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!


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.

Another Friday is here! The first FFF of the summer! Here are some highlights of the last week:

1. Father’s Day. Always a joy to celebrate my husband and son and father and step-father – as well as enjoy some good food and having the family together. πŸ™‚

2. A “man bouquet.” My daughter-in-law made this as a centerpiece for Father’s Day dinner. I’m sure they liked this better than flowers. πŸ™‚

Man bouquet

3. A medical test completed. I decided to go ahead and schedule an ablation surgery for the atrial fibrillation I’ve been experiencing, which will be next month, and a test I had to have in preparation for that was a CT scan of the heart. I’m told that will provide the cardiologist a “map” for when he does the surgery. That was Wednesday, and everything went well. Sometimes technicians can treat you like a piece of the furniture, placing you where they need you but not really interacting and not pleased with questions. But this one was very friendly and efficient, explaining everything well, telling me what to expect, and answering a question I had. When I got a little lost on the way to the imaging department, a hospital worker passing by noticed me looking at the signs and helped me find my way. Normally even for familiar and simple medical appointments I have a little undercurrent of nervousness, but about halfway in I realized God was giving me a remarkable calmness. I’m glad that’s done and I hope the actual procedure next month goes as well.

4. Timothy. My daughter-in-law told me that one day this week, out of the blue, my grandson Timothy said, “Grandma loves Timothy.” That warmed my heart. I’m so glad he knows that.

5. Passing the summer solstice. I like having some extra daylight in the evenings, but sometimes it’s hard to wind down when it is light so late and mentally it doesn’t seem so late. I like the in-between rather than the extremes of summer and winter. πŸ™‚

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.

I usually start my FFF posts on Thursdays, but this week I was drawing aΒ  blank. It wasn’t a bad week, but nothing really stood out at first for this week’s post. But, as always, once I start to think about and look for blessings in the week, I find them.

1. A quiet week. Just the fact that it was an uneventful week, spent mostly at home, was a blessing, especially after last week’s ER events.

2. Zaxby’s Grilled Cobb salad. My errand-running usually occurs later mornings, culminating in my bringing home something for lunch for Jesse and me. One of our occasional lunch places is Zaxby’s, and I love their chicken strips, fries, toast, and sauce. But I’ve been trying to make better heart-healthy choices lately, so I got their grilled Cobb salad. It was wonderful! I can’t wait to have it again. I’ve been trying to choose grilled instead of fried at restaurants, with mixed results, but this was so good. The calorie count, which they helpfully put on their drive-through menus, was still pretty high, but I have to believe the choice was still a better one with all the fresh veggies. I’m not usually one to have a salad for a meal – I tend to think of them as appetizers or side dishes, even with meat in them. But this lasted me until dinner.

3. Timothy’s “playground,” as he calls the set we got for him. It took Jim and Jesse, with help from Jason as he had time, a couple of Saturdays to put it together. Timothy was taking a nap when it was completed, and we couldn’t stay til he woke up, so his parents filmed his first reaction to it and sent the video to us. Priceless! When he climbed up to this little perch, he said he was “so high in the sky!” And then he wanted to FaceTime with us so we could watch him play on it.


4. Surprise visits. Sometimes when Jason, Mittu, and Timothy are out in the evenings, they ask if they can stop by to visit. I treasure living close enough to have that happen!

5. Naps. I don’t know why I seem to be unusually sleepy this week, but I’ve been grateful for naps in the daytime to give me enough energy to then get something else accomplished.

As a bonus, we found out that some of my family is driving down from up north this summer to visit two of my sisters in SC. We can’t stay overnight because of Jim’s mom’s care, but we’re making plans to at least meet halfway between here and there for lunch one day. There is even a possibility the rest of the family in TX might come – if they did, that would be the first time since my mom’s funeral 11 years ago that all six siblings were together, so I hope it works out!

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 week started off with a bang, but thankfully things seem back to normal now. Here are some of my favorite parts:

1. Feeling better after being in the ER last weekend with atrial fibrillation.

2. A good visit with the cardiologist. The last time I had seen him, more than a year ago, I felt like I really wasn’t given as much information as I needed to know how to proceed. I saw him for a follow-up visit after being in the ER and brought my list of questions and felt like we had a good discussion. Now I need to decide whether to treat it surgically or medicinally – there are risks either way, so there’s much to think and pray about.

3. False alarms. While at the doctor’s office, the building was evacuated due to a fire alarm. Thankfully we were only out maybe 15 minutes before we received an all-clear signal and were allowed to go back in. God gave me peace in a situation where I would probably normally have been frazzled and irritated, and even though the event was no fun, it’s much better that it was a small situation easily contained rather than a major fire.

4. Lunch with Melanie at Red Lobster. Normally there I have the popcorn shrimp (breaded and fried), but in an effort to be a little more heart-healthy, I got the grilled shrimp and tilapia – first time I had ever tried tilapia. It was quite good, and I had such an enjoyable time talking with Melanie.

5. Riced cauliflower. I had seen interesting recipes using this on Pinterest and was glad to find some already riced (processed very small, like rice grains) in the freezer section of the store. I tried it straight from the freezer in place of rice for a stir-fry, along with some leftover chicken and grated vegetables, and really liked it. I’m eager to explore new ways to use it.

Bonus: Timothy discovered my make-up mirror one day, with one side normal and the other side magnified. He was so tickled, saying “little Timothy” and then turning it over and saying “BIG Timothy” and laughing. Then when I looked over his shoulder into the mirror, he laughed at “BIG Grandma.” He even held up a special rock he had found in front of it, saying, “Little rock…BIG rock” and laughing.

And my lovely daughter-in-law did make dinner a couple of times. πŸ™‚

Happy Friday!