Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Week 47

Cousin Karin thought her weekly bouquets were over. However, one hydrangea bush continues to produce blooms in different colors! The azalea plant blossomed again as well. Spring flowers are appearing and it is not even winter yet! What's up with the weather in Tennessee? Or, is God sending cheer at a time when they are caring for cousin Ed, her brother, who is so ill?

A pleasant surprise, to taste and texture, came this week when I learned about jícama, which arrived in a Misfits box a couple weeks ago, great by itself or in the lovely salad by Pioneer Woman. Can you pick out the jícama?

Another lovely surprise came when my neighbor-friend and I resumed what had been our weekly coffee date. Katie Rich moved her business to a much larger space, and delightfully decorated with so many nooks for us to explore in upcoming visits. 

Many photos surfaced this week remembering my brother Lynn, three years after his passing. Not long ago I joined a Facebook group sharing memories of our elementary school--EX ALUMNOS DE LA ESCUELA 42 DE DON BOSCO. I posted a couple of pics of Lynn's classes and got quite a few responses. In this one (1957) he is behind and closest to the teacher. 
What do you think of our school uniforms? White and starched, a nightmare for mothers! I just noticed that the boys are even wearing ties.

One of his classmates wrote that he was our neighbor and Lynn's good friend. He was sorry to hear of his passing. I had an unidentified photo and asked if he was the one with Lynn. Yes, he said. 

Now I need to ask Enzo whether this was the house he remembers. It was the first one we lived in in that town, Don Bosco, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina.

Stephan came early a couple of days to try his luck at hunting back in our woods. The deer sadly avoided him. But I enjoyed our breakfast chats after.

I spent a delightful afternoon with Rebecca. Her attention span is short which allows for a variety of activities. The Bible story this time was of Jesus washing the disciples' feet, an example of gentleness. Only one more fruit of the Spirit to talk about when Basics resumes after the holidays--self-control, which Rebecca referred to as strongness.

Michael was gone at the time, on yet another overnight camping trip, probably the last one of the year.

Saturday we were remembering Malachi on his 22nd birthday. Of the numerous photos I chose two: the professional cute toddler pic and a selfie of us on my first visit to him when he was a college freshman. He is now in his fourth year at Grace College.

Sunday we had the delightful visit of friends from nearly fifty years ago. We were together in Germany when I was pregnant with Stephan and Donna with her third. We shared many stories and tried to catch up on our growing families. We also taught them our favorite game, Splendor. 

Look who else came along! Kipper was so sweet and well-behaved.

That was most of our fun for the week. What about you?


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Week 46

This little one-evening painting "Maple Leaves" is seasonally appropriate. There are very few colorful trees left. Our woods is looking bare.

A forgotten note from last week: Elijah, in our last Spanish tutoring Zoom session, mentioned that he was going to a banquet for the soccer team. I saw later that he was praised and awarded the Most Improved player. Can you find him in this team photo?

We keep plodding on with our regular routines, pursuits and passions. Every day has its share of ups and downs, encouraging moments and disconcerting times as well. The words of a song are ringing in my head, "Through it all. . . I've learned to trust in God. . . Then there are cheery surprises, like the delightful folk singer who entertained us at the Senior Center this week, Mrs. Kate Carpenter. She is extraordinarily talented, and spunky!

I still enjoy the surprises that come in the Misfits box, and trying out new varieties of produce. Last week I made candied ginger, which Stephan and I really like. Others not so much; it has quite a bite!

Robotics is slowly moving forward. Michael spends more time at the shop, cleaning, organizing, fixing, improving. I delivered flyers announcing the Open House coming up. 

After I picked up Rebecca for the weekly Basics Jr. Bible story and activities, we could hear the mower. We went out to find abuelo but could not distract him from his task of mowing the leaves. Can you find him and see where he's been?

The Basics lesson was about faithfulness. (She kept saying thankfulness, also a wonderful attitude.) The story was of Daniel's faithful practice of praying three times a day; how that got him in trouble; how God kept him safe surrounded by hungry lions and then punished his accusers with the end they had intended for him! The governors had tricked the king into passing an edict that would trap the one he planned to place over the entire kingdom. In Rebecca's Play-Doh version, there is the head of the king who loved Daniel. Distraught that unable to sleep, he rushed to the den in the morning to see if the living God had rescued Daniel. 

What an amazing story with so many applications for us today! As I reread Daniel 6, in addition to being struck by Daniel's discipline of prayer, I noticed a phrase for the first time, in verse 10, "Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to God," The content of his prayers was thanksgiving!  

I hadn't seen my friend Patryce in a very long time. This week she invited me for one of her delightful teas. The fellowship was as delicious as the sweet potato cream cheese desert!

Another pleasurable experience that day was the Taylor University Theatre creative performance of The Little Prince. We are so blessed to live so close and able to enjoy our season tickets even this year.

Michael was very fortunate to get a deer only 15 minutes into gun season. After taking care of all the necessary after-tasks (dragging, dressing, etc.) he was in time to go join his Saturday cycling group!

My creative accomplishments for the week were to edit an article in progress, work on the translation of a German poem for a friend, and enjoy another watercolor tutorial. Oh, I gave Michael a hair cut too. ;-)

What are your creative outlets? Any surprises that sparked delight in your week?

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Week 45

Cousin Karin's blossoms are dying out. Her brother Ed is very ill and she is caring for his daughter. Instead of a real bouquet, I open with one of Mother's paintings. The gentleman who ran the ARTcare with Grace program, said of her: "Kathryn understands color like no one else." I imagine her now enjoying the vibrant color varieties in heaven.

Next, a forgotten photo from last week: Moriah Cruella deVil. College students enjoy Halloween fun too.

My projects and accomplishments of the week: the year-end letter, and a good start on the family calendar. 
Of course, the big event of the week was the election. Everyone had varying waiting times. I was there mid-morning and waited in line for at least an hour and a half but had the best time talking with a retired medical missionary to Bangladesh. When Michael went at 1 PM there were only five people ahead of him. 

The next three days I was feeling rather puny with a sore throat. It was strep, no Covid. Even so, I tried to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather. 
The first afternoon I walked to the bridge nearby and back, about a mile and a half. 

The next two days I wandered through our woods.

Michael found time to do a 10-mile hike with the guys. He is very grateful to be able to go that far without much pain and only one half-way rest stop
The robotics program is picking up. That keeps him well occupied now.

Sam's birthday celebration was Friday, November 6. It did not seem wise for me to go because of my sore throat, but Michael went anyway and took his sister. Diane had a good time; she doesn't get out much and misses family. They got to see the many improvements on the house.
Happy 42nd, Samuel son! 

All week long Michael diligently prepared a presentation for a virtual forum Saturday: "Electricity, Electronics, and FRC." He missed riding with the club, but went for a shorter ride later. This beautiful weather cannot be wasted!

The annual Upland Holiday Craft Fair was on, always the first Saturday in November. A friend was able to display and sell some of the knitted-from-scraps items that have accumulated this year over many an evening of TV watching with my honey. Only two sold, so the rest are up for grabs. Take your pick.

Sunday afternoon was perfect for one last hiking hoorah, just the two of us.

What a wonderful surprise to "see" on Facebook a couple from Barcelona that we worked and fellowshipped with in the early years of our marriage when we lived in Germany, now in their 80s, married 61 years. 

¡Hermosos recuerdos, Dios os bendiga, Antonio y Eugenia!

We are now well into Week 46, and I am just now posting about Week 45 due to life´s unavoidable interruptions, which I prefer to call God-appointments. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Week 44

Karin labeled this bouquet "The last touches of summer." She thinks they may be the last blooms. I told her my blog readers are thankful for the beautiful flowers she shared with us over a period of months now.

I worked steadily on the chapter to present to the Writers' Bloc on Thursday. Michael, meanwhile kept the 3D printer humming away building parts to repair and/or improve pieces of equipment for the robotics shop.

This week was Eastbrook schools' fall break. Instead of the regular Basics program that Rebecca and I work on together, we went to the Fun Fest at church. She came over early wearing her cat outfit for the event. She then wanted to play the part. She was Pearl the Cat and I was to lead her around on a leash in the woods. She only responded with meows and I was supposed to distinguish a Yes-meow from a No-meow. Later, Pearl insisted on eating like a cat from a plate on the floor. I do believe she has acting skills.

We met Emily, Rebecca's Basics Jr. leader, who calls her every week after we've watched the Bible story video and worked on the activities. The Fun Fest was held outdoors, with a series of stations where kids could do an activity and earn candy and prizes. The last one was a hay ride. The evening weather was perfect for the event.

Friday afternoon, Michael and I enjoyed a hike through a nearby private glen. The course was beautiful though a bit challenging with hills and creeks.

Saturday I volunteered at the local Helping Hand store. Michael went riding as always. and after went directly to a graduation celebration for a former robotics team member, Jessica. It was an outdoor event with a Halloween flavor. 

Leah came over to get wood for her bonfire. Her Halloween costume was in progress. 

Later, on Facebook I saw the finished effect and her welcoming decor.

Our grands and greats came by later. Can you see Rebecca's theatrical skills? Look at those cat claws!

It was fun to see Skye, a.k.a. Pooh Bear,  and his little family, Kanga and Roo. I was especially pleased that Kalani remembered me, came to me and sweetly leaned his head on mine.

I failed to get a photo of Matt and Kayla. However, I dug up an old one to post for their anniversary on Sunday, November 1.
"Matthew Kern, long ago bewitched by Kayla, married her nine years ago. Happy Anniversary!" 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Writing, walks, visitors

I'm late reporting on Week 43 as I was very focused on the chapter I was writing. The deadline I set for myself was fast approaching! About a month ago I said I'd be ready to present at Writers' Bloc by the end of the month. Whew! That took a lot of fascinating research!

So what happened last week? Trying to remember. . . not many photos to help.

Karin's flowers are still coming. She titled this bouquet "Dahlia Delight."

I had a dahlia plant I brought in to enjoy longer. Don't know whether it will make it.


Moriah has had more free time this semester it seems. One day she decided to make apple fritters! Then she invited an engineering student we had not met, one of the few females in the department.

Rebecca and I enjoyed a walk in the beautiful outdoors, then painted some rocks we found. We watched the Bible story video for Basics Jr. about how King David showed kindness to the crippled son of his best friend by inviting him to live with him in the palace and eat at his table. The name Mephibosheth was a challenge to pronounce for both Rebecca and Emily her leader when they had their phone conversation.  

Another delightful walk on a beautiful afternoon, this time Michael and Moriah joined me to see what the the Upland trail was like. 

Michael had already come back from his Saturday bicycle ride, the second near 40 mile distance for the week. He continues to busy himself on many fronts, cutting and gathering wood, looking after the bees and caring for many tasks needing done. He is also working on fixing and improving some of the robotics' shop equipment by using a newly given 3D printer set up in his office. (Can you find both of us in this photo?)

Our daughter visited us old folks one evening! What an honor!

We got to meet some of Moriah's Chic-Fil-A co-workers when we went to an open house for former robotics friends.

About robotics--meetings start up next week in an effort to rebuild the team and resume the program.