Friday, January 19, 2018

Finish the Sentence Friday - Winter

This week there is an optional prompt word (winter) for this Stream of Consciousness post to write within five minutes. Our two co-hosts for the FTSF blog hop are Kristi Campbell of Finding Ninee and Kenya G. Johnson of Sporadically Yours. If you decide to join us in the blog up you can link up at either of their sites. Note: Each week the challenge is slightly different. Last week we wrote a Listicle about 10 favorites.

The deer approach most silently and look through the window of our home and show little surprise when we draw near. The solar panels on our hillside, together with the sun's rays, that are the cause of our lower electric bill provide a shelter of sorts for these deer. How nice that we can share the land with them and them with us.

Could it be that the white egret standing tall among a flock of sheep really was hoping to disguise itself among them, though they were not nearly so white? Perhaps not, and maybe the lesson here is to become one with those not quite like ourselves. Savor the diversity.

How is it possible for that red-tailed hawk almost at the top of a tree devoid of leaves to see a creature far below and within seconds be able to snatch it and be sated for a while. Patience and focus bring results.

Sounds of geese flying overhead have such a beckoning call, not just for them, but for me too of the desire to stay close to family, not just in the winter, but always.

Six Sentence Stories - Ripped

There are many ways to use a word, but this prompt word at Zoe's Six Sentence Stories - Ripped had me wondering what I could come up with for this blog hop. Click her link to read some more of these stories written in only six sentences. If you enjoy these kind of short writing challenges, considering writing one on your blog and linking up. Hope to see you there.

"Fiddlesticks," Lis mumbled as she stared at the small hole in the woolen sock she held between her arthritic hands while she slowly turned toward her nearby sewing basket that held her oft used wooden darning egg. "How could Claude have ripped a hole so quickly in the heel of his brand new socks that his Aunt Gussie made for him? Sometimes I wish I had a daughter to help me do the mending. Oh well, it isn't a very big hole, and there is still daylight so I can see what I am doing."

She parted the cotton lace curtains to let in some more light and then moved to her ornate high-backed wood rocker by the Philco floor radio console so she could better hear the Yankees playing. "Strike one," the announcer shouted as Lis began weaving the yarn from one edge of the hole to the other. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Ten Things of Thankful

Life goes on with its ups and downs and though we don't always anticipate just how things are going to transpire, sometimes we may have a hunch, a certain feeling that we have come to recognize, perhaps personal revelation or inspiration, there are some ways we can prepare ourselves emotionally, spiritually, physically, educationally, etc. Other times things happen totally unexpectedly which can bring us to our knees. 

Over the time I have been reading posts linked to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop I have realize even more fully, that we are all in this life together, and together we can lift one another to a higher plain by sharing those things for which we are thankful. For those who may be feeling a little down this week, perhaps something here will make you smile or make you feel just a wee bit better. Be sure to check out the other posts that are linked to Josie Two Shoes Ten Things of Thankful blog hop.

1. Lunches with friends. Three days in a row this past week I went out to eat at lunchtime. The first was at a buffet with other empty nesters. My husband and I attended this one together. The second one was at a Mexican restaurant that is owned and run by a Mexican couple who make and serve real Mexican food, not canned or ordered from elsewhere. Some other women from the church I attend met for this lunch. The third lunch was at a neighbor's home. She asked me to come to meet a new friend who was born in Japan. We thought perhaps the oriental woman I had recently met was the same person my neighbor had met. As it turned out they were not the same person, but it was a delight getting to know her and her background.

2. Timing that is just right. One day last week I was doing a couple of loads of laundry in the evening. The second load was just a few pair of jeans and a couple of other items and was waiting to be put into the dryer. A few items in the dryer still felt a bit damp, so I decided to run the dryer just a couple of more minutes. The dryer started running and then just stopped. . never to go again, no matter what. Since we have a drying rack, the wet load dried overnight on the rack, and I started considering a new dryer. I'm so glad that the first load of clothes wasn't the second load. There would have been a need for more drying racks. Have you experienced a time when the timing was just exactly right? 

Our old dryer is 16 years old, and older than the life span of dryers these days. January is a good time to get some appliances, because of the sales. I was able to get a good deal. The new one will be delivered tomorrow. I decided we really didn't need a dryer with lots of "bells and whistles" and simpler was better. Our older dryer had some options that I never used.

3. Little pills. This last week I returned for a follow up visit with my doctor about my blood pressure. It is doing better after several weeks of taking a blood pressure medication. Supplement capsules and tablets often are large, so having a very small pill to swallow is a blessing. The only downside of the little pills are being able to find them if you drop one or more on the floor. 

I'm not the only one in my family to like little pills. My paternal grandfather used to take Carters Little Liver Pills. I always assumed that he must have had some kind of a problem with his liver. Imagine my surprise upon reading a little history about these pills. I also grew up hearing the expression mentioned in the article.

4. No surprise discoveries when taking our car in for a check up. Yeah for just the usual oil change, tire rotation, etc.

5. Being able to navigate, although be it with a cane at times. Trying to go forward with my exercising at the fitness club has been slowed down. I only made it in once this past week. Until I get some answers and/or relief, I think it best to lay off the Silver and Fit. I have the silver, but not so much the fit right now.

6. Being able to use some gift cards. We received a couple of gift cards at Christmas to a show in Portland this past weekend. It couldn't have been a more beautiful day for driving to the state's largest city. Mt. Hood was displayed in all its splendor. We ate lunch down on the riverfront where we were able to overlook all the boats and yachts docked there. People were out walking their dogs. Families were strolling along the wharf. It was so relaxing. The show was Live From Here with Chris Thile in the Keller Auditorium. The guests were the Tune-Yards, Willie Watson, The Fairfield Four, and The Lucas Brothers. What a beautiful day!

7. Appreciation for the many condolences expressed to the family of President Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints last Friday. So many people over the years have felt his love and care for "the one."

8. Progress. I hope to always be able to look at the progress being made, for the courage of the oppressed, for the determination of people to speak up for what is right, what is kind, what is helpful, and what is moral. Now is not the time to close our eyes, to refuse to hear, and to retreat. 

9. Appreciation for those who have shown how to quietly resist injustice and for those who shared their talents to support in whatever way they could those who were more visible in their resistance movements.  May we all become more articulate in expressing what is right and showing that by our actions as well.

10. My husband's care and help this past week in my times of physical weakness. His reminders to me of when I just needed to go sit down so he could help were just what was necessary.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Finish the Sentence Friday - Listicle: My Favorite Things

It has been quite a while since I have linked up with the Finish the Sentence Friday blog hop hosted by Kristi Campbell of Finding Ninee. There is now a second host for this blog hop. Welcome Kenya Johnson of Sporadically Yours. In addition there have been some changes in the types of prompts. For instance, the second week of each month is a Listicle. This week's challenge is to share a list of 10 of your favorite things. Click here to read what other bloggers have shared.

Friday Listicle

1. Family. For me family is a favorite because I am able to see a part of me in them and them in me. This has caused me to reflect on so many different levels and is ever a learning experience.

2. Experiences that I have had that have brought me to this point in my life.

3. Knowledge I have that if all those people I hold dear and if all my possessions were to be destroyed, I would still be able to feel the love of God and be comforted by the Spirit.

4. Natural beauty of the world and the people in it. Nature in its pristine state is beautiful, but there is also something aesthetically pleasing about the changes caused upon the plants and formations due to natural forces of nature. So it is with people. The smooth skin of young children is in stark contrast to the wrinkles of the aged, but there is a beauty in those lines so deeply impressed that touches the heart of the observer.

5. Life stories. Listening to the stories of the lives of others and learning what they feel they have learned from their experiences can be a blessing to those who take their stories to heart.

6. Inspirational quotations. There is a plethora of memes, often humorous, but the ones that catch my attention are the ones that cause me to ponder and if I choose, to change my behaviors and become a better person. Sometimes the inspirational quotations are poetic. These draw me in, maybe because from my years as a young child, my heart and mind have been receptive to this style of writing. 

7. Hugs. What more can one say? A sincere heartfelt hug feeds the soul.

8. Thoughtful people. In a world that can often seem unrelentingly cruel because of the lack of compassion spoken or shown by some, there are so many who choose to be good, to do good, and look for ways to serve others, whether they know them or not. These thoughtful people come in all sizes, ages, colors, and nationalities and often unite with those seemingly quite different from themselves to unitedly make a difference in small ways or enormous ways. Often thoughtfulness can be done in magnanimous ways. (The origin of the word magnanimous is from the Latin magnanimus magnus "great" and animous "soul.")

9. The color blue. The color blue and especially blue/green hues are especially calming to me. 

10. Beautiful music. There are many kinds of music that I enjoy with as many reasons for why I do. I do know that music vibrates within me, but not necessarily in a loud or harsh way, but often in a very tender way, giving me reason to hope or courage to do, or reason to feel joy.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Ten Things of Thankful

This last week was a good week and a busy week. It was kind of a week filled with this and that as some of our weeks seem to be. I'll share a few things for which I am thankful and link my post to Josie Two Shoes The Things of Thankful blog hop. I hope you will click on the link to see what she shared as well as what the other bloggers linked to her site. 

(Captions under photos are detailed to help those who are sight impaired to be able to better enjoy the photos.)

1. Celebrating 101 years! It is not every day that we get to share a birthday celebration with someone who has lived 101 years, but this week we went up to the nursing center to join my Mom on her special day. 

I love this cute little smile and the twinkle in her eyes. This is how I want to remember her. 

2. Bakeries. I'm thankful for the beautiful, delicious cakes made at bakeries that make my life easier.

This is a white cake with a raspberry-cream filling. There is a simple plastic Happy Birthday banner resting on top of the cake and three candles (101) right after the banner. Candles are not allowed to be lit in the nursing center. (Note to self: If there is a next birthday for her, use all dark colored candles to make it more visible for her to see them.) At first she wasn't interested in eating any cake, but later changed her mind and seemed to enjoy her piece.

3. Videos about family members. It is a common thing now for people to show memorial videos at special times in a person's life. These videos may be a collection of photos taken in earlier years and/or videos. A few times my Mom has seen a video that my husband made of her life a number of years ago, the last time being when she turned 100 years old. In part of the video, my husband included a time when he interviewed my Mom talking with one of her brothers. Mom and my uncle reflected on things they remembered of when they were growing up. Each time Mom sees this video, it is like she is seeing it for the first time. It seems to awaken her mind a bit and bring her a little joy. She smiled almost all the time she was watching it this year on her birthday. That made me smile watching her smile. To be able to see her stand, walk, and speak clearly without hesitation was a delight. I think making a video of our own lives is the least we can do for ourselves and our children, so when our memories begin to slip, we and they can watch ourselves as we once appeared.

I felt sad for one of the residents at the nursing center when she saw Mom in the video and some people gathered around to watch the video. She asked, "Where's my picture?" I thought to myself how wonderful it would be for each resident to have some kind of a video of themselves in their earlier years to watch on occasion.

4. Weather accommodating days. Our bags of wood pellets for our pellet stove were dwindling. Since my husband carries them bag by bag into a room where we store them until needed, a pallet of bags of wood pellets taxes his strength. Doing this task on a day when it wasn't raining and the weather was "just right" made it doable for him. Since I am no help at all with this job, I'm thankful when it isn't too daunting for my husband.

5. The power of reading aloud to oneself. In an effort to better retain what I read, in this case scriptures, I decided to start reading aloud as I study daily. Reading softly to myself works to keep me focused and to remember what I read. I won't be trying this around other people though. Has anyone else found this to be beneficial? 

I was curious if there were any studies that had been done about the advantages of people reading aloud to themselves. Click the link to learn more this study that was done at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario.

6. Easy goals with good benefits. After seeing a post on Facebook about having a Good Things jar. I decided to do this. At the end of the day I write on a slip of paper the date and something good that happened that day. I fold the slip and put it into a quart jar. Later on, perhaps at a family gathering if others in the family have jars filled with their own "good things," there could be a sharing time. Maybe I'll just pull slips out to read on a quiet New Year's eve. Who knows? For now, it is a jar being filled a day at a time. Has anyone else tried this?

7. The humor of a stress ball. It isn't like me to buy some little trinket at the checkout stand, but recently I bought something that was labeled a "stress ball." My guess was that by squeezing the ball one could relieve some of their stress by expending energy into the ball, but the way this worked for me was to make me laugh at the contortions of the face on the ball. Either way works.

This yellow stress ball is about 6" around.  There is a simple face consisting of two big heart-shaped eyes and a smiling open mouth of black and a row of white at the top of the mouth to represent the teeth. It is sort of dented in on the right side just below the eye from where I had squeezed the ball. (It was hard to get the camera in focus before the indentations popped out. It really did appear a lot funnier. LOL)

The rest are for you. Practice for your next post. 
8. I am thankful for___________________________________

9. I am thankful for___________________________________

10. I am thankful for__________________________________

Wishing you all a great week!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Ten Things of Thankful

We exited the year 2017 in a very quiet way this year. I'm ready to reflect and share a few things that have made me smile and be grateful. I'm linking this post to Josie Two Shoes blog hop Ten Things of Thankful.

1. Spending time with my Mom on Christmas Day. She wasn't wearing her glasses when we arrived and we were told they were missing. When we took Mom into her room, my husband found her glasses on top of her night stand. They had been partially obscured by the some holiday items which had been  placed there.

2. Good intentions. It is difficult to find the perfect gift for someone. Sometimes it comes from not knowing what a person already has, what book they have already read, what sizes they wear and brands they prefer, things they are capable of doing or understanding, games they already have, or foods that they are unable to eat, etc. In the end, it is the thought that counts and knowing that someone cares and loves for you.

3. Feeling well, for the most part. While many have suffered from the flu or some version of it during many of the weeks in December in our state, my husband and I only had a very mild version for about a day and a half at the very end of December. I'm so thankful for that.

4. Spending time with our son and his family for a few days at the end of December. We were thankful they were able to travel down to see us. We played a game of Scrabble and another game my grandson brought with him (that was beyond my ability to learn quickly). Due to the light flu some of us had, we stayed home. All the grandkids had brought books to read, so they were content with that.

5. Safety in travels. The northwest corner of Washington was hit with a severe ice storm while our son and his family were here. There was quite a bit of concern about being able to return to their home on Saturday due to icy roads, fallen trees and power lines, and power outages. We were glad to get their call saying they had made it home safely.

6. Tiny things. One of my friends gave me some cute little Christmas tree ornaments made from buttons. She knows that we usually just decorate a small Norfolk pine that we have as a house plant.

I love these miniature trees made from buttons of varying sizes and hues. There is a yellow tree, a red tree, a green tree and a white tree. Each tree is topped by a button in the shape of a star and an wire with a little button on it so the ornament can be hung.

7. Humorous happenings. The last couple of months I've been trying to keep my weight under control. One of the ways that I thought I could manage that was to avoid doing a lot of baking around the holidays. Instead I bought a few jars of Lemon Curd to give to a few people on our hill. The humorous part of this story was discovering that one of those family's was giving the same gift, only a homemade version. We had a good laugh about that coincidence. Many years ago I bought a dress to give to one of my daughters for Christmas. My mother bought the same dress for me for Christmas that year. 

A 1/2-pint jar of lemon curd given to be by a dear neighbor.

8. Goals. I've been all over the map with this idea of making and working toward goals during my lifetime. A few short years ago when life seemed to be demanding more of my time and effort, I kind of let some of my goals coast as I needed to turn my focus elsewhere. During this last quarter of the year, I decided to "just try" reaching some goals in the remaining few months. I now have the feeling of accomplishment and renewed energy to go forward in 2018.

9. Words of encouragement via memes. I love seeing inspiring photos with encouraging words. There seem to be a lot of those at the beginning of this new year.

10. Home. There really is no place like home when it is a place of love and of refuge. I appreciate my husband so much for his love and support.

Wishing you all the best in this new year!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

When our family used to take trips to see my grandparents who lived where snow was never something that would be on the ground at Christmas, I remember thinking how strange it seemed to me to have sunshine and blue skies at that time of the year. Now having roads free of snow and ice is what I prefer, especially if I am traveling on curvy and/or hilly roads and in high elevations. So while certain parts of the country are dealing with the heavy snow, we are seeing sunshine, although with lower temperatures. Christmas Day is fast approaching, paying no heed to the temperatures. This year I kind of wish I could insert an extra week in the calendar before Christmas Day.

I am thankful for Josie Two Shoes blog hop and her reminders to share a post at her site Ten Things of Thankful. There are weeks when even with the reminders I mostly ponder possible entries instead of writing and sharing them, so I'll try to not let that happen again this week.


The last of the dental appointments for my Mom, at least for another six months, but my husband is up to the plate this week. Merry Christmas to our dentist. All kidding aside, he really is a great dentist. I recently learned that not all dentists and hygienists are as willing and able to do X-Rays, cleanings, and treatments for  patients who are wheelchair bound. I'm so thankful that my Mom's dentist is able to accommodate her situation. (If she had to have any drilling, etc. she would most likely need to that done elsewhere, i.e. hospital or ?.) Seriously, this is a topic that needs consideration. As people continue to live longer and with dental care having improved drastically and people able to continue to have their original teeth, there needs to be a way that people can receive dental care even though they may be wheelchair bound. This is also a concern of people who become disabled much earlier in their lives.

I'm thankful that what apparently was a little tendinitis on the top of one of my feet most likely came about because I hadn't quite matched my desires for increased fitness, and the energy I felt to get into gear, with my body's capabilities of doing so when I started going to the fitness club. After skipping a class at the fitness club and admitting to myself that it was okay to  take a different pace when I returned, my foot is getting back to normal.

Hair stylists who are willing to tackle cutting curly hair and all its quirks.

The natural curls that just keep appearing on the back of my head, apparently a gift to me in my mid seventies.

Did you know that there are some composers who offer downloadable free sheet music? It has been a while since I went to the site of one composer who does this. Today I printed off a few pages of her arrangements of Christmas music to play on the piano.
Understandably, one must adhere to the guidelines of how the 
music is used.

Real life experiences that remind me of the Savior and what he taught and how he lived. These happenings also remind me that there is so much goodness in people of all faiths and beliefs and good acts often promote a pay it forward action.

Date with my husband to see the movie, Wonder. It is an inspirational movie!

Discovering another way to increase my knowledge of the Spanish language by viewing some You Tube Spanish classes and listening to children's songs sung in Spanish on Pandora. The following songs sung by Jose Luis Orozco on this YouTube video would be fun to learn and sing with my great grandchildren.

Trying new recipes but revising them a bit to suit our tastes. We once in a great while have artichokes to eat and have always dipped the leaves in melted butter. Since I'm watching calories a lot more now, I searched for a less fattening dip and found one that uses yogurt, lemon juice, and a little garlic powder and dash of salt. Delicious! After recently cooking pork loin chops a few different ways, I found a recipe that we really like using apple and onion slices and pork loin chops. They are so good. I'm not sure I'm going to want to cook them any other way.

Scales, whether they are to weigh oneself or to weigh the food you are preparing, are beneficial. I suppose that with time, I will get to the point when I have an idea of how much certain portions of food items might weigh, but in the meantime, I'm weighing some things, like meat. Celebrating new numbers (good numbers)! For those of you who have a battle with numbers, whatever your particular battle may be, I think you can relate.

Wishing you all a very wonderful week.