Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cee's Fun Foto Challenge: Big and small

Big and small is the theme of this next blog post I'm linking to Cee's Fun Foto Challenge:  Big and small

Small, bigger, and biggest cruise ships in Juneau, AK.  The smallest is actually a boat, but people can take a cruise on it and we did.

I liked the graduated windows going from big to small on on this building in Juneau, AK.

A big ewe with her small lamb

Monday, January 16, 2017

Share Your World - January 16, 2017

This week at Cee's Share Your World - January 16, 2017 we are given a series of questions from Netdancer's Musings post "Getting to Know Me - 50 Questions."  For the blog hop at Cee's we only have seven questions to answer.  These were fairly quick for me to answer.

1. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed? We don't really have a set habit on this.  It seems like we generally leave it partly ajar. If one of us arises before the other one, there is no opening of the door to make a disturbance.

2. Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotel? Most times we take our own toiletries to use.  We don't take either the unused items or the partially used items.

3. What is your usual bedtime?  Typically no earlier than 10:00 p.m. but sometimes as late as around 1:00 a.m.  I've set a goal this year to go to bed more regularly around 10:00 p.m.

4. Do you like to use post-it notes? I used to use them a lot, but I hardly use them at all now.  Now I put my notes on my iPad.

5. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper? Last week, but I don't write long letters on paper like I once did.  If I have a long letter to write, I tend to do it on the computer, print it, and include it with a short handwritten note.

6. Any phobias? I do not like being on a Ferris wheel when it stops at the top, and I do not like roller coasters.  A note of interest though is that I have go on rides at Disneyland that are a little like a roller coaster. They don't bother me if the ride is in a darkened building.  I guess not being able to see down makes it okay.

7. How tall are you? I used to be 5'8" tall but now I am two inches shorter.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? A quick look at my Ten Things of Thankful post that I did this weekend will fill you in on brought me joy which is what I get when I feel grateful.  This week I am looking forward to going to a meeting for the women in my church congregation.  Someone is going to be reviewing a book she has read.

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #132 Flame&Kiss

In this area we are in a cold season, so it is nice to have a challenge from Ronovan this week to make us think warmth.  I've written a haiku that I am linking to Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #132 Flame&Kiss.

beach bonfire dying
with small flames a kiss is sparked
between the lovers

Ten Things of Thankful

If you want to help yourself stay focused on positive things, remember throughout the week that on the weekend you plan to write about ten things for which you are grateful.  It helps one to think, do, and see things in a positive way.  By writing about them it gives you some things to review later on when you may be feeling a little down, and in the meantime, there might be someone who reads your list that will see life differently and be lifted and cheered by how you see life.

Here are my Ten Things of Thankful. (I'm linking this in the comments of another Ten Things of Thankful participant this week because we don't have a way to link up this week.)

1.  Although the snow and ice storm last weekend was bad enough here that church was cancelled, there was enough melting of the ice that by Tuesday I was able to get out to meet some other women for lunch.  It is always fun to get together and share things that perhaps we have learned, or concerns we might have.

2.  One evening my husband and I went to a surprise birthday celebration for a friend who was in town visiting relatives.  It had been several years since we had last seen one another.

3.  My husband and I went to see Hidden Figures.  We enjoyed the movie so much that we both want to read the book.

4.  One would think that our neighbors and ourselves were raising herds of deer.  They are an everyday occurrence and the herds just keep growing.

5.  I appreciate so much the patience of the nurses and aides at the nursing home where my mother resides.  People with Alzheimer's present their symptoms differently, and the staff needs the patience of Job to deal with some of these behaviors on a daily basis.  I pray daily for my Mother and the staff who not only cares for her but for the others there.

6.  Finally the last of the Christmas decorations are stored back in the storeroom.  I didn't even put very many up this year, but since there weren't that many, I just kept doing more urgent tasks first.  I'm thankful for those extra days of seeing the nativities on top of my piano.

7.  I started participating in a few blog hops that I hadn't been taking part:  ABC Wednesday, Weekly Writing Challenge, and Sundays Whirligig, and A Prompt Each Day.  I'm thankful for these blogs which help me recall memories in some instances, and in others push me to be more creative.

8.  I finished sending out thank you cards and notes to people I'd heard from after Christmas.

9.  With the start of a new year, I am off to trying to get back in the exercising mode (using the treadmill for more than a family room eyesore and doing some strengthening exercises that will help me get more flexible so when I need to get down to some lower shelves in a store, I can actually get back up on my own in a lady-like manner.  I feel like I'm off to a good start.

10. I am combining my treadmill exercising with listening to the scriptures I am studying this year. It seems that I retain more when I listen while exercising.  There is probably some kind of scientific explanation for this, but I don't know what it is.  When I read a book, my eyes tend to go back on a line and repeat what I have read, and it takes forever to read a book.

***One more thankful is for my husband and his love and support.  This life is so much more enjoyable with him at my side, whether it is to help keep me upright as we walked up a snowy, icy, sidewalk this week, or his giving me the encouragement and compliments to keep doing the things I do.  

Sunday, January 15, 2017

ABC Wednesday - A is for Ancestor

It is the first month of this new year, so I thought I'd participate in a blog hop that I haven't linked to in the past.  It is called ABC Wednesday.  Click on the link to see more about this challenge and to see what others have shared.  

A is for Ancestor

Melissa Edna Morgan
born 3 August 1878, Jennings County, Indiana
married 3 October 1904 Galveston, Galveston, Texas
died 12 November 1963 Hanford, Kings, California
my paternal grandmother

Note:  I am focusing on things about her that start with the letter A.  Those subjects are in bold print.

Melissa, or Lis, as many people called her, was always attired in a hat when she was in public because she lost most of her hair when she was young due to having a very high fever.  Her hair never grew back except for a few strands.  She put a net over those fine strands of hair, and then her hat.

She suffered from many adversities in her life.  She was the last child to be born to her mother who died of lockjaw when Melissa was between two and three years old.  She had no memories of her mother.  One of her Dad's sisters and her husband took Melissa to live with them in Kansas.  After spending some time there with her aunt, she went to live in a boarding house owned by a German couple. The couple treated her kindly and Melissa grew to love them as if they were her parents.  Her father, a miner, meanwhile married at least two more times and moved to Colorado.  She had very little contact with him.

She suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, painful varicose veins, and had one of her eyes removed because of a tumor.  When the eye was removed, she was left with an eye socket that constantly required at least daily cleaning of matter from the eye socket for the remainder of her life.  I was fascinated watching her remove her glass eye and putting it in a cup filled with water when she got ready to retire for the night.

Although not considered an adversity for some people, her height caused her to feel out of place.  Her husband and his siblings were not tall people.  Although Melissa's own father was described as being a very tall man, over six feet, with large hands, and Melissa probably took after him in height, she felt very self conscious about being 5'8" tall.

Some time after Melissa's youngest son was grown, their house burned to the ground.  The things that she missed the most were the family photos they had that burned in the fire.  She was able to obtain a few photos from some relatives after that, but the total fit in a small stationery box.  She enjoyed showing the photos to me as much as I liked seeing them and hearing her explain who the people were.

Most people considered one of my Grandmother's abilities as being an excellent cook.  Some of her cooking skills may have been learned while living at the boarding house.  She like many women in that day canned their own food.  She also made quilts.

Melissa was easily amused.  I remember clearly how she and I would find something funny and how we would giggle to the point it was hard to stop.  I hear that same giggle in my own daughters laughter.  One of her favorite shows to listen to on the radio was the Art Linkletter People are Funny show.  I suspect she enjoyed the sound of his laughter too.

She was an affectionate grandmother.  Since she had two sons and no daughters, and no other grandchildren other than my brother and myself, she may have felt especially close to her granddaughter who was also her first grandchild.  I remember her rocking me as she sat in a wooden rocking chair.  I doubt that I had started school yet.  I distinctly recall her looking at my little hands and telling me that she hoped that my hands would never become like hers (crippled from arthritis).  Perhaps she wanted to be the kind of grandmother she may not have come to know.  When she was taken to live with her aunt after her mother died, she most likely never saw her grandmothers again, as they lived in Indiana, and she lived in Kansas.

The actions of others, even if they are negative actions, can often teach something of importance to those around them.  I remember a conversation I had with my grandmother when I was in the second grade.  She had asked me who I sat with on the school bus.  When I told her the name of my friend, she was shocked to hear me say the name of a girl who had a Portuguese name.  That was when I felt disappointed, learning that my Grandmother was prejudiced.  Deep down I knew her way of thinking was not correct.  I don't know why she had this kind of prejudice.  Perhaps had she known her mother and her mother's ancestors she would have felt differently.  Some of them were involved with the Underground Railroad efforts.  What I learned at this early age was that it is possible to still love someone when they have disappointed you, but you don't have to embrace a negative action or thought the person has.  You can choose to think and act differently.

Although I only saw my grandmother twice a year after our family moved to another state when I was seven, I still felt quite close to her because I wrote letters to her frequently, and she wrote letters to me.  As an adult when I started trying to learn more about my ancestors, one of the first things I did was search for the name of my grandmother's mother and to learn about her mother's ancestors. It brought me a great deal of satisfaction to do what my grandmother had not been able to do, and it also made me feel even closer to my grandmother.

Sunday's Whirligig #94

This blog hop challenge is posted each Wednesday.  The link up begins the following Sunday at midnight (Pacific Time) and stays operable for one week.  The words to be included in your genre of writing is to include as many of the words in any form as you wish.  If you want to participate, click the link to read more about this challenge at Sunday's Whirligig #94.  This week's words come from "The Well of Grief" by David Whyte:  slip, well, grief, turning, place, breathe, source, glimmering, coins, thrown, something, still.  

My genre this week is a haiku of several stanzas in which I wrote about the nature of a fictitious lost human relationship. 

Lost to Anger

her mind was racing
as glimmering diamond fell
she could hardly breathe

her grief was a source
well beyond understanding
her hopes were slipping

dreams thrown like small coins
in fountain water they sank
to a still dark place

no longer something
they both were planning to share
their love forever

now turned forgetting 
the good things soured by harsh words
spoken in anger

Friday, January 13, 2017

Weekly Writing Challenge #71

This is my first time to participate in the blog hop Weekly Writing Challenge #71.  I thought I would write something for this challenge and then link up.  I decided to write a piece of flash fiction which includes (5) words given for this weeks post:  blood, present, progress, search, face.  It is acceptable to write poetry for this challenge too.

That summer morning she had just finished weighing the eggs, straining the milk and putting the raw milk into the refrigerator to cool when she heard someone fumbling to open the screen door from the porch to the kitchen.

Her Dad called urgently, "Open the door!  Get some thread, a needle, and the scissors."  He was cradling an injured squealing piglet in his arms.  He'd gone down to the barn to check on the American Landrace sow who was due to deliver anytime and found that she had already delivered ten little pigs and had accidentally stepped on one.  He brought the newborn piglet into the warm kitchen to do the needed suturing on its belly.

She hurried to the dining room where the sewing machine cabinet was and pulled open a drawer to search for the needed items.  Unsure what size needle her Dad would need, she brought the whole package of needles to him.  The anticipation of watching the procedure made her stomach squirm.  She didn't really want to be present for this surgical task her Dad was going to do.  After all, he wasn't  a vet, but her help was necessary.  Her Mom could have helped, but she had already left for town where she worked in an office as a secretary.

As her Dad began threading a needle in preparation for stitching up the gash, she tried to hold the piglet still so its innards didn't pop out.  She didn't like to face the gaping wound and see the blood, but she had to do it.  A couple of times she had to have stitches on the bottom of her chin, and knew how painful that was, so it was difficult for her to imagine the pain the piglet was experiencing.  She and her Dad worked together as they sat by the red metal kitchen table, similar to the tables many families had in the '50s.  Finally all the stitches were tied off.  She wondered if their efforts would be enough to save the piglet's life and whether the sow would accept it back.

After her Dad returned the piglet to the pen to join its mother and siblings, every few hours he went to the barn to check on the progress of the new piglets.  He wanted to make sure the sow was accepting each one of her babies, and especially the injured one.  

The American Landrace hogs were by nature good mothers and more gentle creatures than some other types of hogs they'd had in the past.  She was hopeful that this little one would live, but one never knew what was going to happen next on the farm.  She had learned not to get too attached to the animals, because she had learned early on that animals not only lived, but they died.

Click here for source of image.