Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week
with Susanne and other friends at Living to Tell the Story .

I’m going to just jump right in with this week’s favorites:

1. Cooler weather. After saying for weeks that it hasn’t felt like fall yet, finally we’re down into the 70s during the day, 50s-60s at night. By contrast, the week before we had three days of record high heat.

2. Rain. I don’t know the statistics for how long we’ve been without rain, but it has been quite a while. We finally got a bit last weekend and are due for more tomorrow.

3. Watching football. I never (willingly) watched football before moving here, but it’s hard not to get caught up in UT Vols fandom. We had been able to watch their games via the ESPN app on our Apple TV for years. But when we tried this season, a notice would come up saying that we’d have to pay more to watch, which we weren’t willing to do. Last Saturday night I checked, on a whim, and the game was on! I hope that continues.

4. Going for a walk. Last weekend when the kids were here, Timothy wanted to take a walk after dinner. It was nice out, and there were all sorts of crunchy leaves on the ground that I hadn’t noticed before (I remarked, “I guess it really is fall!”) I’ve noticed a lot more fallen leaves, but not much fall color yet. I so hope that comes before all the leaves go—I depend on that beauty to carry me through the barrenness of the winter landscape.

5. Timothy’s first lost tooth was an experience. 🙂 He was okay with it being loose until it started hurting and then bleeding a bit. He (and his parents) were much relieved when it finally came out.

Happy Friday!

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Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week
with Susanne and other friends at Living to Tell the Story .

October is here! And though it’s still hot and muggy in eastern TN, cooler weather is in the forecast! I can’t wait! Meanwhile, I’m pressing “pause” today to reflect on some of the best parts of the last week.

1. Movie with Timothy and his Grandmas. My daughter-in-law’s mother came to visit, and she invited me to come watch a movie with her, her mom, and Timothy. They had tried taking Timothy to the theater a year or two ago, but he wasn’t quite ready for it yet. Most of the fun of this excursion was hearing his excitement. We were in a theater that has recliners and serves food, so he enjoyed eating pizza while watching. I especially enjoyed his comments and observations throughout the experience. I wish I had recorded all his comments, but the ones I remember are:

During each trailer: “I like this movie!”

“Why did they turn the lights off? It must be night outside.”

“I miss Daddy.”

2. A nice visit. My son’s family brought Mittu’s mom over for dinner last Sunday night. We had a good visit.

3. Bringing food in. Jason and Mittu came over another night later in the week and brought Mexican food from a favorite local restaurant. Jesse and I also got take-out one night while Jim was out of town. It was from a nicer restaurant and a little more expensive—especially as we splurged and got desserts. (Why do restaurant desserts cost so much?! I could have gone to the grocery store next to this restaurant and got 3-5 pies or cakes for the price of two of their desserts.) So we probably won’t be doing that again any time soon. But it was a nice treat. And the desserts did last two days (which does account for some of the expense, but not as much as they charged!)

4. A quiet week. The movie and dinner get-together were last weekend, and there was nothing on the schedule the rest of the week. I enjoy the activities, but I love just regular, ordinary weeks, too—and need them in-between busy times.

5. Wellness, or at least feeling better. Jim has been battling upper respiratory issues for about three weeks now. First a cold, then an infection. He feels immensely better, though he still has a hacking cough sometimes.

And, as a bonus, I had especially prayed for some encouragement for my youngest son’s job hunt. He had a phone interview that went well, so we’ll see if anything comes of that. Just having some response on that front is encouraging, but it would be especially encouraging if something would pan out! But we know God will connect him with just the right job at just the right time. I shared with him that my evening reading for Monday from Daily Light on the Daily Path was all about God’s guidance.

Happy Friday!

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week
with Susanne and other friends at Living to Tell the Story .

The last Friday of September and the first Friday of autumn! It still doesn’t feel like autumn yet, but some trees are starting to turn color. It’s just a few degrees lower, but I sure am looking forward to cool breezes, hopefully soon. Meanwhile, here are some of the best parts of the last week:

1. Mending is not a favorite, but it does feel good to take clothes from unwearable to wearable status. I had not worn a couple of items in a long time, so it almost feels like getting something new!

2. A good report from the ophthalmologist. I hadn’t seen the eye doctor for years since our last one retired and his replacement went to a pediatric office. I seemed to have an excess of new floaters, so I wanted to make sure everything was ok with my retina. My husband’s retina detached a few years ago, and the first symptom was a lot of floaters. I was glad to hear everything was ok with my eyes.

3. Movie night Jason and Mittu rented the live-action Aladdin and brought it over to watch. I hadn’t seen the animated version, so I don’t know how it compares, but we enjoyed it a lot.

4. Cuddling with Timothy while watching the movie. He usually sits with his mom and dad or on a kid’s couch when we watch something, so it was sweet he took the initiative to sit next to me.

5. Antibiotics. My poor dear husband has had some kind of upper respiratory problems for a week and a half now. He called in for an antibiotic a couple of days ago, and it’s starting to help. He’s still pretty sick, but hopefully he’ll be well before too much longer.

Bonus: Munchkins! I was craving a donut after my eye doctor appointment, but didn’t want to go into a store with my eyes dilated (with all the bright lights. And I didn’t want to wear my sunglasses inside in public). I didn’t think we had a donut shop near, but discovered a Dunkin Donuts not too far way. I like their bite-sized assortment.

Happy Friday!

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week
with Susanne and other friends at Living to Tell the Story .

It seems like September just started, and now 2/3 of it is gone. I like to press “pause” on Fridays and remember some of the best parts of the previous week, lest they fly by too quickly.

1. The Tennessee Valley Fair. We hadn’t gone since before Timothy was born, so it was fun to see his reaction. I hadn’t known in previous years that they had a section for young kids. I enjoyed watching Timothy put on his “brave face” for his first ride that a parent couldn’t do with him. After that, he was fine and rode several more.

2. Jesse’s birthday.

As a subset of this one, he has asked for lemon cake the last few years. Normally I don’t crave lemon, but I do look forward to this every year!

3. Vertigo treatment at a physical therapist’s office using this procedure. It took three repetitions, but the vertigo finally subsided.

4. Providential timing. Jason and Mittu’s car has been in the shop, so they have been borrowing Jim’s old one. One day they dropped something off at our house, and Jim got home just after they came. As they drove away, Jim heard a weird sound and called them to come back. He found that one tire had 3 lug nuts missing somehow! So they borrowed my van while Jim took his car in. I’m thankful God brought attention to this while they were in a safe place.

5. A few quiet days after several busy ones. We’ve had a lot of things on the calendar the last two weeks, some necessitating getting up an hour early. Though most of the events were fun (fair, birthdays) or necessary (doctor’s visits), I was so glad there was nothing going on the rest of this week. Wednesday I seemed to fall asleep every time I got still for a few minutes, and I was afraid I’d be wide awake that night. But I wasn’t, so I must have needed the extra shut-eye.

Bonus: The flushing mechanism on our toilet broke the same day as the car issues came up. We could still flush it, but we had to take off the lid to the tank and do it manually. I was so glad Jim could fix it the next day.

Happy Friday!

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week
with Susanne and other friends at Living to Tell the Story .

Yet anther week has flown by, and we have another opportunity to recall God’s goodness in it. Feel free to join in as we remember five good things each week:

1. Church potluck. Good food, as always, and a good time of fellowship. We were able to sit with a new couple we had been wanting to meet but hadn’t yet.

2. Yearly physical is over for another year, and all my lab numbers were good. A couple were a bit high, but stable and not high enough to be a problem.

3. Grandparents Day was last Sunday.I didn’t have a chance to do a post, but I had a good time remembering my grandparents and their impact on my life. And Jason, Mittu, and Timothy came over in the evening with beautiful pink roses for me, a bag of coffee for Jim, a cake, and a picture Timothy colored for us. His bursting in the door cheerily saying, “Happy Grandparents Day!” was the best part.

4. A pleasant evening. I’ve been commenting that it is still hot and humid and not at all autumnish yet. But one evening this week we were in the front yard watching Timothy play, and the air actually felt nice. Not too hot or cold or muggy. A good foretaste of things to come!

5. Honorable mention. I got word this week that a piece I entered in Writer’s Digest’s Annual Writing Competition got an Honorable Mention, with a prize of 20% off at their Writer’s Digest University. That’s such an encouragement that I’m making progress in the right direction.

Bonus: I’m not into pumpkin spice everything, but these are a nice treat this time of year:

I mentioned last week I had gotten some desktop shelves and was experimenting with arranging them. This is how I have them now:

The one underneath the monitor (please forgive the glare) came with a second shelf that goes halfway down, but I wanted to leave the area open to put my “In” box underneath. The ones on the right are actually two pieces that can be squeezed together, pushed apart, or separated into two pieces. I had them in two, on either side of the monitor, and I liked the symmetry of that. But I liked the shelves themselves better this way. All together they do create space for more storage and make the desk look more organized, so I am pleased.

Happy Friday!

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week
with Susanne and other friends at Living to Tell the Story .

It’s been a pretty quiet week. Still hot and humid and summery. No fall decorations here yet for a couple of weeks, though I’ve seen them around town for a while. But I always appreciate the opportunity to reflect on good things from the last week.

1. A haircut. I enjoy them when I get there, but I am terrible about actually making the time to go til I’m so frustrated with my hair, I’m about ready to pull it out. I was finally able to tack on a visit to the salon after another outing. My regular person wasn’t in, and the person who did my hair got it a bit shorter than I’m used to. But I am finding I like it quite a bit and may keep it this way!

2. Flowers. Some of the plants in my planters died, so I looked for a few more to fill in til winter. The stores I checked didn’t have a lot left except mums—not my favorite. I was hoping to find pansies, but didn’t see any. But I did find enough flowers to make the planters better-looking than they were.

3. Desktop shelves. I wanted to keep a few books handy, but there was no room for them on my already crowded desk. I looked up desktop shelves and found some I liked, and asked for them for my birthday. I put those together, and decided I needed another I had seen on my first search. I had enough Amazon points (accumulated through use of my Amazon credit card) to get the second shelves for free. I’ve rearranged them several times, but once I’m set with how I want them, I’ll share a picture.

4. A long weekend. Monday was Labor Day here in the States. Kind of an odd holiday. But everyone enjoyed the day off and Jim’s grilled burgers.

5. Reading to Timothy. I had not read to my grandson for a long time. It’s one of my favorite things to do, but usually he prefers activity when he’s here, which is fine. But last weekend, his dad had fixed him a late lunch here, and Timothy asked if I’d tell him a story while he ate. I asked if I could read one instead. We ended up reading three or four—one was even a chapter book. I had a lot of fun, and he seemed to enjoy them, too.

Bonus: Getting my days straight. For some reason, I thought four different functions were scheduled for four consecutive days next weekend, and I was stressing. But then I realized two of them were this weekend and two the next. Even though I’d prefer them a little more spaced out, it was a relief to realize they weren’t all back-to-back.

Hope you have a great Friday!

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week
with Susanne and other friends at Living to Tell the Story .

We finished out our family stay-cation last week with some more games before my oldest son headed back to his home. Then we crashed for the rest of the weekend. 🙂 It never gets any easier to say good-bye, but we look forward to the next visit at Christmastime. Meanwhile, here are some of the best parts of the last week.

1. Homemade cheesecake and compote. One of Jeremy’s birthday gifts was a set of two stacking pans that go in the Instant Pot in order to cook two different things at once. Something was said about cheesecake, so he put together a recipe from two he found and made them in his new pans in our Instant Pot. Then he made two different compotes, one with strawberries and one with blueberries. We had some chocolate syrup on hand for those who’d rather have that. So good! Jim used some of the leftover blueberry compote on pancakes and I think Mittu said she poured some over ice cream.

2. Laptop repair. My laptop had been having issues for a while, so I asked Jeremy to look at it while he was here. After trying different things, with nothing working, we copied my files there onto a flash drive and had to reset the whole computer to its initial factory specifications. Jesse finished doing what needed to be done after Jeremy had to leave. It’s working much better now than it has in ages. I’m thankful and happy they were able and willing to work on it.

3. A successful school beginning. Timothy started kindergarten through an online home school program this week. He’s been eager and excited and responding well. Jason and Mittu have had several confirmations that this is the right path for now.

4. Meals brought over. Mittu made several meals for a friend whose husband was in an accident, but then discovered the family did not want any visitors. All but one of the meals contained gluten, which Mittu and Timothy can’t eat. So they brought three of them over here. You know I always appreciate time off from the kitchen. But with getting back into the routine after the family stay-cation last week, it’s been especially helpful.

5. Lunch with a friend and free pie! A friend and I had had to cancel plans to get together a few times in a row. We finally made it to lunch this week. We took advantage of O’Charley’s Free Pie Wednesday. I had a half club sandwich and the loaded potato soup (I brought home half of each) and the French Silk pie–sooo good. I had not been to O’Charley’s in years, so it was nice to get reacquainted with them. But the best part was visiting together and catching up.

And that’s it for the last week of August! September means fall is coming soon—and cooler temperatures!

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week
with Susanne and other friends at Living to Tell the Story .

Some weeks require more thought to come up with five good things to share. This is not one of those weeks for me! It will be hard to limit myself to just five.

1. Jeremy’s visit. My oldest son is visiting from out-of-state. It’s a joy to have him here. Jim took the week off, too, and we’ve had lots of family time, games, chatting and catching up.

2. Jeremy’s birthday was the week before, and he celebrated with friends then. But we had our family celebration last weekend.

3. My birthday. My family always goes the extra mile to give me a special day. Lunch from Chick-Fil-A brought in, dinner out, wonderful gifts, and this beautiful cake made by my daughter-in-law. The plates and napkins are so pretty, too!

4. A mini-vacation from cooking. We went out a couple of nights and Mittu cooked a couple of nights. So I felt like I had a bit of vacation time, too!

5. A family outing. Different ones have done various things in the daytime: Jim, Jeremy, and Jesse went to a shooting range, the kids went out to lunch, Jeremy and Jason’s family went to a favorite coffee shop. We had one family outing to a place that has arcade games, bowling, laser tags, etc. Timothy wanted to play the games, so Jason took him to do that while the rest of us bowled. But we visited and touched base with each other in-between activities. When setting up the names for bowling, it asked to take pictures, which we were a little annoyed about at first. But then it used the pictures for funny videos in-between turns which we got a good laugh at.

I also wanted to let you know I had an interview with author Adam Blumer yesterday, which included an opportunity to win a signed copy of his newest excellent suspense novel.

Happy Friday!

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week
with Susanne and other friends at Living to Tell the Story .

And just like that, we’re halfway through August! Time to take a few moments to think about the good things God brought my way this week:

1. Another good movie. I started watching I Can Only Imagine while riding my exercise bike, but then decided I wanted to see it all at once rather than in pieces. I asked my husband if he wanted to watch it with me last weekend, and he did. Wow, it was hard to keep a dry eye through parts of it. The father in the film reminded both of us of our own fathers. They weren’t physically abusive like the father in the film, but they were like him in several other ways. It was neat to see God’s grace in both father and son.

2. Jason and Mittu’s anniversary trip. To celebrate their tenth anniversary, they took Timothy on a trip to the Ark Encounter in KY. They shared their pictures when they came back. It looks really interesting!

3. A “just because” gift bag. A friend at church surprised me with a sweet card and gift bag of little goodies: a kitchen towel, some post-it notes, magnetic bookmarks, and my favorite candy. Although I loved the “stuff,” it was special to me just to be thought of.

4. A prime parking spot. Though I try to park close to where I need to go, I figure if I can’t, I need the exercise. But this week I had an appointment at a doctor’s office with a very small parking lot right next to a hospital. Usually the small lot is full, so I have to park by the hospital. Last time I ended up way out in the boonies after a lot of frustration trying to find a space that wasn’t reserved for hospital personnel. I remembered all that just before I left the house this time, and I prayed that I’d find a parking space close by the office. I did, about five spaces from the front door!

5. The “friend’s store.” My son and daughter-in-law have a friend who opened a little store several weeks ago. He finds grocery items that are about to be discontinued or are close to their “best by” date and sells them at a deep discount. My husband has started going there about once a week. You never know quite what you’re going to find, but he’s brought home everything from chips and salsa to fresh peaches to gluten-free cookies.

Happy Friday!

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week
with Susanne and other friends at Living to Tell the Story .

Here we are more than a week into August already. Everyone’s posting first day of school photos on Facebook. It’s still hot and humid. But fall is in sight! And we’ve got some fun family doings coming up before summer’s over.

Meanwhile, I’m grateful for a moment to stop and recount some of the best moments of the last week:

1. Good movies.

  • We were getting ready for pizza-and-movie night, and I wondered aloud whether Lady and the Tramp was available anywhere. Jim said he thought we had taped it, so he went looking and found it on an old home VHS! Thankfully we still have a VHS player! It must have come on TV at some time, and I am glad we caught it when we did! Timothy seemed to enjoy it–normally he loses interest in movies before they’re over, but he sat and watched this almost til the end. It was nostalgic for me: I loved it as a child and loved watching it with my children.
  • Then, while riding my exercise bike last week, I watched Saving Mr. Banks, about Walt Disney trying to persuade P. L. Travers to sell him the rights to her Mary Poppins book. She resisted for 20 years, not wanting him to turn it into one of his “silly cartoons.” But she finally gave in, as long as she was the creative consultant. Most of the movie is her objecting to most of they wanted to do (especially the animated dancing penguins–and I have to admit, that’s my least favorite part of Mary Poppins, too). But interspersed with that are flashbacks to her growing up with a creative, loving, but alcoholic father who couldn’t hold a job and how all of that made her into the somewhat uptight woman she grew up to be. I love when her armor starts to crack, especially in her relationship with her driver. (Warning: this film does contain a couple of bad words and one instance of taking God’s name in vain. There’s also an brief unsuccessful suicide attempt, for those for whom that might be a hard trigger).
  • The movie I’ve been watching while exercising this week is The Case for Christ about Lee Strobel. I had read one or two of his books and knew his story: he was an award-winning investigative journalist and an atheist. When his wife became a Christian, he set out disprove Christianity, particularly the resurrection of Christ, with the drive and resources of a journalist. But the evidence he found convinced him it was all real, and he became a believer who has now written several books about his research. The movie only contains a fraction of his research, but it weaves it in such a way that it does not sound like a documentary.

2. My son and daughter-in-law’s 10th anniversary!

3. Shaping up flowers. I am neither an outdoorsy person nor much of a gardener, but I do enjoy occasionally deadheading and shaping up the roses, hydrangeas, and flower pots and keeping the ivy from taking over. It looks much better out there.

4. A root beer float is my treat after getting all hot and sweaty working outside. I don’t allow myself to have them that often, making them even more special.

5. A successful first dentist’s visit for Timothy. Everything went well, and he told me he was “very brave.” I loved that he wanted to come tell us all about it afterward.

Happy Friday, folks! Have a great weekend!