Monday, November 30, 2015

Share Your World 2015 Week #48

Maybe by the time I get to question #3 I'll know how I want to respond to this part of Cee's blog hop, Share Your World 2015 Week #48.  Some things, I've just never considered, and #3 is one of those things.  It is always a fun experience to try to answer these questions and then to read how others who have linked to the blog hop have answered.

1.  Are you a hugger or a non-hugger?  I am a hugger of family members.  I'm more reserved about hugging other people.  It kind of depends on the people and the circumstances.

2.  What is your favorite toppings on pizza?  I love Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza.  This is popular on the west coast, but difficult to find on the east coast in the United States.

3.  If you were the original designer of one existing corporate logo, which one would you select?  I'm going to say Apple, because of its simplicity.  I think I could actually do that one.

4.  Complete this sentence:  Where I can seek my solace is anywhere I can feel peace, i.e. in my home, reading scriptures, praying, attending the temple, or walking or sitting in a beautiful quiet place outdoors.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  Please see my newest post of Ten Things of Thankful I wrote this weekend.  It lists things for which I was grateful last week.  Probably the thing I am looking forward to the most this week is seeing a Nativity display at my church this weekend.

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry #Challenge #73 Black&White

The sound of music is the thought that came to me when I saw this blog hop challenge at Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Challenge #73 Black&White.  I am linking my post to Ronovan's site.

her loved ones sang as
she played on black and white keys
beautiful carols

TJ's Household Haiku Challenge - Tile

This week there is just one word for the prompt on this blog hop post, but I've come up with two haiku.  I'm linking them to TJ's Household Haiku Challenge - Tile.

under the hot pan
the tile protected the table
from searing scorches

on the player's tray
the sole Q tile was waiting
for the letter U

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Cee's Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2015 Week #48

Here are some photos I have taken recently that I think may qualify as something different enough to post and link up to Cee's Odd Ball Photo Challenge:  2015 Week  #48.

These unusual formations on the rocky wall on the Oregon coast  almost look like bones.

This is Der Maibaum Pole (professional trades) in Mt. Angel, Oregon.

This photo was taken in the late afternoon and gave this deer eyes an very odd look.  There is something to change the red eyes, but I wasn't sure what could be done to change this.

Ten Things of Thankful

During the past week, which also happened to be the week we celebrated, Thanksgiving here in the United States, being grateful was very much on my mind.  I'm linking this post to the blog hop Ten Things of Thankful created by Lizzi and co-hosted by many others.

As you can see on the bottom of Lizzi's post, there are many others who are co-hosts.  Those things for which people are thankful run the whole gamut, and of course, may vary quite differently from week to week.  As you read of the things for which others are grateful, you may or may not feel the same way about certain things, because we are all our unique individual selves with our own lives and experiences. The wonderful thing about this blog hop is the respect and consideration each one gives to the others who share their thoughts here.  Through that mutual respect which is shown, there is a wonderful friendship which develops among the bloggers.

Here are some of the things for which I felt thankful this past week, besides the very obvious of my husband, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, and the blessings that come from the freedoms we enjoy.

1.  We learned that the really loud noise that we heard coming from the back of the car was easily fixed and wasn't going to be as an expensive a fix as original indicated.  (We apparently ran into something that was low enough to escape being hit by the bumper, but  high enough to jar the exhaust pipe slightly loose and create a loud racket.)

2.  We made a decision to get some new lighting fixtures for a storage room, and we can now look forward to a day this coming week when they will be installed.  The ceiling is high, so for our own safety we will have them professionally installed.

3.  I learned another couple of things about Photo and Preview on the Mac that will be beneficial to me in doing my blog posts.  I now know how to make a slide show using Preview, and also learned that on Preview I can create a sepia photo, which used to be available on iPhoto, but isn't on the updated Photo.  There are some other features on Preview which I think will be useful in the future too.  (I'm sharing this information, not because many of you who are so much more advanced than I am in blogging and in writing might benefit from this, but because I know there may be others who are just beginning to blog and may be Mac users too who may not know of these features.)

4. The beautiful sunny, however very cold nights, that were part of this Thanksgiving week were so appreciated.  I can't say enough about how very beautiful the days were!

5.  Our celebration of Thanksgiving with family actually came the day after the official Thanksgiving Day, because our son and family who live nearest, celebrated the day of Thanksgiving with another family member.  They came here that evening.  My husband and I forewent the usual big dinner on the actual day, and started the annual putting-on-of pounds the next day.  I appreciated my husband's help so much in getting the house ready for our visitors.  He is so good about anticipating what needs to be done that would be most helpful to me!

6. We always enjoy seeing how our children's family's have grown and matured.

7. We took a trip over to a nearby wildlife sanctuary part of one day.

8. We played some games, including my favorite game of all times, Scrabble.  The youngest granddaughter visiting played the word "oof."  I challenged it.  Well, although it didn't mean what she thought it did, it really is a word.  I guess I'm not as smart as a 10 year old!

9. After a day of feasting, I enjoyed taking an early evening walk with my daughter-in-law and the older of the grandchildren visiting.  It was nice to walk and talk and enjoy the scenery.  The sun was beginning to set and the sun cast a beautiful pink light on the mountains to the east.  It had kind of a surreal look.

10. The day our son and family returned home, we all went to visit my Mom at the nursing center.  We took her down to the dining room where there is a piano.  There the grandchildren took turns playing some pieces, and then our daughter-in-law accompanied while our grandson sang a piece.  After that we all joined in singing a Thanksgiving song and several Christmas songs.  Mom even tried to sing along with the family on some of the songs. We treasure the moments when she seems to remember some words to songs, even though it is very difficult for her to remember the names of people and who they are.

Our son and family treated us to a wonderful lunch at a well known restaurant in the town where Mom lives. As we exited the restaurant we enjoyed watching the Glockenspiel clock tower above the doorway.  Via the characters, one can learn the history of this Bavarian town.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Cee's Compose Yourself Photo Challenge: Week #8 Diagonal Lines

While looking through some of my photos I found several that I think work for posting and linking to the Cee's Compose Yourself Photo Challenge:  Week #8 Diagonal Lines.  Diagonal lines seem to be everywhere!

Exposed diagonal lines in the rocks by the ocean

Some diagonal markings on a zebra's hindquarters

Diagonal garden areas on this hillside which lead the eye downward

Diagonal roof line with a background of flowered diagonal hill

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Cee's Fun Foto Challenge: Kids or pets with toys

With families gathering soon over the holidays, it may be a time when people pull out games and toys  to keep everyone amused.  For Cee's Fun Foto Challenge:  Kids or pets with toys, I wish I had more photos for this blog hop challenge.  The photos I am posting are some that were taken quite a few years ago.  Some of these are kind of a loose interpretation of toys, but I hope you will still enjoy them.

Child on climbing toy at park

The tennis ball was his favorite toy.  The other toys were just living room adornments.

This little girl thought grasshoppers were toys.

Some books are ever as much fun as a toy.

Sand and water can be as entertaining as toys for these guys.

At a children's museum there was a wall of pins that these children enjoyed.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Share Your World - 2015 Week #47

This is one of my blog hop posts that I'm linking to Cee's Share Your World - 2015 Week #47.  I'm always curious as to what the questions will be each week.  Sometimes the questions are ones that I've never thought about, and make me think in a way I haven't done, such as #1.  Last week the fourth question was a rather question, but this week, we are being asked to respond with a list.

The letter S best describes me!

1.  In your native language which letter or character describes you best?  Why?  My native language is English.  The first letter that popped into my mind was the letter S.  I'm not sure why.  Here are some guesses though.  This letter has a soft open look.  I try to go with the flow of situations that arise, as long as they don't require me doing something that is totally against my beliefs, but I can go with the flow of allowing others to do what they wish as long as they are not doing harm to others or forcing others to do something against their will.  The word serendipity begins with this letter, and I enjoy serendipitous moments.  The word Savior begins with this letter, and I believe in Him.  The word senses begins with this letter, and I'm thankful for all the senses we have been given that we can more fully enjoy this world in which we live.  I'm beginning to think I can go on and on with this question, so I'd better move on to the next question.

2.  What is your greatest extravagance?  I've never thought of myself as being extravagant, so I guess, it would probably be indulging in some wonderful tasty dessert, like cheesecake.  When I asked my husband if he thought I was ever extravagant, he laughed like that was the funniest thing he'd ever heard, so I guess that finalizes it.  I am not extravagant.  He also didn't think ordering cheesecake counted as something extravagant, maybe because the pounds are going on me rather than on him.

3.  Do you prefer exercising your mind or your body?  How frequently do you do either?  It would have to be exercising my mind, but I do exercise my body too, just not as frequently.  I exercise my mind daily. Walking on the treadmill and riding the exercise bike daily doesn't seem to be as inviting.  I did do both today (before I read this blog hop challenge, so I'm off to a good start this week. :-)  I need to be better about doing the exercising of my body daily instead of just a few times a week.

4.  List at least 5 things that make you laugh.
*Listening to the laughter of babies
*Watching unusual antics of animals at play, i.e. squirrels trying to get to the bird feeders, although hunger rather than play is most likely the motivating force in this case

*Laughter that comes from hearing humorous real life experiences
*Old clips of Lucille Ball or Carol Burnett or youtube videos of Jeanne Robertson

*Remembering times I thought the words of songs were something different than what they actually were, i.e. "oh a tree in motion" instead of "poetry in motion"

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  See my newest post of Ten Things of Thankful I wrote this weekend.  It lists things for which I was grateful last week.  I'm looking forward this week to this season of Thanksgiving and seeing some of my family.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Ten Things of Thankful

After spending a couple of days at the coast, I have fresh in my mind and in my camera images I want to remember, but I'll share a few here on my post that I'm linking to  Lizzi's blog hop, Ten Things of Thankful.  At the end of each week many people link up to this site to share the things for which they are thankful, often things that took place in the preceding week.  Feel free to link up your own Ten Things of Thankful post to Lizzi's blog hop, or any of the other hosts listed at the bottom of her post.  Wherever you link up it will automatically show as linked on the other hosts' sites of Ten Things of Thankful.

1.  Thankful for a short-lived virus.  It was bound to happen sometime during the flu/cold season that my husband and I would get a bug of some sort.  Such was the case this week for us, but fortunately the episodes were confined to one day each.  There was a trip to the doctor for my husband just to rule out possibly a different problem.   There will be a follow-up visit in a another week for him, but since I had some of the same symptoms show up a day later, we are pretty sure we both had just a touch of some virus. 

2.  Thankful for fun opportunities to get to know new people.  3.  Thankful for those who plan activities that can be enjoyed equally by all age groups.  There was a wonderful "Friendship Activity" one evening at church for the women.  I felt better and was able to go and enjoy a couple of hours getting to know some of the women who have moved into the area and are now attending our church.  One of the activities involved bringing something that represented a personal interest.  Each item was  put into a paper bag and folded over at the top.  Everyone sat in a large circle.  One person started the game by picking a bag and pulling out the item within it.  She got to keep the article.  The person who brought it told why she had decided to bring that item.  It was a delightful way to get to know some of the interests of those there.   

4.  Thankful for inspiration.  I made some brownies to take for one of the desserts that would be shared at the Friendship Activity.  As kind of a last minute thought, I decided to mix some plain Greek yogurt with some powdered candy cane cocoa so people could spoon a dollop on their brownie if they wished.

5.  Thankful to spend a wonderful couple of days at the coast with my husband, (6) some wonderful friends, and (7) their black lab.  My husband and I spent a couple of days at the coast with another couple we have known for many years.  They brought their six-year old black lab with them.  She is petite, has silky ears and is very well behaved.  Her silky ears remind me of the ears of our last lab, so I instantly bonded with her. 

8.  Thankful for beautiful weather at the coast.  A couple of days previous to our travel, there had been high winds and heavy rains on some parts of the northern coastline, but the section of coast where we stayed hadn't been impacted by the storm as much.  The weather was beautiful both days we were there!

9.  Thankful for people who knew that the mushroom we saw was one of the poisonous ones.  We saw several interesting colorful mushrooms along one of the trails where we hiked. These were some I'd never seen, but was told not to touch them.  We also watched the dog carefully so she wouldn't decide to eat any of them.  When we got home I discovered online that they were indeed poisonous.

10.  Thankful to be able to see such interesting geological formations and perhaps to have an opportunity to later identify them.  I took several photos along a certain rock wall where there were formations of large oval areas almost resembling sliced enormous eggs, or trees, or who knows what.  I would certainly be interested in learning what these circular formations are.

Extra Thankfuls

11.  Thankful for music to brighten my day.  One day during the week, I listened to a different radio station than I usually do when I am traveling up to see my Mom.  The station happened to be playing very old Westerns, probably from the 30's and '40's eras.  Old Westerns aren't my usual genre, but I found it very interesting to listen to the words in the songs and to enjoy the beat of the music. 

12.  Thankful for little newborn lambs.  I was surprised to see some very newborn lambs in one of the fields we drove by this week.  This seems earlier than usual for lambing, but they really did look cute!

13.  Thankful for my beautiful little begonia which is continuing to show me that even though it waited years to bloom, it really does know how to bloom!  This begonia is just blooming for all it is worth.  I'm really enjoying watching it burst forth in glorious red.

14.  Thankful for the season of Thanksgiving.  I hope each one is able to enjoy this season and truly feel some sense of gratitude.

Cee's Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2015 Week #47

On a recent trip to the beach, I captured these three photos that I want to post here and link up to Cee's Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2015 Week #47.  Perhaps you will find them to be a little odd too.

To me, this resembles an ancient dinosaur reaching down to drink from the ocean.

This one  resembles a very large snake or lizard of some sort getting ready to eat the log.

Someone left this message in the sand using shells

Saturday, November 21, 2015

FTSF - The hardship I'm most thankful for

There probably isn't anyone who didn't at some point in their life think they had some kind of a hardship.  The challenge at Kristi's blog hop, Finish the Sentence Friday - The hardship I'm most thankful for, wants us to write a post on that subject before linking up.

Looking back, I think I can safely say through all my hardships, challenges, and trials, or those things I may have viewed as such, I have learned something beneficial.  I know that some of those experiences proffer more than one lesson, not necessarily being taught in hindsight even at the same time.  As a child, there are things that seem hugely insurmountable at times, and of course often a few years seem very minor considering what one has come to know later.

Until I was in my teens, I knew I lived on a farm and had daily farm chores to do and didn't get to go play at the homes of friends or to invite others to our home.  There were always chores to be done and with my parents' working away from home and their rotating work schedules, it wasn't possible to be driven to go to other homes to play or to invite friends to our home, except on rare occasions.  That was life.  

When I went from a two-room school to a large junior high in the city, I quickly became aware of cliques that probably had already begun within the walls of the larger elementary schools and carried over into junior high.  I was very shy and I didn't know where I fit in. Students that were in my very small class in sixth grade elementary class seemed to be in entirely different classes than I was in junior high. Because of the dynamics of my family and maybe thinking that there wouldn't have been anything they could do to help me, I didn't speak about my feelings with my parents. It wasn't until a number of years later that I learned that probably the majority of kids felt insecure during their junior high years for various reasons.  It was only much later that I learned how helpful it is to be able to give voice to one's feelings.

I remember wishing I could live in town, somehow thinking that would make my life so much easier and I would somehow have the opportunities that some of the other kids did.  Of course I didn't  realize that those opportunities didn't come without a price.  In reality, there were many school buses which drove into the countrysides outside the city limits to pickup and deliver students from and to their homes.  Some students lived on farms and some didn't.  Most students probably had at least some chores to do.  There were probably some kids who wished that they could live on a farm, thinking that it would be wonderful to ride horses all day, or having some other entirely unrealistic view of farm life. 

Reviewing that period of my life, with all the experiences, I can now be grateful for the many sacrifices my parents made that gave me opportunities to learn some important lessons.  These lessons continue to come, although the format changes from time to time, depending on what I need to learn at that given period of time.  Such was and is my life, and I'm grateful for it.


Six Sentence Stories - Division

This brief story may be an indication of where my thoughts or lack of thoughts are at this time.  I'm linking this post to Ivy's Six Sentence Stories - Division.

At what point does the mind decide it is no longer going to keep adding memories?  On some occasions instead of adding a single memory of an event, there are multiple thoughts that get embedded in the brain to be recalled off and on for years.  For a great many people, somewhere in the later stages of aging, the memories of new experiences fail to linger as long in one's thoughts.  No longer are multiple memories associated with what happened in the recent past.  Is there a time for each person's body to have its own house cleaning or hard drive cleaned?  Is it somehow best for certain people to have that great division of their thoughts before leaving this existence and entering the next and somehow being rewired?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Cee's Black and White Photo Challenge: Open topic

This week there was a surprise topic at one of the blog hops, and it is Cee's Black and White Photo Challenge:  Open topic.  That means we get to choose whatever photos we wish to share!

Here are my three entries for this week.

Cee's Compose Yourself Challenge: Week #7 Vertical Lines

It is time for me to try another challenge.  I'm linking this photography post to a blog hop at Cee's Compose Yourself Challenge:  Week #7 Vertical Lines.  At first I thought I had some photos that would work, but as I was selecting them, I also thought they weren't that interesting.  When Cee posted the challenge and I read her explanations about what kind of photos work well for this challenge, I went back to the drawing board and selected some other photos.  Here are the ones that I felt were more interesting than my first selection.

Unedited photo, before cropping so egret is centered

The eye is taken vertically from the reflection in the water to the body of the egret up its very straight neck and then to the top of the reeds. This is a very simple photo, but I really liked capturing the egret when its neck was so absolutely straight.  Having a better reflection would have made it even better.

Unedited photo, before straightening and cropping out bench and telephone pole

The eyes see the flowering tulips at the lower left, then the miniature windmill, the the fir tree, and then the wisp of a cloud. It would have been better if I'd had a little more of the cloud at the top. 

Unedited photo, before cropping some of the clouds and shoreline on left
The eyes move vertically from the water in sand to the steps of waves to the sunset to the clouds.

Unedited photo, before slight straightening

There are a couple of ways the eyes see this building vertically.  One is to go to the clock, then the windows, and finally the spire.  The other is to glance upward on either of the columns on the side of the clock and then move to the spire.

Unedited photo, before cropping on right side

The eyes may focus on the fisherman, then the pole by him, and the the tops of the trees across the river.  Another way to see vertically, is to follow the white tops of the poles and then to the tops of the trees across the river from the pole at the bottom of the ramp.