Friday’s Fave Five: August 17, 2018

“The easiest way to become richer: being grateful for what we’ve already been given.” ~ Anonymous

This weekly habit of recounting the past week’s fave five, (aka FFF), is thanks to Susanne at Living to Tell the Story. Join up with the richest bloggers ever and share your gratitude list.

ONE. Bible study and potluck. A friend, Rosemary, has an ongoing study at her home for the seniors of our church. When ever they finish a study, (1,2,3 John this time), they have a potluck. She also invites me for both. On Friday, I was able to attend, as was our lead pastor. I LOVED hanging out, discussing, praying, and eating with this group.

Your Turn . . . When you finish up your small group Bible studies, how do you celebrate?

TWO. Card workshop. Another friend, Gillian, is a Stamping Up distributor and card maker extraordinaire. Gillian and her daughter hosted a card workshop. My daughter attended with me. We each created two cards. I believe that getting crafty is like getting an emotional massage.

Your Turn . . . Does crafting feel like an “emotional massage” to you? . . . How do you refresh and wind down?

Part of the charm of a staycation is being able to nap as needed in the comfort of a friend’s home.

THREE. Staycation. My daughter, Elizabeth, and I were going to camp at Mount Lassen this week. But decided to forgo that trip until the air quality and visibility are much better. So we are on a staycation and I couldn’t be happier. Going to local places is such a treat.

On my first day, I spent time with my friend Marsha. We ate at a new restaurant in town, The Mimosa House. Then we divided the rest of the day into finishing The Good Witch series, swimming, deflating pool toys, talking, and assembling dinner.

Your Turn . . .   Have you even been on a staycation? How did it go?

This pint-sized mason jar is the perfect sized cookie jar for two people.

FOUR. Finishing up a blog series. I enjoy writing blog posts. But sometimes, I have a hard time finishing them. This week, I have been finishing up my series on decluttering.  I have only one post left to write (from scratch). I hope to get that done this week.

Your Turn . . . Do you like to write? . . . What is a project that you are finishing? . . .  If you read any of my posts, on decluttering, be sure to let me know what you think. Is there anything I missed?

FIVE. This cookie recipe. Sunday at the first service (9:30-10:30) at my church, is Cookie Love. We will be bringing in homemade cookies. Our task will be to make up plates of treats to hand out to folks who serve us in our community. I.e. First Responders, clerks, wait staff, teachers, babysitters, military member, etc.

I took a break from my vacation to make this gluten-free, low carb, cream cheese cookie. I halved the recipe and put in cinnamon. Next time, I will reduce the amount of sugar. It is a tasty cookie.

Your Turn . . . What creative outreach is your church doing? . . . Do you have a low carb cookie recipe to share? . . . Who would you like to thank for their service?

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Friday’s Fave Five – August 10, 2018

“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” ~ G.K. Chesterton

In honour of today’s quote, I am sharing 5 things on my gratitude list from this past week. Read the lists of others and link up your own list at Friday’s Fave Five (FFF) at Living to Tell the Story.

ONE. Dinner and TV. Marsha and I used to get together weekly for dinner and some TV  (Call the Midwives and The Good Witch). But this past year, we’ve seen each other only one time. So getting together last Sunday night was way overdue. We had a great time visiting, eating, and watching Catherine Bell weave her magic. I am grateful for my friendship with Marsha and time to unwind.

Your Turn . . . Please share the titles of shows you especially enjoy.

TWO. Learning/growing with friends. 4 of us spent the night in San Jose to attend a 2 day conference (Joyce Meyer on Galatians). The band, which was awesome, was Jesus Culture (from the Sacramento area – where we are all  from). I am grateful that we were a compatible group and that the worship in song, prayer, and Word was inspiring.

Your Turn . . . When was the last time you attended a conference? What was great about it?

I am the one on my tip-toes in the back row.

THREE. Book Club. Once a month some gals from church gather to discuss that month’s book. This is the first book club for most of us. We’ve been meeting about 5 months. Most ladies attend because of the social aspect. The second-place reason is a tie: we like reading (in general) and reading these books (Christian) as a way to interact with God. I am grateful for these ladies, their insights, and the variety of books (some I wouldn’t have chosen).

Your Turn . . . Are you part of a book club? If yes, why? . . . If no, why not?

FOUR. Special night with my daughter.  She called  on Thursday to remind me that I needed to be home by 4:30pm as she had plans for my car. Turns out it was plans for my car and me. We picked up 2 pieces she commissioned from a friend’s Etsy shop. We had frozen yogurt (Menchies) and opened our Time Capsule that was sealed in 2015. And then we had cauliflower crust pizza for dinner. Yes, we did have dessert first. I am grateful for my daughter’s creativity and the heart-warming time we had together. I am also grateful for presents. 🙂

Your Turn . . . Have you had a cauliflower crust before? This one was delish (from Mod). . . . Have you ever done a time capsule? I will write a post this week about what our’s held and tips to improve it. . . . What was the last just-because present you received?

My present from Sarah’s Etsy shop DecorMadeModern

We filled this can in 2015 with photos and notes about our life.










FIVE.  Facebook video messenger. I used this function twice last week. On Wednesday mornings, I call Michelle, a high school friend from Fort McMurray, Alberta. We use our hour to catch up and to share what we’ve done on our 60 items lists. We have way too many lists to accomplish before our birthdays (Michelle – November, Me – March). But it is fun to talk about our progress. I am grateful to have Michelle as an accountability partner as well as a long time friend..

The other call was to my three grand daughters and their sweet mama. It was mainly silliness. I am grateful that mama helps me stay in touch with these precious girls. And I am grateful for technology that lets us see each other while we talk and play.

Your Turn . . . Do you use Skype, Facetime, or video messenger? If yes, which one is your favourite platform? Why?

BONUS: I am grateful for a home air purified. My state is burning up all around us. We are 2-5 hours from fires in all directions.

While the sun looks cool, the air is unhealthy.

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Friday’s Fave Five – August 3, 2018

“When we aim for gratitude right now, we become more positive, tolerant, and generous.  Above all, we open ourselves to every day happiness, and that openness will eventually change reality.” ~ Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism by Fumio Sasaki

As a way to change my reality into something more positive, I strive to participate in Friday’s Fave Five (FFF) at Susanne’s place (Living to Tell the Truth). Go to this link to read what our favourite moments from this week are. And be sure to link up your own gratitude post. Below are my five faves.

ONE. Library privileges. One of the best things about modern libraries is that we can borrow books digitally from the comfort of our homes, no driving necessary. And I don’t have to go to the library to return my selections. I borrowed the eBook, Longbourn by Jo Baker. It is the group read for Austen in August.

Your Turn . . . Do you borrow eBooks or audio books from the library? What is a title that you suggest?

The cocoon nestled here for a week.

The butterfly stayed on this branch for a whole day before flying away.

TWO. Beauty of nature. My son, Tim, saved a swallowtail cocoon from certain destruction by cutting it off the corner of a building (in a busy area of town) and super-glued it on a branch at home. While I was there, the butterfly emerged. It was a true blessing to be so close, and for so long, admiring the colours.

Your Turn . . . What item from nature have you enjoyed lately?

THREE. Talking with my adult kiddos – We stayed up way too late on Saturday night – actually we went to bed at 12:40am Sunday. And I woke at 5:30 to go back home. But it was lovely, fun, and entertaining to spend two hours talking with Tim and Elizabeth. Usually our time is spent on my grand-kids, so this was a rare treat. I wished Daniella, my daughter-in-law, could’ve joined us, too.

Your Turn . . . Who have you had an unexpected conversation with this week?

FOUR. Walking activity at Church. Last Sunday during our first service time we had options (instead of the sermon, which happened at the 2nd service only). It was a morning for biking, running, walking or singing hymns. I was part of the walking group. The five of us braved the barely okay air. It was fun to talk to folks I don’t normally talk to.

I love that we had a diverse group.

Your Turn . . .  Do you ever walk with a group of folks? Is you church doing anything new this Summer?

FIVE. The yield from my garden doubled. LOL. That really isn’t so grand, since I only picked one thing last week. Yesterday, I picked one zucchini and one crookneck squash. (We had them in a stir fry.) I still have lots of yellow flowers among these two plants. I did as Marsha suggested and Googled why I don’t have more growing veggies. It turns out I have an overabundance of male flowers. I need to be patient for female flowers to grow. .

Your Turn . . . What garden fresh veggies have you enjoyed this week? Did you try any new recipes with them?

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Friday’s Fave Five – July 27

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.

  • It turns denial into acceptance,
  • chaos to order,
  • confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. ~ Melody Beattie

I want to express gratitude for five favourite things from this week. Join us at Susanne’s place to read other lists and to link up your own list.

Your Turn . . . Any ideas on how to get the blossoms to turn into veggies?

ONE. There are three 4 foot high gardening containers at work. I got permission to use them. I planted broccoli, cauliflower, parsley, chives, zucchini, lemon cucumber and yellow squash. The last three veggie plants are growing big. They’ve been growing for 6 weeks and have lots of blossoms. Today I harvested a cucumber. I am going to eat it in a little bit with tomatoes from a friend’s garden on a bed of greens with a balsamic drizzle. I look forward to more produce.

Your Turn . . . Which Austen book should I reread?

TWO. Next week the Austen in August Reading Challenge starts. I am looking forward to checking some Austen books off my list.

THREE. I’ve been silent since Lent. I am finally back into blogging. The five posts below are what I’ve finished.

Your Turn . . . Are you happy with your blogging? Share some posts that you’ve written this week. I’d love to have a read and comment.

Your Turn . . .  Have you been to Donner Lake? What was your favourite activity? . . . This is Zig Zag Trail and it was a blast to hike.

FOUR. I spent time in Truckee with family last weekend. The weather was cooler especially after spending time in Donner Lake. We also hiked and ate good food. I LOVE the time with my grand children and of course time with the rest of the family. . . . This was my first time to Donner Lake. I am a native Californian (living in northern CA). How is it possible I never knew about it or went here before?

Your Turn . . . What is a must have for when you go on a mini adventure?

FIVE. I recently was gifted a day pack. (I cat sat for two lovelies). I used it last weekend when we hiked. It was the perfect size for wandering along the trails. And I know I will use it when Mary and I go on our monthly fun run/walks. (We walk.) I usually use a full size pack. This mini really is the perfect size for mini adventures.

BONUS. I LOVE this twist on “What If” thinking. What’s your opinion on it?

Thanks for reading. Please, be sure to leave a comment. Also let us know, what is one (or more) of your faves from this past week.

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Austen in August Reading Challenge 2018

I found this book last year at a local thrift store and I’ve been waiting for August to sink into its lovely pages. Isn’t this a pretty book cover?

You either love her writing or hate it. You think it is well-written or insipid. Until 2015, I had no interest in reading any of Jane Austen’s books. Then I decided to accept the challenge to actually read her books. That August I read all six. .And I enjoyed each one.

This August I will participate in my 3rd Austen in August (AIA) reading challenge. I am joining with other folks from The Book Rat. This is The Book Rat’s 10th year to organize an AIA.

The Deets:

  1. Austen in August is a celebration of all things Jane Austen, featuring reviews, discussions, vlogs, giveaways, interviews and more!
  2. AIA will run for the entire month of August. You can read Austen’s works, adaptations, biographies, etc. Anything Jane Austen is allowed.
  3. There will be an Austen Read Along to coincide with the event: Longbourn by Jo Baker.

I read all the Jane Austen books in August 2015. I also read Emma: A Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith and listened to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen.

I continued this challenge in 2017 where I reread Northanger Abbey. I read Austenland: Novel by Shannon Hale, The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler, and Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld.

The following books are available from the library as eBooks. I will choose several to read during August. I will definitely do the Group read.

Your Turn . . .  What Jane Austen book is your favourite to read? . . .  What do you suggest I reread? . . . I hope you join us this year’s Austen in August Reading Challenge.

Related Posts . . . Reading Challenge for My 60th Year (2018)

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Review of Two Diabetic-Friendly Recipes for the Salad Challenged

People with diabetes can benefit from eating salad when all the ingredients are blood-sugar friendly. These two salads fit the bill.

What is your relationship with salad?

Salad and I do not have a love-love relationship. Go here, and you’ll read why I think Salad is a Bother. In fact I list five reasons why.

But I know that diabetic-friendly foods help keep my blood sugar within a normal range. When my diabetes is not controlled these are a few things that are negatively impacted: energy, eyesight, feet, bladder, and thinking. So I strive to munch on greens with healthy embellishments on a daily basis.

Healthy salads include no gooey toppings, grain additions, or sugar-laden dressings. Thankfully, there are lots of recipes that do fall into the diabetic-friendly category. My daughter and I have been on a taste-testing quest. Some recipes just don’t live up to their hype or picture. But we’ve discovered two that will be on our regular menu rotation. 

Citrus Crab Salad – This is a pretty salad with varied textures, colours, and tastes. It is also easy and quick to assemble.

  • Of course, you can use any meat you like.
  • Since we grow our own sprouts (which are super easy to cultivate), we can choose from a variety of seeds to grow.
  • Another change we make is to use balsamic vinegar instead of rice vinegar. My blood sugar does better with the balsamic vinegar.

Paleo Taco Salad – I LOVE Mexican food, but many of the dishes just aren’t diabetic friendly. This one is. This salad screams “Mexican taste,” so I don’t miss the beans, rice and the corn or flour tortillas.

  • The cilantro, avocado and Kalamata olives make my mouth happy.
  • I don’t add the honey and it isn’t missed in my opinion.
  • This is also an easy and quick, summer meal to prepare. Actually, I can eat this any time of the year.

Your Turn . . . Please share a diabetic-friendly salad that you love.

Related Posts . . . 

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Follow Seven Principles to Make a Dream Doable

I am reading this book, finally after decades of it being on my to-read list. … I followed seven ideas to make this a reality.

Do you have a dream that you are actively achieving? Or, is the dream still in hibernation mode?

I am a bucket list maker. I have dreams in quite a few areas, including theological, cooking, and reading. I have things I want to do during specific seasons as in Summer. On my birthday, I write what I want to accomplish that birth year. I have more ideas than one person could complete in a lifetime. However, I am finally in pursuit of one dream that seemed impossible. At least it seemed impossible according to my original guidelines.

I began to learn Spanish when I lived in Puerto Rico for most of my middle school years. One of my teachers thrilled us with episodes from Don Quixote de la Mancha, to the extent I decided I wanted to read the 1,000-page book in Spanish. Even though I’ve had years of Spanish since then, my grasp of the Spanish is not yet advanced enough to read this adult classic (in Spanish).

“Mom,” my daughter said, “just because you used to know a lot of Spanish doesn’t mean you’re a failure if you can’t read Don Quixote in Spanish now.”

This year, my 60th year, I decided to lay aside unrealistic expectations and make Don Quixote (DQ) the classic book I conquer. And to make this doable, I will read it in English. (In past years, I’ve read, in English, Anna Karenina, The Imitation of Christ, Moby Dick, and War and Peace, to name a few.)

For several months, I rummaged through thrift store shelves and garage sale piles for my very own copy of this classic, Don Quixote de la Mancha. I finally found a two-inch thick, paperback, in pristine shape for $1.99. I love a good deal, especially when buying things I don’t need.

And besides the bargain, I could check Step 1 off my list – Buy the book.

For Step 2, I cracked open the book to the Table of Contents to figure out a reading schedule. I became immediately daunted. Oh, no. This print is too small for me to read. ­

My daughter stepped in again, “Why don’t you go on Amazon and buy a large print edition?”

“Or,” I said, “I can get an e-copy, since I can control the print size on my Kindle.”

After an hour on Amazon, I still had not purchased an e-copy. There are at least 8 DQ versions for the Kindle. How do I pick the BEST version to read?  Too many choices are paralyzing.

I grabbed my ear buds and took a walk to clear my head. When I walk, I frequently listen to an audio book or podcast. After 30 minutes, I put away my headphones and house key. I wondered, Is there an Audible English version of DQ? I opened Audible on my phone to check. Yes, there was an English book. Without any more research, I clicked on this first entry and bought it.

I am now on chapter 72 of 126 chapters. I listen almost every day while I get in my daily steps. I am proud that I am finally tackling a long time dream because I modified it to fit my current lifestyle and skills.

Principles I learned from this process.

  1. Choose a dream.
  2. Make a list of steps from beginning to completion.
  3. Identify expectations and remove the unrealistic ones.
  4. Brainstorm (by yourself or with someone else) actions to achieve the steps.
  5. Do necessary research. But don’t give yourself too many choices.
  6. Choose a path that is doable for this stage of life. Realize that for most goals, there is no BEST path to achievement.
  7. Start the process TODAY.

Your Turn . . . What is a longtime dream you’ve had, but keep pushing out of sight? Is there some way you can adjust it to fit your current lifestyle and skills? 

Let us know in the comments. And we can cheer each other on as we make our impossible dreams possible.

Related Posts . . .

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