Two relaxing days

May 4, 2017 | My Jottings

I just got home from grocery shopping, and it’s so beautiful outside. It’s my definition of perfect weather — about sixty degrees, not humid, sunshiny, and an occasional faint breeze.

What is the weather where you are? If you could snap your fingers and make your own perfect weather, what would that look like for you? I know someone who functions best and is happiest when the temps are in the low nineties and the humidity is high. Every time I hear that I think I’m talking to an alien who can’t possibly have the same kind of human body the rest of us have… those kinds of conditions are at the bottom of my weather list.

I took this picture last week at the cemetery when I was walking. You can see that we don’t really have leaves yet, but there are little lime green buds popping out everywhere. I loved the bark on this tree, and the clinging lichen.

Yesterday I spent the day with a friend from the grief support group I attend. He has asked me to go out for a meal with him a couple of times now, and while this feels very strange, we’ve had nice times together. It feels unsettling because Michael is still in my blood and my mind and my heart, and will never not be. Ever.

My friend knows that I don’t ever want to get married again and am not looking for romance so we talk, walk, reminisce about our spouses, drive and listen to music, have lunch together, and occasionally text.

He lives an hour away from me in a log home in the woods, and he picked me up yesterday so we could take a drive up the north shore of Lake Superior, do a little light hiking near Gooseberry Falls, and then have a leisurely lunch together. The waterfalls were swollen from the snow melt, raging and breathtaking, and we sat on a bench and shared more of our stories with each other. His wife had lupus, cancer, and eventually dementia, which made the last ten years of their marriage arduous and sorrowful. He cared for her the whole time.

On the way home we stopped at this adorable place and we each selected a piece of freshly made candy to savor. I chose a caramel cream dipped in chocolate with a little sea salt sprinkled on top, he chose cashews dipped in dark chocolate.

It was a gift to appreciate the beauty of northern Minnesota in the spring, and I made a decision to try to walk more than I have been. Being outside is so healing, I know, but a woman who is a certified homebody and loves nesting and being cozy inside has to fight herself to get outside. Most of you probably don’t relate.

I’m getting ready to try a new recipe. It’s called African Peanut Soup, and if it’s as good as I’ve read, I’ll post a picture and share the recipe with you soon.

In closing, I think I’m past due for sending out a little gift like I used to do once in a while. It’s this CD, unopened, and it’s one of my favorites.

I’ll list three small grocery lists below, and you’ll have to guess which one is part of what I really bought today. For those who guess correctly, I’ll put your names in a hat and draw one name out at random, and then send you your CD in the mail!

Grocery List #1

Lemons and limes
Crunchy peanut butter
Extra lean ground beef
Grated cheddar cheese
Paper napkins
Box of barley

Grocery List #2

Old Home plain yogurt
Organic romaine lettuce
Unscented dryer sheets
Block of Monterey Jack cheese
Sweet potatoes
Organic chicken broth
Potato chips

Grocery List #3

Purple onions
Birthday card for grandson
Distilled water
Haagen-Dazs Peanut Butter and Chocolate ice cream
Deli shaved turkey
Triscuit crackers

I bought a lot of groceries today, much more than any of these lists, but only one of the lists has items that were in my cart. Go ahead and leave a comment below, and take a guess which is the accurate grocery list. I’ll wait a couple of days, then let you know who won.

I’m off to sink into my comfy overstuffed bedroom chair to do my CBS lesson now. Then I’ll change the furnace filter, pick up grandgirls from school, and get some dinner going. I’m so grateful for the occasional blank calendar day that allows me to renew and rest, and not have to go from one appointment to the next.

Who will win the music?


  1. Elizabeth says:

    African peanut soup is yummy. We have it when we’re in Ghana!

  2. Mariah says:

    I’m guessing number 3!

    What’s the weather here? It’s been hot, for here, but today cooled off again. I think the high today was 69. Much above 75 and things get uncomfortably warm for me, but only because the house we live in has no AC. Not many houses have AC here though, because we don’t often need it. The perfect climate for me would be warm enough to wear a sleeveless top all day and drink my morning coffee outside, sweater optional. Must have AC for that, though! πŸ™‚

  3. Diane says:

    Ideal weather: low 60s, either dense drizzly fog or intermittent (as brief as a smile)sunshine.

    Sooo happy for your pleasant time in a friend-ly companion-able trip up the shore. May you drink deeply of the loving-kindnesses the Lord sends your way!

    And as to your lists, I am baffled. I believe you may have embedded hints in there of things you would never consider buying (paper napkins? Old Home yogurt?, and it shows me that I need to learn more about your preferences! But with that, I will guess #3, because I believe Mr. McBoy’s birthday is soon?

  4. Nancy says:

    Sounds like you have a wonderful new friend and comrade. Friendships sustain us. What would we do without them? I agree with being outside. We’ve had a few good days and I’ve had some nice walks. God bless.

  5. Sue says:

    Hmmmm…my favorite weather is probably every day! I love the change of weather here in Northern Minnesota…warm, cold, wet, dry, snow, rain…I like them all. I am easy to please…(don’t ask my husband that, though). My BIL says his favorite season is “The Next One”, and I guess I would agree with that. How nice you have someone to do things with! Companionship is a blessing! As to your list…I have tried to figure it out, but I am going to go with a stab in the dark… #3.

  6. Ganeida says:

    Best weather would be in the 60’s, NO humidity, just after rain so everything smells wonderful but cool & sunshinny. It’s why I like our autumns. πŸ™‚

    I do a lovely Afrikan soup ~ sort of a thick satay with nuts. I love it!

    I love walking & being in nature but getting motivated to get up & at it is quite beyond me most of the time. I like it when I do it but I’m a reader & studier by nature.

    As for your shopping list full of strange & unknown items, I will go with #1 just because you can’t make your soup without peanut butter. πŸ˜€

  7. Helen in Switzerland says:

    I’m going for No 3 too!
    So glad you have a nice new friend to share adventures with!
    I’m trying to get out more and do more too Julie- but those homebody genes are strong inmate too! I am trying to do at least something in the garden every day – rain permitting – but right now it seems to be raining all the time, so I’m not getting very far!
    Love Helen

  8. Denel says:

    Grocery list #3!!!

  9. Ember says:

    I have no business saying this, but I will.

    Please don’t write off the possibility of new romance.

    My 2nd husband Bernard had a girlfriend before me after his wife died. She was a widow. They took long walks together, spent the entire time talking about their dead spouses and how they would never get over it and could never think of marrying again. They assured each other that neither of them would ever contemplate moving house because of all the memories. Then Bernard fell in love with and married me. That girlfriend was really upset – as I later discovered! Bernard never let on she was anything but a walking companion until well after he and I got married!! He always loved his previous wife and often spoke of her to me, but that was fine. At first his house was full of her belongings but gradually he felt able to let them go.

    But his time with me meant he had one last grand and glorious fling before he died. And when he died, his Annie came to take him home – I know she did, our Alice saw her come to meet him. And that was okay.

    My personal recommendation is that with this new friend you let things be what they are – enjoy his company, share your stories; but leave room for the new. Let there be some space for what’s just you and just him. The past is exactly that – the past. We never forget, we remember with gratitude, and maybe the ones we loved who have gone home ahead of us take a hand in planning the new and unexpected joys our time on earth still has to offer.

    We have room in our hearts for many loves. It’s not a betrayal of Michael if it turns out that this new friendship grows into romance.

  10. Just Julie says:

    Thank you to those of you who guessed! My list was actually #2, and I kept waiting for someone to take a stab at that one, but no takers. πŸ™‚ (At any given time, all of those things would be something I’d buy, but on that day, I had nothing of lists 1 and 3). So maybe I’ll put everyone’s name in a hat who did guess, and send the CD out that way. I’ll be in touch with the winner soon.

    And Ember, I appreciated your comments, and felt you had every business sharing with me. πŸ™‚ My sister in law advised me in much the same way, and I am taking to heart what you both have said. As best I can, anyway. Thank you again… xoxo

  11. Sandra says:

    Bummer I saw this too late. My guess was number two… As always days late and dollars short. Is there a way to subscribe to your blog?

    Hugs my friend

  12. Just Julie says:

    Hi Sandra, I *thought* there was a way to subscribe, but when I looked at the rss thing, it didn’t seem right. I contacted my web person and asked, and will get back with you. Thank you for asking! xoxo

    UPDATE: If you click on the “RSS Posts” on my left sidebar (down under all the monthly archives), it will give you a choice on how to sign up with Safari or Yahoo, etc.

    Or you can do what I do, and use Feedly. It’s an app/program that’s free, and once you sign up, you type in the url of any blog you want to subscribe to, and Feedly will have them right there for you, without you ever having to actually visit the site. I subscribe to several blogs this way, and usually check my Feedly once a day.

    I hope this hasn’t been too confusing.

  13. Sandra says:

    I will check out Feedly. Thanks for the info.

  14. Just Julie says:

    Have a good week Sandra!

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