Glad Game #14 ~ Grateful

Rhen’s Kitchen:  Cioppino is “redder” (tomato base) than it looks in photo…Check out the cutting board against wall: it goes back at least to 1973 (a Morton Salt offer I purchased for my “hopeless chest”)🙂 “When It Rains It Pours” (true)

Another Friday, another opportunity to play the Glad Game—just like “Pollyanna”, the only rule is that we find something to be “glad” about (Grateful/Thankful) in life’s less-than-perfect circumstances.  So, here’s my list🙂

a) First, I’m grateful to have a respite, after 3 days of unrelenting pain…thus, at 4 a.m I’m cooking a pot of Cioppino (Italian seafood stew)!  Praying it will be delish, since it’s not an “economy” dish…the last things to go in will be shrimp and scallops.  I’ll let it marinate in the fridge 24 hours, then reheat and serve with hot sourdough bread.  Don’t you wish you lived close enough to stop by for a bowl?!

b) Speaking of food, I’m thankful for some reader-interest in fave recipes—I’ve put up a Page titled, “Hungry? Recipes!” (See Above), which I’ll add to now and then.

c) I feel compelled to apologize for my recent post in which I challenged you all to be brave and take on the new Block format WordPress introduced. 

After much weeping and gnashing of teeth, I persuaded a WP staff person to “fix” a new(separate) blog…giving me back the old-school classic editor.  Color me Grateful.  

Should you find yourself needing assistance on this topic, go to WP Support Forums.  Perhaps there will be someone helpful to you—keep in mind that, like everything else, results depend on who replies to your query. 

So, I’m sorry if I sounded “mean” in that earlier post—I was preaching to myself, hopeful  I’d have courageous success.  (At least for now, I won’t have to go over to the “other side”…blogspot)😉

d) Grateful to have managed 2 trips up the little hill for groceries.  Normally I shun boxed mixes, but Betty Crocker brownie mixes were only 99-cents—it would have been a sin NOT to get a couple, right?  Oh gosh, they’re good…I added the Mexican Chocolate tip: cinnamon and a bit of chili powder—WOWZA, you seriously need to try it!!  (I just realized my “thankfuls” are a lot about food!)

e) Exhausted and sentimental, I again want to underscore how grateful I am for all of you who continue to visit frequently…reading, liking, commenting.  Such a wonderful world it is, to be able to “click” and find friendship among big-hearted, talented people💝

f) “F” is for FAITH—of utmost importance to me.  I’m beyond thankful for Almighty God who sought me out (called me by name); offered me His embrace of love, protection, provision; and life with Him forever and ever—never-ending😇

There is none like Him, no other life of grace except through Jesus Christ.  Faith is not a magic wand, God’s not Santa Claus…but even worst days WITH HIM are far better than the Best days Without Him.  I promise, no kidding—“taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8)🥄

May HE bless you so Abundantly you’re knocked off your feet!Love, Rhen

Glad Game #13 ~ Let Us Eat Cake

Here we are, together again…ready to play the Glad Game?  That’s where we count our blessings gratefully, like “Pollyanna”—who always found something to be glad about in the worst of circumstances.  And right now feels as close to “worst” as anyone wants to imagine…so I’ve brought you what’s left of my “desperation cake”🙃

a) I’m grateful for freedom…not everyone in the world is so entitled, and all the forums are buzzing with people discussing the unrest in the US, and other global issues.  I’ll just say that I wish people used their freedom to express kindness, love, peace, generosity, prayers—rather than words and actions that wound, murder, and cause immeasurable destruction in lives.

b) Thankful, indeed, for reports that pandemic safety measures might be decreased by August, where I live—not completely unrestricted, but we may be able to visit in person.  That will be something to celebrate, sing praises about!

c) Very grateful my housing recertification is over, with only a minimal change in rent.  And I’m glad to have a good relationship with my property manager, who works diligently in a challenging job—she helps make my life easier.

d) Thankful to learn food assistance resources will be increased again, for June—I’ll be able to grocery shop with wild abandon!  Not that I’m in least danger of becoming malnourished…I’m simply happiest when cupboards, freezer are well laden.  Variety is the spice of life, supposedly, and that surely applies to meal-planning😉

e) Let’s see…I’m grateful yet again for mild temps.  If I could bother the Lord for just one more favor, I pray summer won’t be HOT.

f) I’m beyond thankful for blogging…who’d-a-thunk the world would open its doors to reveal a wide vista on such engaging people to meet—without leaving home?!  My readers are each a precious gem…jewelry I can wear everyday, accessorizing my old T-shirts!😊  Thank you all!

g) More grateful than ever for humor—and my faith in “the God who stays” (song).  He’s promised to never forsake us, and His word is true and reliable.

Confession:  I’ve consumed nearly the entire (9 x 13) delish Chocolate Cake I baked recently…if you’d like the recipe for a super-moist cake, I’ll share.  Part of the secret is, ingredients include a can of condensed tomato soup (without spices), and buttermilk.  The 100% cacao Hershey’s Cocoa Powder gives it rich flavor, and color to make a fashion designer drool!  I’m so sorry it’s not gluten-free…

Alrighty-then, I’ll leave you with virtual hugs all ’round, and continued prayers for your well-being.  You’re wonderful…and, yes we’ll make it through a deplorable season, together!💖Rhen

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.

Glad Game #11 ~ No-Excuses O’Mercy😉

Hello Glad-Gamers!  Happily we’ve made it to another weekend, the world still turning despite life’s vagaries.  For the benefit of new visitors, the Glad Game originated in the classic children’s book, Pollyanna—about the girl who wisely learned early to look for the positive in any less-than situation (or person) and be “glad”. 

I discovered, “better late than never”, that gratitude is key to maintaining soul’s contentment.  So, here’s my list this week.

a) Spurred on by inspiring followers, I decided it was time to “get physical” with my partner, “O’Mercy” (treadmill, pictured above).  It’s manual, can’t be too dangerous…and due to space constraints it’s parked in the living room, partially beneath the “blessed” dining table.  I realized last night that, if needed, I can briefly rest my butt against the table edge.  Gratitude🙂

b) And I’m thankful to have thought ahead and ordered a super fan (it even matches the black treadmill).  This was divine inspiration, as my primary complaint regarding physical exercise is sweating—“ladies don’t sweat, they glow”, so the saying goes…but I sweat, and it’s icky.  So I’ll crank up the fan as I walk my way to better health…if not a svelte new figure🙂

c) Grateful also for the Public Utility Dept’s free calendar.  Pretty ones adorn the walls, this one’s plain/practical, where I’ll record each day’s time ‘communing’ with O’Mercy—minutes, maybe step count.  Last night was Day 1…the clock said 9:20 pm, I figured I could go 10 minutes.  Hah!  I managed 5—better than zero.  Perhaps I’ll do 5 min/day for a few days, till the old-bod recovers from shock🙂 

According to saved calendar, I purchased O’Mercy in September 2014…uh-huh…it was Full Moon, and I was gung-ho for 10 days before the novelty wore off.  I did 20-30 min/day, sweating like a farm animal—a fair cardio workout.  That was 6 years ago, I think I’ll take a more reasonable approach this time.

d) FYI, there will be NO discussion of dieting at this juncture.  The idea is not to kill myself all at once🙂   Last night I ate like there’d be no Tomorrow…who knows?

e) Although the “zoom” meeting on Wednesday failed, I’m thankful the facilitator had a back-up plan, i.e., 3-way conference phone call.  I’ve owned 2 Lenovo laptops with microphone issues:  they say they have internal microphones…perhaps it’s “operator failure” (nothing I attempted to tweak helped one iota).  Easily frustrated and discouraged, I frowned the rest of the day.

However, the third party (not facilitator) also experienced difficulty (she had audio, no video), so I didn’t feel entirely like a tech-osaurus–and we did accomplish the meeting’s purpose.  Stress/irritability aside, I’m glad and grateful.  I may order an external microphone…in case life requires more zooming while we all await Corona’s end.

f) I’m a happy-thankful-camper to have checked off “laundry done”, and “grocery trip without incident”…and I remain pleased with furniture rearrangement, though I forget I’ve moved certain things.  The plus side:  more steps accumulated as I backtrack…if I walk while pondering!

g) Beyond grateful…I recalled where I’d squirreled away an adapter plug, for use with new fan and extension cord.

h) Greatly thankful for intermittent rain showers…a nearby homeowner lights frequent bonfires in his yard…smoke fills up my apartment.  I’m grateful for sympathetic email replies from local Fire District person.  Difficulty breathing is distressing.

i) I’m enjoying an Amazon Prime trial, for speedier free-shipping and Prime Video.  This is a mixed blessing, as I’m a movie addict…which limits hours for such things as sleeping.  I multi-task, but it’s still time-consuming to scroll through movie menu for something worth watching.  So this may prove a “temporary thankful”.

j) As always, I’m more than grateful for God’s abundant considerations and provision—which include my blog family.  I think of, pray for you each day/night…particularly when I’m cooking/baking, wishing you could come over and feast!  Maybe someday in the “sweet by and by”.  For now, remember I’m holding you in my heart—and appreciate your thoughts throughout the week.

May God bless you hugely with His protection, provision and Presence of Peace, as we continue moving through this troubled season which “came to pass, not to stay!” 

Take courage, be of good cheer ~  Love, Auntie L💝

Text & photos: ©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.

Glad Game #9 ~ Keep Keeping-On!

Sharing my not-Mother’s-Day roses♥

Hello, Glad Game groupies!  I think I see new faces, so for your benefit I’ll explain:  the Glad Game originated in the book, Pollyanna (which became a popular series).  “Pollyanna” was a young gal ‘cursed with optimism’…she could find silver linings in darkest clouds.  I didn’t learn about her till I was 59, but she contributed to that being a banner year.  So now I focus on “gratitudes” daily, and bring you my list each week.  Here we go!

a) I’m beyond thankful it’s Friday…the week was fast and busy.  Grocery shopping is braved during “senior hours”—Tuesday and Thursday, 7-9 am; and because I’m allergic to getting up early, I stay up all night.  Fortunately, I don’t shop every week🛒  And I’m making progress in obeying the One-Way directional signs at each store aisle…who’d-a-thunk we’d be doing such crazy things?!

b) My grocery store features “$5-Fridays”, with certain items reduced in price to attract shoppers.  The offers don’t always interest me, but I’m thankful cheese was the must-have bargain today!  Soon I’ll look like a “Big Cheese”🙂  But you’ll be proud of me…I resisted the bakery’s $5/dozen donuts.  (Okay, I confess:  yesterday I bought 2 packages of molasses cookies on sale.)

c) Very grateful for sunny days, and that dawn’s “bright” arrives earlier now.  Pandemic precautions may pinch, but they’d be far worse if this trying time had started in Fall–Winter, when DARK is the word.

d) Cinco de Mayo was less festive than in previous years, however I did make a fabulous “Layered Black Bean Dip”.  Delish and addictive…thankful I managed to eat only 2 pans of it throughout the week.  It’s easy/quick and I’ll happily share the recipe, if you request🙂

e) Exciting news:  I’m grateful to have been matched up with a nice Senior Companion Volunteer.  Our first meeting was by phone, or course, but I think it will be an enjoyable association once the end of “social distancing” permits face-to-face visits.

f) I continue thankful prayers for the extra financial/food assistance I’ve received…a huge blessing which I don’t take for granted.  This month, it enabled me to double the amount I send to the local mission which helps homeless and hungry folks in far-more-dire straits than mine.  I’m not boasting—merely glad and grateful to “be of use”.  The Lord loves a cheerful giver!*

g) Alrighty-then!  My concluding gratitude is always the same, and ever from my sincere heart.  I’m thankful the Lord God continues to find me worthy of His loving attention, protection and provision.  Everyday, each week, He fills me with His grace, hope, peace and JOY…abundance to share with you, my friends and family afar.  Thank you for your lovely comments, our little chats bless me big-time🙂

May God make His Presence known to you in special ways, enriching your days with surprise blessings as we “keep keeping-on”Rhen

*“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give , not out of regret or compulsion. For God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, Berean Study Bible

Glad Game #5 ~ Easter Blessings

Rhen’s blessed table ~

It’s a blessing to play Pollyanna’s “Glad Game” again, and share my “thankfuls’!

a) I’m grateful for lovely springtime we’re having in my area.  Sunny skies, air fragrant with budding blossoms…I can’t help but feel hopeful, despite continuing pandemic reports.

b) Never would I have dreamed I’d be nearly orgasmic seeing toilet paper on the store shelves—I grabbed my allotted one package thankfully🙂

c) I’m especially grateful the government is making gestures of generosity…I was stunned to discover my April assistance amount was increased bountifully.  God, from Whom all blessings flow, is GOOD to me!

d) Thus far, my neighborhood is not under mandated curfew or lockdown, and I’m very thankful.  Although I’m a stay-home person by nature, freedom to walk to the grocery store is beneficial.

d) My dearest friend has been sewing masks for family and special people, so I’m grateful I made “the list”…looking forward to seeing a made-with-love one in the mail soon.

e) I remain ever thankful for my “family” here on the blogs.  Everyone’s so thoughtful and caring…it’s easy to “love the World” from home, and offer encouragement.

f) Challenging as Covid-19 has been in too-many ways, I’m grateful it didn’t begin in winter when it’s difficult for me to walk outside.

g) I’m thankful recent health issues nudged me to start the process of getting resources I’d previously rejected…stubbornly keeping a vice-grip on my independence.  It’s admirable to resist being a “wimp”, and bravely do life alone…but everyone needs help sometimes, and it takes a different kind of courage, and humility to ask for it.

h) Holy Week will culminate with Easter, or Resurrection Sunday, and I’m hard-pressed to express the depth of my gratitude that Jesus would willingly be the New Covenant sacrifice for my sins.  Having His righteousness, so that I may stand before God without fear or shame, is the BEST GIFT EVER…and spending eternity in Heaven with Him—Wow, nothing can equal it.

i) With Sunday in mind, I’m thankful to have a full freezer and pantry!  I’m eager to cook one of my fave dishes, Smoky Clam & Scallops Chowder—and bake a dark chocolate cake.  Anybody hungry?🙂

j) As I write this, my friend’s daughter is laboring to deliver her second child, a boy…I’ll be an “honorary great-auntie” again.  I’m grateful already!

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.

Glad Game #4, Bookends, Etc

I’m glad I didn’t forget—in the flurry of April’s poetry celebration and prompts—that it’s time for another Glad Game’s list of gratitudes, á la Pollyanna!  Ready, set, go:

a) Grateful it’s April…spring is here and, in the Seattle area, we can look forward to brighter blue-sky, warmer sunny days (unless the rhyme about “April showers” holds true).

b) Thankful that the Internet is yet working and I’m still here with you, virtually.

c) Along with Spring, I’m grateful for April’s star-profile as National/Global Poetry Month.  I predict that hunkering down during Coronavirus will reap a crop of new poets trying their hands at writing verse (perhaps bored with games, movies, getting to know family and themselves, and heaven-forbid—books).

d) Thankful that a benefit of what my cousin calls “hibernating”, is more frequent phone visits🙂

e) Grateful for pastors (online/TV) who encourage us to pray and have hope…and “be of good courage”.  The pandemic is dangerous in ways besides severe illness and loss of life.  We can’t control Coronavirus, but we can choose how we think about things, regardless of our beliefs.

f) Over the weekend I was craving spice cake with cream cheese frosting.  I can honestly say I’m thankful the cake was not a success (combined 2 separate recipes)…cream cheese frosting on graham crackers is dreamy🙂

g) Grateful my new bookends arrived…I ordered a package of 4, and now have 33 books snugged between two of them.

h) For months, an old hymn’s melody played in my head…but I couldn’t recall lyrics or the title, to save my soul.  Last night I caught a clue, clicked on YouTube…I’m relieved, thankful to find:  “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”.

i) Grateful I found a new blog theme I like…it may need tweaking, but change is healthy, and a different header image is refreshing🙂

j) Thanks, always, blog-folk…you keep me hopping!

May God hold you all safe and wellRhen

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.

Glad Game #3

It’s time for Week 3 of Glad Game “gratitudes”, á la Pollyanna🙂

a) I’m grateful the wait-time, when I called the Census folks, was only 4 minutes…compared to Comcast’s 3 HOURS (I didn’t wait).

b) My “wellness exam” has been cancelled, for which I’m thankful…prescriptions refilled via fax, and a phone appointment scheduled next month🙂

c) I’m beyond grateful for my cousin, though we live too many miles apart.  She’s down to earth, a practical Texas gal with devout faith and an easy laugh.  When I’m having a hard day she usually knows the right encouraging things to say.  I  thank God for her

d) I’m blessed and thankful for pastor and author, Max Lucado, who posted on Facebook:  “Grant yourself permission to have a meltdown”.  I was in the midst of one, desperate for a message from someone who “gets it”.  He assured us we’re not “weak” or “lacking faith”, if stress from the pandemic is overwhelming us.  Whew, hope the crying jags are over!

e) Keys have been this week’s challenge…the laundry room one was briefly stuck in the lock (panic); the one for parcel box containing new bookends didn’t open ANY of several boxes, at first (panic).  So I’m grateful for just enough deep breaths to persevere, try again…success in both cases😉

f) I’m thankful to have Internet…since overload/lack of service seems to be the next big fear, equal to toilet paper shortage.

g) Last year I ordered enough books to fill bookcase…you can bet I’m grateful I won’t soon run out of good reading adventures😊

h) I’m so thankful that churches are conducting weekly services online; and that posts by many people are reflecting a genuine sense of caring community—we need to keep that, after the crisis passes

i) Knowing some physical work would absorb the mental stress, I’m grateful I got my laundry done, and what passes for “spring cleaning” (rearranged bedroom, vacuumed & dusted apartment)😅

j) I’m thankful that, despite meltdowns and nearly paralyzing uncertainty, I’m able to be grateful for MUCH…my faith in God’s goodness and sovereignty is holding steady, not diminishing.  God WILL bring us through—that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to Him!😇

I keep all the blog “fam” in my prayers—I’m grateful for you Rhen

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations,  2020 ~ All rights reserved.

Playing the Glad Game!

I’m inspired by the “gratitude” posts I read, and I’m more than glad to take opportunity to share some things I’m grateful for, and about.  Like Pollyanna, I’m going to make a goal of playing the *Glad Game…hopefully, each week (no specific day assigned yet).  So, here we go:

a) my toilet is fixed, Hallelujah!

b) did my grocery shopping yesterday (before the wind and rain), ready for St Pat’s dinner🍀

c) grateful for good books—my 2 current fave authors:  Fredrik Backman and Wm Kent Krueger; just finished Krueger’s fabulous Blood Hollow and started Beartown by Backman…already thoroughly engaging!

d) also reading Steven Furtick’s Seven-Mile Miracle, which I’m using as a Lenten study because the theme is the last 7 things Jesus said from the Cross (need I say I’m thankful for God’s grace?)

e) thankful for folks I meet on the blogs…a rich group of talented people with hugely generous hearts toward one another💕

f) glad and grateful the forecasted snow showers are only rain today, great excuse to not go out!

g) forever thankful for my best-sister-friend; we’ve not met in person, but her faithful love and support always exceed the long geographic miles between us💕

h) grateful I made the decision to reduce my cable cost by losing a bunch of TV channels I’ve not missed at all!

i) thankful to not be fearful about Coronavirus…maybe having other issues is a blessing😉 

j) always and ever grateful to JESUS, my Rock and Anchor…faith in Him is imperative to me, not an option.

I’ll add one more today:  I’m way glad and thankful it’s Friday, even if the 13th…I need a weekend, how ’bout you?


©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.