Friday Fave Five #83

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

Friday’s Fave Five #38

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. China calling Wednesday night I stepped into my office to turn off my computer. Just as I was ready to shut it down a skype call came through from my son in China. We had been playing skype tag since Mother’s Day when he tried to call. What a treat to be able to see his face and chat with him for a while!

2. New and improved My husband and brother-in-law fixed my herb planter that fell apart at the end of last summer. They changed the design to make it stronger. It looks great! They also worked on a second raised planter for my vegetables. How kind of them to use their skills for this project!

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Hoping this year’s will look as good!


3. Fragrant herbs Yesterday my daughter took me to a greenhouse to buy some herbs. Last year I missed out on the peppermint because I waited too long to buy my herbs. So far I have peppermint, spearmint, basil, oregano, and chives.

4. Hello sunshine! Since the weird spring snow a couple of weeks ago we have had beautiful weather. This week we have summery warmth and lots of sunshine. Ahhh!

5. Beautiful papers My doctor has moved into a new office. After my appointment there yesterday I stopped by a nearby stationery and wedding invitation store that is closing its retail site. I found some beautiful papers and envelopes I can use for card making, and all at discount prices!

Friday’s Fave Five #28

fff winter button

Thanks to Suzanne at Living to Tell the Story we use Fridays to recount at least five blessings from the week.  Check out Suzanne’s blog to find out how you can join in too!

1.  Divine protection  The past couple of weeks God granted special safety to several members of our family.

Our youngest daughter, Emma, was at the Bund, a waterfront section of downtown Shanghai, on New Year’s Eve when over thirty people were trampled to death and dozens more injured.

Another two daughters, Laura and Anna, flew home January 2 from their holiday trip to Scotland. For some weird reason, the last leg of their flight from Calgary to Edmonton, required a 15 hour layover. Calgary is three hours away by car so Sarah, the remaining daughter, drove down to fetch them. That day a winter storm hit and Sarah witnessed multiple collisions and spin-outs on the QE2, the large highway between Alberta’s two major cities. After picking up her sisters from the airport, conditions worsened and they witnessed several more accidents. The girls pulled off at a Motel 6 and enjoyed a safe and restful evening before returning home the next day.

Just this morning on my way to physio, an older gentleman almost pulled his van into my car as I was preparing to park. I truly believe that God spares us from many more dangerous situations than we realize.

2. A few days away My husband has been longing to get away for a few days, but it just hadn’t worked out on several levels. A colleague in ministry and his wife own a property with two beautiful log cabins on it. They live in the larger one and use the second one as a guest house for family and friends. We were invited to spend some time there and enjoyed a quiet couple of days on the prairies.

Sunset on the prairies Cabin on the prairies



3. Longer days! December and January with their short days and cold, gloomy weather can be really tough on the body. Many of us suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in the winter due to the lack of sunshine. This December was amazing with above average temperatures and mostly sunny days. Thus far January has been very cold, but that is bearable when the sun is shining, which it has much of the time. Psychologically it helps to know that we have passed the winter solstice and that the days are getting longer. Yay!!

4. New clothes Since my six week post-op check-up I have been able to get out and resume many of my regular activities. Preparing for the first day back to church I put on one of my skirts and it slowly slid down. One small yank and it fell to the floor. Same with skirt two. It’s fun to get rid of the old clothes and pick up new ones (at least new to me) on my continuing weight loss journey.

5. New stove on the way There comes a time in the life of any appliance to stop repairing and just replace the thing. Last week our oven sizzled and snapped as the heating element burned through. Two of the burners don’t work properly, the bottom storage door is broken, the handle has been repaired several times, and the self clean feature and door lock mechanism stopped working a couple of years ago. I was able to order a new stove at a great price. We have to wait until early next month for delivery, but that’s ok. I’m glad for a microwave and a toaster oven in the meantime.

Friday’s Fave Five #7

FFF heart.


Welcome to Friday’s Fave Five, hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story, in which we can share five of our favorite things from the last week, a wonderful exercise in looking for and appreciating the good things God blesses us with. Click on the button to learn more, then go to Susanne’s to read others’ faves and link up your own.

1. Real maple products!  One of my friends, a young mom who grew up in Quebec and now lives here in western Canada, came with her toddler for a visit this week.  Meg blessed me with some of my all-time favorite treats, real maple cream and real maple sugar.

I grew up in northeastern Ohio where sugar maple trees abound and maple products are produced.  Fond childhood memories include attending the Geauga County Maple Festival in the spring.  A sugaring off shack in the town square held a huge caldron of maple sap being cooked down into maple syrup over an open fire.  Hot maple syrup ladled over fresh fluffy pancakes and eaten in a covered pavilion in the town square was blissful.  The amber syrup mingled maple goodness with the slightest tinge of a smoky accent.  I still recall the intoxicating odor of boiling maple syrup wafting through the crisp spring air.

And I am so happy that with all my food intolerances I can still enjoy real maple products!

2. Sunshine!  I almost always find at least some relief from my fibromyalgia symptoms on sunny days.  I am so very thankful for sunny days and look forward to the end of winter weather and the ushering in of sunny spring.

3. Answers!  Several writing projects have been on hold because of the return of ‘brain fog’ associated with fibromyalgia.  These past few weeks everything has seemed dark and my mind cannot think clearly, much less creatively.  My wonderful doctor listens to me and ordered some blood work.  Results showed I have hypothyroid function.  Yay!  An answer!  I’m told it takes a while to get this hormone to the correct dose, but we are starting small and will keep monitoring the progress.

4. Simple joys!  My friend, Meg, brought her little daughter, Charisse, to visit Purple Grandma.  Charisse is 2 ½ and has become delightfully interactive and conversant. We read, sorted crayons by color, drew smiley faces and frowny faces, chatted, and enjoyed lunch together.  So much fun!

5. Vehicles that work!  Over the past few weeks we have had to make repairs on our two vehicles 4 different times.  When it is as cold outside as it has been here lately, you want a reliable vehicle.  My car’s heater has the perverse habit of gracing us with heated air only when it is above zero (32F.)  Fix number one:  worked for a few days then back to not working.  So if it’s not fix number one (least expensive) we move on to fix number two (more expensive than #1 but not as expensive as #3) and yay!  It worked….until it stopped working two weeks later.  After experiencing the heater’s failed effort to produce heat inside the car when temperatures outside hovered at minus 35, we are ready to spring for fix #3.  But wait!  Soon it will be above zero every day!  So does that mean we don’t fix it?  Well at least we might be able to save up to pay for this fix!  And the biggest blessing of all?  The cars were not both broken down at the same time!