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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.

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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)

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. Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians and Happy 4th of July to my fellow Americans! (Yes, I have dual citizenship) It’s a tremendous blessing to be part of two amazing countries.

2. Weather We had some pretty intense thunderstorms yesterday afternoon which produced a tornado warning for some locations south of us. These pictures are from last week’s storm.

In the valley

In the valley

Storm's a' brewin'

Storm’s a’ brewin’

Impending storm

Impending storm

Have you ever been in a tornado? I clearly remember one childhood 4th of July when one passed over us while we were waiting for fireworks at a park next to my grandparents’ apartment complex on Mentor Ave. The air was unusually still and thick with humidity, the clouds low and dark with a greenish hue to the skies. I recall thinking how it all felt so weird and surreal, and that the setting somehow made me uneasy. My parents made us climb down off the wall between the apartments and the park and we all headed inside to wait. I can’t remember if there was a warning sounded (the old civil defense warning siren, maybe?) but all six of us climbed into the bathtub at my grandparents’ place and stood there waiting. The thing I remember most is the rushing sound like a train passing by, somehow eerie and exciting at the same time. My memory fades from there. I seem to recall that no one was actually hurt and that the tornado passed over but did not touch down. Anyway, yesterday’s storm and tornado warning on this long weekend brought those memories back.

3. Mobility Some days I have great mobility with no pain, and other days I have great pain with almost no mobility. I am extremely grateful for the ability to move around at all. Just a few generations ago I would have been the crippled granny in her rocking chair by the fire. “Back in the day” congenital conditions like my hip dysplasia would have consigned me to a mostly immobile life. Today, thanks to two hip replacements, I do have mobility. Such a blessing!

4. Gardening My peas are growing like crazy, the herbs are doing well, mature kale and baby kale burgeoning, and tiny zucchini are popping out. I planted some yellow crookneck squash from seed and have some healthy looking plants coming up. I don’t know why, but yellow crookneck are hard to find here. They are our favorite variety of squash so I’m hoping they will do well. I also planted some heirloom carrots which are supposed to produce individual carrots that are yellow, purple, white, or deep orange. My beans are off to a slow start. I’ll keep you posted.

Garden peas

Garden peas

5. Drive – by photography I am learning more and more about my camera and editing programs, but I have one really bad habit I think I need to break. When I see something interesting I want to photograph it, but time constraints do not allow me to stop for Every. Single. Thing. I want to shoot. Hence I have fallen into the habit of drive-by photography. My husband drives and I have my camera poised, set, and ready. If I see something I think would make a great picture, I roll down the window and take burst shots as we fly by at 100 kms/hr. This defies every rule of good photography, and honestly, does not often produce a good image, but occasionally I capture an photograph that looks really good and appeals to my artistic eye. So do I abandon my drive-by habit and the opportunity to catch a good shot, or continue my whacky habit in the hopes that one of the 30+ bursts captures what I am seeing? I cannot decide.

Here are the last pictures from our anniversary trip a couple of weeks ago.

Summer days

Summer days

Alone on the prairie

Alone on the prairie

Beauty on the highway

Beauty on the highway

Alberta countryside

Alberta countryside

Alberta skies

Alberta skies

Distant mountains

Distant mountains

Mountains beyond

Mountains beyond

Mount Rundle

Mount Rundle

Snowy peaks

Snowy peaks

Edge of promise

Edge of promise

Peaceful

Peaceful

Thompson ground squirrel

Thompson ground squirrel

 

 

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.

Anniversary trip My husband and I have been away this week celebrating our 37th anniversary. God provided for us in a very special way so we could rent a well-appointed roomy condo in beautiful Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia. We have had a relaxing week of rest and exploration.

Mountains all around. Radium Hot Springs is located between two mountain ranges. Different weather conditions have allowed us to enjoy a wide variety of ‘moods’ of these magnificent mountain ranges.

mountains (6)

Snow-capped beauty

mountains (5)

Storm passing by

mountains (4)

Mists descending

mountains (3)

Magnificent peaks

 

Revisiting the town of Invermere, where we vacationed 25 years ago. My mother-in-law joined us for that vacation, the last significant time we spent with her with her before Alzhe imers took away the wonderful mother she was to all of us. During that vacation Mom used to take our children one at a time to the local bakery to enjoy a treat together. That bakery is still there, owned by the same people, and still creating some amazing breads and pastries. They also have a nice selection of gluten free bread and pastries which I really enjoyed sampling!

An opportunity to photograph the beauty. My husband has taken me out every day to explore and allow me to take pictures. Though we have had sunshine, rain, slush or hail every day, we still found many wonderful things to photograph. I’m including some from day 5 at the end of this post.

interesting cloud

Amazing cloud formation

Building

Rural rustic

deer

This little guy came right up to the side of the road as we were driving by.

flower (3)

BC wildflower

flower (6)

Pretty purple

flower (4)

Brightening the landscape

flower (5)

These grow wild along the roadside

Hot tub I got to sit in a hot tub a couple of different times to see if soaking in the warm waters would help my fibromyalgia, which has been flaring up lately. It did not help much, but it felt great to soak.

But…..it’s always nice to arrive home safely!

FFF tulips

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. Thunderstorms We had a lovely thunderstorm last night. When we lived in South Carolina and saw that a storm was brewing, we would gather our small children and sit on the front porch to experience the passing storm. My husband would tell the children that they did not have to be afraid of thunder, for it was simply God talking. (Job 37 and other passages) Thunderstorms are not as common here so we especially appreciated last night’s demonstration of light and sound.

2. Flowers Our wild rose bush and irises are blooming. Such pretty spots of color in the yard!

IMG_6376 IMG_6393

3. Answer to prayer Daughter number 3 has been working three part time jobs since losing her job in October. One of those part time jobs will become a full time job with benefits at the end of this month. We are so thankful for this answer to prayer!

4. Meal with friends Eating out can be tricky for people like me who are gluten intolerant. Last week we enjoyed a meal with friends at Red Robin where they seem to take allergies seriously, and I enjoyed a delicious, safe meal.

5. Anniversary I thank God for my husband, who loves God and is serious about his ministries to God’s people. Wednesday was our 37th anniversary. Neither of us was feeling great that day so we nabbed take out at Edo Japan, where they also are careful in preparing meals for those with food sensitivities.

Saturday my oldest daughter and I took a drive in the country on a sometimes rainy day. We had great conversation and I was able to take some pictures. So here are Five Fave Photos from this week:

IMG_6277 - Copy

IMG_6313 - Copy IMG_6308 - Copy IMG_6268 - Copy IMG_6259 - Copy - Copy

 

FFF tulips

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. I’m an introvert A couple of years ago my daughters brought me the personality tests they had taken at work. I took the tests and was surprised to learn I was unquestionably an introvert. In some ways this should not have been a surprise since I was excruciatingly shy as a kid. But I was also bossy (sorry, Sis) and by the time I got to university, was involved in leadership on several levels. I have always required blocks of quiet, down time to recharge after interacting with people, but did not know this was a primary identifier of introversion.

Those test results also showed my abilities were almost a 50 – 50 divide between organized, structured strengths, and creative, artistic strengths. I have recently clued in to the fact that disorder makes me feel somewhat anxious, so I have begun my summer project of sorting and purging my belongings. My artistic side objects. Which side will win? I’ll keep you posted!

2. Pirates Yesterday I had a visit from Captain Hook, Peter Pan, Tink, and the crocodile, all expressed through the imaginings of two very enthusiastic borrowed grandchildren. My deck was the Jolly Roger, my unplanted flower bed the right location for buried treasure, and a random board, the plank! Argh, Matey!

3. Delicious peach tea My traveling daughter brought me some Charleston Plantation Peach Tea from her trip. The Charleston Tea Plantation http://www.charlestonteaplantation.com/ is the only tea plantation in North America and is located on Wadmalaw Island, just south of Charleston, SC. I love both tea and peaches and this variety is scrumptious Mmmmm. 

Plantation Peach Tea

4. Light My tree has been cut down, but oh, what light now comes in the living room window! This will be especially appreciated in the winter.

5. Car stuff An elderly gentleman backed into my car last week. No injuries, just that sinking feeling you get when you see something is going to happen but are powerless to prevent it. I have been getting estimates on the repairs, and wow! what an education I have been receiving! I feel like I’m in a Peanuts movie where all the “Whaa, wha, whaa, wha” noises come from the mouths of the adults. No idea what most of their lingo means, but I’m glad it’s all written down so those more educated in these things can interpret properly.

Here are a few pictures I caught during this rainy week.

After the storm

After the storm

Slipping into sunset

Slipping into sunset

IMG_6245 - Copy

Null

IMG_6242

Void

IMG_6250 - Copy

Perspective

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