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

 

 

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Friday’s Fave Five #58

FFF tulips

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. Thunderstorms We had a lovely thunderstorm last night. When we lived in South Carolina and saw that a storm was brewing, we would gather our small children and sit on the front porch to experience the passing storm. My husband would tell the children that they did not have to be afraid of thunder, for it was simply God talking. (Job 37 and other passages) Thunderstorms are not as common here so we especially appreciated last night’s demonstration of light and sound.

2. Flowers Our wild rose bush and irises are blooming. Such pretty spots of color in the yard!

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3. Answer to prayer Daughter number 3 has been working three part time jobs since losing her job in October. One of those part time jobs will become a full time job with benefits at the end of this month. We are so thankful for this answer to prayer!

4. Meal with friends Eating out can be tricky for people like me who are gluten intolerant. Last week we enjoyed a meal with friends at Red Robin where they seem to take allergies seriously, and I enjoyed a delicious, safe meal.

5. Anniversary I thank God for my husband, who loves God and is serious about his ministries to God’s people. Wednesday was our 37th anniversary. Neither of us was feeling great that day so we nabbed take out at Edo Japan, where they also are careful in preparing meals for those with food sensitivities.

Saturday my oldest daughter and I took a drive in the country on a sometimes rainy day. We had great conversation and I was able to take some pictures. So here are Five Fave Photos from this week:

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IMG_6313 - Copy IMG_6308 - Copy IMG_6268 - Copy IMG_6259 - Copy - Copy

 

Prairie Glimpses – Alberta Skies

When we first moved to Alberta from South Carolina over 25 years ago, I thought flat prairies and big, open skies were boring. Now I love them and even feel slightly claustrophobic when we travel back to the closed-in landscapes of the southeast.

Last week during our time away in the cabin, we observed Alberta skies in a variety of moods. Everything from bright, cloudless, sunny skies to fierce, stormy, thunderclouds rolled past. It was especially satisfying to sit on the broad porch in our comfortable Adirondack  chairs to watch the ever-changing weather show.

When the thunderstorm passed by it reminded us of watching storms with our kids when they were little. Everyone would jump at the sound of thunder and Bud would tell the kids it was God talking. Psalm 29:3 says ‘The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders’ and Job 37:5 tells us “God thunders wondrously with his voice.” We sure love observing ‘God talking’ in a thunderstorm.

Hope you enjoy our Alberta skies!

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Vista from the porch

Clouds over the prairies

Clouds over the prairies

Open skies

Open skies

Beautiful sunset

Beautiful sunset

Grassy fields, cloudy skies

Grassy fields, cloudy skies

Cornucopia shaped cloud

Cornucopia shaped cloud

The clouds line up

The clouds line up

Hazy day valley view

Hazy day valley view

Rain's a comin'!

Rain’s a comin’!

Peaceful sky over pond

Peaceful sky over pond

Rain coming soon

Rain coming soon

Gathering storm

Gathering storm

Sunset storm clouds

Sunset storm clouds

Blowing rain

Blowing rain

Lightning

Lightning

Lightning close up

Lightning close up

Lightning behind the clouds

Lightning behind the clouds

Sun through the storm

Sun through the storm

Another storm is coming

Another storm is coming

Ray of hope

Ray of hope

Impressive show

Impressive show

Fierce skies

Fierce skies

Storm on the prairie

Storm on the prairie

Blue skies coming soon

Blue skies coming soon

The passing storm

The passing storm

 

 

Friday’s Fave Five #20

FFF daisies

On Fridays we stop to recount a few blessings from the week.  I have found it to be a wonderful exercise in gratitude, and it forces me to think grateful thoughts, even if it’s been a discouraging week.  Thanks to Suzanne at Living to Tell the Story  for hosting this!

1. Encouraging kids Is it ok to brag a little about your kids?  I say yes, when they have accomplished some impressive feats.

Our family members have always had weight issues, and our oldest daughter recently underwent bariatric surgery, a procedure called sleeve surgery.  She followed pre-op instructions carefully, had the surgery, and has stayed within her post-surgical restrictions.  As of today she has lost 110 pounds.  Our second daughter has combined an Atkins and exercise approach and has lost over 50 pounds.  Our third daughter, who has type 1 insulin dependent diabetes, has been using the exercise room at her work as well as watching what she eats and has lost over 20 pounds.  After sorting out my low thyroid issues I am now down 27 pounds.  My daughters have inspired me and help me stay on track.  And that is a huge, huge blessing!

2. My crazy raised garden I’m not sure why I find this so humorous, but one side of the bottom of my raised bed herb garden gave way after a few days of torrential rain last week.  I currently have the sinking garden of Beaumont on one end of the planter and a giant corporate zucchini take-over of the planter on the other.  Every time I look at it, I laugh.  My husband and son are kindly planning to rebuild it on Monday and all of the plants will have to be moved.  I am hopeful that they will all survive the transplanting.

3. Home for the summer I cannot completely express how wonderful it is to have most of my family here near us this summer.  The noise and fun factors both will increase when our daughter-in-law and grandchildren arrive at the end of the month (they are enjoying sibling and cousin time with my daughter-in-law’s side of the family for the next couple of weeks!)

4. Powerful thunderstorms We had some doozy thunderstorms overnight a couple of times this past week.  I am always amazed at the majesty and raw power of these displays.  It reminds me of our days in South Carolina when we would gather on the front porch and watch thunderstorms.  My husband used to tell the children it was God talking. (There are quite a few biblical references to God’s voice thundering.  A few of these are in Job 37 and 40, Psalm 18 and 29, and Revelation 19.)

5.  Yummy quiche My youngest daughter made me a crustless quiche for dinner.  It was delicious!  It’s always satisfying to try new foods (or re-introduce foods into my diet) that don’t make me sick.

Have a blessed week!