Friday, April 16, 2021

Friday's Fave Five #630

Hi everyone!  Welcome to another edition of Friday's Fave Five.  We're pausing to look over the week and find our blessings. Please take that moment and join us.

New addition to the family   Introducing Tux.  We were not on the hunt for a new dog.  The furthest thing from our thoughts at this time.  We were still numb from losing our Todd last month.  But we got a call about a little fella that needed a home.  And how could we say no to this face?  It's made my life a little crazier and busier but hopefully we all fall into a new routine soon.  And the smiles and joy he brings is worth it.

Birds chirping.  How wonderful it has been to listen to the birds singing their spring songs.  We have quite a few different kinds in the neighborhood and it has been lovely hearing them all.  

Gassed up car.  I was reflecting on what a blessing it is to just get in my car and drive and really hardly ever have to worry about filling it up.  Hubby takes care of that for me.  Even with the added trips of going to see my mom each weekend when I go then next week the tank is always full.  I never have to even ask.  It's one less thing I have to worry about and it really does save me time.  I really appreciate this gift he gives me.

Indian Food Takeout.  In Alberta our restaurants are yet again moved back to take out service only unless they have a patio and then you can dine al fresco.  All this back and forth with closing down, re-opening, restrictions added, restrictions taken away and then re-added has been really hard on all of them.  For our date night on Friday we decided to support one of the local restaurants that didn't have a patio and we ordered from our favorite Indian restaurant in town.  The meal was absolutely delicious and reasonably priced too.  

Good advice.  I had a decision to make concerning whether to take on a new family or not in the dayhome because of certain circumstances of where one of the parents worked and COVID.  I went through weeks of stress with it because I tend to really overthink things and stew way too much about it trying to think of every angle.  I felt in my heart to go and ask my neighbor, who is a doctor, her advice .  Though she can't divulge any specific information because of privacy, she was wonderful and answered all my questions as best as she could and gave some advice that would help me to decide one way or the other.  Once I had some clarity in all the confusion, I felt a peace with my decision.  But most of all, I gave myself the permission to be able to change my mind should I feel at any time the need to.  Which really helped.  I know God will direct my path, I just have to settle my thoughts down and be open.

What have your blessings been this week?


Friday, April 09, 2021

Friday's Fave Five #629

Hi everyone!  Welcome to Friday's Five.  Looking for the blessings from the past week, taking that pause to be grateful.  Won't you join in?  Though my blessings were definitely there my list is going to be a bit scarce on the detail as my pointer finger is sporting a great big bandage on it's tip.  Have you ever tried to type with a big bandage on the tip of your finger?  It's hard going.  Lots of backspacing and correcting as you type way more letters than you were meaning to.  Lol.  But press on we will.

~ Easter weekend ~ In Alberta we are still on gathering restrictions.  No one indoors except your own household, so for 2 Easters in a row now we have not had our family over for our usual celebrations which is extremely frustrating and sad.  But we did get to have our youngest come home as she is single and so is allowed 2 people she can go be with on the holiday indoors.  I'm really thankful for that.  We had a nice few days together just relaxing and hanging out.

~ Saturday road trip ~ spur of the moment road trip to Calgary on Saturday was just the little getaway we needed.  We needed a few things that were not available in the city.  It was a gorgeous sunny day so we jumped in the car and headed to the big city.   First stop was the mall because I wanted to get a Ghost Armor screen protector.  So while they were applying  that we went to an outdoor clothing store for a jacket for Dave.  Turns out we both got one.  We strolled around the mall a bit and then had a nice supper out and came home.  It was a relaxing time away that we both needed.

~ online support~ this week yet again found me on the phone with tech support trying to figure out what my email migration to gmail has done with messing up my blogger log in and name linking when I comment on your blogs.  We still haven't totally resolved the issue but it wasn't for lack of trying on the tech support person's part.  I'll have to do things a different way which means a learning curve for me and on the odd blog, depending on how your commenting is set up on your end, I'll just have to sign in my name right in the comment with no link.  But I'm grateful for these tech people.  I wouldn't want their job!

~ the Chosen season 2 ~ finally season 2 of the Chosen arrived on Easter Sunday evening.  Episode one live streamed on their facebook and youtube channels but episode 2 on will be available on their free app only**.  They will make each episode available as soon as they finish it.  Episode 2 is on Tuesday night.  Season 1 is available on youtube here if you haven't yet seen it.  Such a good show.  
**  update:  season 2 episode 2 is apparently going to be live stream on fb, youtube and on the chosen app Tuesday night 9 p.m. ET

~ hydroponic tulips ~ Last Thursday while in Costco I wanted to get some flowers for Easter.  Tulips are my favorite spring flowers and they had this jar of tulip bulbs immersed in water.  I thought it was interesting and unique with the bulbs and roots showing so I bought it.  So glad I did.  They are just fun to watch grow.  When I first got them they were all leaves and were just barely above the rim of the vase and now look only  a week later.  It's been a fun learning tool with the dayhome kids and they've been so excited each day to see what is different than the day before.  Even I look at it first thing to see what's changed.  

What have been your favorite blessings from the week?

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Hope Your Heart Needs (audiobook) by Holley Gerth

52 devotionals that help us to understand God's character and what He wants to be for us. In each devotional we are encouraged to take our experience and find the heart of God towards us in trial, hardship, joy, etc. His heart is where we can go with everything our day holds. Through a scripture, personal experience and a prayer inviting God to show us Himself through that characterstic each devotional brings hope to the heart no matter what your day holds and shows us a very personal God who wants us to know Him on a deeper level. 

 I listened to this as an audiobook as I made the half hour trips to see my mom on the weekends so I was listening to the devotionals back to back. I felt very encouraged as the author led me to know God better through his characteristics. I was uplifted and filled with hope and encouragement after each one and I could relate to each devotional just from everyday life. I have been a Christian for almost 40 years and none of this was new to me, but as I listened it was wonderful reminders and I felt uplifted after each driving session listening to this book.  I would like to purchase the hard copy book so that I could underline and reread different points. The short prayers at the end made each devotion personal inviting God to show us His heart towards us in that area. The person narrating was very easy to listen to.

I rate this a 9/10     

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Unfortunately, the last while the one on the left is where I've been sitting, but this week?  I'm aiming for the one on the right!  It's learning to retrain my thoughts.

Monday, April 05, 2021

the Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Cussy Mary is a young 20 year old woman living in the poverty stricken part of the Appalachian outside of Troublesome Creek.  Nicknamed Bluet by the local doctor after her blue skin, Cussy works as one of the Packhorse Librarians under the Packhorse Library Project started by President Roosevelt.  Cussy is passionate about her job, facing treacherous mountain conditions to get any reading material she can to her patrons up in the hills, even putting together reading scrapbooks from any articles and materials she can find.  It holds a special place in her heart as her mother, who passed away when Cussy was just little, taught her to read and it is her connection to her.  Cussy's father is a poor working miner and his goal is to get Cussy married in case something happens to him.  But all potential suitors are soon turned away after seeing Cussy's blue skin.  On Cussy's route she meets those who can't wait for her to arrive with new reading materials but she also meets those who are opposed or are distrustful to either the Library Project or her blue skin or both.  No different than the townspeople.  She has always faced those who accepted her for who she was and those who viciously teased, bullied her, blamed her for every thing gone wrong or showed outright racism including in her workplace.  But she has been able to make some precious friendships through her work and she will do everything to keep it in spite of the obstacles thrown her way.  The doctor in town has always had a keen interest in Cussy, or Bluet as he calls her, because of her blue skin and when he thinks he finds an experimental therapy that can "cure" her blue skin he talks Cussy's father in making her go along with it against Cussy's wishes.  Humiliated by her treatment at the big city hospital, she nevertheless, keeps going hoping the results will change her life for the better.  But will it actually change her impoverished community's minds about her?

I love, love, loved this story.  The stories that touch my heart in some way, that pull the emotions out of me while at the same time teaching me things I had no idea about are those that stick with me and bring out those 10 out of 10 ratings.  And this one did just that.  Though a few pages in I wondered if I would like it.  It took me a little bit to get used to the rhythm of the way the characters spoke.  But once the story got going I was totally invested.  It's a story about love, hate, prejudice, racism, and extreme poverty.  I had no idea about the Packhorse Library Project or the Blue Skinned people of the area.  I learned a lot.  The story also gave me another view of the Appalachian area's history of poverty and community after reading "Hillbilly Elegy" last year.  The author was able to weave historical information so well into a personal story of a young woman facing all those things. It took me on a roller coaster ride of emotions from horror to anger to happy to crying through several parts of Cussy's story and round about again.   Excellent, powerful and moving story.

Rating:  10/10

U.S. cover

Saturday, April 03, 2021

April 2021 Reading Possibility Pile

Here we are at April already.  Time to switch out my reading choices according to the Read Your Bookshelf Challenge.  March was a bit rough on my reading.  Between getting my Mom's home organized for sale and our beloved dog getting sick my motivation went way down.  I enjoyed reading when I picked up my book, but the actual picking up was hard.  It seemed my mind was too full of other things.  But I did get 2 books read from the challenge of "Friend's Recommendations"  and 2 audiobooks done.  A new month and with nicer weather to take my book outside with me is already motivating me so hopefully I can get back on track for my 50 books in 2021 goal.

So the challenge prompt this month from the Read Your Bookshelf Challenge is "A Book With 5+ Words in the Title".  When I first saw that I thought I would only have a choice or two but as I dug through my unread piles it was clear I had waaaay more than I thought to fit the category.   And I was even able to fit that prompt into my "on hold at the library" and "a book purchased in 2019-2021" monthly challenge.  So here's my possibility pile for April:

( a couple of books didn't make it into the picture)


                 by Anthony Ray Hinton

READ YOUR BOOKSHELF CHALLENGE:  (April prompt: a book with 5+ words in title)

          ~Recipes for a Perfect Marriage by Morag Prunty   (set aside)

What are you reading this month?

Friday, April 02, 2021

Friday's Fave Five #628

Hi everyone!  Welcome to Friday's Fave Five.  My post is going to go up late today but please feel free to link your own post on.  It's just one of those things where I just couldn't get it up on time.


Well late but still here.  It's Good Friday today.  A day we solemnly remember the death of Jesus on the cross.  It was a dark day for the disciples and his followers.  If only they knew then what we know now.  They would know it in three days but how sad and frightening this day must have been for them.  Hope,however, was on the horizon for them as it is for us.  Jesus died for you!  For me!  But it didn't end there.  He defeated death so that death would no longer hold us either!  That we would have a relationship with God our Father restored!  He suffered that we would not have to.  Praise be to Him for all He has done!

~Easter fun was afoot this week with the dayhome kids.  Though a lot of extra work for me, and being dog tired at the end of each day, I do love the celebrating of holidays with the kids.  We had special crafts, games and activities each day.  It brings me joy to see them so excited and having fun.

~A sleep in day today.  How excellent after all that celebrating with the kids all week to have today to wake up when I was ready to wake up instead of waking up to a blasting alarm clock.  And then to sit around in jammies slowly enjoying a HOT cup of coffee instead of running around getting ready to open the door to kids and not having time to savor a coffee but just gulping it down lukewarm when I remember where I put it down.

~Beautiful weather after a scary weather weekend.  Last Sunday Southern Alberta had 3 emergency alerts out all at the same time:  wind warning alerts (the wind peaked at 150 km/hr in some parts), a spring snow warning (made dangerous by the wind driving it) and a fire alert warning (which actually sounded the alarms off on our phones scaring the daylights out us).  The wind blew down a power line near a town about 45 mins from us and started a grass fire that tore an 11 km wide swath and burned down 4 rural homes.  It shut down 2 highways due to zero visibility and blowing debris.  And there were 2 other dangerous grass fires close to our city whipped into a frenzy by the wind). Then at night the wind howled bringing in a spring snow that again brought zero visibility and crazy dangerous icy roads resulting in a 70 car pile up on a major highway on Monday morning.  But then gorgeous weather hit Tuesday and we've been basking in the sunshine.  I am thankful that the crazy weather was short lived and now we are enjoying the warmth and sun with NO wind!

~Progress made in decluttering my Mom's house.  It's a daunting task.  She's not a hoarder by any means but when one lives in their home for 56 years there is bound to be a lifetime of stuff.  Especially when they get older and they just don't deal with things the same way.  It is a daunting task but making small headways is motivation to keep going.  

~The planning of Easter though yet again, it will be very restricted.  In Alberta, especially our city right now, the covid numbers are high so we are still restricted to no gatherings inside except with those who live in our household.  That means we will for yet another holiday not be able to see our kids.  It's frustrating and so very sad.  But we will get to have our daughter for dinner because she is single and she is allowed to come home.  And along with planning our simple Easter Sunday dinner, we're planning the visiting of my parents which is allowed, and also the other things Dave and I will do with our 4 day weekend.  I see a nice bike ride in the works if the weather holds out!

Thanks for joining me on a holiday for FFF!  May you have a wonderful Easter however it will look for you this year.  May the hope of Easter fill your hearts this weekend!