Friday, December 30, 2022

Christmas 2022

 Christmas.  Come and gone.  How was your Christmas?  Ours was busy, noisy, and full of blessings.  We did have a white Christmas and it was very very cold.

 And now we are looking toward New Years Day this weekend.  Where did the year go?  Here are my Friday Fave Fives, the last one for 2022!  The link will take you to our host Susanne's blog.

1.  Christmas Eve service was lovely.  The Professor was on duty to do lighting, so Older Daughter sat with me.  I love singing all the Christmas hymns!

2.  On Christmas Day, we were up early.  The Professor busied himself with making his special coffee cakes, one gluten free and one regular.  And made coffee and more coffee.  I finished placing stocking stuffers at the fireplace and presents around the Christmas tree and set the table for brunch.  The hordes arrived, nine people in all, so we were a loud and happy group of eleven.  There was so much food--bacon, sausage, eggs, rolls, fruit, and more.

3.  After brunch, we opened our presents.  Having our extra family with us was so much fun.  These are the four very close friends--mom, dad, two young adult boys--who moved here from SoCal in the summer.  We love having them here and part of our family.

4.  While some of us finished cooking up dinner, the rest of us watched a couple of movies.  Elf!  White Christmas!

5.  In the evening, we chatted on zoom with our CA and AZ family who couldn't be with us here.  The only one missing was our oldest son a USAR Chaplain who is away on deployment right now.  I know he was busy blessing many soldiers while they are all away from family and friends this holiday season.

Can you believe it?  I didn't take even ONE photo!  We were just so busy having fun!

Friday, December 23, 2022

Almost Christmas!

 Fourth Week of Advent. 

We are almost ready to celebrate Christmas.

We also just passed the Winter Solstice.

The days will be longer.  However.  As I learned from one of my best friends who now lives in Iowa, midwestern people have a saying, "As the days get longer, the cold gets stronger!"  We are finding this to be especially true this Christmas weekend.  Right now, our temperatures are in the negative numbers.  There is snow.  There is ice.  There is wind.  It's frigid!

It may be cold outside, but there is warmth in our hearts as we contemplate the reason we celebrate Christmas.  "I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord."

And in keeping with warmth, I also focus on my weekly exercise of expressing gratitude and thankfulness with Friday Fave Fives hosted by Susanne.

1.  Obviously, I am thankful that I have a warm house with heat source.  Cozy blankets.  Warm sweaters and coats and mittens and hats.

2.  Our granddaughter PAL sang in a Christmas concert with the Arizona Girls Choir.  We were able to watch the entire concert after it was put up on you tube.  She is following in a long generational line of choral singers.

3.  My other granddaughter (I should call her Tall Girl) and Tall Boy came one afternoon and helped me bake cookies using my grandmother's sugar cookie recipe.  They chose the cookie cutters, so we have many dog, fish and cat cookies as well as trees and bells.  Then Tall Boy returned yesterday to frost them and to make the dough for HIS chocolate cookie recipe.

4.  Tall Girl and Tall Boy also accompanied us on our weekly visit with our friends at a local coffee shop.  How many teenage grands are willing to go to coffee shops with their grandparents and friends?  I was so happy they were interested--granted, the interest was probably partly mostly due to a promise of food...

5.  And of course, I am grateful for another year to celebrate ADVENT and CHRISTMAS!  Merry Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice 2022

The shortest day and longest night of the year. 

The best part is that the days will now begin to be longer.

And four days until CHRISTMAS!

Friday, December 16, 2022

Fourth Week of Advent

PEACE.  That is the theme of Advent's Fourth Week.  That is what the world needs.  Peace.  We can only get peace from Jesus.

Did you have a chaotic or peaceful week?  Mine was a mixture of both.  Three trips in to the big city for medical appointments.  At least, one of them included a quick grocery shopping trip to two stores we don't have in our little town.  But we also had periods of quiet between which we definitely needed.  I try had to focus on the peace and not the chaos.  That helps me be thankful for all situations.  Here are five ways I found peace this week.  Willow's Week for Friday Fave Fives in this fourth week of Advent. 

1.  I am thankful that the stitches in my hand are out and the PA declared that I am healing well.

2.  According to the PA, I can resume my knitting as much as I feel like!

3.  I have been contemplating buying this book for a long time.  Finally, at the (slight) urging of my daughter-in-law, we found it online and I purchased it.  I am calling it my Christmas present to myself.


4.  I have found a place to offer my knitted hats for sale.  During the summer, I had talked with the owner of a resale shop who told me she would take them during the winter/Christmas season.  This week, I dropped them off and am hoping she will sell them all.

5.  As our temperatures have dropped this month, I have been huddling under my afghans.  I am so thankful that I am warm and cozy!

How about you?  Where did you find Peace this week?

Friday, December 09, 2022

Advent's Third Week

Coming up is the third weekend of Advent.  The focus is on LOVE.

Join me and others in finding the LOVE in this week, five things that makes us thankful.  Here are  my Friday Fave Fives (follow the link to read more).

1.  It has been a week since I had the surgery on my hand.  The big bandage is off and I am improving daily.  I am even able to drive short distances.  I am thankful for living in a time and place where surgeries are available.

2.  This week, it was The Professor's turn to have a medical procedure.  Results were positive, for which we were thankful (and again, I was able to drive him).

3.  On Sunday evening, The Professor and I and Older Daughter watched I Heard the Bells in a local theatre.  It was really really good, well done.  It shows a glimpse into the life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  If it is being shown any place near you, I would recommend it to you.

4.  We love our coffee dates with our two friends.  This week, we met at a fairly new coffee house near their home.  The building is an old barn that has been remodeled.  And they just received their new tables and chairs which makes it intimate and cozy.  I am thankful for our friends and for fun places to visit.

5.  The weather was cooperating this week, so The Professor and I drove out to a section of the local trails that we hadn't walked.  We logged almost four miles in mostly country scenery and almost perfect late autumn weather.  What a LOVELY time to be out in nature.

May you find much JOY in this week!

Friday, December 02, 2022

First Week of Advent

 December!  Wow, can you believe it is the last month of this year 2022?  After a month of giving thanks, we now enter the month of celebrating Advent and Christmas. So much more for which to give thanks.  and so here are my five thoughts on my list of gratitude.  Friday Fave Fives is a great way to join others and give thanks weekly for all the blessings.

1.  Advent!  HOPE.  We joined a small group of people for dinner, Advent reading, and prayer time.  It was wonderful!

2.  Older Daughter had a successful business trip and arrived home safely yesterday.

3.  I had a surgical procedure done on my left hand this morning (hence my rather late FFF post).  The whole time was much less than an hour, and the doctor proclaimed it a success.  He was observed by three residents/medical students which is normal for a teaching hospital.

4.  I am so thankful that Younger Daughter was able to be with The Professor and me at the surgical center (she works in another center of the hospital) and was with me until the time for the surgery.

5.  Afterwards, I felt well enough to make a quick Christmas shopping stop and then grab a peppermint mocha.  And now I am home resting my hand and taking pain meds.

Bonus:  guess what!  I am not allowed to wash dishes for two weeks.  Too bad, huh?  I am thankful that The Professor is willing and those dirty plates won't just stack up.

How was your week as we begin December?

Friday, November 25, 2022

Thanksgiving Joy

My laptop computer is not functioning properly,  so I am atempting to post my Friday Fave Fives on my tablet.  Sorry for the delay... 

This is what I am thankful for this wee1k focused into one day.  A Day of Thanksgiving at our house.

1. All the people.  Fourteen.  We had expected more, but some people were sick.  Our usual seven.  Plus our new family of four. That makes eleven, right? Then we added a twelve year old girl who flew in from Virginia to see Younger Daughter's family, a twelve year old boy who flew from Texas to spend the week with Older Daughter and Tall Boy, and a co-worker of Older Daughter who recently moved to the area.

2.  I am thankful for a full table of food. I realize that not everyone in our world has abundant food to eat.  I am thankful for God's provision.

3.  Pies. So many pies! As The Professor states, "You can't have too many pies."

4.  There was so much laughter around the table.  I am so thankful for family and friends who bring so much joy and fun to us.

5.  Most of all, I am thankful for my husband.  He did almost all of the cooking, the baked ham, the barbecued salmon, the roasted vegetables.  He helped me knead the dough for the homemade rolls. He's a keeper for sure.

Since I cannot access my computer, you will have to enjoy photos of our April England trip.  Just fun random pictures. 

Friday, November 18, 2022

November Travel Thankfulness

Friday Fave Fives!  I am a little bit late posting, but it is still Friday.  Looking back over the past week as we continued and finished our road trip, I am filled with thankfulness for all the beauty and friendship and family. 

DONE!!!  (Note:  I took bundles of photos, but I am having trouble getting them to download so I can post them.  I will keep trying, so come back later for the photo feast.)

1.  Time with FAMILY.  We had meals with The Professor's sisters and their sons.  All the conversations and reminiscences.

2.  Dinners at our favorite restaurant, SHARKY'S.  Like, four times...  Eleanor Elizabeth loved the chips and salsa.

3.  Time with Younger SON in San Diego.  It was wonderful to have three days to just hang out, visit sightseeing places in San Diego and talk and talk with him.

4.  Time on the BEACH.  (Here's where you get lots and lots of photos!)

I am always happy when my feet are in the sand.

5.  I am thankful to be home.  Two long flights but we landed safely and were picked up by Younger Daughter and delivered safely HOME

Friday, November 11, 2022

Traveling Fave Fives

We are having the best time on West Coast Road Tripp 2022.  So many blessings!  I have had to choose Five to share with Friday Fave Fives (the link will take you to where you can join us in writing your five faves from the week).  How do you decide when there are so many blessings like favorite people, favorite restaurants, favorite places?

1.  Time with our granddaughter PAL.  She wanted to share Musical Instruments Museum with us.  We also attended the wedding of Lily Bunny and Paddington Bear.  In fact, The Professor officiated the marriage!

2.  We stopped for a short visit with someone we knew in college and to meet his wife.  It was so fun to catch up on our lives.

3.  Now we are in our old home town and staying with World's Best Neighbor in our old neighborhood for a few days.  How many former neighbors would invite you to stay with them?  This has been a great time of catch up and remembering, driving and walking around the familiar streets.

4.  Lunch in Malibu with one of our best friends who lives in one of the beach cities in Los Angeles.  I think we stayed for more than two hours just talking and catching up.  That was the best of the best!  Even the drive along Pacific Coast Highway gazing at the beach and waves was wonderful and so refreshing.

5.  Lunches and dinners and coffees with other friends.  Hugs from our pastor and secretary at church.   Yesterday, we stopped in to the place where The Professor's sister was volunteering and surprised her.  Oh, that was so much fun!   And we're not done yet!  Three more days here.

Bonus!  Here in the US, we celebrate Veteran's Day to honor our military, past and present.  I come from a long line of proud veterans.  Here are just two of them.  My father and my husband.  And now my son who is a military chaplain.

Enlistment photo, World War II

Hot, tired and a long way from home.

Chaplain, USAR. On the way to Afghanistan, 2008


Friday, November 04, 2022

A Month of Thanks

I am a bit late posting my FAVE FIVES (follow the link to join!)  My excuse?  I am on a road trip.  Driving across the US.  But I just can't not post even if I am late.  What are my Five Blessings for this week, this first week of November?

1.  Four days on our road trip.  All safe.  That is a huge blessing.

2.  We did a thing on Day Two.  We walked across the Mississippi River!  Did you know that there is a walking bridge that spans the Mississippi at St. Louis?  Originally, it was the bridge that Rt. 66 used to cross the river.  Old Chain of Rocks Bridge.

3.  One morning as we were leaving our hotel, I commented to The Professor that the best thing I have seen in a long time is automatic doors that open as you approach them.  No pushing, no handles.  Just walk to the door and presto!  It opens.

4.  We arrived safely in Arizona to spend a few days with PAL.  The best welcoming was PAL and her mom standing on the driveway jumping up and down and giving us lots of hugs.

5.  We have long time friends who moved away from where we all lived.  Then we moved away.  And we hadn't seen them for a long time.  Recently they moved to Arizona, and so we spend most of the day with them today.  A wonderful hike and a long lunch and it seemed like we had never been apart.

I hope you have had a great week full of blessings!

Friday, October 28, 2022

Finishing Up October

FRIDAY FAVE FIVES.  I pause in my week to reflect on blessings and little or large things that I am grateful for.  Monday evening at my Bible Study, we discussed being grateful and decided that we would focus on THREE THINGS each day that we were blessed with.  Just like the FIVE THINGS in my week.  If you want to join in, use THIS LINK to get you to Susanne's blog where she hosts us.

1.  A wedding.  On Saturday, we drove an hour each way to attend the wedding of a young man who we knew back in California.  He lives here now and married a young woman from here.  It was beautiful!  And we were able to chat with his parents and sister who flew out here for the wedding.

2.  That drive through the country to and from the wedding was lovely.  I posted lots of photos of the autumn scenery and old barns here on the blog a couple of days ago.  This is the link if you love barns and autumn leaves.  Or just scroll down to the next blog post.  Here are three pictures to whet your interest.

3.  One little blessing really cheered me up this week.  We were in a big box store looking for a new ceramic pot for my shamrock plant.  When we took it to check out, we realized that there was actually supposed to be a plant in the pot.  Since there was no plant (probably it had died), the store just gave it to us for free.  I think I like this store and will be back.

4.  Since we own the home Younger Daughter was living in, we decided to sell it and not continue to be landlords.  We already have a buyer and things are moving along quickly.

5.  I can never tire of enjoying backyard bonfires.  On the weekend, we invited our next door neighbors to join us and we sat and chatted until late evening.  I am so very thankful for my new beautiful firepit!

Monday, October 24, 2022

Barns and Trees

Are you ready for an autumn tree photo dump?  Accompanied by lots of old barn pictures?

All the fall trees and falling leaves.  We drove for an hour each way to attend a wedding through all the farm land and trees and fields.  I might have taken a few photos...


And the barns!