Friday’s Fave Five

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

Another Friday, another pause to reflect on the best parts of the week.

1. A visit to Cade’s Cove. I wrote more about this here, but we had a great time visiting this beautiful scenic and historic area on Saturday.

2. iCloud shared photo albums. Whenever we have a family event, we set up a shared photo album on our phones so we can each contribute our pictures to it. It’s so nice to be able to see everyone else’s photos fairly soon.

3. An extra hour. I am not a big fan of the time designations changing back and forth, but we have to do it. I hate losing an hour when Daylight Savings Time starts, but I do like getting it back in the fall.

4. Heat. We’ve had some nights in the 20s this week. When we first turned on our heater, it was making some clunky noises.That doesn’t usually happen, and Jim was out of town, so I turned it off again. When we turned it back on a day or two later, everything worked and sounded fine.

5. Leftover quiche for breakfast. I have oatmeal for breakfast most days, and we have scrambled eggs or egg sandwiches on Sunday mornings as a family. So being able to pop some leftover quiche in the microwave for breakfast is a break from routine, something special, and something much quicker than usual.

How was your week?


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 in November! No matter what we do, we can’t change the speed of time. But we can enjoy the moments along the way. Here are some of mine from this week:

1. Pumpkin carving and decorating. A tradition we just started a few years ago, It’s always fun to see what everyone comes up with and how they turn out.

2. Lasagna. Mittu brought over lasagna for the pumpkin night—a favorite!

3. Caramel corn and apple cider have become traditions for pumpkin night as well. It’s a little tedious to make the caramel corn, but it makes the house smell wonderful and tastes so good!

4. Choco-peanut butter dreams. A clunky name for a delicious cookie. I only make them once a year, because they’re a bit of work and they are too tempting. So good. Recipe is here.


5. A not-so-bad dental hygienist. 🙂 To explain, at my last dental appointment, I had a different hygienist than usual. The appointment just did not go well at all. I was consoling myself with the thought that this was the only time I would see her, when I noticed she kept mentioning “next time.” When I checked out, I asked the receptionist about my regular person and was told she had resigned. I was trying to decide whether to ask for a different hygienist at my next appointment, but decided to give this new person one more try. I saw her this week, and everything was fine. Plus, no cavities or other problems, and a bit of “flappy gum” was better.

Bonus: Timothy’s parents had taken him to a mall for trick-or-treating, and they dropped by afterward so we could see him in costume as Aladdin, complete with a small magnet monkey of mine. I didn’t get a picture, though!

This has been a food-heavy post, but one of the best parts of fall is its foods. 🙂 I could have also mentioned making some oven meals we don’t use during the summer when it’s too hot to turn the oven on. It’s fun to come back to those in the fall, with the coziness of warmth and good smells.

What’s a highlight of your week?

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 deliciously cool this week! Here are some other high points:

1. Lunch with friends. Our church had a potluck dinner Sunday, then I met with a friend for lunch later in the week. Good times!

2. Water bottle rockets. We did these with our kids, and it was fun to do them with Timothy. It was fun to hear him count down and then get so excited watching them blast off and land.

3. A bit of color on two different fronts. We haven’t had much fall color this year, they say because we haven’t had much rain. The leaves in our neighborhood look mostly rusty. But as I was out yesterday, I saw some bright orange and yellow trees here and there. I miss the full-blown fall color we usually have, but that little bit cheered me.

Then I looked out the back door and was surprised to see my hydrangea with fresh blooms:

The roses and begonias are still going strong as well some of the petunias.

4. Lindt candy. Lindt milk chocolate truffles are my favorite candy. But my husband found and bought this Lindt variety pack last weekend. Usually with these kinds of candy collections, there are a few duds in the mix that no one likes. But these were all really good!

5. A special discovery. Several years ago, I made this little plaque for my mother-in-law. Since her passing, this was the one thing of hers I wanted to keep personally, but I had no idea where it was. Last weekend, Jim and I were going through some boxes of his mom’s things in our attic, and we found this. I was thankful.

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 .

Fall has well and truly arrived here in eastern TN. It’s been downright chilly in the mornings, though we’ve not turned on the heat yet. Someone posted on FaceBook a funny meme that we get all four seasons in one day: winter in the early morning, spring mid-morning, summer early afternoon, and fall late afternoon. That’s about right.

Here are some favorites from the last week:

1. “Girl time” with Mittu. I met my son and daughter-in-law and grandson for lunch at the mall Saturday, and then Mittu and I saw a movie that none of the guys were interested in. We wondered that we hadn’t done more girl things over the years. With Timothy’s babyhood and then caring for my mother-in-law, there wasn’t as much opportunity. But maybe now there is!

2. Ladies group from church met Saturday morning. Always a joy to get into the Word of God with these ladies.

3. Family time. Jason and Mittu came over and made burritos Saturday night. Then Jim and Timothy shot off some rockets made from plastic soda bottle and propelled by water. By the time we got outside, it was a little too dark to see how far they went up, so we’ll have to do them again some time when it’s light outside. But Timothy enjoyed watching them take off and land. Then the next day we met for lunch and wandered around an antique show for a bit. Not all of it was antiques: many of the displays looked like things Chip and Joanna Gaines (from Fixer Upper) would use.

4. Toy Story 4 was part of our family time as well, but I wanted to give it its own slot. When I first heard they were making a fourth installment, I was wary. I didn’t want the franchise run into the ground, and I felt the third movie had wrapped things up nicely. But this fourth movie was really good and as heart-touching as the others.

5. Surprise treats. Since I was away from home most of Saturday, I asked Jim if he would pick up a few things from the store for me. For the next couple of days, I found small packs of my favorite candy hidden in spots around the house. I hadn’t had them on my list—he saw them and wanted to surprise me.

Then when I picked up a grocery order from W-Mart, they handed me a surprise bag of goodies, too.

It’s been a great week! Hope yours has been, too.

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!

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!