Friday’s Fave Five #60

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

 

 

Prairie Glimpses – Flora

Today I am posting pictures of some of the flowers, grasses, and trees we saw on our trip to south-central Alberta. Beauty can be found in some unusual places. Even the lowliest weed looks beautiful in the sunlight! Fields of overgrown grass remind me of the sea as they undulate and gently murmur in the prairie wind.  Alberta wild roses are beginning to bloom, their frilly pink blossoms gracing fence posts, abandoned homesteads, and deserted fields throughout Alberta. God’s creation is amazing!

6-8-15 at the cabin (7) 6-9-15 (1) 6-9-15 (21) 6-9-15 (37) 6-9-15 (43) 6-9-15 (46) 6-9-15 (58) 6-12-15 (42) 6-12-15 (52) 6-12-15 (114)undulating grassesAlberta Wild Rose

Friday’s Fave Five #36

 

FFF tulips

Though I am geographically and otherwise challenged, I do realize that today is actually Saturday. I was interrupted in preparing this yesterday and did not get back to it. I still want to take time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story . Happy FFF a day late!

1. Fun on the farm My husband was asked to preach last Sunday in a church about two hours north of us. We appreciated reacquainting ourselves with believers we had known from our previous church. Sunday afternoon we had a meal with a family on their farm. The youngest daughter brought two baby lambs into the house to ‘introduce to us.’ These wee ones were just a day or so old. So cute!

2. I love flowers Monday my daughter’s boyfriend brought me a lovely African violet. I love purple!! Looking at that plant reminded me of my mom who lovingly tended dozens of African violets in her large kitchen window. Those violets grew like crazy and mom was always dividing them and giving away ‘slips’ to anyone who showed interest in her flowers. My family, on the other hand, is deciding among themselves how long it will take me to kill off this plant. I *ahem* do not have a good track record in this area. Sigh.

DSC00419

3. Taxes almost done My part for preparing taxes is all done and in for Canada and almost done for the US. Yay!

4. My sister-in-law I was able to Skype with my sister-in-law, a dear friend. She is my husband’s barely older sister (less than a year) and we were married in a double wedding almost 36 years ago. I sure am blessed by long-lasting friendships and for the ability in this day and age to talk with loved ones who live far from us.

5. Loving daughters This week the three daughters who live nearby each stopped by separately to spend a bit of time with me. Such a blessing!

Friday’s Fave Five #14

FFF tulips

On Fridays we stop to recount some of the many blessings from the past week.  This exercise, sponsored by Suzanne at Living to Tell the Story, helps us to focus on positive things from our week.

These have been a couple of intense weeks for our family as my husband was occupied with the end of the college semester then cloistered to finish dissertation writing, surgery for a daughter, a spring thaw induced leak in our basement guest bedroom, another daughter making decisions regarding future schooling, working to research and resolve unexpected tax issues…..you know, LIFE!

In the midst of all this there have been some large and small blessings.

1.  Bright, colourful flowers….Some lovely tulips and daffodils purchased at the grocery store brightened the kitchen table and reminded us that spring is soon upon us.  We don’t plant outdoors until late May – the Victoria Day weekend – because we all know that it can still occasionally snow in May (and is forecast to do just that this coming Sunday!)

2.  Appointment!…My appointment with the orthopedic surgeon is set for June 9!!  Hopefully I’ll have a replaced hip before the snow flies again in the fall.

3. God in the midst of uncertain times...I am blessed and calmed to remember that God is our anchor in the midst of uncertain outcomes

4.  Deep purple amethysts…About 15 years ago I bought an amethyst ring and a local department store.  It was 70% off, my ring size, and the loveliest shade of deep purple.  Though I had never been much of a jewelry person before, I loved that simple pretty purple ring and wore it all of the time.  A couple of months ago the now-thinned sterling silver band broke, and though I may get that amethyst reset some day, I decided to order a replacement ring off etsy.  It arrived this week and is very lovely and fits perfectly. 20140502_145320

5. Those who help…I am grateful for the students and friends who are helping us with the basement leak.  Tonight Jon is coming over to cut up the carpet and take it out.  Earlier in the week he stopped by and pulled back the damp carpet.  Underneath the carpet and pad was standing water.  Best case scenario: it leaked in around the window. Worst case:  a crack in the foundation.  I’m glad for friends who are willing to help us figure out problems like this that are beyond my experience and expertise.

Hope you have some exceptional blessings this week.