Friday, September 14, 2018

Friday's Fave Five #499

Welcome everyone!  This has been one long week.  On Monday I somehow twisted something in my knee and it's really messed with my week.  I've missed the gym all week and have to wear my big ol' ugly knee brace.  But there are still good things to look for in spite of that little dilemma and these are my favorite blessings from the week.  Please join us!

~a later start to the morning~ last Friday non of the dayhome kidlets showed up until at least a half hour later than they normally do.  It was such a nice, slow start to the morning for me.  An extra cup of coffee in peace without interruption is gold, I tell ya!  I didn't feel rushed so it set such a nice relaxed tone for the day.

~ladies study starting again~ This week, after a 2 month summer break, our small group started up again.  Our first night was a fun night.  We went to see a show and it was so nice to catch up with everyone.  Looking forward to the coming year with my group of ladies.

~lunch out with friends~  This is always a blessing to me.  I don't have to cook or clean up and we get to spend some time with some great people.

~wasps gone~ Those nasty critters built a nest between the rock and the railway tie in my front flower bed.  We bought one of these traps to see if it would work.  In less than 20 minutes that thing was ready to be changed out.  I've never seen anything like it.  They were just swarming it.  Kinda makes my stomach turn to think about it but it did the job.  We ran and got two more and used one a day for 3 days and caught so many wasps.  We sprayed the entrance to the nest a couple times with a foam spray and, fingers crossed, it seems to have done the trick.

~cleaning routines~ I have really tried to get a routine going when it comes to keeping the kitchen cleaner.  It really is the busiest room of the house and gets lots of wear and tear each day.  I think I've finally fallen upon a routine I can live with that isn't burdensome but helps to keep everything neat and clean. 

What have been your favorite blessings this week?

Friday, September 07, 2018

Friday's Fave Five #498

Welcome to Friday's Fave Five.  It's Friday so that means time to look back over the week and find those blessings.  They may be big, they may be smaller and really not mean a whole lot to anybody else than you, but the point is that we are intentionally taking the time to pause and take note and be grateful for them all.  Please join in.  Newcomers please take a short moment and click over from the sidebar and read the guidelines, then just join right in.

~beautiful weather~  all this week our weather has been absolutely gorgeous.  So nice to have the warm days and now cooler nights.

~bike rides~  that gorgeous weather allowed us to take advantage and go for a nice bike ride on the long weekend.  Getting out there and getting some exercise in the sunshine on our bikes is one of my favorite ways to de-stress and enjoy some time with my hubby.

~greek salad~  with the bounty of tomatoes from my plants and other home grown veggies given to us we've been enjoying lots of Greek salads in the last little while.  So delicious with the home grown veggies.  So much more flavor to the salad.  We've even added lemon arugula to it, which probably is so not a Greek thing, but it was still really good.

~free play structure~ I don't know if I ever mentioned it, but I'm thinking of it now because I have been watching the dayhome kids enjoying it so much this week, but when we were leaving for holidays in July, there on the front boulevard a block away from us, someone had put out a Little Tikes climber with a big free sign.  Hubby noticed it and we pulled over right away.  We stuffed what we could into the vehicle and hubby lugged the rest of it home by foot.  He the man!  LOL.  Anyway, that thing has been very much enjoyed.  They are worth about $300 so it has been a huge blessing!

~closet organization with new hangers~ I got a great deal on a box of 50 velvet covered hangars so I finally got my closet organized with some nice matching hangars.  Bonus is my sweaters and shirts don't fall off of these hangars and because they are slim it's really made some breathing room between the clothes.  I don't have plastic hangars falling and all askew anymore and now it all looks matchy-matchy.  LOL.  One more step in declutter and organizing done.

What have been your favorite blessings this week?

Friday, August 31, 2018

Friday's Fave Five #497

Welcome to Friday's Fave Five!  The last one in August.  How crazy is that.  the summer is almost done.  I know fall doesn't officially start until September 21st but for me the first day of September means fall and that means this weekend.  Yikes.  It's good to have a place to intentionally slow down and take note of the good blessings that have come our way.  Please join us.

In no particular order:

~gift of a book~ a lady from my bible study group and I had a coffee together last week.  It was so nice to get together and catch up as our study takes a break during the summer.  We talked about so many things including some great books.  We talked of one in particular we were both looking forward to reading.  The next day I went out front and when I turned to come back in, there hanging on the door handle was a Chapters Indigo bag and inside was the book.  What a sweet blessing that was.  I can't wait to get into it and talk it over with her!

~days with no smoke~ It has been soooo smokey this summer and last week was especially bad with all the fires in British Columbia blowing over our way.  Last Monday cool weather moved in and it rained all day.  It not only got rid of the smoke but a big bonus was that it help with the fire burning very close to our beloved Waterton National Park which was already devasted by fire last year.  It allowed them to lift the evacuation alert for the town of Waterton which was a deep breath of relief.  The rest of the week we've had lovely weather and next to no smoke hanging in the air.

~tomato harvest~  My friend's mom again gave me about 6 or 7 various tomato plants this spring and for a while this summer we wondered if they would do well.  Then bam, all of a sudden they just kicked into gear and now we are reaping the delicious harvest.  We have had them all sorts of ways:  in wedges with just a touch of sea salt, in sandwiches and burgers,  cut in half and sprinkled with a good dose of Parmesan cheese and then broiled, fried up with zucchini, onions and garlic.  So delicious!

~new to us business car~  Unfortunately our van that we had that Hubby was using for his business vehicle in the winter time finally was done in.  So on was the search for an appropriate vehicle for him.  Praise God we found one, a 2010 Dodge Journey that we think will be just perfect for what he needs without putting a super hardship onto us financially.

~fun movie afternoon with hubby~  Sunday we took a real relax day and after church we had wonderful lunch of bbq'd steaks, Caesar spiced potatoes, and corn on the cob.  Such a typical great summer meal.  Then we saw that The Greatest Showman was only $1 this weekend on Telus TV so we had a lovely movie afternoon just the two of us.  Both of us really liked the movie.  A thousand times better that last year's LaLaLand that won all the awards and almost put all of us to sleep.

What were your favorite blessings last week?

Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister ~ Book Review

This is the sequel to The School of Essential Ingredients. Again the author takes a cast of several characters and individually tells their story even as she slowly mixes their lives together. Lillian, the restaurant owner returns, though she is taking a break from teaching her classes. Her relationship with Tom has continued to progress but now something has happened that will change their lives forever. Chloe loves working for Lillian and is not only learning from her but is starting to step out with her own creations. After having her heart broken she finds it hard to trust but moving in with aging Isabelle she is starting to let down the walls just a bit as she finds a place of acceptance even as Isabelle is starting to lose her memories. Finnegan has started working at the restaurant as a dishwasher. He would love to know Chloe better but her walls are hard to break through. He's a hard worker, quiet and reliable but despite his great height his past has taught him how to fade into a background. Then there is Al, Lillian's accountant. His meetings with Lillian are always something to look forward to as she always brings him some delicious concoction she has made. He's always taken great comfort in numbers, but as of late with problems at home with his wife, Louise, he has found comfort in rituals.

 Like the first book the author's prose and descriptions are lovely as she builds the characters stories. They are an eclectic mix of backgrounds and personalities but food is always the the underlying thread that connects them. The story and characters were engaging though I just didn't love it as much as the first book. There was just something missing that the first book had. Maybe I read them too far apart. That is not to say it wasn't a good read but it just didn't evoke the same feelings in me as the first. I loved how the author ended the story with a throwback to something that happened in the beginning of the story. It really tied that part together.

I gave this a solid 7.5/10

Friday, August 24, 2018

Friday's Fave Five #496

Welcome again to Fridays Fave Five.  In this regular weekly exercise we are trying to develop the habit of intentionally looking for blessings in our past week and developing grateful attitudes.  We try to do it on the good weeks, the bad weeks, the exciting weeks and the plain old everyday type of week that on the surface doesn't seem to hold anything special.  Please join us.  If you are new just click on the link in the sidebar and read the guidelines and then jump right in.

In no particular order here are mine:

~beautiful red suns~ we have been having a whole lot of smoke blowing over from our neighboring province of British Columbia where there are close to 600 active forest fires burning.  Our days can change within the hour from blue skies to hazy to thick smoke taking our air quality from a really good 2 or 3 to a high risk 8, 9 or 10.  Hate the smoke but if I have to look for a good thing within it there are some absolutely beautiful red suns that show up.  This was a gorgeous one and I had to chase down the road a good mile and some to get a clear shot of it and I only had my cell phone so it doesn't really do it justice but you get the idea.

~corn and a pot~ my next two are related so they are listed together.  It is officially into Taber corn season here.  There is no corn like Taber corn.  So delicious.  Farmers sell them throughout the city in small stands and everyone here looks forward to those hot days of August when you can buy them from fresh daily harvested fields.  So far we've had Peaches and Cream corn that was amazing and now they are into Vision which is a real sweat corn too.  Yum.  I can't get enough.

Which brings me to the part two of this.  My new pot I snagged on clearance at Marshalls.  I've wanted to get a stock pot for such a long time but have never bit the bullet on them because I didn't know where I would keep such a tall pot.  One day a couple months ago I was wandering around in Marshalls and lo and behold here was this Italian pot that was huge but not tall.  So I grabbed it thinking I could always return it if I found it wasn't what I wanted.  But boy, did I score with this thing.  I can easily fit about 10 -12 ears of corn into this thing.  The day I took this picture I only had six in there with the water only filled to half full.  And it will be perfect too to make those wonderful soups and stocks that I like to do and never find my current biggest pot not big enough.  

~King Tut Grass~ I have been trying for years to find something that would grow tall enough in this planter and be big enough to look balanced against the bow window.   This year I saw this plant at a local green house store and nabbed it.  So glad I did.  It's exactly what I was looking for.  Next year I'll be sure to buy another as they are not hardy enough to survive our winter, but it's so worth it to buy it again.  I'll fill it in with some nice bright draping kind of flowers or plant to hang down at the base.

~pinterest loving parents~ love when parents send cute snacks like this to dayhome for a treat or for their kid's birthdays.  How cute is this?  It's a pudding cup with graham crumbs for "sand", a piece of fruit rollup for a "towel", a graham teddy sitting in a gummy "floaty tube" under a party drink "umbrella".  Who thinks of these things?

Well these were 5 blessings from my week.  Nothing huge or spectacular but blessings nonetheless.  What were you favorites from the week?

Friday, August 17, 2018

Friday's Fave Five #495

Welcome to Friday's Fave Five.  It's a very smokey Friday here in Southern Alberta.  We are getting a whole lotta smoke from all the forest fires burning in British Columbia.  But there is still good things going on in the week.  Here are five of my favorites.  Please join me in intentionally looking for the blessings of the week.

~ac~ Southern Alberta was in a heat wave last week and hit records all over the southern portion of the province.  Our city was no exception hitting a new record at 40.5*C (104.9*F) one day, so very thankful for air conditioning as that is way too hot for this gal.

~chocolate raspberry jam~ picked up at our favorite fruit stand in the Okanagan.  The lady makes all sorts of canned goods herself and sells it along with her fresh fruits and vegetables.  Where does she find the time????  I also grabbed a couple of jars of her spicy asparagus which I love.  Yum.

~anniversary watch gifts~ While on holidays, Hubby's watch broke so we went to a shop in the mall thinking they could repair it while we were there.  but while there we saw a couple of watches we each fell in love with so we decided that would be our 35th Anniversary present to each other.  Just love mine.  The watch is totally me.  How often am I going to find a watch that happens to have my two favorite birds on it, a chickadee and a blue t*t (a horrible name for such a cute bird!!!)?  The blue one being the bird on my blog header.  With gorgeous flowers?  And in my favorite colors?

~dinner with other women study leaders~ On Monday I had dinner with 3 other ladies from church who are study leaders.  3 of us have a woman's study and the fourth leads a study with her hubby.  It was so nice to get to know each other better and receive encouragement and ideas.

~workout and window shopping~ Saturday my good friend and I worked out together in the morning and then I tagged along while she went shopping for some items at Marshalls.  It was fun browsing and sharing the morning together.

What were your favorite blessings from the past week?

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce ~ Book Review

After receiving a note in the mail from a former co-worker that is saying her goodbyes as she faces a terminal illness, Harold Fry  writes her back despite not having had communication with her for many, many years.  But as he goes to post the letter in the mailbox, he just can't bring himself to drop it in.  After a conversation with a young gas station attendant about hope, Harold makes an impulsive decision to give his friend hope, by walking all the way across the country to see her.  But Harold didn't quite think through everything this decision would entail.  He has no proper footwear or coat, no maps or phone.  His wife does not understand what he is doing.  But he knows he must keep going, because he is trying to save his friend's life.

This story was an interesting and heartfelt look into the human heart.  As Harold walks  he has nothing to do except think and he faces his own thoughts, emotions and history.  As does his wife back at home.  It's a subtle coming to terms with aging  and what one's life has become because of your past decisions and what one's life can still be.  It's also a story of perspective and how we remember events in our lives.   As Harold walks he he comes across many interesting characters who both add to his walk but also those who are detrimental.  The book drew me right in as I kept the hope that Harold would indeed make it on time to Queenie and that somehow against all odds this walk would save her.  But it also drew me because, strangely, in so many ways, Harold is so relatable.

The story is very introspective but the author brilliantly unfolds the past that has led Harold to this point.  It is a study in human nature in many layers not just of Harold but all the people that his journey brings him across.  About 3/4 of the way through, just when I thought I had enough of the introspection, the author reveals aspects of Harold's story one after another that had me crying  and then crying again and yet again.  I thought this was a lovely story that was very well done, humorous and subtly thought provoking.

I give it a 9.5/10