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Friday’s Fave Five #73

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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.

(I used a word in this post that is new to me. Can you find it?)

Gluten-free waffles When you buy or order gluten-free foods you are always taking a chance that the item is truly gluten-free and that it tastes good. Often it not only does not taste good, the flavor is minimal or weird, and the texture is sandy. This week I discovered Nature’s Path Organic Gluten-free Pumpkin Spice Waffles. Good flavour! No weird textures! Yum!!

Combined church service Last Sunday night we had a combined church service with five area churches that are like-minded in the essentials of the faith. Meadowlands Baptist Church is the host church for Foundation Baptist College where my husband works. That church has been instrumental in starting or providing pulpit supply for many churches over the past 15 or so years. It was a blessed evening of fellowship, testimonies, singing, and a message from Ephesians. Ephesians 4:3 reminds us to “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” We were blessed by that unity last Sunday.

Beautiful scenery We’ve had quite a few foggy days over the month. When the weather is colder and foggy, the trees and bushes are covered with ice fog, what we used to call hoar frost. This morning we had a layer of snow on top of a layer of hoar frost. It made the trees and bushes look like they had been sprayed with that flocking you used to find at Christmastime. This morning the fog lifted for a while and we had blue skies. The clean, white branches against the brilliant blue skies were beautiful!

Sparkling grasses

Sparkling grasses

Clean, soft sheets There is nothing quite like sleeping on freshly laundered soft sheets. Ahhh!

A deal on something needed Today I picked up a supplement I needed. When I got to the store, they were having a 25% off sale!

Cards and Photos Here are some Purple Grandma Designs cards I made this week. There is a Christmas-themed Bible verse on the front or inside each Christmas card.

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Here are a few more photos from today.

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Flocked tree

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Beautiful contrast

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Glimpsing the pond

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Frore and sharp

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Cold and old

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Forlorn in the fog

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Frosted cerulean

Friday’s Fave Five

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.

Upcoming trip We are preparing to meet a special young man next month, our newest grandson, James. We’ve never been to China before and have found the process for obtaining visas quite interesting (and more expensive than we had anticipated,) but we now have all the formal stuff in place. Tuesday our oldest daughter drove me downtown to pick up the visas. It was fun to spend time together, and because I am directionally deficient, I am grateful for her excellent navigational skills in getting me safely downtown and back again!

Laughing babies There is nothing quite like a laughing baby to make people smile. Some giggle, some chortle or snort, and some have the most adorable belly laughs. I’m looking forward to hands-on time with my newest grandson, but until then, other sweet babies in my life are a real joy and blessing.

US College Football I enjoy US college football, and following Ohio State in particular. Because we had a trial membership of Sirius radio, we listened to the Ohio State Michigan State game as we drove back from our church leadership meeting last Saturday. It was a real nail-biter, but so much fun to listen to!

Cupppa There is nothing like a hot cup of tea (or a tea latte) on these colder days. Because of my food sensitivities I can no longer have coffee or black teas. Green teas are my favorite and I am learning to enjoy caffeine-free rooibos options in the evening.

Cards and Photos It was very foggy as we drove back from our trip to the mountains. I captured several intriguing fog-influenced scenes as we drove along. We encountered thick fog, sun-streaked fog, swirling fog, and wind blown fog. Some of the pictures have an eerie, lonely appearance so I decided to play around with filters and fixes. I’m still learning, but it was a lot of fun. Hope you enjoy these.

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Foggy solitude

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Swirling mists at Canada Olympic Park

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Rays of hope

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Beyond solitude

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Foggy fence line

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Edge of woods – grey filter

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Edge of woods – brown filter

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Ice fog

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Shrouded light

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Introverts united

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Final bow

My Purple Grandma Designs ministry has been busy these past few weeks. With Christmas cards, special orders, and craft fairs (my friend is selling my cards at her table) I have sold quite a few cards. I have also been able to give away some cards to new believers and will be giving away some more over the Christmas season. Here are some I finished up this week:

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Friday’s fave Five #71

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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.

Friends in ministry We had a leadership retreat for the church this week. It was wonderful to spend time together with the other pastor and his wife in prayer and fellowship and making plans for the future of our church.

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Mountain splendor

Help with fibromyalgia My fibromyalgia has been in a flare lately and I have had more trouble than usual with muscle spasms and pain. One of my daughters came over and worked on the muscles in my neck and shoulders to provide some relief until I could make it to the massage therapist. Her help was a particular blessing to me.

Garage When we first moved from Calgary to Edmonton, we converted the garage into an office for my husband. He now has an office at the college and the garage has been made back into a garage. I enjoy observing how much pleasure and satisfaction my husband gets out of being able to park his vehicle in a garage. It’s especially nice not have to scrape ice and snow off the car before heading to work!

Yummy food My husband and I split a delicious steak dinner this week. Everything from the asparagus to the mushrooms to the steak were all scrumptious! (And gluten free!!)

Cards and Photos I made a special order card this week and finished up some fall-themed cards for my Purple Grandma Designs ministry.

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Special order

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From the fall collection

I’ve been trying different things to capture the effects of the sun in landscape photos. Here are some pictures from this past week.

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Behind the storm

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Sunset glow

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Burst of light

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Swirling mists

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Shrouded peak

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Alberta prairie

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View from the balcony

Friday’s Fave Five #70

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

Family time We celebrated daughter # 3’s birthday this week. As we were gathered around the table the topic drifted to hair.

“Do you remember when we were kids and I thought since mom’s razor was just for legs that nothing would happen when I ran it down my arm hair from shoulder to wrist?” “My arm itched like crazy the next day!”

“Yeah, and I wondered what would happen when I swiped it across my forehead and was shocked when I looked in the mirror and saw I was missing an eyebrow, and then tried to arrange my bangs so no one would notice.”

And the time when as a three-year-old, the birthday girl “borrowed” mom’s scissors, opened them widely and, placing the blades flat on her forehead right at her hairline, cut a perfect V in her bangs all the way to the scalp.

When “someone” turned on the gas grill on without opening the lid, waited a few minutes, then opened it and threw in a match. After the “whoosh,” her once straight hair was singed and curly.

Ah, memories! We laughed so hard tears were streaming down our faces.

A new RN Daughter #4 passed her NCLEX nursing exam and is now officially an RN. My father-in-law was a physician and my mother-in-law a nurse and perhaps hoped that some of their children or grandchildren would follow the medical route, but until now, none did. We have plenty of doctors in the family, but none of the medical variety. And now we have a nurse!

Remembrance Day Today is Remembrance Day in Canada (Veterans Day in the US.) When we first moved to Canada almost 30 years ago I remember being impressed at how seriously Canadians commemorate Remembrance Day. Red paper poppies are purchased to help support our war veterans and worn in the lapels of young and old. Schools hold assemblies to educate and solemnly recall the sacrifices others have made. Urban, suburban, exurban, and rural communities all suspend normal activities at 11 a.m. on November 11th to reflect, remember and give thanks. Wreaths are laid at cenotaphs throughout the land and those who fought for the freedoms and rights of our country are honored. The poem, “In Flanders Fields” is quoted and the phrase “Lest we forget” is repeated and tweeted throughout the day. (“Lest we forget” is quoted from an 1897 poem, “Recessional” by Rudyard Kipling and was likely inspired by the passages in Deuteronomy 4 and 6.)

Thank you to all who have served. Lest we forget. Lest we forget.

African violets My mom was a gardener par excellence. She loved growing flowers, but especially enjoyed nurturing and growing African violets. We had a small kitchen and no dining room so the table was pushed up against the exterior wall of the kitchen under a very large picture window. My dad built three or four shelves across that north-facing window and there mom tended her many African violet plants.

Until very recently I have been known as the botanical equivalent of the Angel of Death. I love flowers, but my heart would sink when anyone gave me a living plant. I knew they had just passed the death sentence on that lovely bit of nature. My family all joked about it. My husband would shake his head and ask, “How long do you think this one will last?”

But when we moved from Calgary to Edmonton seven years ago something changed. Some might even call it a miracle of sorts; I no longer automatically made plants die! First, my husband built me raised planters and encouraged me to start an herb garden as part of my post-surgical therapy. I was extremely skeptical, but to my absolute shock, not only did my plants survive, they thrived.

Indoor plants were still iffy. But somehow, over these past few years, I have two African violet plants that have done very well. I watched them grow and prosper and I remembered Mom. I remembered Mom transplanting hers when they outgrew the pot. I remember her trimming off the flowers when they wilted, and pinching off broken or damaged leaves. I remember her fertilizing the plants, gently brushing the dust off the leaves, and carefully avoiding getting the leaves wet when she watered her violets. I even remember her talking to her plants, and boy, did we ever tease her about that!

My African violets are outgrowing their latest pots and need something now, and I’m not certain what. Sure, I can google it or call a garden center or ask around, but I really, really, wish I could ask my mom. Not only would she have told me the right thing to do for my plants, she would have been proud and probably amazed that I haven’t killed these violets, and may even be developing a green thumb!

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Cards and Photos Here are some more cards I made this week when I had to lay low and be quiet. The photos are from various photography opportunities over the past month.

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Lake Louise

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Banff National Park elk

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Quiet abandon

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Splendor

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Majesty

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Canadian Rockies

 

Friday’s Fave Five #69

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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.

Yes, I am aware that today is actually Saturday. I missed a couple of weeks and did not want to miss another, so better late than never???

Record breaking temps Thankfully they were record breaking warm temperatures! It was odd to get our winter tires put on when the weather was anything but frigid. We shall certainly enjoy it while it lasts! Here is a picture from this morning and one from the unexpected storm three weeks ago.

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Brightening beam

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Uninvited guest

Watching the World Series I grew up in the Cleveland area. My dad and I would often watch the Indians on TV and occasionally head down to the stadium to take in a game. The Tribe was really, really, bad when I was a kid so it sure was fun to watch a superior version in the World Series this past week. My husband, who is not a baseball fan, even watched some with me! I sure was sorry they lost, though.

Cards My two primary card making tools broke within two weeks of each other. I am so grateful that I sold enough cards in the previous month that I could replace them both. I try to give away one card for every card sold to encourage missionaries, church family and those in ministry. It’s exciting to see how the Lord is using and blessing this little ministry. Here are some of my latest. Right now I am taking donations instead of selling them for a set price. Let me know if you are interested or want to place a special order.

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Recovering My husband and I have both felt under the weather this week, but are now both improving. It’s always hard for me to know if an illness is due to a flare in my fibromyalgia and arthritis, a virus, or a bad reaction due to my many food sensitivities. At least I’m no longer spending the whole day feeling like death warmed over (aren’t idioms great!)

Tea and Sunrise I am not a spontaneous person, but my husband is, so I decided I would practice being spontaneous and hopefully be better ready to do something on the spur of the moment the next time he suggests it. This morning the sunrise was beautiful so I convinced him we should grab a coffee and tea and snap a few shots of of the skies. We missed the most colorful part, but enjoyed a short drive outside our town while sipping our beverages and soaking up God’s creation!

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Good morning, sun!

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Sunrise awakens

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Illumination

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Brightness ensues

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Rural radiance

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Daybreak emerges

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Dawn encroaches

Friday’s Fave Five #68

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. Visitors We were married in a double wedding with my husband’s sister and her husband. We are still good friends and still enjoy spending time together. Last week they came up from South Carolina so my brother-in-law could teach a block class. After that week was over we headed to the mountains for a few days of R and R.
  2. Visiting My sister-in-law and I had a good week of visiting together and meeting with ladies in the church and with other ladies in ministry.
  3. Cards I make cards to give away to encourage friends and family. I’ve named my ‘business / ministry’ Purple Grandma Designs and have been trying to sell enough cards to at least pay for my supplies. Lately I’ve sold several, and also been able to share some with people in our church who were discouraged. It’s nice to have a creative outlet and a ministry all in one.img_2795 img_2803 img_2805 img_2832
  4. Soaking The place we stayed in Canmore had outdoor hot tubs directly outside of the spa / exercise area. Though it was cold and sometimes snowy, we really enjoyed easing our muscle strains in those steaming hot tubs.
  5. Photos We had cloudy and snowy weather driving into Canmore, and sunny, clear weather driving home. I had abundant opportunity to photograph the magnificent nature which surrounded us. I’ll share some of the photos this week and some next week.
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    ice fog

    Cloudy mountains

    cloudy mountains

    Vermillion Lakes

    Vermillion Lakes

    More Vermillion Lakes

    More Vermillion Lakes

    Banff National Park

    Banff National Park

    Mount Rundle

    Mount Rundle

    Edge of the field

    Edge of the field

    low clouds

    low clouds

     

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

 

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