Sneezing My Way to Friday

It’s Friday and this week has been one “Mell of a Hess” as my mom used to say.  It started out when I woke up with a sore throat on Monday.  Now this was after a weekend when my stomach just hadn’t felt quite “right.”  “Oh, man….what now?” I wondered.    I didn’t have to wait long to find out.  The nasal floodgates soon opened and, as Capt. Ahab would say, “Thar she blows!”

Since it is Friday and time for the Fave Five, I thought I’d list five things I learned as I researched ways to shorten colds.

1.  Chicken soup, also known as “Jewish Penicillin” actually contains ingredients which can shorten your cold. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the ingredients on hand to make any chicken soup so I improvised.  I made some spicy lentil soup and threw in some turkey kielbasa for good measure.  I told my sister-in-law that, in the spirit of diversity, I was promoting a Moroccan/Polish healing collaboration.  I don’t know that it worked, but the heat did make my throat feel better.

2.  An early doctor in the 1920’s promoted the theory that most cold and flu viruses enter our body through our ears. Certain natural healing sites today promote putting hydrogen peroxide drops in your ears to kill the cold viruses.  I decided not to try this.  I just couldn’t get past the part in the instructions where it says “wait until the bubbling and stinging has subsided…..”

3.  Feed a fever, starve a cold. I didn’t try this either.  Frankly, there wasn’t much food that sounded all that great to me this past week anyway.  So I decided that I needed some comfort food.  I happened to have a brownie mix handy and I do remember reading somewhere that dark chocolate is now considered to be a health food so I figured that I’d make up a batch of “healthy eating” for myself.  I’m still enjoying the fruits of my labor.

4.  Put yourself into a calm state and visualize an army of dust-busting maids swabbing down your insides with disinfectant. OK, I tried to visualize this but somehow, the thought of a green team of energetic dustbusters tickling my insides with feather dusters did nothing but make me sneeze.  And speaking of sneezes, did you know that…..

5.  The reason we say “God Bless You” or “Gesundheit”or just “Bless You” when folks sneeze dates way back to the Dark Ages when a sneeze could indicate that you might be coming down with the Plague? If you really want to make yourself paranoid, visit this site to find out what hearing sneezes different times of the day can mean according to superstitions in Thailand.     Did you know that if you sneeze at a meal, it means you are going to meet a new friend?  Let’s hope so, because I can almost guarantee you that you will be cleaning food particles off of that “new friend.”  And it is believed that a fool can’t sneeze.  Well, hallelujah!  I must be a genius.

I hope your week has been healthier than mine.  To read about what others are posting for their Friday’s Fave Five, visit Susanne’s site at Living to Tell the Story.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go wash my hands and open another box of tissues.


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Five Things I Enjoy When My Spouse is Away

Today is Friday and that means it is time for Friday’s Fave Five.  Since the Commander has been off on a business trip this week, returning today, I thought it might be fun to write about five things that I always look forward to doing when he is away.  You see, he rarely goes anywhere on business so these trips are few and far between.  I know that most spouses dread having their husbands away on business.  Well, at least that is what they say.  But for me, I always kind of feel like the proverbial teenager whose parents turn to her and say, “We’re going to be gone for the next week and we’re leaving you in charge of the house.  Bye!”  Whee!  Oh now, don’t let your imagination get the better of you.  I hardly go crazy when he’s away.  But I definitely feel like the adult has left the building.  Time to throw some spitballs.  So here are five things that I always look forward to doing when the Commander is out of town.

1.  I get to sleep with the dog. Poor Fresca never gets to sleep in our bedroom (and certainly NOT on the bed) when the Commander is in residence.  So when he is not home, Fresca gets to not only be in our bedroom but hop on the bed and snooze there all night long.

2.  I get to stay up as late as I want. When the Commander is here, I always feel like I should head to bed around the same time that he goes to bed.  Many times I’m in the middle of doing something on the computer or I’m just not tired and don’t really feel like going to bed but I drag myself off to bed anyway.  Then I like to read for awhile but I feel guilty about reading too long since I don’t want to disturb hubby’s sleep.  So when the Commander is away, I can stay up as late as I want to AND when I DO go to bed, I can read in bed as long as I want to, also.  If I want to keep the light on until 1 a.m. and read, I do it.

3.  I can sleep in in the mornings. Well, in theory this should be doable.  However, since the dog is in the bedroom, she insists on getting me up at the usual time because she wants to eat and be let out around 7 a.m.  So even though I might have stayed up late the night before, I’m usually up with the birds in the morning, too.  But I COULD go back to bed, I suppose, if I wanted after feeding the dog and letting her do her business.

4.  I can eat whatever I want WHEN I want to eat. When my hubby is away, I don’t have to fix supper if I don’t want to AND if I want to eat dessert only for my meal, I can do so.  (I told you it was like being a kid left in charge of themselves.)  I just HATE having to drop whatever I’m doing to go fix a meal.  It would be so nice if house fairies just showed up with a full meal in tow, piping hot and ready to serve each day around 6 p.m.  Alas, that doesn’t happen at my house.  So when I don’t have to feed anyone but myself, it is a luxury.  My diet hasn’t been the greatest this week, but I’ve dictated the terms.  Such empowerment!

5.  I don’t have to clean the house. Whee!  I can leave things laying around if I want to and not feel guilty.  In theory, this is the case.  In actuality, I usually get bothered by the mess and end up cleaning anyway.  This week, one of my girlfriends came over for a sewing lesson so I ended up having to clean the house anyway.  Phooey!  But that was offset by the fun we had sewing and kibitzing throughout the day.

There you have it….the five things I enjoy “when the adults have left the building.”  If you’d like to read what others are writing about for their Friday’s Fave Five visit Susanne’s site at Living to tell the Story.

Friday’s Fave Five Eats and Treats

friday fave five spring, originally uploaded by readndee.

It’s Friday already and time to list five highlights of my week. And once again, it’s been a great week. I have no problem coming up with five things to share with you.

1.  A big highlight was receiving my Schacht Matchless Double Treadle spinning wheel.  These beautiful wheels are made by the Schacht Spindle Company based in Boulder, Colorado.  I’ve had my eye on one for a long time and finally was able to place my order.  I didn’t mind the wait (good things are worth waiting for) and was thrilled when she (I’ve named her “Valentina”) arrived.  I’ll be posting more about her in my next post.

2.  I enjoyed a great cheeseburger and fries at Five Guys Burgers & Fries. My son and daughter-in-law had never been to one of these restaurants so I had the fun of introducing them to their tasty offerings.  The Commander and I think that Five Guys makes the best cheeseburgers in town and their fries are pretty awesome, too.

3.  I have a new camera.  I had purchased a fancy Canon PowerShot SX20 IS before the kids came home for their visit and I ended up hating that camera.  It was too heavy and much too complicated for me.  Plus I didn’t think that it took very sharp pictures despite having 12 pixel resolution.  It’s now going to be sold and I am much happier with a cheaper and simpler Canon PowerShot A480.  It does everything I want it to do and I think the picture quality is much nicer, too.  But don’t go by the above picture.  I snapped that with my iPhone.

4.  Teaching Laura to make Moroccan Couscous. I learned to make Moroccan couscous stew when we lived in Morocco.  When Laura and Jason arrived, one of the things that Laura wanted to do was learn how to make this dish.  So today we are cooking together and already the wonderful aroma of this heavenly stew is wafting through the entire house.   By this evening, when I show her how to arrange the whole thing on the big platter that I brought back from Morocco, our mouths will be watering.

5.  Listening to Jason and Laura working together. Earlier this week, while I was working away on my computer in the craft room, Laura was helping Jason with his writing by doing some editing and offering some suggestions here and there.  It was so nice to hear them interact back and forth.  They truly are a partnership framed in love, which is what a marriage should be, and how happy I am for the two of them.

To see what others are writing about, visit Susanne’s site at Living to Tell the Story.  And if you find yourself inspired by what you read, why not join the fun and tell us what your fave five’s are for the week?

Fave Five Yummies and Honeys

Another week has whizzed by and it’s time for my list of Fave Five events of the week.  It was hard to limit myself to five things this week.  I had quite a few good things to report which is always a good thing.  Better to have an abundance of blessings to choose from than to have to make some up, eh?   But I narrowed it down to five so here is my list of Fave Fives for the week.

1.  My little Mika turned 2 months old. This little honey of a grandbaby is growing and changing so quickly.  To celebrate her “big girl” status, her mommy and I went out and bought her some headbands and hairbows and then she had to model them for us.  There should be no doubt now that she is a girl.

2.  Mika met her Aunt Laura for the first time. To celebrate the occasion, our daughter Laura presented Mika with a t-shirt that says “My Aunt Rocks.”  Too cute.  I don’t think Mika looks very impressed in this picture but she really did have a good time giving her aunt the once-over and being held by Laura.  Judging by the smile, I’d say that Aunt Laura enjoyed the time with her niece as well.

3.  I spun some wool today at our spinning guild from the nicest wool I’ve ever had the fun of spinning. This is from the fiber artist BeeMiceElf and the fiber is Superwash Blue-Faced Leicester.  You’ll never believe what the name of the colorway is.  It’s called “Naughty Librarian.”  Isn’t that a hoot?  The fiber comes in a braid that is shown at the bottom of the picture and you can see how it is spinning up.  I can honestly say that this is the easiest wool I’ve ever spun.  It has really been a dream to spin.

4.  Mika and her Great-Grandma Toots were able to spend more time together. I was able to bring my 96-year-old mom home from the nursing home for a visit with the help of my son.  She had a fun reunion with the dog (my previous post) and got to hold Mika for some fun bonding time.  We had a nice lunch of pancakes and bacon which she polished off and we capped off the day with a sing-a-long and an impromptu piano concert.  It was a full day for all of us but a good one.

5.  Mika was dedicated at our church and then thrown a potluck/shower by our church family. Bless her heart, she slept through the whole thing.  She even slept through all the folks who wanted to hold her during the potluck.  It was such a blessing to share our joy at Mika’s safe arrival with our church fellowship.

That was my week.  If you’d like to read the Fave Five’s of others, visit Susanne’s blog at Living to Tell the Story.

It’s Friday and I’m Loving It

Did you notice the new Fave Five logo that Susanne made up for February?  Here I sit, looking out my window at over 20 inches of snow which is still on the ground here in south-central PA and yet it will be Valentine’s Day this weekend.  The sky is blue today and the sun is melting this snow slowly and steadily so Spring surely must be on the way.  So I’m feeling the love today for my five Fave Friday musings.

1.  I’m enjoying reading the Facebook entries today telling how couples first met. I guess because this is Valentine’s weekend, a lot of folks have been posting pictures of themselves early on in their relationships and telling how they met their spouses.  The Commander and I met on the island of Crete over Labor Day weekend in 1978.  I had flown over there with a friend from our base on the Greek mainland to enjoy some sightseeing and we were staying in the officer quarters on the Commander’s base while in Crete.  He had heard that two single female officers had arrived on his base and he sauntered over to check us out.  You see, there were no single female officers stationed there.  Well, there were no single male officers stationed on my base so I was kind of in the same boat, so to speak.  Neither of us had anyone we could easily date.  Guess he liked what he saw because less than a year later, we were married at my base and we’ve been together now for over 30 years.

2.  I’m loving watching Mika’s fascination with Mr. Owl. She is loving sitting in her bouncy chair and for some reason, out of all the little animals that hang down from the bar over her chair, she adores Mr. Owl.  She is absolutely mesmerized by him and breaks out into big smiles as she gazes at his face.  He’s the blue fellow in the middle, by the way.

3.  I’m praising God for a “good report” from my annual cancer check-up today. It’s always a stressful time each year when I have to go in for my annual follow-up after having breast cancer almost 20 years ago.  Yet God is faithful and has blessed me with another good report so I’m not scheduled to go back for another year, as long as my chest xray and further blood tests all come back normal.

4.  I’m thrilled that Mika already enjoys being read to so much. I love books and it just warms my heart to see our son read to her and to watch her respond  with such interest and enthusiasm to the pages.  I think we have a miniature “Booklassie” here.

5.  I’m getting a little better at learning to soothe Mika when she’s fussy. We seem to be reaching an understanding.  I’ve discovered that she’ll usually quiet down if I swing her back and forth as I sing “Rock-a-Bye, Baby”.  I’ve perfected the bent leg, bendable baby tummy maneuver that my son showed me.   She’s not totally freaking out anymore whenever she turns around and sees me.  So I think there may be hope for this Nana yet.

What are your “fave five” things from this past week?  To read about what others are writing about, visit Susanne’s site at “Living to Tell the Story.”

Nana’s Fave Fives

It’s Friday already and I can’t believe how the time has flown.  My goodness, who knew that having a baby in the house would accelerate the clock so.  And yet, here it is time for the Fave Five list already and I just looked up at the clock and saw that it was almost suppertime and I hadn’t even posted yet today.  Yikes.  So guess I’d better get busy.  Here are the Fave Five events from “Hot-Flashed Nana’s” house today:

1.  Our son and family arrived safely from Canada this week. Yes, Nana got to hold little Mikayla for the first time late Monday evening.  As you can see from the picture, I was certainly excited and Mika wasn’t too sure what to make of this strange lady.  Let the fun begin!

2.  Mika got to meet her great-grandmother for the first time (and vice versa). It’s not every day that a six week old little girl and a 96-year-old whippersnapper get to bond together.  It was truly a special moment.  Mika managed to sleep through the entire meeting, even when Mom’s hold almost ended up with Mika’s feet pointing north and her head pointing south.

3.  Taking turns holding our granddaughter – Proud PawPaw couldn’t get enough of looking at that darling little girl asleep in his arms.  Nana, on the other hand, has been the official waker-upper.  It seems if I hold her, she wakes up and starts fussing a lot of the time.  I think it must be because I am just too exciting for a newborn, eh?  Although, she does seem to enjoy me marching around the house with her, swaying her back and forth and singing “Rock-a-bye, Mika” and other arrangements.  I’m also having a lot of fun when we put her in the bouncy seat and I get to do the “voices” of the three little stuffed animals that are hanging from the handle.  Rocky Raccoon, Olly the Owl, and Howie the Hedgehog have quite a rivalry going trying to vie for Mika’s attentions.

4.  I’m relieved that I still remember how to change a baby. After all, it’s been about 24 years since I changed a diaper.  But today I changed Mika’s dirty diaper and we both survived.  Although I will admit that I was a tad puzzled as to why the tabs seemed to be going from the front to the back until I realized that I had the diaper reversed and needed to turn it around.  Well, I still remembered the one-handed leg lift so I made short order of lifting that little bum and getting the diaper set to rights.  Mika seemed none the worse for wear and I would have given myself a pat on the back but I decided that perhaps it would be wiser to wash my hands instead.

5.  Celebrating Christmas for the third time with Jason, Laura and Mika – It was so much fun to watch the kids unwrap the things I had knit or sewn for Mika.  And then there were the felted mice slippers.  I didn’t make these.  I purchased them from a very talented lady on Etsy.  I’ve been just dying to see them on Mikayla.  Last evening, when we opened presents, we  got to snap a picture of them on Mika.  I know that she doesn’t look too impressed in this photo but trust me, they are as cute as can be and just perfect for such a cute little munchkin.  Someday she’ll thank her Nana for such an “Awwww” moment.

And that’s the news from our home.  What are your fave five moments from this past week?  To share yours or to read what others are writing, visit Susanne’s site at Living to Tell the Story.  And now we’re going to go sit by the fire and enjoy the lights of the Christmas tree while the snow falls outside (which is #6 technically, but there’s nothing like a good blizzard to get this Midwesterner smiling).

Ain’t Singing the Blues!

It’s January, a month when the blues can easily catch up with a person.  I recently received an email from a friend with pictures of real letters that children had written to God.  One was asking God to please throw in another holiday after December because things get a little bleak between Christmas and Easter.  Yes, January is when the “gales of November” become the “howls of winter” and any sane person battens down the hatches, grabs some hot cocoa, a good book, a down comforter and stays indoors.  It’s not my favorite month.  But nevertheless, this was a good week and since it is Friday and time for a “Fave Five” recap, here are my highlights.

1.  I received a shipment of glorious fiber to spin up from a very talented fiber artist. Bee Mice Elf has an Etsy shop where she sells colorful concoctions of fiber for spinning like the beauty on the right.  What is even greater is that the name of the colorway of this particular wool is Naughty Librarian.  As soon as I saw it and saw the name of it, I knew that I had to have it.  How perfect is that name for a booklover who has retired from library work?  I’m going to have fun spinning this up into yarn and even more fun knitting it into something to wear.  Just knowing the name of it will have me chuckling whatever I make out of it.

2.  Mika’s quilt is all finished. I’m particularly happy with how the blue binding just sets off the whole quilt.  I think it brightens it right up.  And the bright green backing with little swirls in the colors from the front really adds to the cheerfulness of this little quilt.  I had lots of fun when I was quilting it by quilting words on the quilt.  She’ll certainly never see them now but as she gets older, she’ll have fun trying to pick out where I quilted such words as “Meow, Moo, Yarn, Knit, Cow, Woof, Nana, PawPaw, and We Love Mika.”  I also quilted different qualities that I hope she will grow up to have on the sashes, such as “Joy”, “Compassion”, “Peace”, and “Laughter.”

3.  My new exercise hoop arrived today. If you read one of my earlier posts from several weeks ago, you’ll know that my first attempt at obtaining an exercise hoop ended in disaster when it came all folded up and when I tried to uncoil it, I ended up putting a bad kink in it.  This time, I ordered from another company and ordered a collapsible hoop that came gently coiled, not folded.  I also put it in a sunny room and let it warm up before I tried to uncoil and snap the ends together.  Voila!  I didn’t break it.  And what’s more……I can hula hoop.  Yes, despite the fact that I haven’t done any serious hula hooping since my high school years (many moons ago), I got that hoop spinning and kept it up.  I even walked around the room with it going.  Yay!  I’m telling you, it is a workout just doing that much.  Wait until I start doing hoop dancing routines.  Oh yeah, baby!

4.  I finished my Mondo Cable Shell and it fits.  It’s a miracle.  Usually when I finish a knitted top, I don’t like how it fits.  But this pattern is just right.  It doesn’t gap around the armholes, it isn’t too low at the neckline, and it isn’t clinging tightly anywhere.  I had envisioned wearing it over a t-shirt but I think I could easily wear it just like this in hot weather and it would do fine.  You can’t really see the big cables running down the center because the yarn is pretty busy but they came out nicely, too.  I’ll definitely be using this pattern again but will probably pick a different yarn in a solid or semi-solid color that would show off the textured pattern more.

5.  With my spunky new hairdo, I’m thrilled to see that my granddaughter is taking after her Nana. Actually, I did cut my hair and when my son sent me this latest pic of Mika and her lovely head of hair looking so much like my own hairdo, I couldn’t resist a little fun with my photo editing software to give her a pair of matching “specs.”  Apologies to my little sweet pea.

What were your fave fives this week?  Pop over to Susanne’s site at Living to Tell the Story and see what others are listing for their top five highlights this week.