Friday, April 19, 2024

Mid April Faves

It's Friday afternoon.  The sun is peeking out from behind grey rain clouds.  It's time to pause in my week and focus on some good things from my week.  Some weeks are momentous and some weeks are just normal.  This one has been mostly normal.  And I'm thankful for that.  Here are five fairly normal things for which I am thankful this week.  My Friday Fave Fives:

1.  We've had a weather wild week.  Fortunately, as far as we can tell, nothing broke, fell over or flooded.  I am definitely thankful for safety in wild weather.

2.   Garden started.  This week, I tempted the temperatures and planted my tomato, spinach, and kale starts in the garden.  Then I added basil, marigolds and cilantro from the local nursery.  We did have those very strong wind/rain/thunderstorms, but the plants have declared, "We're not dead, yet!"  Hopefully, everything will survive and thrive.

3.  On Tuesday, we drove an hour north and met our friends who drove an hour south to meet in the middle for lunch.  We always enjoy our time with them as our friendship goes back more than two decades from when we attended the same church, and she and I worked at the same Christian school (different campuses).

4.  Another fun thing about driving to meet them is that we took a 'scenic alternate route' and enjoyed seeing another section of our new to us state.  And there were barns to photograph!

a fancy red barn

two old faded red barns

a falling down barn

5.  Last night, I finished the Fair Isle sweater that I've been knitting.  My handspun yarn, hand dyed by me, and now knitted into a sweater.  I am hoping to get some photos taken soon.

And that's a wrap on this week.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Eclipses, Coffee, Movies

Make the Friday Fave Five List!

This has been a week of nearly constant activity.  Wow.  I thought that retirement was a time of rest and relaxation.  Silly me.  But all the activities were ones that have brought me great joy and thankfulness.  When I write my Friday Fave Fives, I always reflect back on the week and am reminded of all these activities and all the joy.

1.  Everyone has been talking about the eclipse.  Yes, we live in one of the states that experienced totality/100%.  Yes, we could have driven to a place where we could experience it.  But we decided that a bit over 99% was good enough.  Therefore, since our home had the best viewing spot, we gathered here at the cottage and pulled out our lawn chairs on the patio.  The eclipse was truly amazing!

My camera didn't take great photos because I didn't have the right lens.  But Little Warrior devised a way to get better pictures using the eclipse glasses.  (I'm trying to get the photos downloaded to my computer but it's not cooperating well)

2.  Afterwards, everyone just hung around.  We ate dinner and watched another part of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  We own the extended version, so there are (I think) six movies.  On Saturday evening we had watched the second half of The Fellowship of the Rings (first book), so Monday night, we watched the first half of Two Towers (second book).  Popcorn and ice cream were included.

3.  We had two coffee times this week.  On Saturday we gathered with all the adults who are going on the England section of our summer trip.  Younger Daughter worked out all the various flight schedules and got everyone booked.

4.  Second coffee time was impromptu time with Younger Daughter.  We chatted and knitted and knitted.  And of course, Eleanor loved tagging along.  She doesn't knit, but she loves her coffee.

5.  We have been wanting to have a bradford pear tree removed from our front yard.  Since that tree is an invasive species and no longer allowed to be sold in our state, we decided we'd remove it and replace it with a native tree.  A man in our church is an arborist and owns a tree care company, so we arranged for him to come and remove the tree (and some arborvitae bushes that are growing too close to the house and too high).  He and his crew worked so fast!  We are thankful to have that garden chore checked off our list and done quickly, cleanly and professionally.




Friday, April 05, 2024


How can it be the first week of April?  This year 2024 is racing by.  I try to stop daily and weekly to consider all the blessings of my day/week.  Each evening before I sleep, I jot down in a journal the blessings and events of the day.  If I didn't do that, I'd forget.  When Friday arrives, I can better remember what happened during the week so I can post my Friday Fave Fives and share them with you. (the link takes you to Susanne's blog and you can read more FFFs)

1.  Easter Sunday.  It is one of my favorite days of the year because we celebrate Jesus Christ's resurrection.

2.  Some family members were sick last week and during the weekend, so we didn't do any family dinner for Easter.  Sunday evening, grandkids and younger daughter did pop over for a couple of hours to watch a movie and eat popcorn.  I appreciate so much living nearby so we can do these impromptu get togethers.

3.  Our weather has been quite 'active'.  On Tuesday evening, we were under a tornado watch.  Fortunately, we did not have to run to the basement.  But we did have rain, wind, thunder and lightning.  Other areas did have tornadoes touching down, and there was some home damage.  Our area missed it.  I am thankful we have a good weather prediction system, so we know when to be careful.

4.  Between all the storms, we were able to take two walks along the rivers in our area to find out how high the rivers were flooding.  Yes, there is flooding.  Even so, the views were crazy because we could see just how high the water levels were.  And, we got in those walks.

Do you see the huge log up against the bridge?  We watched it flow down the river and there it was, banged up against the bridge we crossed to get home.

5.  I offered to do an embroidery project for someone for an Easter present.  I was able to add the year to the bottom of a new bunny's feet.   While it took longer than I expected, I did enjoy the challenge of designing it.  And Eleanor Elizabeth was excited to spend time with another bunny!

And a small white flower to make you smile.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Resurrection Sunday

 All around the world, in every time zone

and every latitude,

people are observing Easter Sunday, a day of remembrance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion on Good Friday.

He is risen!

Friday, March 29, 2024

Good Friday, the Best Friday

 Today is Good Friday, possibly the most significant holy day in the Christian Church when we remember Jesus's crucifixion on a cross in Jerusalem.  What an appropriate day to write my Friday Fave Fives and recall the blessings of this past week. (The link takes you to Susanne's blog where you can read more or join in.)

1.  Celebrating Passion Week and Maundy Thursday.  Last night, we attended the Maundy Thursday service.  It was wonderful and reverant and sobering and thoughtful.  We sang, heard Scriptures read, took communion, and quietly walked out of the service.

2.  Good Friday.  My friend wrote this poem and gave me permission to share it here.


No ground to stand on                                                    

Except that at the foot                                                    

Of the cross.                                                    


No deeds to lean on                                                     

Except that which was done                                                     

   At the cross.                                                    


No light dispelling darkness                                                    

Except the light that shone                                                    

Through the cross.                                                    


No life to live                                                    

Except the life won                                                    

By the cross.                                                    

                                                                            copyright Darlene Estlow 2023

3.  We are recovering from our road trip to Outer Banks.  On the way home, we visited some interesting places.  A local arboretum...

Eleanor loves roses (even if she can't eat them).

4.  Then we drove the Blue Ridge Parkway from Fancy Gap to Roanoke.  What a beautiful drive!

Photos cannot do justice to the views.  Overlook facing east.

Well preserved mill

5.  When we arrived home, there was lots of mail.  But the best was a package from PAL and her mom and dad (and aunt).  Oh my!  All my favorite things!  A book!  Gift card!  Empty notebooks!  And the absolute best?  A card from PAL.  On the outside, it said, "Grandma, You're pretty cool, and I'm pretty cool...  On the inside:  "So how do you explain that weird generation in the middle?  Happy Birthday to my awesome GRANDMA!"  The Professor and I giggled and giggled over this brilliant card.

That wraps up the Best Friday.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend and take time to contemplate the true meaning of Easter.

Thursday, March 21, 2024


 Happy Spring!  We took a spring break trip this week.  Our friends T and S mentioned that they were planning a trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina and asked if we wanted to join them.  It took about 3 seconds for us to yell, "Yes!"  And since it is now Friday, I decided to share our Five Faves from our trip to the beach.  What is Friday Fave Fives?  It's a way for people to contemplate about their blessings and share five of them each Friday with Susanne as our host.  Follow that link above to join in.

1.  I do need to preface our trip faves with one other blessing.  Sunday was my birthday.  So many people from all over the world sent messages, emails, cards, texts, facebook posts to wish me a Happy Birthday!  I was thrilled and overwhelmed with all the love from so many people.  In person, we attended church and then enjoyed a Chinese dinner at a local restaurant with family.  All my children and grandchildren and my brother either wished me Happy Birthday in person or called me to talk with me.

2.  OK, on to our beach trip.  On our way to Outer Banks, we caravanned with T and S.  In spite of some unexpected snafus like missing turns and exits or following the wrong car (that was hilarious), we managed to arrive safely.  Did you know that OBX is the abbreviation all the locals use for Outer Banks?

3.  We found wonderful coffee shops and restaurants.  Oh my.  The food was so yummy!

Eleanor especially LOVED Front Porch Cafe in Nags Head (and Roanoke Island)!

4.  All of us are beach bums.  We love the beach.  So, walks on the beach were the best part of the trip.

5.  We enjoyed some sightseeing adventures.  Ft. Raleigh (where it's all about the lost colony on Roanoke Island).  Cape Hatteras lighthouse and Bodie Lighthouse.  The Wright Brothers Memorial at Kitty Hawk, where Orville and Wilbur Wright flew the first airplane and changed the world.

Bodie Lighthouse

Cape Hatteras lighthouse (undergoing some renovations)

Eleanor Elizabeth loves flying in airplanes, so she especially enjoyed the Wright Memorial at Kitty Hawk.

An amazing life size replica of the 'first flight'.

I am so thankful for a wonderful spring break trip!