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On Fridays I post FFF to intentionally recall blessings of the previous week. Suzanne sponsors this exercise at Living to Tell the Story and invites you to participate too!

1.Beautiful fields Yesterday my husband drove me to my post-surgical check up. We drove out of our small town, through the countryside, and into Edmonton. The fields outside our town are beautiful! Canola, wheat, and other crops undulated in the summer breeze. So lovely!

2.Improvement and doing ok At my appointment yesterday I had four dozen staples removed from my incision. During the hip replacement surgery, the surgeon followed the previous incision as closely as possible to prevent my hip and leg looking any more Frankenstein-ish than it already does. He was pleased with the healing of the incision and with my x-rays but reminded me that since this was a correction of a previous surgery, healing would take longer. He also wants me to continue featherweight weight bearing for at least another month when I next see him. I have been hopping around using my walker but decided today that I would also work on using my crutches. For a couple of weeks after surgery, I was so weak, dizzy, shaky, uncoordinated, and nauseous that using crutches was not advisable. I think working on using them a little each day will give me more choices in getting around.

3.Sweet kisses from grandchildren How wonderful to have my grandchildren here for these few weeks and to enjoy their sweet little kisses and enthusiastic take on life!

4.Helpful supportive family My family continues to be amazingly helpful and supportive as I recover and am still very limited in what I am able to do. Each one of them has helped, blessed, and encouraged me on this unexpected journey. My church family and the broader Christian community has also blessed me in amazing ways. I am so very grateful for every one of these blessings.

5.God’s promises At these times of illness and emergency I sometimes struggle with fear. I am deeply grateful for God’s words which are truth and for those who speak them to me in my times of doubt and struggle. I have been frequently quoting Psalm 94:19, a verse I recently learned. “When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” Amen!

I have not been out to take pictures since my emergency surgery so here are a few more photos from our June vacation in Holden Beach, North Carolina.

Askew

Marsh friend

Lovely lilies

Sunset reflections

Beauty all around

Sea oats on the waterway

 

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Suzanne hosts Friday Fave Five at Living to Tell the Story to encourage us to count our blessings each week.

Outside I was able to sit outside on a specially rigged chair on Monday night when the family was all here to celebrate my birthday. Since I was in hospital for my actual birthday, Monday was a special celebration for me. My daughter-in-law, Desiree, made a delicious Caprese salad using the basil from my herb garden and Anna made her fabulous berry pavlova for my birthday ‘cake’. Yum!!

Grandchildren Precious moments of time spent with my grandchildren are a wonderful gift. James sits still long enough for me to get some pictures!

Sweet sleep

Funny faces

Church family Our church family has been so loving and caring during my emergency. I am blessed and grateful for their continuing support.

Post-surgical progress My goal of getting off the opioids is closer to being met. I am down to one tramacet a day, and I have cut them in half to divide that one into a smaller morning and evening dose. My pain is manageable this way and the mental fog is lifting.

It’s been hard to know exactly how much to move and how much to avoid moving when on featherweight weight bearing restriction. I am neither consistent nor confident in my ability to meet the weight restriction goal every time I move from being seated or reclined to my walker. I will be glad for my post surgical appointment with x-rays on Thursday to see exactly how things stand with my bone graft and fracture.

Vacation photos This week I was able to sort and edit more photos from our Holden Beach vacation. Here are a few more from that trip.

Sunset over the marsh

Bird’s eye view

Marsh life

Waterway

Hydrangeas

Avian solitude

 

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Susanne hosts Living to Tell the Story and encourages others to share blessings of the week on Fridays. Here are a few of mine from this week.

1. Spring! After all that snow in April we have finally been enjoying exceptionally warm and sunny days. Three of our daughters came over Monday night and we grilled shrimp skewers and ate outside. Anna made another British Cooking show recipe for the family to enjoy.

Alberta skies

Anna bakes our day!

2. Provision We are rejoicing that this week God provided Anna with a better paying job.

3. Vocabulary I love words. I love the nuances that words give to a sentence or story. I love learning new words and playing games like Balderdash that teach new words.

Sadly, I’m not a very good speller. I used to ask my mom how to spell certain words (my mom was a wiz with spelling and grammar.) She would ALWAYS tell me to look it up in the dictionary. This did not make sense to my young mind. How can you look it up if you don’t know how it is spelled? And, of course, she would then say, “Sound it out.” So, I would look it up, sound it out, and learn something.

But when I was bored I would sit and read entry after entry in the dictionary just for fun. I learned about forms and tenses and definitions and punctuation, and pronunciation (I just had to look up that spelling!) and all kinds of helpful details.

This week a young man came to our door selling security systems. (He reminded me of a young Larry Fitch, a man I first met in my college days whose life has blessed my family at various times in the years since.) This salesman was giving me his spiel in a friendly, non-pushy way when out came the words incremental and decremental. Now, incremental I knew, but decremental? That was new to me. I’m afraid I heard little of his talk after that. I was turning the word over in my mind and delighting in the fact that a techy kid at the door taught me a new word!

4. Progress I have about half of my culled books ready to sell. Yay for sorting and purging!

5. More deals The first Tuesday of every month two local grocery stores offer a percentage off your shopping that day. One offers 15% and the other 10%. I made it to both stores this month to pick up items each stocks that the other does not. When I got to the checkout at the 10% store, they were giving customers 15% off that day. That was an unexpected blessing.

Thanks to everyone who told me my FFF link wasn’t working. I think I have it fixed now!!

Some pictures of my cute grandchildren in China

Clover field beauty

This stuff is itchy!

Brotherly love

Here are some custom order cards from this week for Purple Grandma Designs

For a 102-year-old mom!!

Custom order card

Custom order card

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Susanne hosts Living to Tell the Story and encourages others to share blessings of the week on Fridays. Here are a few of mine from this week.

See this picture? I took it today. It is a blue sky with clouds and sun. I am very thankful for that blue sky after a long stretch of dismal gray days. See this second picture? I also took it today. No more snow in the yard! Shadows from the sun! I am extremely grateful for the snow being gone, for sunshine, and for blue skies!

We seem to attract interesting animals in our neighborhood. Drake and Dessa Duck showed up again this week, hanging out on a neighboring roof and complaining about the late April snowstorm. Yesterday this rabbit was spotted ‘running laps around the house’ as my helper, Kathleen, pointed out. See how he hides in our brownish grass? Amazing to think that he was pure white just a few weeks ago. At least we have not had any visits from the moose that were spotted outside our town earlier this week.

Yesterday when I was out shopping I passed a grocery cart with two little girls in it. The younger one grinned and waved as I walked by and the older one scowled at me. I’m not sure why, but this made me really miss my own grandchildren. It is easy to focus on what you do not have, but it is not profitable or even proper for a Christian to do this. I am so blessed to live at a time when I can regularly see or speak to my family in China through technology and spend time with them at least once a year. This is what I will focus on: just a little over two months before they get here!

I don’t regularly buy Tide unless it’s on sale. At the store, all the varieties had sale prices on the shelf tags except the one I prefer. When I took one to the front to get the price checked, the Tide I liked was only $2.50 a bottle! I zipped back to the display and grabbed three more bottles. Good deals on things we need are always a blessing.

I discovered an interesting-looking gluten free scone mix this week made by the Namaste company. I have tried and liked several of their other products so I was hoping this would also be good. I made it today and am very happy with the results.

Here are a few of the cards I have been working on for Purple Grandma Designs

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Susanne hosts Living to Tell the Story and encourages others to share blessings of the week on Fridays. Here are a few of mine from this week.

What a winter this has been for sickness! I have been struggling with viruses for most of the time since we returned from China at the end of December. The calendar tells me it is now spring. I will be extra happy when the calendar and the weather here both agree that it is indeed spring!

16 Personalities It has been fun and deeply enlightening to explore and better understand the elements that make up my personality. This new awareness that I am indeed an introvert and what that looks like practically, has been truly helpful. This month I was asked to answer the questionnaire on 16 Personalities as part of a study my husband and I are doing on biblical stewardship of money. According to this test I am a Mediator and my husband is Logician. The point is, from my perspective, to understand how God designed each of us so we can live and work together with greater understanding and harmony.

Ministry Wives’ Fellowship Yesterday we enjoyed a Ministry Wives’ Fellowship at one of our local churches. We were challenged to respond biblically to hardship and pain in our lives. The time of fellowship was a blessing and an encouragement.

Progress on sorting books Over the past few weeks I have made significant progress in sorting through and paring down my library of about 1,500 missionary and church history biographies. I have a few more shelves to sort through then I need to finish looking up prices for the ones I am selling. Hopefully, in a few months, I will be ready to e-mail out a list of books for sale.

Pictures of the grands I love that my daughter-in-law and son regularly update us with photos of our grandchildren. They will be with us this year in July, which is only a few months away. Yay!

Flamingo GF chicken Over the four years that I have been gluten free, I have tried a number of gluten free products. Some were ok, many were truly awful, and a few were good. Occasionally we have chicken strips or chicken nuggets at a family gathering. Sometimes I wish I could have just a taste of one, but of course, if I do, I will get sick so it’s not worth it. Recently discovered gluten free Flamingo Chicken Strips made by Olymel. We bought some on a special deal and I made them this week. These chicken strips are very, very good. I love crunchy stuff, and these have a pleasing crunch with no weird taste or texture. Even my husband thought they were delicious!

Primarily due to sickness I have not been out taking pictures lately. Next time I hope to post photos of new cards, as well as some new rural Alberta shots.

 

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

We had the joy of traveling to China to visit our son and his family for Christmas. This is my first FFF in a month so my blessings this week are compiled from the past few weeks. I’m writing specifically about our Shanghai experiences on my blog, PurpleGrandma.com, so check them out if you are interested in my Impressions of Shanghai series.

Good trip Because of my health issues, traveling can sometimes cause problems. Our trip to China produced only minor issues, both concerning mobility and food sensitivities. I was treated like royalty by family and the wonderful people we met along the way.

Family For me the highlight of our trip was spending time with my son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren. It was a joy to meet the newest member of the family and spend some granny time with him.

New friends Meeting and spending time with the team of teachers my son works with was fabulous. What a wonderful group of dedicated teachers these folks all are!

Cultural experiences Visiting and spending time in a new culture was so interesting! I enjoyed observing and taking pictures of life in Shanghai. Next time I won’t be so skittish about the possibility of being pickpocketed and will carry my camera with me everywhere.

No place like home This week we had some bitterly cold temperatures. A well-insulated warm house is a great blessing on these winter days.

46

Newest member of the family

112

At Shanghai Disney

27b

Fruit on a stick

19

East meets west – Chinese and English signs

23

The Bund

85

Family, teachers, and students at Christmas

50

A perfectly normal family Christmas picture

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Impressions of Shanghai: It’s not fun to parbreak at Disney

This is the second in a series of posts on my observations of Shanghai from our recent trip to China.

If you were to ask my children two of the things I dislike most they would probably shout in unison, “Noise and crowds!”

You might want to add to that list amusement parks. Most people go to amusement parks (noisy, crowded amusement parks I might add) for the rides. All my life I have had a serious problem with motion sickness so even the thought of riding zippy rides is not appealing to me on any level. And in my mind all amusement park rides ARE zippy rides.

My experiences as a child include (and I will be delicate here and use a wonderful Balderdash word) parbreaking after riding almost any ride. Cedar Point had a log ride that basically soaked you as you splashed down the incline in a dugout, and for some reason I never got sick on that. But beside that one happy memory (Oh yay! A ride that doesn’t make me sick!!) Cedar Point, King’s Mountain, the Lake County Fair, and Conneaut Lake Park all produced unpleasant childhood memories, at least where rides were concerned.

Add to that my tendency to get pounding headaches when walking around in the hot sun and you can perhaps understand why the thought of visiting any amusement park is not on my list of, oh say, the top million things I would like to do.

So when my daughter-in-law excitedly told me there was a now a Shanghai Disney (yawn) and that the family had a season’s pass (that’s nice) and wouldn’t it be so much fun to take the kids to Disney for a memorable day with their grandparents (arrkk…red alert!!) my primary thought was, “Fun! It’s not fun to parbreak at Disney!”

But my husband, who typically has no interest in amusement parks, thought it would be a nice family outing. So I swallowed my objections, loaded my purse with ginger chews, and off we went.

We visited the park on a Thursday in December. The sky was overcast, so no sun, the temperature was chilly, so no heat, and visiting on a week day in the winter meant that while it was busy, it was not crowded or exceptionally noisy.

But the ghost of amusement park rides past still haunted me.

It was with some trepidation I stepped onto the ride, Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure. “Hey! It’s in water, so maybe it won’t be so bad!” We fought pirates! We survived the Kracken! We found treasure! And best of all, not even a whisper of nausea.

Next we tackled the Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue, an interactive ride where we “rangers” use our pulse blasters to shoot at targets to fight the evil Emperor Zurg and save the space aliens’ home. My competitive streak surfaced and I found myself keeping a sharp eye out for the targets and blasting them with great gusto. All too soon the ride was over and I had a respectable score to show for my target shooting. And again, no nausea.

I suddenly realized I was having fun and enjoying myself immensely!

Next we visited the interactive displays at Tron Realm in Tomorrowland where my grandson was absolutely captivated by the driving simulator. The futuristic vehicles and technology were truly amazing. I was even tempted for an instant to line up for the Tron roller coaster ride. It really looked spectacular! But when I saw it plummet down the track and do a 180 roll, I quickly dismissed that thought.

Before the day was over we toured the Enchanted Storybook Castle, threaded our way through the Alice in Wonderland Maze, enjoyed a colorful parade, and watched our son and grandson line up for 45 minutes to enjoy the Jet Pack ride which lasted 80 seconds. The look of utter joy on our grandson’s face while on that ride made the long wait seem insignificant.

Shanghai Disney has done a wonderful job of bringing together east and west to provide an enjoyable family experience. The park is clean, the costumed personnel are friendly and helpful, and the park is much, much more than simply zippy rides.

On our way out we stopped briefly at Starbucks and at the wonderfully imaginative Lego store. It was time to leave and we barely scratched the surface of things to see and do. Would I go back to Shanghai Disney? Absolutely! (But maybe not on a crowded, noisy, hot summer day.)

And best of all? No parbreaking at Disney!

Shanghai Disney

Shanghai Disney

Interactive delight

Interactive delight

This WOULD make me parbreak!

This WOULD make me parbreak!

Defeating the evil Emperor Zurg

Defeating the evil Emperor Zurg

A day at Disney Shanghai

A day at Shanghai Disney

Parade

Parade

The utter joy

Utter joy

Lego meets Disney

Lego Snow White

Goodbye, Shanghai Disney

Goodbye, Shanghai Disney

A note about accessibility: Because of my mobility limitations we rented a wheelchair and my family took turns pushing me around the park. Disney Shanghai is very handicap friendly. The park’s Guidemap clearly indicates which areas are wheelchair accessible.

Details on Shanghai Disney taken from https://www.shanghaidisneyresort.com/en/

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