Friday, April 01, 2011

Friday FIve: "Good Things" Quick Picks

This week's RevGalBlogPals Friday Five asks us for a "quick pick of five good things in our lives.

This challenge came at a good time for me, because lately we've been having to focus, not on good things, but worrisome health things. I'll write more about this tomorrow, when I catch you up on what's been happening in my life since my blog hiatus.'s good to remember good things. So here goes:

1. Our family extracurricular activities. Our footloose-and-fancy-free schedule has gotten a bit more structured these days, as we've taken on two very different tasks. Since our church secretary cut drastically back on her schedule due to health issues, I've been working at church one day a week as unpaid secretary/newsletter editor. There are four of us, each with a slightly different set of daily tasks. I've enjoyed this pretty much (although I did have to put my foot down about our church's heretofore que-sera-sera approach to its newsletter, and institute due dates for content).

Meanwhile, we were visiting the local antique mall about a month ago when we noticed a little empty corner booth. Fellow Traveler said, "That would be a great place to sell our stuff." (Said stuff being her formidible collection of estate sale goodies.) This is a nice, tidy venue, with real antiques and collectibles. We asked the owner about rent, and we discovered that, as long as we volunteer to work in the store one day a week, we can rent booth space quite inexpensively. The owner, after quizzing us a bit and finding out that we know a little bit about antiques and collectibles and have experience in "people" occupations, made us an offer and we said, "Sure!" About 15 minutes later, as we drove away, we turned to one another and murmured, "What did we just do?" But this has been a pleasant little pastime once a week. We meet lots of interesting people, get along well with the landlord, are learning more about the business -- and we sold a couple of our things.

2. Bear. Our adoptee dog -- Fellow Traveler's aunt's-and-uncle's dog, who was about to be put down after the aunt died and the uncle wound up in the hospital -- is a real joy. And this is an especially good thing for me because I frankly had not been completely sold on the idea of another dog. I wouldn't have let the cousins-in-law kill Bear; but I'd envisioned fostering her for a few weeks until we found some suitable adoptive family. What happened after we brought her home, though, was remarkable: After a week of getting to know Chica and Mollie and learning the rhythms of our home, and after regular daily exercise and a balanced diet, this largely inert, morbidly obese lump of a dog started responding to us; her sweet personality began to emerge; and she started moving on her own -- running, even. Now I have to huff and puff a little to keep up with her some days as she gathers the courage to explore our woods. Chica, for her part, after about a day of poutery, has become a good pal to her new, older friend.

3. My tomatoes. The photo to the left is not actually a photo of my tomatoes; but my little tomato seedlings are starting to look like that photo. I have mixed cherry tomatoes; mixed heirloom standard-size tomatoes; currant tomatoes; "Black Trifele" and "Black Zebra" tomatoes; and a few six-year-old seeds that I stuck in a couple of peat pots just to see what would happen, that successfully germinated.

4. Our beekeeping experiment. We don't have our bees yet -- but we do have our hives, our bee suits, our tools and various and sundry other beekeeping things. We recently attended a beekeeping conference at Michigan State University, my alma mater -- I thought Wolverine fan Fellow Traveler would spontaneously combust upon setting foot on campus, but she was a good sport all weekend, venturing as far as the Student Union for a taste of the MSU dairy's famous ice cream -- so we're also fairly knowledgeable, at least we think, about what to do when the bees get here at the end of the month. Maybe.

5. Our recent visit with Miss Ruby. We were surprised and delighted to get an e-mail from Daughter-in-Law telling us that she was coming to Michigan with Ruby to visit her mom, various relatives and her best friend from medical school. Since The Kids believe that we live in Terra Incognita, and since DiL's other visits were all in the southern part of the state, we traveled to the Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor area, both Fellow Traveler's and DiL's former home base, to spend the day with Ruby, stay overnight and then lead SiL to her aunt-in-law's home in Bay City. So we got to play with the grandbaby the better part of two days. Ruby is growing so fast -- she literally grew out of one pair of shoes the morning after we arrived at Other Grandma's house -- and she is not only on her feet but constantly on the move. She's also an enthusiastic talker, even though her active vocabulary right now is rather limited: "Mama";"Dada"; "No"; "Amma" (which we discovered means any convenient, attentive gray-haired lady). Her favorite word, out of all those, is "No" -- delivered without anger or petulance, mind you; just a matter-of-fact statement of opinion. She's a little pistol, is Ruby. And we're glad we got to see her.

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