Random 5 Friday

Friday was a busy day, so I’m doing Random 5 Friday on Saturday.

1. Today’s high was 72F. We’re currently in the midst of a Severe Thunderstorm Warning and Tornado Watch. This has been one week of crazy weather, a little bit of everything thrown in. We now know our NOAA weather radio works (loud)! We bought one for hurricane season, which, thankfully, turned out to be uneventful.

2. A pot of vegetable soup is simmering on the stove, the TV is on FOX for the NFL playoff game between the Seahawks and Saints. Hubby is still at work, but is going to pick up a loaf of Panera’s Tomato Basil bread on his way home. For dessert: Blackberry Cobbler

3. Our treadmill was delivered and assembled Friday. Looking forward to increasing my winter activity level (and burning off all those Christmas calories).

4. A Song Sparrow got a bath before the rain came,

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

and our unidentified green bird is still here.

Mystery bird

Mystery bird

5. Here’s the mermaid for the week:

Norfolk Mermaid on Parade

Norfolk Mermaid on Parade

8616512946_a8c5cf857d_oThanks for joining me for Random 5 Friday. Follow the link to see what others are sharing.


Thursday’s Thoughts

My first thought is, “Can it really be Thursday, already?” 

The Asiatic Lilies went from this...

The Asiatic Lilies went from this…

...to this in nine days.

…to this in nine days.

I found the first Black Swallowtail caterpillar on the fennel this week.

I found the first Black Swallowtail caterpillar on the fennel this week.

Hubby is on the road again. His parents went from independent living in December to hospitals and nursing homes this spring. He says they seem to be relieved with not having the responsibilities of maintaining a home, preparing meals, laundry, etc. 

…a time for every purpose, under Heaven.
As Joyce Meyer says, “May the Lord’s blessings chase you down the street and overtake you.”




New Year’s Day 2013

It’s almost here! I guess it will be by the time this posts and you read it. Our New Year begins with uncertainty. Monday morning we got one of “those” calls. The ones you know are inevitable, but never want to receive.

My hubby’s dad has taken a couple falls in the past week or so, and the one Sunday night landed him in ICU.

I lost both my parents back in the 90s. All of a sudden, those emotions are resurrected, bubbling just beneath the surface, waiting to erupt.

I’m thankful for those experiences. They gave me insight into what my hubby is dealing with: the feeling of shock as one’s world is shaken; the unsettled mind which refuses to focus; questioning whether to go, and when; considering responsibilities at home and work. Until one has walked that road, there is no way to understand what those travelers are going through. Oh, how I wished for someone to come alongside, someone who understood my pain.

But now, I am that person. I am able to offer comfort from that which I received. My heart breaks for my hubby. I didn’t want these days to come so soon for him, the days when those who have always been strong, supportive, and reliable begin to falter. It’s so unexpected. We grew up with them taking care of us, we never expected the roles to be reversed. Never.

I take comfort in Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3. (The Bible) To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven…
Clicking the link will open a new page if you would like to read it.



Let’s make the most of this new year. May we live on purpose, like we mean it. Don’t take a single day for granted, we are not promised tomorrow.





Beth Ann at “It’s Just Life” (finding the extraordinary in the ordinary) tagged me–YIKES, has it been three weeks?–to write a post on hope. I hope she hasn’t given up on me. 

When I think of hope, one of the first things that comes to mind is my fourth granddaughter, Kai-Le Hope. She was born in China, a very sick baby, with a liver ailment. This tiny babe was swaddled in a blanket and left on a train. Her family must have had hope, hope someone would take her in and find the medical care she badly needed.  

The infant was taken to another woman, who knew someone at an orphanage, who saw the jaundiced infant and had hope the orphanage doctor would be able to help her. 

At the orphanage, she was given the name Hope. Surgery was provided through generous donations, a surgery that would hopefully sustain her life until she could receive a liver transplant.

The church our daughter and son-in-law attended provided support to this orphanage, and our family hoped to adopt a child from there.
After a wait of nearly two years, this little girl named Hope became part of our lives. 



Kai-Le Hope is a happy, healthy, six-year-old who is in first grade this year. She has required no further surgery, and we hope she never will. 

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.

Along with this challenge come three rules:

1.  Write a post about hope and publish it to your blog.

2.  Invite at least one person to blog about it, too.

3.  Link back to the person who invited you at the top of your post.

I would like to invite the following people to share a post on hope. 

1. Lynda at Walking Out My Door

2. Janna at JannaTWrites

3. Lilly at Apronhead



Hint of Fall, or Acorns R Us

There must be a faint hint of fall in the air. Why else would one make a cup of hot cocoa when the outside temperature is 86 degrees Farenheit? It was only 81 when I made it, if that accounts for anything. 

A “slight chance of scattered showers” hovered above the house briefly, temporarily dimming the brightness of Mr. Sun. He knew how fickle they were, and waited patiently for them to move on to greener roofs.

Stepping outside, the scent of summer no longer lingers. It has been pushed aside and replaced with an earthy, dried-grass smell. It won’t be long now until the signs and symptoms of hay fever appear.

Why must the beauty of each season have a down-side?  

In spring, green brightens everything with a layer of pollen, causing many to have itchy eyes and sneezy noses; yet it brings forth beautiful blossoms. The warmth of summer causes all things to burst forth with life, from weeds, poison ivy and mosquitoes, to the fruit of our garden labors. Autumn, much like spring in the seasonal-allergy department, brings those long-awaited cooler temperatures, and jellyfish to the seashore. Winter’s snow–we aren’t even going to go there! 

Maybe the question should be, why are we blessed with a bounty of beauty concurrent with the seasonal changes which wreak havoc with our sensitivities? 

Do you have a favorite season, and why?




Oops! I Led You Astray

I’m sorry to have misled you yesterday regarding being hungry. Maybe blog posts need to be written before midnight…

Breakfast: Egg whites, green onion, green bell pepper, red banana pepper, cheddar cheese and turkey bacon

I commented that I expected to be hungry, and most of you expected me to be hungry, too; it seems to be the nature of diets and one reason we tend to shun them. 

But I am not hungry! It is hard for me to ingest the 1200 calories my body needs for daily nutrition because what I’m eating makes me feel full. I encourage anyone who wants to lose some weight to give this diet a fair shot. Give up the sugar (the hardest for me, because I love sweet tea–and make mine a large)! Start easing away from bread, snacks with no nutritive value, and starchy foods like potatoes, corn, carrots, get tempting foods out of the house. I did that for about ten days before officially starting the South Beach Diet–I found other options to make tea I would want to drink, looked at restaurant nutrition charts to make wise choices there–so I wouldn’t feel “deprived” and cave in to unhealthy choices.

I’ve also learned that I’m not used to cooking for myself. I normally grab a banana or a Zone bar and call it breakfast. Now I know that a banana needs to be offset with protein to reduce the glycemic reaction, the effect that foods have on blood sugar and those dreaded hunger pangs. 

The scale brought a smile to my face this morning–rather than the usual groan-when it said I was two pounds lighter. 😀



Bathing Beauties

After a limited amount of research, I have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter where you are, if there is water available, there will be birds in it.

The first location was in my own backyard:

I never cease to be amazed at pigeon behavior.

The second location was 50 miles due south (as the crow flies–or in this case, the seagulls):

Diet update:
A good part of Monday was spent paging through the South Beach Diet cookbooks borrowed from the library, making a grocery list, and then–shopping. I survived the day, and am confident there is something to eat tomorrow! My calorie total for the day was just shy of 800, which I know is too low; but I wasn’t really hungry. On the drive home, I entertained the idea of pouring the sugar-free hot fudge syrup over the Planters 100% natural harvest Pistachio Grove Blend of mixed nuts roasted in sea salt with no added oils. That was good for a laugh, and then I came to my senses.