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 cannot fathom how we’re 1/3 into August already! And August is a busy month for us, so I imagine it will go pretty fast, too. Here are some favorite parts of the last week:

1. An unexpected gift from a blog friend. Dianna sent me a sweet card and this cross that her husband made as a recovery gift after my surgery. I was so touched by their thoughtfulness. (The flowers are from Jason and Mittu, favorites, too!)

2. A gel seat cushion in my computer chair has been a big help with sciatic nerve pain.

3. Peanut butter chocolate chip mug cake. I’ve made this a few times now (not all of them this week! πŸ™‚ ) It’s an easy recipe, 1 minute in the microwave, and perfect when I want something sweet but not a whole panful of something.

4. My husband’s sous vide chicken and pork loin. He made them on Sunday, and usually I use the leftovers in a stir-fry, but this week we used them in salads a couple of times. Very good!

5. Healing. I am feeling much better than I was this time last week. I’m making my first excursion to the grocery store today since the surgery, taking Jesse with me for the heavy lifting and to take over if I tire out. πŸ™‚

Bonus: Finding some time this week to work on a special project I’ve been wanting to get to for ages. I hope to share more when I have more done with it. πŸ™‚

Bonus 2: Timothy’s reaction when he noticed 3-D cows on a Chick-Fil-A billboard: “Cows up there! They’re drawing!”

Happy Friday!



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 pretty eventful week, and I am so blessed to have seen God’s grace in it. Here are a few favorite things:

1. Sharing. This was actually a couple of weeks ago, I think. A lady in our church with Parkinson’s has been having trouble swallowing and needed to go to a pureed diet. Jim offered to go over and share with her husband what we do in preparing pureed food for his mom, and I think it was a big help, especially this temperature gun so you don’t have to keep sticking your finger in the food or tasting it.

2. Rediscovering unused gift cards. I was looking at the Galkin Evangelistic Team‘s new CDs, and since they’re on iTunes, I dug around in my desk for an iTunes gift card tucked back in there. I found two, and thought I had already used one, but I put it in just in case, and it hadn’t been used. So I found $75 worth of iTunes credit that I didn’t know I had! We occasionally rent movies through iTunes, so it’s nice to have some credit in place for that.

3. Hummingbirds. It seemed to take them longer than usual to find us this year, but now we see them regularly.

4. Surgery OVER. The surgery itself went well, and though we had a problem with bleeding afterward, everything seems to be ok and on the mend now. I got home yesterday afternoon. I’m still on anti-arrhythmia meds for a few weeks while everything heals and settles down, but I’m hoping that when I see the dr. next month, I can get off those.

5. Family and friends. My husband is an excellent caregiver and doesn’t mind anything from changing dressings to making breakfast and washing dishes. Jesse made Great-Grandma’s breakfast one morning we were gone and Mittu made it the next day. Jason and Mittu stayed overnight Wed., and Jason turned Great-Grandma over during the night. Mittu made three meals ahead of time for us. GG’s regular caregiver lives close by, so she popped in to feed her dinner and get her ready for bed in the evening. Jesse even fixed his shower handle that broke while we were away. I didn’t know he knew how to do that. πŸ™‚ I so appreciate everyone pitching in. β™₯ I also was blessed by cards, text messages, emails, Facebook comments, and phone calls from loved ones and friends, and especially everyone’s prayers.

I’m spending the weekend relaxing and recuperating. πŸ™‚ Hope you have a great weekend as 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 has been a relatively quiet week, which is much appreciated! Here are the best parts of it:

1. A useful tip. I enjoy coming home to a crockpot meal on Sundays after church but I don’t like getting up half an hour early to prepare them. I thought if I could just get the potatoes peeled the night before, that would take care of the bulk of it. I discovered that you can indeed peel potatoes ahead of time and keep them in water in the refrigerator overnight to keep them from turning brown. That helped a lot!

2. Easy fixes – or my husband’s magic touch. I hate greeting him right after work with news that something has gone wrong with an appliance. On Tuesday, two of them acted up. We’ve been having some trouble with the washer’s spin cycle, and this time it just stopped with a tub full of clothes and water. It had been making noise but not spinning, but this time it didn’t respond to any setting on the dial and didn’t make any noise at all. I thought it had finally died. Then the sound went out on my mother-in-law’s TV. I turned it off and on, plugged and unplugged things, but nothing changed. So I broke the news after he got home, and while I was finishing making dinner, he turned on the washer – and voila, it worked fine. He said maybe it was just tired. πŸ™‚ Then he unplugged his mother’s TV for ten minutes and then plugged it back in – and it worked fine as well. While that’s maddening on one hand, I really was glad they started working and that neither one was going to cost a lot of time, money, and headaches to deal with.

3. An evening with Timothy. His parents went out for a rare date night while he stayed with us – and they brought us pizza! Everything went fine — well, except for a little accident requiring the use of the wet vac and running his clothes through the washer. πŸ™‚ But those things happen, and I am glad Jim was there when it did so we could deal with it together. I’m glad Timothy enjoys staying with us, and it’s fun to see his little imagination going all the time. He was pretty fascinated with the wet vac, too. πŸ™‚

4. Barbecue and a movie. Jason and Mittu had rented a movie on their Apple TV and offered to bring it over so we could watch it before the rental expired, plus they brought take-out from a favorite barbecue place.

5. Encouraging comments and offers of prayer for my procedure next week to try to fix my atrial fibrillation. You all are the best. πŸ™‚

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 at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

It has been a busy week! But a good one. Here are some of the best parts:

1. Jason’s birthday!



Mittu and Timothy made that amazing cake!

2. An outing. We celebrated Jason’s birthday early over the weekend so we’d have more time. He took his actual birthday off during the week, and he and Mittu took Timothy to a children’s art and science museum called The Muse, and invited me along. It was so fun to watch Timothy engage with various displays and participate in some of them with him. I don’t have any photos – just about the time I would get my phone camera out and read, the moment passed. Then we tried a new-to-us pizza place called Sergeant Pepperoni’s. It was packed, and with one server working as hard as she could, it took about 40 minutes to get our food, but it was good. More help came in while we were there, so maybe someone had called sick or something. Then it was home for naps. Small children’s schedules coordinate nicely with Grandma’s schedules that way. πŸ™‚ Timothy and I were both pretty wiped out by that point.

3. Lunch with Melanie at Red Lobster. Last time I was good and looked for something lighter and healthier – this time I indulged in my favorite popcorn shrimp. πŸ™‚ We enjoyed talking so much, the time passed so fast – I was shocked when I looked at the time and saw I needed to rush home before my mother-in-law’s caregiver needed to leave.

4. A day at home. Last week, for various reasons, I was out with errands I think every single day, even Saturday, which I try to keep free of them. This week, besides grocery shopping on Monday, I had some fun times out. But it was nice on Thursday to have a full day at home. I was contemplating going to the gym, but then my mother-in-law’s caregiver had to run out to take her daughter somewhere at the time I would have gone, so that took care of that for me. πŸ™‚

5. Mexican food. We got take-out from a new-to-us Mexican food place last Friday night, and even though we probably won’t use them again for various reasons, I enjoyed it. I grew up in southern Texas, where Mexican or “Tex-Mex” food was a regularity, and I crave it sometimes.

It’s been a scorcher this week, very hot days and no rain, so I have been exceptionally glad for air conditioning. And for good reading – I finished some excellent books in the last several days.

What are some highlights 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 almost at the midpoint of July! And here are my favorite parts of the last week:

1. An excursion downtown with Melanie. We explored the Mast General Store and then ate an early lunch at Coolato Gelato. The latter is primarily known as a gelato/dessert/coffee place, but it serves really good paninis as well as quiche (which I am going to try there someday!) and salads. And Jason, Mittu, and Timothy stopped in as well, so I was glad they all got to meet each other. I’m not usually the one driving downtown when we go, but driving this time helped give me confidence that I could do it again and deal with finding parking and such (even though I inadvertently took us on a scenic route at first…but it all turned out all right.)

2. Garden gifts. I am just not up to dealing with gardening, but I have neighbors who regularly share some of their abundance with us. They gave us some huge zucchini last week.

3. Zucchini Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies. The first time I ever went to Coolato Gelato, they had some wonderful zucchini cookies half-dipped in chocolate. I asked them about them when we were there, and they said they only had them one winter (I hope my inquiry spurs them to think about serving them again!) I searched for zucchini cookie recipes and discovered Zucchini Oatmeal Choclate Chip Cookies, which sounded good even though they’re different from what I was looking for. Since I had some fresh zucchini on hand, I decided to try them. So good! The only thing I’d do differently next time is try a different grater to see if I could grate the zucchini a little more finely.


4. Benadryl Cream. The evening of July 4th, we went outside to watch some fireworks that were being set off around the neighborhood, and I came back with 22 little bug bites on my chest! Since one cluster of them is right next to where the neckline of my dress was, I think some little bug got under there and then couldn’t get out. Oddly, I didn’t feel it happening and didn’t notice them until changing clothes, and then they didn’t itch at all unless I brushed across them. But after that I started having I can’t stand it itching. Cortisone cream didn’t help much, but Benadryl cream had been keeping it mostly manageable. They’re fading, so hopefully they’ll be gone soon.

5. Two meals Mittu made for us this week. Yum!

Have a great 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.

Here we are at the first Friday of July! Here are some high points of the past week:

1. Jim’s mom’s 89th birthday. I don’t know if she quite understood what was going on, but hopefully she caught the love expressed.


She has trouble swallowing and only eats pureed foods, so instead of cake, Jim got her a caramel frappe from McDonald’s – he used to bring those to her when she was in assisted living.


2. Flourless Applesauce Spice Cake. I had wanted to have just a small cake for the rest of us on Jim’s Mom’s birthday. Mittu is gluten intolerant, and I had a couple of GF cake mixes on hand, but didn’t want a big cake. So I looked up some GF recipes I had pinned on Pinterest, and found this one. It was SO good! Tasted a lot like carrot cake, and was very moist.

3. The 4th of July. I had a pretty relaxing day until nearly dinner time. We had planned to get Timothy’s wading pool out, but it was raining off and on. Jim went ahead and set it up and put our canopy over it. Jason and Mittu and Timothy came over, and while Jim was grilling, Timothy did get to play in the pool.

Timothy pool coverThe rain really poured for a while, but thankfully paused long enough for Jim to grill burgers and sausage. Later in the evening, a church near us had a fireworks display that we could just see a little of over the trees. Timothy was so excited! At least for a little while. πŸ™‚ I’m glad he got to see them. Plus his parents took him to a parade earlier in the day, so he had just about the whole July 4th experience. I made some gluten free brownies from a mix and sprinkled the top with red, while, and blue sugar – simple, but they hit the spot. πŸ™‚

Timothy parade

4. A productive morning. Wednesday and Thursday I was frustrated because it seemed like I wasn’t getting anything done that I had wanted to. Then all of a sudden Thursday morning, things fell into place, and I got several things knocked off my mental to-do list.

5. Touching base with extended family. My aunt passed away earlier this week, and while we grieve, it has been good to have more conversations than usual with another aunt and uncle and my sisters and brother.



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.

Time just keeps marching on, and here we are at the end of June already. Though summer technically just started last week, I always think of it as June, July, and August, so now it feels like we’re 1/3 of the way through. Here are some highlights of the last week:

1. Mulch. Ever since Jim put up our fence last summer, we’ve been wanting to make some beds for planting along the fence line. He’s had the edging there for a bit, but it has either been rainy or too hot or too busy with other things to get any further with it. This last week he’s spent almost every evening working on it, and just having the mulch in it looks so much nicer. Next he is going to transplant some bushes from their odd locations into these planting areas, and then we get to decide what other plants we want to fill in with. Since the majority of our windows look out to the fenced area, the view makes a big difference.

2. Finishing projects and anticipating others. Got a big one finished this week, and I have the urge to work next on a craft project that has been in the back of my mind for a while now.

3. Finishing a couple of big books.One wasn’t so big in its number of pages, but it was one that took some time to process. And Don Quixote was just finished Thursday, which involved a whopping 36 hours of audio time. I hope to review it next week. And my next audiobook is less than three hours! I needed a short one after such a long one.

4. Time off from cooking, once again. Jason and Mittu made dinner last Friday, we got Chinese take-out Saturday, and Jason and Mittu got take-out from a favorite barbecue place Sunday. Nice!

5. A message from Timothy. I got an audio message on my phone from Timothy saying, “Grandma, I love you!” Mittu said he was going to ask me about coming over for lunch but forgot what he was going to say. But I’ll take the “I love you” any time! And lunch other get-togethers, too, of course.

Have a great weekend, and a happy 4th of July to those in the US!