Saturday Evening Post, 9/14/19

October is coming, and I still am wondering if I will try to do a Blog-tober—committing to blog every day. This year has been very busy, so time to blog doesn’t really exist. And, I’m not really sure I have anything to write.

I’m grateful this proverb is in the Bible: Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Proverbs 27:6, KJV)

I’ve written about this before, people who are allergic to us. Sometimes, we just make someone itch and sneeze. It’s no one’s fault. It’s just better to keep a distance.

I accepted an invitation to speak next month. Started praying immediately. I don’t know why anyone would invite me to speak to their ladies, but it must be The Holy Spirit has something for me to share. I will just keep praying. Praying for those dear ladies most of all. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time.

God gave me a big gift this month. Completely unexpected. The peculiar thing, though, is that receiving this gift is requiring I let go of something. I’ve known I had to let go, but I’ve been avoiding it.*

He’s kind, our God. He meets us where we are, and always brings a surprise.

I hope you are doing well, dear blog reader. It means a great deal to me that you have taken time from your life to read these words. I do not have much to say, as you see, but I needed to make sentences.

God bless you this weekend! ❤

 

*I’m sorry for all the pronouns and for being vague, but it’s a complicated thing to talk about right now—I’d have to explain too much, and use so many words. No one wants that, trust me. After a while, after I’ve processed all the emotions, I’ll probably be able to be succinct and clear.

 

Saturday Evening Post: 4/27/19

It’s been a “sick” week.

I have had many sick weeks this year. In fact, since Christmas I think I’ve only had one or two weeks when I wasn’t sick. It’s been really not-fun. However, I think it’s for a good reason. Doug went back to “full-time” jail ministry in December, and I think I’m just catching every bug he brings home. This current bug is a doozy, though. It actually took him out of commission for week, which is very rare for him. It’s just cold, but a really irritating cold.

Enough complaining, though. Hot wonton soup is on its way to me, so I have no right to complain.

Didn’t do much today. Hard to stay awake. We did get to watch our grand-babies for a bit. Kept my distance, and covered my mouth.

Isaac wants to do everything Lucy does—even if he can’t reach.

I’ve been wanting a hydrangea for a long time. This looked as bad as I feel, but the price was right. Appearances can be deceiving, though.

After pruning and it’s first watering.

Day Two. Already looks better!

Hope you’re staying hydrated and getting a little sunshine everyday. It’s good for hydrangeas, and humans, too!❤️

Saturday Evening Post: 4/20/19

Doug’s been sick this week, and Hannah’s mother-in-law is in town, so we’ve had more time than usual with each other, and less time that usual with the grand babies. We’ve tried to take advantage of all this and have been able to get a lot of ministry work done. I really wish we had a week like this every month. It is so helpful to be able to work side-by-side. So much more productive.

Tomorrow morning I am up at the crack of dawn to spend Easter morning with the ladies and the local pre-release center. I am not looking forward to the early wake-up, but I’m really looking forward to being there. Then, I’ll head over to the church where Doug has been helping out as worship leader.

Had some very hot weather this week – well, hot for us. I think it was close to 80 degrees yesterday. Took full advantage of it. Did a little work in the garden—tidied up the peony flower bed to uncover the little sprouts.

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Thanks to some pre-storm, gusty winds we managed a little kite-flying.

 

The babies have some play equipment in the yard now, so we did a little of that.

 

They even took at stab at aerating and grading with their Grandma L.

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Now, Doug is home from his meeting, so it’s time for dinner. Hope you’re all having a good weekend. I really hope you are able to be in church tomorrow. It’s a good day to be surrounded by the family of God.

He is Risen!

Saturday Evening Post: 4/13/19

I guess the closet thing we have to hobbies are gardening and grandparenting. Today we took our first trip to the local nursery. They have very wisely expanded their business from just a green house to a family destination, year by year adding something new to the property: a chatty macaw, a playground, an ice cream stand, a miniature golf course, and—Coming Soon!—a cafe.

So, when T & H asked us to babysit this afternoon, and I saw it was going to too nice to stay inside, I thought a trip to Nunan’s was a good idea.

Lucy loved the flowers, jumping in the puddles (in her new boots, that she loves so much she slept in them last night), and playing on the play ground. Isaac was pretty content to sit in his stroller or swing. I had a hard time getting pictures of him, and helping him do, but he had two doggy encounters and visited the goats. He seems to really connect to animals. He also enjoyed listening to some Miles Davis. Who doesn’t?

We all came home very tired and ready for a snack. Doug is at his meeting now, and I’m on my way to the supermarket. I’m going to really try to remember to take my good shopping bags this time.

Saturday Evening Post, 4/6/19

It’s an early Spring for us here in New England, and today was a beautiful day. The whole week, really, has been lovely. I am still hoping for one more snow day, but I’m also thinking about how much I want to get into the garden. Our schedule tempts us not to garden at all, but Lucy loves it. I mentioned planting pumpkins, and she got so excited. Hopefully, this week we can get some seeds in the ground.

We celebrated a birthday recently. Lucy is the officially candle blowing assistant.

 

We discovered a new toy. Have you heard of water beads? They’re a fun sensory toy I discovered online. I was able to get Lucy some a few weeks ago. They make for an inexpensive activity that she finds very soothing. They’re very Montessori, offering lots of opportunity to pour and scoop and sort. There are endless applications. We’re just starting.

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The kids bought some playground equipment for the babies last week, and they’ve been a big hit. Isaac is still learning to go down the slide—he’s so funny. It was a very windy day, and that’s what you hear Lucy saying, “It’s so windy!”

 

Doug raked some leaf piles this week, and Lucy discovered the joy of frolicking in them.

FlyingInTheLeaves

 

Lucy is tall enough now to stand on a step stool at the sink, and it’s become one of her favorite things. She is exploring what makes a good drinking vessel.  She’s also acquired an apron of her own.

 

I managed to capture Isaac’s infectious laugh on his birthday a few weeks ago. He’s such a charmer.

 

Time with our grandbabies is like oxygen for us. Doug’s new schedule has limited his time with them, but we’re working on that. First things first.

Saturday Evening Post: 11/3/18

• I hate to say things like, “I can’t believe it’s already November,” but I really can’t believe it’s already November!

• I have a very, very itchy palm right now. Its kind of driving me crazy. I came down with a bad case of eczema over the summer that really exploded in September. I think what’s happening with my palms is somehow related. They have been improving, but for some reason they are really itchy today. Makes me think of my poor granddaughter, when her hands are really bugging her. I usually try to distract her, or rinse them in cold water. I think I’ll try the cold water right now.

• Last month, I started watching Christmas movies, while I was kind of spending a lot of time sick. I love almost any Christmas movie. One movie I watched and really enjoyed was called The Christmas Wife.

The Christmas Wife (1988) — The Movie Database (TMDb)

It stars Julie Harris and Jason Robards, and that’s why I chose to watch it. I love Julie Harris, and I know Jason Robards is a fine actor. There was no way this could be a bad movie.

And, I was right. It is not your typical Christmas movie at all—the tempo is slow, the soundtrack is very quiet, the characters are very pensive—but, I really enjoyed it. The story line is rather unusual: a widower wants to continue the Christmas traditions he shared with his wife, but doesn’t want to be alone. So, he hires a woman to spend Christmas with him. He quickly learns that the woman he’s hired is hiding a troubling secret. Here is the trailer:

The film is almost entirely the two of them at his cabin. It’s really the kind of movie you want to watch uninterrupted, because you want to get inside their heads, you know? There’s a mysterious element to it. I also enjoyed watching him make Christmas. You easily believed he’d done this for 40 years. I watched this on Amazon Prime for free, and it is also on YouTube. It might be streaming on other sites.

• Yesterday, I woke up feeling physically the best I’ve felt in well over a month. It was pretty nice! I’ve had a series of strange injuries and ailments, and the cold was just the last straw. However, now it’s almost gone. I think everything else is on the mend, too. So, I’m very grateful.

• Well, tomorrow Doug is sharing a ministry update with a church in town that has partnered with us for so long, in so many ways. It’s always nice to visit a church where we have some history. It’s strange to not have a home church like normal folks; I really miss that the most, I think. Probably, my least favorite thing about being a missionary. However, I love getting to know Christians from so many different churches and towns. That’s one of my favorite things.

Hope you have a good Sunday. God bless you! ❤

Saturday Evening Post: 10/27/18

• Almost every day, my granddaughter asks for popcorn. We make it together; it’s one of our rituals. She knows where all the supplies are, and if I dawdle she’ll start pulling them out onto the kitchen floor: pot, lid, bowl, popcorn, coconut oil, and scoop. Scooping is her particular job. Once the corn is in the pot, we’ll watch and wait for three kernels to pop. Then, the lid goes on. That’s when she’ll get down and I’ll shake the pan. She either hops up onto Poppa’s lap, or waits by my chair for me. I don’t know how long this ritual will last, but I’m enjoying every second.

Doug took the pictures below one afternoon. Lucy started feeding me popcorn, and I decided to eat it like Cookie Monster. She giggled so much! 

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• Caught a cold. On top of the other health nonsense I’ve been dealing with, I’m kinda tired of being sick. Now, I say that with a mindfulness that seven years ago I was in a hospital bed, squeezing a button for pain relief and raising my arms every few minutes to cough. Perspective matters.

• BLOG-TOBER UPDATE: This cold has taken a toll on my blogging. I’m not sure I’ll reach my goal by the 31st. This will be post 20, which means I need to produce 11 posts in three days. Highly doubtful. It’s been a good exercise, though.

• We had a bed picnic today. It was nice. Felt like a holiday.

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• Speaking of holidays, I’m really looking forward to Christmas. I do look forward to Christmas every year, but there will be two grandbabies this year. That will make it extra-special!

Saturday Evening Post: 10/10/18

• Today is Blog #16 for Blog-tober, my month to blog every day. Still working on catching up. (It should be Blog #20.) It has been a very interesting experience.

• Doug said the French Toast Casserole was a win. No pictures, but also no leftovers. That’s a good sign.

• I made a 7-blade roast for supper. My mother loved this cut of meat. She made it almost every week.  On Sunday morning she was in the kitchen prepping her huge roaster pan, surrounding the roast with all the classic vegetables. She set the oven temperature very low, and lunch was always ready by the time we got home from church.

Recently, these roasts were on sale at the market, so I decided to try to replicate her Sunday Supper. I seasoned the meat the way I’d watched her season meat so many times, and let it just cook and cook and cook. She said, “You almost can’t ruin this roast. The longer it cooks, the better.” Honestly, it tasted just like her roast. It was such a strong sense memory.  And, on sale, it’s a very affordable piece of beef.

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• My granddaughter started calling me a name this week. Doug is Poppa, and she learned his name almost as soon as she started using intelligible words. I’m called Grammy, but she’s never used it. Well, on Thursday Hannah said she pointed at me and said “Me,” for Grammy. I’m pretty excited.

• I bought this mold at Ikea a couple years ago. I saw it the other day and wondered if those squares weren’t just the right size for her little blocks. I thought it might be a fun way for Lucy to play with letters and words.

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Sure enough, they are just the right size! It’s like an adorable Boggle game. For now, that’s all we’ll do.—practice putting the blocks in.

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• The holidays are fast approaching. I found this very old video from the 1950’s, about a family celebrating Thanksgiving. I’ve seen movies similar to this on YouTube. I don’t know their history, but morality plays seemed to be common in the 1950’s. They are fascinating to me. Very sincere.

I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday. Doug is leading worship at a church in Haverhill tomorrow. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I’ll be able to join him—having some weird (and painful) foot issues.

God bless you and yours. I hope you find yourself in good company.

Saturday Evening Post: 10/13/18

Incredible to think we are in mid-October. Yikes.

Blog-tober Update

On October 6th, I spontaneously decided the make October Blog-tober. This meant I would post every day, with five extra posts added here and there to compensate for the first five days of the month I’d missed.

I initiated Blog-tober for a few reasons, and so far it’s doing what I hoped it would do—increase my discipline, and force me to finish some pieces that were rotting away in my drafts folder. As of today, I have posted eight times, which means I am on track for one-a-day, but still five days behind.

Zinnias

We’re coming to the end of the season here. Tonight, I heard we might get frost, so Doug and I went out and harvested the blooms. I don’t know if we’ll get many more flower days, but I hope we do, Lots of buds on the plants.

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It’s Sunday. Where am I?

Doug is filling the pulpit, as they say, for a pastor in Shirley, MA tomorrow. There is a large state prison in Shirley, where Doug has served in the past and has begun serving in, again. Who knows. Maybe, this church will host the first  New Brothers Fellowship Discipleship Group in Shirley.

Where will you be on Sunday? Hope you have a place to gather with other Believers. 🙂

Saturday Evening Post: 10/6/18

Eh.

  • Mexican Cornbread Pie for dinner.  LINK
  • We have bats in our attic. Isn’t that funny?
  • Disrespect and the ministry kind of go hand-in-hand. It’s annoying. Purposeful, but annoying.
  • An old friend once said, “We need our stuff, because it’s how our children know they’re home.”  I loved that. I wonder what stuff Hannah recognizes as home; what Lucy and Isaac will recognize as their Grandma Gregan’s home?
  • Truth: I have a stupid string of colored Christmas lights hanging on my bedroom wall.
  • Over the summer, I developed a raging case of eczema. I am going crazy in stages.
  • I would like to make slipcovers for my furniture. No, I don’t know how, but I would like to try.
  • My garden this year was such a bust, that I may not garden, again. I just didn’t have it in me. And, I’m really a very bad gardener. I grow plants, but they don’t bear much fruit.
  • We’ve been watching The Durrells in Corfu. So far, it’s pleasant. Beautiful location, wherever they filmed. Reminds me of Doc Martin in some ways – the music, the lighting, the quirky characters, etc.
  • Better to live in a tent in the wild, than with a cross and petulant spouse.
    Proverbs 21:19 (Message) Oy.
  • We are grabby, we humans. We think we know, but we don’t. Pride blinds us, and fear binds us.
  • I miss my California friends. They’re the only reason I wouldn’t hate moving back to California.

I love this video of Lucy.

Chatty Isaac. 🙂

I did achieve one garden goal: growing tomatoes for Lucy to pick. They were not tasty tomatoes at all – very tough skin – but she did have fun picking them! The two pictures on the right look almost identical, but they aren’t—you can see her little tooth indentations in the second one. LOL

This picture is only a month old, but he’s grown so much since then.

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She loved playing in the dirt. The sunflowers were fun, but the drought made it hard for them to thrive.

My zinnias thrived, even the one that grew crooked in order to reach the sun.