Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Six Sentence Stories - Joint

Here is my quick six for my post for the Six Sentence Stories blog hop that Zoe administers. (okay, maybe not quite so quick) I'm not sure how Zoe continues to provide these cues each quick, but I'm glad she offers these writing challenges. I'm linking my post to Zoe's Six Sentence Stories - Joint. I wonder what stories others will write this week. If you have that same question, click the link so you can read the other stories, all written with just six sentences.

She remembered when she first saw him off in the distance with three of his male friends. He'd climbed a birch tree near a tall fence to sneak a peek of any potential materials on the other side that they might grab later that night.

With her female friends they once almost entered his territory in a cornfield at the edge of town at sundown. She'd noticed his strength and quickness in picking the fresh sweet corn, but she and her friends turned around and ventured elsewhere to pick, lest there be an encounter.

There was the one time when he approached her in the moonlight when she had been gazing at her reflection in the pond at the historic park in the middle of town. At that moment the attraction was almost instantaneous between the two of them, but as he followed her across the busy street they met a joint deathblow by a speeding oncoming car.

Photo of a raccoon looking down as he straddles a white branch of a birch tree.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

Since it is Labor Day Weekend, I am going to use that excuse for doing a quicker Ten Things of Thankful post using mostly photos to deliver my message this time. I'm linking my post to Josie Two Shoes' blog hop Ten Things of Thankful. Click the link to her site to find what others have shared this week. 

1. September is here and the pale purple crocus is right on schedule.

2. These delicious Criterion apples are almost ready to pick.

3. Although it is September, the summer heat wave is still  here, so our shady lane lined with oaks trees on one side and fir trees on the other helps drop the temperature a bit and at least gives the appearance of coolness.

4. Having a window near the top of our open loft allows for us to get a cool breeze in the evenings and let the hot air escape from the higher places in our home. Looking through the window and seeing the large maple leaves blowing in the wind is like looking at a painting. The painting changes each season.

5. Salads are frequently our main meal when the weather is hot. Thankfully we both enjoy them, and I appreciate not having to heat up the kitchen.

6. These pink carnations were part of a beautiful bouquet given to me about three weeks ago. As the different flowers were past their prime, I removed them and transferred the remaining ones into a smaller vase. Now I'm left with the carnations, which still smell very fragrant. I'm thankful for the thoughtful friend who gave them to me and the longevity of these flowers. Click the link to listen to one of my favorite songs when I was much younger.

7. After trying out a couple of different over-the-counter stabilizing products to use on my knee before seeing a doctor and then starting PT, I realized I didn't care for how they fit. When I went for PT this week, she asked if I'd tried any taping. She used some kinesiology tape on my knee and my ankle. What a difference! With the tape combined with the exercises she is having me do, I can see a huge improvement. Staying upright and feeling stable as I am, hopefully future falls will be out of the question.

8. Older movies are so much more enjoyable to me than some of the newer movies. I recently watched Never a Dull Moment, a comedy crime film that was made in 1968. There was an earlier version too, but this is the one I watched. It really made me laugh.

"What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul."
Yiddish Proverb

9. People who watch out for people and include them in activities are a blessing. Today I learned that a woman who visits her loved one in the nursing home where my Mom is included Mom in a summer picnic activity on a day we were out of town when our son was sustained as Bishop in his ward. She sat at a table with my Mom and her relative and enjoyed time with both of them. Mom even played a little game that involved placing colorful tiles on a board.

10. Unexpected flowers that my husband brought home for us to both enjoy made me smile. These orchids are a rose color with an abundance of tiny little darker rose colored dots on the petals. There is also another plant which has green variegated broad leaves and is planted in front of the orchid. There is a lighter green area in the middle of each leaf. 

May you have an enjoyable and safe Labor Day Weekend!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Six Sentence Stories - Bend

It is time for another post for the blog hop Six Sentence Stories. Zoe gives those who participate ample days to post their stories, and I appreciate that because sometimes life gets in the way or the inspiration just doesn't come. Today however, I'm ready to post at the beginning of that time allowance. I'm linking to Zoe's Six Sentence Stories - Bend. Be sure to click the link and see what creative juices this cue word has stirred up.

All of a sudden the car seemed very warm as her cheeks flushed and everyone quieted to hear her answer. Why was it so hard to speak up, to stand up for herself and say it didn't happen? Was it the shock that her friends might have believed what had been rumored? Was it because the instigator of the lie was older or that to defy someone wasn't a trait that was allowed in her home, at least not without the expectation of some kind of punishment? Even though she wanted to deny the rumor, somehow the words just didn't come out of her mouth and her friends were left to believe that the rumor about their shy friend was true. As the car came to a stop at the next corner, so did her life make an abrupt bend.

LDS Mormanad

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Six Sentence Stories - Border

Today I am just barely squeaking this little Six Sentence Story in under the radar. There is not much time to do this, so I'd better get on with it. I'm linking this one to Zoe's blog hop Six Sentence Stories - Border. By clicking the link you will have a chance to read what other stories have been written using the cue word border.

"Hold still," he said as he tipped her head back in an awkward position. He slipped the thread around her loose tooth and tightened the thread.

The light from a single lightbulb attached to a cord hanging from the ceiling glared down on her face. As she waited for her Dad to jerk quickly on the string, the room began to spin before her eyes and her body suddenly went limp. Her Dad caught her before she fell down onto the gray speckled linoleum covered floor.

She was still feeling a little dizzy and on the border of fainting again when her Dad smiled and placed the tooth in the palm of her hand.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

Where can we find evidence of the good things that are happening? That is my question for this week as I contemplate what to write for my Ten Things of Thankful post that I will be linking to Josie Two Shoes bloghop Ten Things of Thankful.

Ten things for which I give thanks. . .

1. The sky, but more specifically, the sun and the moon - It will be difficult to forget the ethereal display of light surrounding the moon on August 21. Even though the magnificent event mid morning didn't last very long, I am so grateful that the sky wasn't filled with clouds in our area which would have made it impossible to view the solar eclipse. Our son and his two daughters were able to join us that day and he and my husband had a great time discussing how to get the best photos as they waited for the opportune photo shoot.

2. Retirement - If it were not for being retired, I would have had to take sick leave a couple of times this past week for two PT appointments and a dental appointment, and would have had to make special arrangements to get our car serviced. My husband would have had the same challenge because of one follow-up medical appointment, and a yearly eye appointment.

3. That I can laugh at myself - I need some physical therapy to help me with some stability challenges I've been having. For one of my appointments this week, the therapist thought it would be helpful for me to walk in the grass between the sidewalk and the street in front of the therapy building. That probably doesn't sound too difficult, but she wanted me to walk as though I was walking a tightrope, the heel of one foot touching the toe of the other foot. The distance I had to walk was about 80 feet. She stood behind me ready to help me stay upright should I get wobbly. She had her work cut out for her, because this proved to be hard for me to do. I commented to her that I was wishing I'd worn something green or brown so I would blend into the surroundings better, rather than the purple pants which made me stand out like a sore thumb to the passengers in the cars passing by on their way to town. That wouldn't have been so bad, if I hadn't looked like a drunken sailor trying to walk the plank. This may have been a motivation for me to practice my PT exercises at home, so I don't repeat this humorous walk in the grass next time.

4. Clean air - Today is perhaps the smokiest day I've ever experienced here. There are a lot of active forest fires in our state, plus an air inversion here today. After going outside to put some trash in the garbage can, I returned quickly to the house, as the smoke is so intense it hurt my nose and stung my eyes. I feel for those who actually live closer to the fires. I'm thankful for all those days of the year when we have clean air. 

5. Online forums - These online sites offer a wealth of knowledge and experience and feedback from others to address just about any question or subject. I've used these sites frequently, especially when I don't know someone personally who might be able to assist me. Of course, I do a fair amount of research trying to find answers, but often the experience of others offers additional insight. How have online forums been helpful for you?

6. The impact of a quiet calming voice - I recently watched how a chaplain in a nursing home helped calm a new resident. The elderly lady had been put in a wheelchair and rolled out into the area where many of the residents eat their meals, but she was alarmed and yelling quite loudly and speaking unintelligibly for the most part. The chaplain got down to her level and spoke quietly and assuredly telling her that she was safe and that the people were there to protect her. He stayed right at her side continuing to speak softly. He remained there even after she became calm and she let an aide feed her. He left at the point she was being returned to her room. I remember years ago how a whisper from a teacher in a room full of preschoolers or kindergarteners could gradually get a bunch of rowdy children ready to transition to another activity. As a mother, I used this approach at times when our children were small. The following might be of help to those who have difficulty falling asleep. Apparently it helps some people to listen to a whispering voice.

7. Scrabble - I know that I've shared this one before, but I really do like playing this game, and do not get a chance to play it often. When our son was here last Monday, he played it with me that night. It ended up being probably the longest Scrabble game I'd ever played. I think that if either one of us expected it would take so long, we might have either started the game earlier, or not played it. Once started we were determined to finish it though. Both of us took turns trying to keep Old McDonald out of the picture.

8. Oldie Goldies - When I was a junior in high school I took a shorthand class. The teacher told us that we could check out a record of shorthand dictation so we could practice at home. Although I'd hoped that we could have a record player, that wish had fallen on deaf ears until not having one might interfere with me being able to get a good grade in shorthand. My parents bought the record player and also some very old records of music like my parents may have listened too when they were young. The music on the records sounded quite tinny, but it grew on me, like perhaps my Dad thought it might. (By the way, the record player did help me get the desired shorthand grades.) Do you enjoy listening to the music from your parents' generation?

9. Crickets - When we first moved into our home, it wasn't finished. We didn't even have walls up to separate rooms, so we used some paper, similar to that used to make brown paper grocery bags, to separate the rooms. It didn't do much to quiet sounds coming from the rooms. It was slightly better than having the whole family share one bedroom like many pioneer families did. Well, the first night after we moved in and after an exhausting day, there was a very loud cricket chirping that was disturbing my sleep. My family remembers me getting up that night hunting for the noisy intruder and putting him out of the house. Fast forward to the present day when I actually love the sound of what seems like armies of crickets chirping outside at night, or when a solar eclipse happens. Now it is a pleasant sound to me. Are there some sounds that you once disliked, but now like or perhaps even love?

10. My husband - He makes my world complete, by the things he says to brighten my day and the things he does to help my life be easier. It is so nice to be able to go through this season of our lives together and to be able to laugh as we stumble through it. 

I am thankful for the many people who have reached out to those who have been impacted by the horrible hurricane and accompanying flooding in Texas. Those who have experienced flooded homes and businesses are going to need a lot of help in the weeks and months ahead and need our prayers too.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

County and state fairs are cropping up on event calendars. School supplies are lining the shelves of the stores. Families are gathering for yearly reunions before the kids are back in school. Some people have tried to escape the hot weather by traveling to cooler places. Others have been able to go on their dream vacations. We are into the third week of August and the last month has flown by without a Ten Things of Thankful post from me since July 25. It is time for me to get something posted and linked to Josie Two Shoes Ten Things of Thankful blog up.

1. Contrasts - Sometimes it takes contrasts for people to be able to appreciate things and situations. For instance in our area we are able to have a change of seasons and temperatures which may bring along accompanying sweltering heat (105° F) here on August 3. With heat like that 85° F doesn't seem so bad. 

After days of sweltering temperatures in the valley, this overcast misty cool day on the Oregon coast felt quite refreshing. I took this photo from a high hilltop at Ecola State Park. As one glances through the Sitka spruce trees and shrubs lining the hillside, down below can be seen a number of sea stacks of varying heights in the water.

2. Historical places - When we were able to escape to the coast for three days this month to get away from the hot inland weather, we stayed in our neighboring state and explored a pioneer settlement.

This white picket fence is topped with pink climbing roses. A sign with the date 1892 and Oysterville Church is attached to the fence.

The Oysterville Church in Oysterville, Washington is painted white and has red trimmed window panes and a red door. The steeple with bell tower is alternately painted red and white in a horizontally striped fashion similar to the stripes on the USA flag. 

3. Goals - I'm thankful that through determination, hard work, and desire to work toward a goal, one of our grandsons received his white coat in a White Coat Ceremony today as he begins medical school.

4. People who care and who help - One of our daughters and her husband had a big move from a very large home into a much smaller home in another state this month. I'm thankful that there were people who were able to assist them in various ways in each state as they prepared to leave and as they arrived.

5. Aging - Yes there are some things that are difficult as one ages, but being able to look back and see the things one has learned over the years is a blessing. This month I turned another year older. I once thought as this age as old. My body reminds me that some aging is happening, but somewhere in my mind I still have times when I feel quite young.

6. Historical perspective - Having been born during the time WWII took place, some of the things I see transpiring in our country and in the world are of concern to me. When I see those who mimic the actions of those who brought terror into the hearts and minds of people during WWII, it is disheartening, but I also am glad to see many more who are speaking out to let it be known that they cherish freedom and those things for which the founding fathers fought.

7. Regular medical appointments - This month has been a month of yearly and follow-up appointments. It was a reminder to me of how important it is to get my scheduled dental cleaning done. The dentist always checks my teeth after the cleanings. Although I hadn't noticed any discomfort from any of my teeth, he discovered that I have a cracked tooth and filling in one of my molars. Although I am not ecstatic about needing another crown, with modernized dental care, this will just require one appointment. No doubt this tooth cracked when I fell and obtained the lovely black eye and bruised cheek on the same side of my face a month ago. I didn't consider going to see the dentist after the fall because I didn't notice any pain when chewing my food.

8. Calming music - What music soothes your soul? I've discovered that Hawaiian music can do that for me. What a treat it was to hear some individuals from the Marshall Islands singing at a alzheimer's/dementia center the other day. (I was visiting a friend at the center when they were having a Luau.) I recognized some of the music as songs on a CD I'd received this earlier this month. Here is a link where you will be able to watch a video of Hawaii Aloha.

9. Historical novels - After receiving a historical novel, The Life She Was Given, by Ellen Marie Wiseman this month, I've found it hard to put it down.

10. Attending memorable events - Last Sunday our son was sustained as the Bishop of the ward he attends (a congregation of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints within a given area). We were able to travel to be there for this special day. 

And speaking of historical, we are in the direct path of the total solar eclipse on Monday! Are any of my readers on the direct path for this event? 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Six Sentence Stories - Slip

Here is a quick read, which is what Six Sentence Stories is all about. I'm linking my story to Zoe's blog hop, Six Sentence Stories - Slip. It is going to be interesting to read the stories other bloggers have written using the cue word this time. If you are curious too, click the link and read their stories.

Dressed in her favorite well worn seersucker duster Velma slowly rummaged through her top dresser drawer and became distracted by things she'd not looked closely at in years, such as the little lace sachet filled with bits of lavender tucked back in one corner, and the small scented hankie pomander hidden out of sight.

For the reunion coming up in a few days, her much older half-sister, Verna, wanted her to wear the mauve gaberdine suit she had made for Velma's going away outfit all those many years ago. Velma and Verna had both stayed slender their entire lives, much to the chagrin of some of their heftier sisters, so donning the suit would not a problem.

As she continued to look through her unmentionables in the drawer, she finally found what she was looking for, but decided she'd better get a ride to town the next day to get a new one, as the once beautiful lace trim now looked tatty, and needed to be replaced as did the straps.

As she tried to make her way through the department store the next morning, she had to ask for directions several times as the store was looking unfamiliar, so finally she asked a very young salesgirl, "Where are the slips?"

The girl, who appeared to be the age of one of her granddaughters, seemed puzzled by Velma's question, and replied, "What is a slip?"