Friday, April 20, 2018

Friday's Fave Five #478

Welcome to Friday's Fave Five...a decidedly springy friday!  The sunshine and warmth have arrived here in Southern Alberta and I gotta say after that brutal winter it is very welcome indeed.  Please join in with us as we intentionally look for things to be grateful for from our last week.  Link to the guidelines in the sidebar if you've never joined before.

~as mentioned above:  SPRING!~ It certainly seemed like a long time coming but we've actually got warmth and sunshine.  It feels so good to feel that when we go outside.  Unfortunately with this drastic change our area has overland flooding from the crazy amount of snow melting so fast but hopefully that sunshine will have a good hand in that this week drying it up.

~windows open~  with that warmth and sunshine I have been flinging the windows open!!  That wonderful fresh air driving out the stale winter air out of the house is so wonderful.  The slight breeze coming in feels and smells so good.

~chance meeting~ yesterday I ran into my best friend from my junior high and early high school days in a store.  I have not seen her in years and years.  It was wonderful catching up a bit on our lives.  The conversation came easily and it was nice to remember why we had connected in our youth.

~ breaking out the open toe shoes~ finally did it, dusted them off and put them on! So nice to get out of thick socks and warm boots.

~ quick photography lesson~ Saturday at the local Handmade Market they had various little 1/2 hour workshops one of which was a workshop on getting off the auto mode on your DSLR camera.  Free except for the $3 get in the door fee.  I picked up a few simple tips to get me started and hopefully I can fool around with what I learned there and keep learning.  Can hardly wait to get out this weekend with the nice weather and play.

What were your favorites this week?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Cyr Wheel Dance

Found this absolutely beautiful and mesmerizing.  

Friday, April 13, 2018

Friday's Fave Five #477

Welcome to Friday's Fave Five.  Looking back over the last week we are intentionally choosing to take note of the blessings in our lives whether it's been a great week or a hard week.  Please join us.  If you are new the link to the guidelines is in the sidebar.

In no particular order here were some things that were a blessing to me this past week.

~great customer service~ I had booked a hotel through for our Easter weekend visit with my older daughter.  We prepaid it on booking.  Well when we got home we noticed that the hotel had actually charged our card also upon checkout.  I called the customer service and the young lady was so helpful.  She called the hotel and had everything fixed lickety split and I ended up getting an even better deal.

~spring organization started~ this year it has been tough going jumping into this.  The weather is still crazy here in Southern Alberta.  It is snowing outside, albiet a wet spring snow, but snow nonetheless, even as I type.   I have had a hard time even taking out my spring decorations.  I cleaned and put away all the heavy warm winter sweaters and took out the spring/summer cushions for the couches, packed away the warmer wintery smelling candles and took out the fresher springy ones but have not been motivated to do much else yet.  But it's a start.  Hopefully we'll get some sunshine next week and we can fling open some windows and get to it.  I must say though that even just those small changes make the place feel freshened up a bit.

~coffee in the morning~ I love coffee pretty much anytime though now do have to watch I only have decaf if I drink it after 2 in the afternoon, but that first cup in the morning has got to be the best!  And bonus blessing is that for the most part when I wake up my sweet hubby has a fresh, hot cup waiting when I get up in the morning.

~made up recipes that actually work out~ sometimes I am the poorest of planners when it comes to what I'm going to make for dinner.  I find it so hard to choose something days ahead of time or when I am not hungry.  Sometimes I fail to check and make sure I have all the ingredients and then end up changing things on the fly.  But it's always happy times when I make something up and it actually ends up working and everyone loves it.   I did that this week when what I thought I wanted for supper was missing half the ingredients and so I just made it up as I went with what I had in the pantry.  Come to think of it I better write down what I did before I forget.  LOL.

~Little Library at my gym~  if you don't know what a little library is it's a small little container for books that people put on the front of their property where people can take a book and leave a book.  It's a sweet community way of sharing books.  Well the owner of my small lady's gym put up a little book shelf for this purpose.  Love it.  Can hardly wait to see what books people drop off.

What have been your favorite blessings from the week?

Monday, April 09, 2018

Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton ~ Book Tour and Review

Publisher's Description:
From the author of the USA TODAY bestseller "The Hideaway" comes a new story about families and mending the past. Betsy and Ty Franklin, owners of Franklin Dairy Farm in southern Alabama, have long since buried their desire for children of their own. While Ty manages their herd of dairy cows, Betsy busies herself with the farm’s day-to-day operations and tries to forget her dream of motherhood. But when her free-spirited sister, Jenna, drops off her two young daughters for “just two weeks,” Betsy’s carefully constructed wall of self-protection begins to crumble. As the two weeks stretch deeper into the Alabama summer, Betsy and Ty learn to navigate the new additions in their world—and revel in the laughter that now fills their home. Meanwhile, record temperatures promise to usher in the most active hurricane season in decades. Attending an art retreat four hundred miles away, Jenna is fighting her own battles. She finally has time and energy to focus on her photography, a lifelong ambition. But she wonders how her rediscovered passion can fit in with the life she’s made back home as a single mom. When Hurricane Ingrid aims a steady eye at the Alabama coast, Jenna must make a decision that will change her family’s future, even as Betsy and Ty try to protect their beloved farm and their hearts. Hurricane Season is the story of one family’s unconventional journey to healing—and the relationships that must be mended along the way.

My Thoughts:
The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover, it's just gorgeous.  The second was that it is a story of sisters.  I'm always up for a good sister story.  There are many dynamics that come into play in the relationships that sisters have and this story touched on so many of them.  The deep bond of not only being sisters but also being the only two siblings within a family,  the perceived or not favortism of the parents, the responsible older sister compared with the wild child younger sister all play into where they are in their lives.  Betsy was a character who I could relate to, being the older sister.  Both sisters have some issues from their past that affects how they relate to one another and to the world around them.   I thought that their characters were quite realistic in that they both had good qualities and yet had flaws arising from the hurt in their lives that caused some questionable decision making.  The author was able to  involve my emotions toward them in one way or another.  The corresponding story of the building hurricane and the swirling events happening in their lives really kept me engaged as I wondered if it all would just blow over or whether there would be devastation, either on land or in hearts. I liked the character development of all the main characters in this story and really liked the how the supporting characters were written.   Though there was not a big element of faith to the story it was a nice, clean, touching contemporary story of the relationship of sisters and overcoming shattered hopes and dreams that I really enjoyed.  I would recommend it if you like a contemporary story about sisters, lost dreams, or hope.

I gave this a 9/10.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for sending me a free copy for review.  All opinions are my own and I was not required to give a positive review.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Fri76day's Fave Five #476

I'm posting my FFF button even though it is still winter weather out here.  Yikes, it really is the year of the never ending winter in my neck of the woods.  But regardless there is still blessings to be found.  And even though weather is not one of them, there are others.  Join us as we intentionally look for blessings and good things in our lives from the past week and sharing five of our favorites.

~Easter weekend with the family together~ last weekend we traveled to my oldest daughter, Kim and her husband Mitch's home.  Our youngest, Tamara came with us and our son Jeremy and his girlfriend met us there.  The whole family together.  I love when we are all able to be together for a holiday.  One of the hardest things of the kids becoming adults, for me, is that sometimes due to jobs, travel constraints or sharing them with another family we are not always to be together for holidays.  But this Easter saw us all together.  Kim and Mitch hosted for the first time and put out a very beautiful and delicious meal.  They didn't let me raise a finger to help in any way, except to make the gravy and they made me go first to get the food.  They really treated me like a queen.  We all played some fun games and had some great laughs together.  Came home feeling very blessed and thankful for family.

~good doctor report~ this week we took my Dad to Calgary for his month post procedure check and he was quite nervous.  But Praise God, the doctor was very pleased with his progress. It was great news and we are very thankful.  He's still got some hurdles to overcome but he has been given some hope.

~getting home safe and sound~  traveling to and from my daughter's saw us hitting some pretty ugly traveling conditions.  Some low to zero visibility, slippery roads, snow, wind and freezing rain/snow.  Some real white knuckle driving for long periods of time.  So grateful that we made it there and back safe and sound albiet with a bit of frazzled nerves.  Going to Calgary, there was snow and freezing snow predicted and the night before I was fighting some real anxiety in yet again facing the possibility of a nerve wracking drive, but praise God, the snow was held back and we had great driving conditions both there and back.  So thankful.

-extra reading time-  taking my dad to Calgary, my hubby drove and my Dad took the front seat which let me have some real good uninterrupted reading time in the back seat while they chatted together in the front.

~slowing changing to spring decor~ not to motivated yet in the decor department around the house, probably because it just doesn't seem like spring yet, but I have started slowly bringing out a few things.  It just freshens up the space and makes me happy.  :)

What have your favorite blessings been from the last week?

Friday, March 30, 2018

Friday's Fave Five #475

Hi everyone. Welcome to Friday's Fave Five. This was a bit of an overwhelming week due to some health and other issues for one of my parents that we are dealing with. It has consumed my heart, mind and time.  Even though I did not do a post this week due to time constraints I still wanted to leave one of my favorite reminders of what Easter is all about. You know I love Christmas and all it entails and the celebration of God coming to earth, but it is Easter that really captures me. All of my faith hinges on what Jesus accomplished on that brutal cross, but the story doesn't end with the cross, praise God, for Sunday brought the  glorious resurrection, for me and for you!  And now we can have that relationship with God that He created us for, we can become His sons and his daughters, if we just believe.   It's not about religion, the Pharisee's had plenty of that, it's about relationship.  Thank you Jesus for what you did!

Have a wonderful Easter celebration and I will see you back next week.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Friday's Fave Five #474

Yipee, I finally get to use the spring tulip FFF button!  Even though we still have snow on the ground it's been melting like crazy, and even though there is still some snowfall warnings out in the province, we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel...hopefully.  It's been one long crazy winter and I am so glad to be saying it's officially spring.  So welcome to Friday's Fave Fave where we celebrate the blessings from the past week by sharing 5 of them.  If you are new here, the link is in the sidebar for the guidelines.

~surprise birthday treat~ it was my friend's birthday this week but she was going to be out of town for most of the week so Monday when I met up with her at the gym, I surprised her by skipping my gym time and taking her for her favorite treat instead,  a DQ blizzard.  It was a spur of the moment idea and it was so much fun to see her expression when I asked her and it was wonderful getting to spend some time together as we haven't been able to get together for awhile.  I'm so glad I followed through on the idea.  Bonus blessing was that it happened to be BOGO for 99 cents week on the blizzards this week.

~great movie treat~ Along with millions of people, I've always loved the song "I Can Only Imagine".  It just touches something deep down inside of me that Tuesday night a whole bunch of us went to go see "I Can Only Imagine" at the theatre.  What a great movie.  It is based on the real life story of Bart Millard and how his life led up to the writing "I Can Only Imagine" and how it took off and blessed millions world wide.  The song is the #1 Christian song of all time worldwide and was also the #1 requested song on several large secular stations.  The movie was really good and Dennis Quaid gave an amazing performance in his role as the Bart Millard's (the writer of the song) abusive father.  I may or may not have used quite a bit of kleenex.  Go see it, it's good, the end.

~playing with recipes~  when I have the time I love trying new recipes, or playing around with recipes to see what I can come up with or change up.  This week afforded a little bit of time to do that and it made me happy.
~outside time~ because of the crazy winter we have had, there has not been much outside time with the kids this year.  But this week saw us outside 3 days in a row enjoying warmth and sunshine.  The snow was still piled high in the backyard but we still we able to play around a bit.  It was so nice one day I even was out without my coat as I worked dumping snow by the shovelful into the alley in an attempt to have less melting close to the foundations of the house.  Kind of contradictory feeling that heat from the sun on my bare arms while I shoveling tons of snow but I will take it!
~open windows~  with the lovely warmth I've been able to pry open the windows, literally, as they got pretty much frozen shut a lot of the time over the winter.  Having that fresh air coming into every room in the house was absolutely lovely.
What were your favorite blessings from the week?