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

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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