Saturday, June 11, 2022

Ten Things of Thankful

It is a little hard to know where to start and to be honest, some of the things for which I am most grateful will only lightly be addressed in this post being linked to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Dyanne of Backsies Is What There Is Not.

To be visited by part of our family for a few days this week was delightful. I am still clinging to the memories they have left behind, the sounds of laughter, of discovering new uses for things in our home and areas of our home, and playing board games that were new to me, and yes, even getting in another game of Scrabble. Venturing off to one of the carousels and a park by a river, to a peony garden, and to visit an alpaca farm was so fun and especially since the rain for the most part waited until our family left.

A few days before they arrived I was able to go to the temple, and it just felt so good to be there once again.

1. Being able to get a sneak peek at the summer weather we think is on its way, even though an atmospheric river has been visiting parts of the state this weekend

A large patch of blue sky peeking through the 
clouds above the oak and fir trees

2. There were days when I was very busy getting a few things done
in preparation for having family come, but in spite of that, things seemed to go very smoothly and I didn't feel that I was spinning my wheels, unlike this cicada that hopped a ride on my clothes after I had worked outside a bit. I had not seen one up close, so while I was trying to learn more about cicadas, I put him on the counter and found out that his feet were not at all helpful in enabling him to walk quickly on such a slick surface. If those feet had been  wheels, they would have been spinning.

A cicada trying to walk on a 
slick counter 

3. After seeing quite a few wasp nests in the process of being built under the high eaves of the house, I was thankful that the pest exterminators were able to come a couple days later and get rid of the wasp nests.

4. Being able to see up close some of the details of the creations all around us is a blessing. I am thankful that my vision is good.

This light yellow peony blossom with pink tinges in
the center and its beautiful jewel-like anatomy 
is aptly named Garden Treasure

5. With all the rain that we have had, it seems that the robins are enjoying their surroundings more than ever, especially since so many worms have come to the surface making it easy pickings for them. This robin was singing from a branch in a tree in the peony gardens we went to see.

6. When we walked in a park earlier in the week, we were able to see the area where two rivers converged and became a much larger river. I guess I have taken the size of the river for granted over the years. 

A bridge over the expansive Calapooia-Willamette Confluence
in Albany, Oregon

7. The humor that comes from reading a fortune cookie, especially one that you are certain couldn't possibly be meant for you, and in fact was most likely intended for your spouse. When my fortune said, "If you go fishing, your catch will be plentiful," and you can count on one hand the number of times you have gone fishing, and that includes poking a broken branch towards a crawdad in the hopes he would latch on. To add even more humor to this scene, I was given an extra fortune cookie, and it was EMPTY! 😂

Fortune from fortune cookie

8. Rhododendrons grow wild in some of the forests in our state and there are nurseries who grow them as well. This is a very good year for the  rhododendrons. They add a beautiful splash of color! I am thankful for this one that has survived a lot of seasons on our property.

A fuchsia-colored rhododendron blossom

9. Just as people have different personalities and tendencies, so do alpacas. Although I have been to some alpaca farms in the past, I must have skipped the experience of feeding any. This time I joined in the fun and was somewhat amused by the behaviors of these alpacas. What caption would you give to this photo? (It is okay to have some fun with this.)

Alpaca (#1890) is apparently in a growth spurt and needs every
bit of those pellets in my hand.

10. The lewisia (bitterroot) is blooming! I may need to bring it inside so it doesn't drown in all these downpours.

Deep rose-colored blossoms on the lewisia (bitterroot)

I am grateful for Vic and and that we are able to look forward to another family visit this coming week and I am sure more laughter and fun.

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Friday, May 20, 2022

Ten Things of Thankful

As you begin to browse this list of ten items, for which I am thankful, you will see how very eclectic it is. Hopefully, this will encourage you to try writing a list of your own and sharing it on the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop where you can link up. Dyanne of Backsies Is What There Is Not is the Host of the blog hop.

A rosy checkermallow plant in bloom with a
yellow barestem biscuit root peeking out
below among the blades of grass 

1. The willingness of those who share with others their experiences and photos taken on a vacation some can only wish to take 

Some friends who had the opportunity to go on a trip to the Holy Land and see sites I have not seen in person prepared a fireside meeting for those who were interested in knowing more about their excursion and what they learned while they were there.

2. Being able to get the car serviced

Since I recently saw some signs that a mouse or mice had gotten into the interior of the car and I found and removed a large mouse nest in the spare tire well, having this appointment already scheduled was good timing in order to have the car thoroughly cleaned and checked for other areas the mice may have been. The good news was that they hadn’t destroyed any wiring.

3. Being able to schedule a day in June to attend the temple 

During the pandemic I have missed going to the temple and am looking forward to being able to go there again. It is such a peaceful quiet place to mediate and to serve.

4. Weather that cooperates with scheduled activities

There was a recent month when just about every day that we were scheduled to have the guy mow our property and do other yard care things, it was pouring down rain and made it impossible for the work to be done. I am thankful that although we have had frequent rain this month, more times than not, the days he has come have been mostly rain-free days.

5. The blessing of not having to return clothing ordered online

After carefully taking my measurements and comparing them with those on the company’s online chart, I placed my order in the hopes that the items would be true to the size on the chart.  While I know many do not mind having to return products, I do not like the hassle, so I was happy to find out it was a perfect fit.

6. Gopher snake

With underground rodents arousing from their winter hibernation, we were grateful to spot a Pacific gopher snake searching for its prey on our property. (They are harmless to humans.) 

7. A perfect day to burn some pruned and fallen limbs

There are only certain conditions when outdoor brush fires are allowed and when the wood has dried out enough for the flame to keep burning. The fire was completely out when by the designated time, but we were thankful for the return of rainfall the next morning just in case the site needing another good soaking.

8. Having the choice to take part in the election process

This week the results of the primary election in our state were announced. While it is nice now to not have our mailbox stuffed full of repetitive flyers about the various candidates, almost daily, having the opportunity to study the platforms and experience of the candidates via a plethora of information being spread by all kinds of media was at times both helpful and exhausting, but worth taking the time to do so.

9. Seeing a murmuration of three

One day this week as I was looking out the window, I noticed three juvenile starlings strutting across the grass, when all of a sudden they put on an air show for me. As if on command, they went skyward as if being drawn by some magnetic field that clicked them into a vee-shaped formation and then they dipped, soared, and turned at such a rapid pace it was hard to follow their path. It was fascinating to watch at such a close range. I have seen many large murmurations over the years, but never a *mini-murmuration.

10. Vic, from whom I have learned so much about native plants

A lone purple camas beginning to bloom among a
blanket of young collomia grandiflora plants
not yet in bloom

An evergreen huckleberry bush whose branches
are ladened with white blossoms tinged in pink

Yellow barestem biscuit root plant in bloom.
The blossom arrangements remind me of
bursts of yellow firecrackers exploding.

* This is what seems to best way to describe what I saw.

A big thankful for Vic, family and friends who bring laughter, joy, and ways to see this world in which we all live.

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Sunday, May 15, 2022

Ten Things of Thankful

Here is hoping that you as consider this day or this past week, or your life, you are able to see the rays of light making their way through the clouds and storms you might be in at the moment. I am linking up my thankful list to the blog hop, Ten Things of Thankful hosted by Dyanne of Backsies Is What There Is Not. Consider yourself invited to write your own post and link up.

Every life is filled with some sunshine and some storms

1. Newborn babies

Seeing videos of newborn animals taking their first steps makes me smile and sometimes laugh. To know that these animals will at some point produce more of their kind if we take care of them and the earth on which they live.

2. Forums

This week I watched a video of a forum that took place in March. Unfortunately it was just the speaker’s presentation and didn’t include the discussion that followed among the audience and the speaker which would have also been of interest to me.

3. Those who remember to look booth ways before crossing a street or turning into a lane of traffic

Drivers following the 35 mph speed limit certainly do not need someone forgetting this important rule. It was a close call, but no one was right behind me when I had to brake suddenly for the driver who almost forgot to turn and look.

4. Labels 

For many years I have used a certain topical cream on my back. When I recently tried to get some more of it, I picked up a couple of boxes of the containers which resembled the ones I had purchased in the past. It wasn’t until I got out to my car that I discovered that what I had just purchased was a cream for the feet, not my back. 😂 I returned them and got my money refunded. The humor of this situation is that when I got home, I discovered that the label on my almost empty container said it was also for use on the feet, and all this while I had been using it on my back. Thanks to online shopping I finally was able to order what I needed, as the two stores here were not going to be able to get any more until July.  Labels are only helpful if one reads the fine details.

5. Peppermint

The smell of peppermint has often reminded me of cookies, candy, gum, mints, or Christmas.  After recently discovering that once again a mouse, or mice had gained entry into our car and built a nest in the spare tire well, I needed to come up with a plan of action to avoid another entry in the dead of night. With some research, I discovered that there are some who vouch for the use of peppermint oil as a deterrent. Apparently mice hate the smell of peppermint. We will see if that is really going to work. (Years back I used bars of soap to hang in a mesh bag from a branch on a  tree or shrub to deter the deer from destroying them. It worked one year, but not the next!)

6. A different way of looking at the past

This week I watched a movie that was a documentary about the objects that were left in the house of the deceased grandmother of the film makers. I loved learning about the life of this woman who consented to being video taped as she responded to questions posed by her grandchildren in the years prior to her death. In addition, the creative approach the film makers took to share these items in the film were impressive.

7. Taking things one step at a time

Sometimes that is the only way to get through  the difficult moments.

8. Being able to mourn with those who mourn, even if it is via a live stream of the memorial service of their loved one and/or doing whatever else is possible to lessen their burden

9. A place to get help when you don’t know where to turn, whether it be for yourself or for someone you know

10. Vic, family and friends

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Saturday, May 7, 2022

Ten Things of Thankful

With another week having slipped quickly away, there are some of us feeling thankful who are writing a post to link up to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Dyanne of Backsies Is What There Is Not. If you have your own list of things for which your are thankful, and have a blog, won't you consider posting it on your blog and linking up. The more the merrier.

A wild sweet pea seen on the Oregon coast

1. My mother whom I still miss, but know that I will be able to see again (RIP Mom.)

2. We enjoyed an absolutely gorgeous day at the coast one day this week, which to me meant it wasn’t windy, wasn’t raining, and while I needed a light jacket, it wasn’t too cold outside. It helped too that it was a sunny day, unlike the majority of the days have been in the valley so far this month, and almost all of last month. (We don’t complain too much about the rain, nor the snow falling in the mountains, because of the severe drought like conditions last year.)

3. Since the day trip to the coast was in the middle of the week, there were not the crowds like would be the case on a weekend, so we took a chance and had an early lunch in a restaurant with very few occupants, in hopes of lessening our risk of a possibility of a Covid exposure. The New England clam chowder served in a bread bowl was delicious!

4. A surprise gift bag of homemade muffins and cookies from a friend in the area one day this week, just because she was thinking of us

5. Being able to get our tractor serviced and repaired

6. Voters’ pamphlets and online interviews with candidates where each candidate responds to the same questions (Our state has a closed Primary election, so at this point in time I am just trying to understand the viewpoints of the candidates of my party, but I will consider both sides of the aisle at the next election just because I think there is value in doing so before deciding who you think will be the best candidate for the job.)

7. Being able to schedule an appointment to have the car serviced soon and have the driver’s side window checked out before on some really rainy day I am not able to get the window to go up and stay up (The trick so far has been to keep my finger on the button for a few seconds after the window has gone up and then release my finger from the button.)

8. That I was able to stream the graduation proceedings for one of our grandsons who received his Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Engineering this week at the University of Utah

9. A treadmill that let me give it a try again even though I had ignored it for quite some time, and that I didn’t spend so much time on it that I won't want to do it again 

10. That some family members who recently got Covid are getting better

Vic, family, extended family and friends 

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Saturday, April 30, 2022

Ten Things of Thankful

Today I decided to focus my Ten Things of Thankful post on things that begin with the letter P, the first letter of my first name. For those of you who have been following some of the posts for this blog hop, you already know that the format varies from one participant to another and the format may fluctuate from one week to the next. 

Thank you Dyanne for faithfully hosting this blog hop each week and for fellow co-hosts, and others who stop by to read.  Click the Ten Things of Thankful link to see what else Dyanne has to say and click on the images at the bottom of the page to read what the participants in this blog hop are thankful for this week. BTW, click Backsies Is What There Is Not to check out Dyanne's own blog.

1. Plants

Years ago a friend gave me some little lilac tree starts, and this little lilac has struggled just to live because the deer rarely leave it be, so I was so surprised to see this blossom this week. I wish I could capture its scent and share it with you. My earliest memories of lilac trees are from watching my paternal grandmother clipping some blossoms from the lilacs trees that grew beside the back steps of my grandparents' home.

A white lilac blossom emerging through
its foliage

2. Phones

Gone are the days, when you couldn't move any further from the phone than the length of its cord. Gone are the days of trying to carry on a conversation interrupted by static, or clicks from those lifting the receiver in their home so they could listen in on the conversation of someone on the party line. Now one rarely is anywhere without their phone.

3. Photos

When I was leaving the house Friday to go on an errand, this little alligator lizard was waiting at the end of the ramp for me. Since my phone was within reach and he was posed so very still, I just had to take his picture. I fear he is missing his mate. (I found a dead alligator lizard in the driveway Thursday which I think had a fatal injury incurred by a weed eater earlier this week.)

Alligator lizard hanging out on a doormat

4. Plans

If you like to try to have some say as to what happens in your life, better prepare to make some plans and post those plans on a calendar. This week I was thankful that we were able to find a date and a sunny day (at least as far as forecasted now) so we can do something beyond the usual for fun.

5. Prayers

Giving thanks daily for ones blessings are just as important as praying for those who are sick, or are mourning, or who have been injured, or who are distressed. There are often other ways to reach out and do something specific to be of help, but other times praying is the only thing one can do.


6. Pudding

During my life, I have noticed that it seems there are those who really love pudding and those who eat just about any dessert other than pudding. For me, pudding has always been a favorite, but I realized early on eating pudding on a consistent basis was a much too easy way to put on extra pounds.

My favorite pudding as a very young child was butterscotch pudding, followed by tapioca pudding. When I was a middle-aged adult I bought a very old cookbook called Mrs. Owen's Cook Book and Useful Hints for the Household by Mrs. Frances E. Owens. The first copyright was 1882. My book shows a copyright of 1883. In it I found a recipe called Thickened Rice that calls for cooking a cup of rice and using the rice to make a pudding on top of the stove instead of the rice pudding that one bakes in the oven. The contributor of the recipe was a Lizzie Hill of Maysville, Kentucky. I had to laugh at her concluding remark about the pudding. . ."and is much nicer than one would think."  

7. Piano

This week, I decided to see if I could play the piano 15 minutes. What do you know! The keys still worked and my back didn't seem to show any aggravation from the effort for that day and that time. After fumbling a bit with some of the keys, the hymns were harmonious rather than discordant.

8. Physicians and pharmacists

Considering how many ways and times that a person is touched by the knowledge and skills of these professionals making it possible to heal quicker or improve our quality of life, I am thankful for the ways our lives and the lives of those we care about have been blessed this week.

9. Pick-up sticks and picky-up tools (better known as grabbers and reachers)

A game I remember playing and enjoying in the early 1950's was Pick-up sticks. It required some careful concentration and strategy to remove one of the sticks from the pile without moving any of the other sticks. My brother and I played it on the floor. One day this week I spied a pencil that had fallen from the nightstand and rolled slightly under the bed in a place that wasn't going to be easy to reach, short of moving the stand and getting down on the floor in a very confined space, none of which I wanted to do. So I did what I often do these days. I got my picky-up tool and retrieved the pencil lickety-split. This picky-up tool is a prized possession.

My "when I can't, it does" tool

10. People

Vic, family, friends, and the many who have touched my life in one way or another

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Saturday, April 23, 2022

Ten Things of Thankful - Retirement

Those who participate in the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Dyanne of Backsies Is What There Is Not include people of all ages. Although I don't know for certain, I suspect I am among the older crowd of posters here. Today's thoughts address some of the things for which I am thankful that revolve around this period of time many just can't wait to reach. 

This patch of English Daisies blossoms remind
me of the the different stages of our lives
different stages of our lives

1. Relaxation

One day this week when taking a little time to relax from a task, I fell asleep while sitting in a rocking chair reading. When I awoke I discovered that where my head had been resting on my hand was now rosy red. Good thing I woke up when I did, or I might have had a hard time explaining a bruise on my cheek. 

2. Exercising body and mind

During retirement years, there is no denying that there have been changes in what I do for exercising my body, but at least I still know the importance of doing it even if I have to make some modifications.  Strange as it may seem there this is no end of the ways to continue exercising my mind. Whether it be finding solutions to our everyday challenges, or wanting to learn how to become more skilled or knowledgeable in order to develop a new talent or improve upon an existing one.

3. Time

Time is enigma and seemingly becomes even more so the older I get. Many have tried to explain it and understand it. Has this been true for you? “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace.

4. Information

The gathering of information for one’s own use or for the needs of others is something from which few can escape, and it certainly didn’t stop when I retired. Although it can be tiring at times, it can also be rewarding.

5. Rest

Some might think that once a person retires, it is just a time to sit back and rest. Like anything else, too much of what might seem to be a good thing, can have it’s draw backs just as not taking time to rest regularly can  also rear its ugly head in unexpected ways.

6. Entertainment

This can come in various forms such as a diversion or distraction from one’s daily routines. It could be exciting and fun and in the end leaving one renewed and invigorated. Some of the things we have done in the past for entertainment are not as easy to do now. My grandmother used to work crossword puzzles, play Solitaire, and listen to Art Linkletter’s  People Are Funny show on her floor model radio. I can still remember her laughter. Remembering and sharing the memories provides entertainment for the giver and the receiver. Although I rarely do a crossword puzzle, there is no end to the possible online games. Wordle anyone? Quordle?

7. Music

One of the things couples become aware of is how their backgrounds are similar while at other times can be quite different from that of their mate. Our musical tastes were very different from one another in the beginning. As the years have gone by our musical tastes have grown closer together and along the way we have added many other favorites. Who knew that I would ever grow to like some of the country, western, and Appalachian music when my beginnings included being introduced to the Big Band sounds.

8. Energy

Although the little energizer bunny seems to be taking a vacation or found someone more up to his speed, once in a while I feel he is coming closer to the neighborhood, and for that I am grateful.

9. Necessities

Life often begins with budgeting even to obtain the necessities and then getting to the point when it is possibly to splurge and get some of those things that seeming make life more enjoyable. Then sooner or later things spiral back to realizing that all one really needs and can maintain are the necessities. Life goes full circle.

10. Trips

During the retirement years when one hears the word trips, it can be met with an alarmed expression or with excitement and anticipation in a good way. We have experienced both during our retirement years, fortunately more of the latter. These days some of the trips have been being able to virtually enjoy the places our family has been able to go. There are just so many ways to feel included and so different from a hundred plus years ago when people moved or traveled and were never heard of again.

Vic and our family and friends have made the years enjoyable and I am thankful for them.

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