group text with all our immediate family where we share news, concerns, prayer requests, funny things we’ve seen, photos of culinary masterpieces, etc. I love being able to instantly share with and hear from the family.

How was your week? Hope it was a good one.

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 good to be back for a Friday’s Fave Five after last week’s break. We’ve had a full and busy couple of weeks with an overflow of blessings.

1. My oldest son’s visit and birthday. This was his first time to fly here since the pandemic: he had come by train the last couple of times. It’s wonderful to see him in person and not just on a screen.

2. Family time. My husband took the week of the 16th-20th off so we had something of a “stay-cation.” while Jeremy was here. Jesse and Jason had to work but took off that Friday and came over several evenings. So we had a lot of family time, visiting, laughing, eating, and playing games. Mittu made great dinners a couple of nights, once at their place and once at ours. Jesse had us all over to his place one night for honey garlic salmon–his first time to host all of us.

3. My birthday was last weekend. It’s nice when the dates work out that Jeremy can be here for both his birthday and mine. My daughter-in-law made lunch for us. We went out for dinner to one of my favorite restaurants on a lake. Then we went home for my annual Texas Sheet Cake that Mittu made and decorated and opened presents.

4. Safety and and new plans. Jeremy was due to fly back to RI on the 22nd, but the day before, Hurricane Henri was heading straight for RI. What we didn’t want to happen was for Jeremy to leave here on the first leg of his flight and then get stranded if the last flight was canceled. So Jim and Jeremy called the airline and got a very competent and friendly person and changed his flights to Wednesday. It turned out to be a good thing, because the second leg of his flight did indeed get canceled. He worked from our home Monday and Tuesday. The storm weakened and avoided a direct hit to his area after all, but we were happy to have a few more days with him here rather than having him have to hang out out an airport until it was safe.

5. A new sign for the guest room. Jason gets a few credits every year for products from the place where he works and he generously let me use some for this sign for the guest room.

I hope you’ve had a good week, too!

Checking In

There’s not an official Friday’s Fave Five this week, because our hostess, Susanne, has family visiting and wants to spend as much time as possible with them.

I’m in the same situation. My oldest son came in late last Friday night, and we celebrated his birthday Saturday. My husband took off this week, so we’re enjoying a stay-cation. Due to COVID and rainy weather, we haven’t been able to do any activities in the area. But we’re enjoying hanging out, resting, and chatting.

My two sons who live nearby have to work but are both taking today off. They’ve come over for dinner and games most evenings. Jason and Mittu had us over there a couple of times, and Jesse is cooking for us tonight.

My favorites from this week are:

  • Family
  • Food
  • Fun and games
  • Fellowship
  • Free time

And we’re looking to continue this weekend!

Hope you are having a good week!