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

 

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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

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prairie grasses

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hello, buffalo!

Sunflower and bees

Sunflower and honey

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purple and blue

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canola dream

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peaceful place

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beautiful solitude