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Friday’s Fave Five #67

FFF fall leaves 2

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

1. Visit with a friend. My husband co-pastors with another man. These two men each prefer the other and use their diverse gifts to work together for the body of Christ in our local church. The other pastor’s wife has MS and I struggle with fibromyalgia and arthritis. We two wives don’t always make it to church and certainly don’t get to spend much time together. This week we were able to enjoy a nice, edifying visit together.

2. Not getting lost. I am hopelessly directionally challenged. Well, maybe not hopelessly, since I was able to drive twice this week into new areas and not get lost! For someone like me, that is very encouraging.

3. Local cuisine. Our small town was established by Francophones and has purposely developed a French theme. A few months ago a new Quebec French restaurant (called Chartier) opened (with help from a very popular local crowd funding campaign.) We took some friends there to eat last week, and the place was buzzing! The whole staff is intent on offering locally sourced (when possible) foods and have been exceptionally careful to work with patrons who have food allergies and restrictions. My gluten-free duck grunt was absolutely delicious, and everyone else at the table raved about their meals.

4. Harvest moon. After our meal last Friday night, we drove around the perimeter of our town to look at both the recent development and the surrounding fields. It was neat to see the combines and other machinery working into the night to bring in the harvest. While we were watching the farmers work, we saw the mood rise. The beautiful orangey full moon was a harvest moon. I didn’t have my camera with me so I simply sat back and enjoyed the beauty of the evening.

5. College football. Call me crazy, but I enjoy watching US college football when I have a chance. It’s been fun to watch my home state team, the Ohio State Buckeyes, play very well. Go Bucks!

Here are some pictures from this past week.

Bird boxes

bird boxes

waiting for harvest

waves of ripened grain

along the fenceline

along the fence line

dried and ready

dried and ready

Alberta's changing colors

Alberta’s changing colors

already cut

already taken in

cut and dried

in the shadow of the cloud

in the shadow of the cloud

whispers of red

whispers of red

I love fences

I love fences

 

Friday’s Fave Five #66

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

1. Reading a new book. I purchased a new book this week entitled Conscience: What It Is, How to Train It, and Loving Those Who Differ. I’m about half way through and thus far it has been excellent.

2.Going through old files. When we originally converted our garage into an office for my husband seven years ago, he had a filing cabinet in the office. Last summer we got rid of the cabinet, but are just now sorting through the files. It’s been fun and nostalgic to find things from our early years in Canada in the late 80’s.

3. A few last squash. We have thoroughly enjoyed our thin-skinned yellow crook necked squash this year. The return of warmer weather this week means we can squeeze out a few more squash before having to pull out the plants.

4. Getting to hear my daughter sing again. Our oldest daughter has her Master’s degree in Voice Performance. She’s also a skilled administrator, which is her current job. I don’t get to hear her sing in public performances very often, but she will be singing as part of an arts program on Sunday, October 2 in the afternoon.

5. Deals I was in Michaels to use my half price coupon this week. I am collecting Copic sketch markers one by one using coupons and Michaels finally has a few markers back in stock after a long period of time with very few available. While there I noticed some nice packs of cards marked down to 50 cents. I use them to add Bible verses and my own embellishments then give them away to encourage people. When I got to the till the packs were 20 cents each! Yay for deals!

Here are some pictures I took this week.

Cheerful wildflowers

Cheerful wildflowers

Back yard mushrooms

Back yard mushrooms

9-10-16-harvest-22

Alberta harvest time

 

Rural mailbox 1

Rural mailbox 1

Rural mailbox 2

Rural mailbox 2

Country roads near Leduc

Country roads near Leduc

Pumpjack silhouette

Pumpjack silhouette

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Prairie grasses at harvest time

9-10-16-fence-tower-road

Cottony fencepost

9-10-16-fence-tower-road-8

Alberta energy

9-10-16-bushes-and-trees-2

Rare autumn red

 

Friday’s Fave Five #65

FFF fall leaves 2It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

1. The things you learn! We noticed some beautiful white birds on a pond while we were driving down the highway near Moose Jaw. At first I thought they were swans, but Bud turned around for us to get a closer look and we discovered they were pelicans. Dozens of pelicans! Just one more interesting thing I learned about Saskatchewan while on our trip this summer.

Pelicans of Saskatchewan

Pelicans of Saskatchewan

Moose Jaw surprise

Moose Jaw surprise

2.Reset My daughters and I have formed our own fitness group so we can each get back to our individual health and fitness goals. My start has been a little rocky, but it helps to have to report weekly on our progress.

3.My very own palm tree Well, it looks like a palm tree, but is actually an ornamental kale. Ornamental or not, the kale chips I made from the leaves are still quite tasty.

Alberta "palm" tree

Alberta “palm” tree

4.Getting things pared down. With the help of family and my young house helpers, we have gotten the garage cleaned out and prepped to be turned back into a garage. Bud used it for his study for several years until space was available in the college wing for both his office and library (of several thousand books.) After he moved everything, the garage / office became a collecting point for every stray thing that had no specific home. Parking our car in a garage will be especially nice in the winter.

5.Technology…which enables me to see, message and talk with my family in China. These latest pictures of our little grandson, James make your heart melt, don’t they? Hard to believe he’s almost a month old now!

Happy baby

Happy baby

"I want my granny!"

“I want my granny!”

I’m including a few more pictures from our summer travels.

Prairie train

Prairie train

Thistle

Thistle

Canola field

Canola field

cattails

Beyond cattails

of fences and fields

Of fences and fields

Tornado warning

Tornado warning

sunset after tornado warning

Sunset after tornado warning

Highway wildflowers

Highway wildflowers

Friday’s Fave Five #64

FFF fall leaves 2

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 have missed a few weeks now due to some very full Fridays in August. But some exceptional blessings occurred since I last posted so I will include them today.

1. A beautiful new grandson. Our newest grandson, James Perseverance, was born in Shanghai last month. The family is prospering and ready to begin a new semester soon.

The Grandchildren2. A beautiful new car The same day God gave us a new grandson, He also gave us a new car. We have been praying a long time for God to provide this need. Not only is the car new to us, it is brand new, a gift from God through one of His servants. This car is easy for me to get in and out of, a huge answer to prayer with my mobility issues. It is also smarter than we are. Much smarter! For the foreseeable future, date night is spending time together pouring over the car manual trying to learn a thing or two!

3.A beautiful reunion We enjoyed a visit with one of the first deacons from our original church plant in Calgary. God directed his family to New Brunswick long ago but he was here last month to bring his daughter to Foundation Baptist College for the one-year Bible program. It was wonderful to catch up and enjoy sweet fellowship again.

 

20160820_2025314. A beautiful garden Shorter days and significantly cooler weather are harbingers of seasonal change. Folks here seem to think winter will come early. We’ll see. Until that first frost, I am enjoying my garden. The peppermint and spearmint did particularly well this year and have taken over about half of my herb planter. We did successfully grow yellow crook necked squash, and have the promise of more with dozens of blossoms still on the plant….should the weather remain warm. Well, I need to keep an eye on the weather to make sure I bring in all those fragrant herbs at the just the right time to dry and use over the winter.

IMG_23845. A beautiful new place to meet Sunday mornings at our church have been cramped lately. Not only is it tight in the auditorium, we are squeezed out of nursery and Sunday School space as well. We’ve added eight new babies this year and three more due in the early months of next year. A nice problem to have, isn’t it? One of our members is a realtor with many connections in the city. While searching for places for us to rent he was made aware of the Portuguese Cultural Center. After several conversations with the group, this large building was offered to our church for Sunday mornings at a very reasonable rent. Our first service will be held there this Sunday.

Here are some more pictures from this summer

fix landscape (6)

prairie grasses

IMG_0859

hello, buffalo!

Sunflower and bees

Sunflower and honey

IMG_1987

purple and blue

IMG_2032

canola dream

IMG_2126

peaceful place

IMG_2177

beautiful solitude

Friday’s Fave Five #63

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

1.Family night I always enjoy having my family here. These days when four of my five children live nearby, we try and have family night at least twice a month. Several of our children have lived abroad and are back here for now, and one still lives in China with his family. I cherish these face-to-face times we have to laugh, eat, debate, and share God’s grace in our lives.

2.Rest I have had a low-key restful week, which I pretty much always need after we travel. When we are traveling it’s hard to know for sure that I am eating gluten-free and avoiding the foods that make me sick. I did fairly well – only sick twice – but am grateful to be home again and to rest.

3.Crazy, amazing weather One of the things we missed when we moved to Alberta from the States many years ago was thunderstorms. While we would enjoy an occasional storm in Calgary, it was nothing like the humidity-infused, light and noise shows that defined South Carolina storms. This summer we have had many breathtaking thunderstorms in the Edmonton area. But not only did we have severe thunderstorm warnings here, we had a tornado warning while we were in Saskatchewan. In a moment of craziness, Bud and I drove around and took pictures of the menacing sky and the beautiful sunset colours as the storm weakened.

"What tornado warning?"

“What tornado warning?”

tornado warning

tornado warning

beginning to clear

beginning to clear

sun behind clouds

sun behind clouds

sunset coming

sunset coming

after the warning

after the warning

 

4.Joy in truth I have been deeply impressed as I have been studying the Scriptures that God is for us. He is for His children. This does not mean that we do not have trials or difficulties, but as we go through troubling times, God is there, encouraging us as we learn needed lessons, comforting us as we encounter our own failings, healing us as we acknowledge our sin-soaked brokenness and turn to Him for help. I find this deeply encouraging and the source of exceptional peace in dark moments.

5.Truffles The Lindt Lindor white chocolate truffles are gluten free…..and oh, so yummy!

Have you counted your blessings this week?

Here are more pictures from our Saskatchewan trip.

hawk

hawk

taking off

taking off

circling

circling

hawk and hay

hawk and hay

thistle

thistle

moon in the mist

moon in the mist

over the rise

over the rise

fix building (16)

twins

fix building (7) - Copy

total abandon

fix building (4)

beyond the fence

fix building (3)

still standing

FFF daisies

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

1. Trip to Saskatchewan We have been in Saskatchewan, travelling for the college. Canadians tease that Saskatchewan is so flat, you can set your cruise control, take a nap, and wake up an hour later still in your lane.  Saskatchewan certainly does have its vast expanses of beautiful, flat farm and ranch land, however, it also has scenic hills, expansive valleys and peaceful lakes. In between our obligations we stayed at a cottage at Last Mountain Lake. Driving into Regina from the cottage we had to pass through the long and hilly Qu’appelle Valley. Driving into town we also stopped at the reconstructed Last Mountain House, a Hudson’s Bay outpost for a few years in the late 1800’s, until fire burned the original post to the ground. Yes, we found Saskatchewan peaceful, interesting, and certainly not all flat.

2. Field of flax In Saskatchewan we noticed field after field of a crop with periwinkle-blue flowers. They were lovely! After asking around we discovered this pale blue crop is flax. Flax is harvested to produce flax seed, flax seed oil, linen and paper. I’ve not seen any flax growing around us in Alberta, but was told it’s a big crop in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Flax field

Flax field

Flax flowers

Flax flowers

3. New lawn We’ve had a new front lawn put it. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? We first had to have some trees removed. The one pine tree was so large, and the gnarly roots rippled out of the ground in so many places, that nothing else could grow on one entire side of the front yard. Once that tree and those roots were taken out, it looked like a bomb crater! The landscapers dug out the rest of the lawn, graded both sides, added fresh topsoil, and laid sod. They did a great job and now we have a yard that looks nice and is much easier to keep up with.

4. Out to eat again! Daughter number two took me to lunch yesterday at Celebrate! A gluten free bakery and café in Edmonton. Though their café menu is quite small, they make up for it with a nice variety of breads, buns, cookies, pastries and squares. We each enjoyed a delicious sandwich and some amazing sweet treats. Then we popped over to an antique store across the street and leisurely wandered around. I was bemused to see a number of familiar items from my childhood in an antique store. My daughter patiently reminded me that stuff from the 50’s and 60’s qualifies as antiques.

5. Community A sense of community is important to me. I always appreciate interacting with friends or children of friends at church, at home or as I come across them in their workplace. Out shopping the other day, I ran into children of friends in two different places and also had a visit from some adopted grandchildren. I enjoyed a lengthy conversation with a young man, an employee at Michaels, about the pros and cons of Copic markers and Prismacolor markers, and discussed herbs with Sylvia, owner of our new local restaurant, Chartier. Community is important for every believer. It is our opportunity to live out Christ in the nuances of everyday life.

Hope you have a blessed week. Here are a few pictures from our Saskatchewan trip.

Saskatchewan barn

Saskatchewan barn

Canola field

Canola field

Windmill and hay bales

Windmill and hay bales

Anyone know the name of this?

Anyone know the name of this?

Saskatchewan grain elevator

Saskatchewan grain elevator

Fence with bird house

Fence with bird house

Prairie grasses and wildflowers

Prairie grasses and wildflowers

Down the fenceline

Down the fence line

More wildflowers and grasses

More wildflowers and grasses

Purple wildflowers

Purple wildflowers

Church building

Church building

Slipping away

Slipping away

 

FFF spring

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

1. Beautiful fields The fields surrounding Beaumont are beautiful with growth. I am not a farmer in any sense of the word, but I appreciate the peacefulness and vitality of the farmland that surrounds our community. Right now the wheat is beginning to show just the faintest hint of yellowy beige on the tops of the stalks, soybeans (I think) are deep, healthy green, and blooming canola fields almost shine with their vibrant yellow blossoms.

I am still trying different things with my camera to try and capture the luminous yellow of canola, especially in contrast with a dark sky. I went out to take photos several different days this past week and the resulting pictures were better than any I have taken before, but I am still working on getting it exactly right.

canola fields (1) canola fields (2) canola fields (3) canola fields (4) canola fields (5) canola fields (7) canola fields (9) canola fields (11)

2. Meals at Chartier Our youngest daughter treated us to Saturday brunch at Chartier, a new restaurant in town. Delicious! Two of my other daughters took me there for brunch the following Saturday! Am I ever spoiled!! If you live in the Edmonton area, come try a meal at Chartier. Check their website or look them up on Facebook to find out when they have their bakery window open. Walk right up on the sidewalk to the window and the staff will show you the bakes of the day. Smells wonderful! This is one of those times when I am truly sad I am gluten intolerant. (Though they do offer several gluten free meals which are yummy!)

3. Gardening My raised bed garden is flourishing. We’ve enjoyed peas, zucchini, and kale thus far….oh, and lots of yummy, healthy herbs. I really love grabbing fresh produce from the garden to use in my smoothies. My husband’s idea of building a raised garden bed for me a few years ago has produced an unexpected blessing and provided hours of satisfaction and enjoyment.

IMG_0246

4. A new baby There is nothing like cuddling a newborn. A special blessing since my friend, Louise has been through many trials with her health and fertility these past few years. Now God has blessed Brian and Louise with a healthy, robust little boy, Caleb. We are all so very happy for them!

Purple Grandma and Caleb

5. Car repair blessing We had to spend much less money on a car repair than we had expected. That is always a blessing when you have an older vehicle.

And a few more photos from this week….

canola fields (12) wheat and fences 7-12-16 flowers and grasses (1)

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