Thursday, December 31, 2015

Share Your World 2015 Week #52

This is my last post linking to Share Your World 2015 Week #52.  Cee has thrown out some interesting questions and a sentence completion for this blog hop.  As you read how I've responded, think about how you might have answered these.  As you enter into 2016, maybe you will want to join a blog hop such as this one, assuming you have a blog.  Cee posts her Share Your World questions each Monday and gives us a week to link up.  My responses are in bold print.

1.  Tell how you are feeling today, in the form of a weather report.  (For example, partly cloudy, sunny with a chance of showers, etc.) My weather report would certainly be sunny with a chance of clouds and rain due to some personal concerns which haven't been answered yet.

2.  What is most memorable about your high school years?  My senior year would be my most memorable year because it was that year that I learned I would be the first in our family to attend college.  However, as it turned out, I only attended a little over a couple of years before getting married. 

3.  Have you ever owned a rock, pet rock, or gem that is not jewelry?  I began looking for agates in the gravel on our lane, and in the creek bed that ran through our property when I was eight years old.  Although I've not had a "pet rock," I've had pails filled with agates and other rocks at different times in my life.  Looking at gemstones in museums is something I enjoy, although don't do too often.

4.  Complete this sentence:  I like watching clouds, their different formations, and the speed at which they travel and change.

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.  This week is kind of a week of uncertainty, so I am hoping to stay calm and take things as they come. . . come what may.  Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to beginning a new year!


Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry #Challenge - #77 Year&New

With 2015 on its way out, I've written a haiku to link to Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry #Challenge - #77 Year&New.   I hope each one visiting this blog has a wonderful new year!

with night drawing nigh
the year fades into the new
dawn awaiting


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

TJ's Household Haiku Challenge - Attraction

What do you think of when you hear the word attraction?  If you have a blog and enjoy writing haiku, perhaps you will want to join in on TJ's Household Haiku Challenge - Attraction as I am doing here.  Each Saturday he posts a broad category of a household item, and we have a week to create a photo of it and our haiku that is inspired by it.  More details are available on his site as to how to write haiku and how to share the link to your post there.  You will also be able to find the links there of others who have written haiku using the same prompt.

lavender flowers'
attraction draws buzzing bees
to their sweet fragrance

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Ten Things of Thankful

This year has almost come to an end and it seems like I should do some kind of a recap.  Feel free to check out any of my older posts if you are curious why I started the blog, left it for a while, and then decided to resume posting here.  For now I'll just go forward posting those ten things for which I'm thankful this past week.  I'm linking this post up to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop.

One more family I know had to say goodbye for now to a loved one, a 22 year old son.  He was loved by a lot of family and friends and will be missed.  I was glad that the family could feel the love and support of so many of his and their friends at the funeral.  I feel sad for all of them having to endure this kind of pain anytime, but especially at a time of the year which is so often associated with feelings of joy and gladness.  I attended this funeral three days before Christmas and am thankful for the knowledge I have that families can be together in the hereafter.

This past week was filled with heavy rains and strong winds.  Some people experienced power outages and downed trees.  Those who needed to travel for holiday gatherings sometimes experienced  difficulties reaching their destinations on time, or even safely.  Although in the lower elevations, we had the wind and the rain, the mountainous regions experienced very heavy snow falls.  The skiers were elated, especially if they were able to get to slopes.  I'm thankful that we didn't have any downed trees on our lane or on the roads we most often travel.  I'm also thankful that the 65 mph winds forecast for our area one day did not come.  There were winds, but not what had been forecast.

I tried another new recipe this week that I really enjoyed.  It was for a pumpkin-apple quick bread.  I loved the moistness of it.  I don't do a lot of baking of desserts and bread now, because of the need to avoid so many sweets, but I couldn't resist.  It was Christmas, and besides, we shared some of it!  Finding new recipes to try is always a thankful in my book.

Today someone mentioned a free online course that interested me, so this afternoon I registered for it.  I think it will help me in my gospel studies.  Click here for more information about free online classes.  Not all are religion classes.

A friend loaned a book to me the other day.  She said she really liked it and thought I'd like it too.  It is a Newbery award winner (2002).  The book is titled, A Single Shard, by Linda Sue Park.  It was written for those ages 9 and up.  I've just begun to read it and can tell I'm going to enjoy reading this.  I'm thankful for friends who know me well enough to know what I might enjoy reading, for instance, some children's books.

Photos of family members, whether posted on FB, blogs, calendars that are given, or school photos are much appreciated.  As a child I remember school photos being sent in Christmas cards to the relatives.  It was a tradition.  Now photos are shared much more frequently due to modern day technology, and we don't need to wait until Christmas to see how much someone  has grown or changed. Nevertheless, that Christmas tradition lingers, and I love it.

Speaking of photos. . .I played around a bit with the Nikon camera this past week and got a much better shot of one of the Christmas cacti.  (For those of you who may not know, Christmas cacti do not have any spines that poke.)

Whether spread by many miles apart, or storms that make travel impossible, families are able to still feel connected at Christmas thanks again to technology.  We felt that connectedness and love.

I'm thankful for the thoughtful gifts we have received this past week.  We feel nourished in body, mind, and soul.  We have felt gleeful surprise.  We have laughed.  We look forward to expanding our knowledge too because of you.  Our life has been made easier because of you.  We are thankful for the love and association of not only family, but of friends.

Now I'm ready to venture into a new year with a heart full of gratitude.  I hope you might consider starting the year off by sharing your ten things of thankful on your blog, if you have one, and then linking up.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Ten Things of Thankful

This past week I took a week off from blogging.  I missed it, but just needed to take a break from some of the blog hops I participate in during the week.  This Ten Things of Thankful post will probably be kind of a condensed version, but here goes.

Monday I attended a viewing and gathering of family and friends of a dear friend of many years.  I'm thankful that she can once again be with her beloved husband who passed away six years ago.

This week I made four trips to the nursing home to visit with my Mom.  One of those visits entailed listening to a guest play the accordion for the residents, and one other visit included a Christmas Dessert social for the families and residents in Mom's portion of the nursing home.  I was touched by a beautiful act of kindness and thankfulness shown by the wife of one of the residents.  At the beginning of this last year she set a goal to make pieced quilts for each of the staff who work in the portion of the building where we were gathered.   She must have made 20 - 30 quilts.  They were each unique from the others.  Those who work at this nursing home truly are saints, as is this wonderful woman who made the quilts.  She is there most days to feed her husband his lunch too, since he is unable to do this himself.  Of course the staff would do that for him, and do when she is not there, but it does lighten their load when a family member can help out some of the times.

My husband and I both had a  couple of doctor appointments this week, just routine follow up type appointments.  I'm always thankful for knowledgeable doctors and equipment to determine the condition of our bodies.

My hope was to donate blood this last week, but due to a low hemoglobin count I wasn't able to do this.  I'll try it again in a couple of weeks.  If it is still low, I'll probably make an appointment with my doctor.  Donating blood is a good thing to do if one is able.  It is also one way to learn if you might have some health problem, such as being low in iron.

The women's group (Relief Society) from church held an activity Thursday night.  Due to the Christmas concerts, etc., not to mention the deluge of rain, it wasn't highly attended.  I went, but then again I live fairly close to the church building, and I don't have school concerts to attend.   I enjoyed the friendship and effort that had gone into making it an enjoyable evening.  I'm thankful for the dedication of others in providing activities that all can enjoy.

My husband helped me a little with learning how to use one of his cameras.  His cameras are much better than mine.  It was a quick little lesson inserted in the midst of a busy day.  I hope to become more proficient in using his camera.  I'm thankful for his patience.

Because of the continued heavy rains, I found that I was faced with driving through a portion of roadway the other day that had high water.  The road hadn't been closed yet.  Fortunately, there was a pickup behind me that saw my hesitancy, and passed me.  I watched to see where he drove and how high the water was on his wheels.  That gave me the confidence to give it a try.  There wasn't really a place to turn around.  The next day the road was closed.  I was thankful to discover this week that there is an online site that shows which roads have high water and which roads have been closed. I'm guessing there is one also that indicates where they have determined the ground to be too unstable along the roadways.  Some homes have slid down ground saturated steep hillsides.

For some reason, I've been having difficulty waking up enough when my alarm goes off in the morning.  I tend to turn it off, not even waking up enough to realize I need to get up or even remembering that it did ring.  Often my husband will already have gotten up, and he lets me sleep. He doesn't hear my alarm when he is elsewhere in the house.  Anyway, today he came in to see when I wanted to get up.  That's good!  However, it was over a half hour after I should have been at church.  I'm thankful that I can take things as they come.  For several months I have been singing with the choir at church.  This being the Sunday before Christmas, there was a special service with many different musical numbers, a couple of which that were done by the choir.  Fortunately, as it turned out, there were a couple of youth who filled in for me.  Yeah for the youth!  I'm sure their young voices are ever so much better than my "old as the hills" voice.  I'm glad they were there.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week and if your week involves traveling, that you will all be safe.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Ten Things of Thankful

For this blog hop, all that is suggested is to come up with ten things you are thankful for each week.  I'm linking this post up to Ten Things of Thankful.

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.
John Milton

Since we have had so much rain and flooding in the northwest part of the country this week, I am thankful that we live at a slightly higher elevation, but not so steep an elevation that we have to fear a mudslide.  I'm also thankful that a lot of snow has fallen in the mountains this week.  Hopefully it will stay cold enough up there, that we will build up a snow pack over the winter.

There have been many people involved in rescuing people due to the flooding, toppled trees, fires caused by lightning strikes, etc.  They each certainly deserve our thanks.

This week my heart has felt the needs of others and in some cases, I've been able to help by actually doing something, but for others, I've only been able to offer up my prayers in their behalf.  I find myself wondering whether what I do is enough.

It is wonderful that we live in a day and a time when we have transportation to travel quickly to visit someone.  If we were living a hundred years ago, what now may take a half hour to do, would have taken most of the day then, depending on the terrain and the reason for the visit.

The roofers came and hopefully finally fixed the leak we've had.  Yeah!

Although it isn't quite Christmas, my white Christmas cacti decided to start blooming this week.  Now I have all three colors of cacti blooming at the same time.  That doesn't usually happen.  I usually have a straggler.

I'm thankful for the opportunities I have had this week to share our meals with others, and to try out a wonderful new Hawaiian/Philipino restaurant.  The food is very tasty, and we will definitely be eating there again or getting the take-out like we did this time.

Knowing that my daughters were able to spend a week together doing some fun things warmed my heart.  It really is a blessing to have grown children who really do enjoy being together and doing things together when they can.  I know that some families have strained relationships and it saddens me when I see that kind of a situation.

I'm thankful that I was able to do a little bit of decorating and a little bit of holiday baking this week, as well being the recipient of some treats and gifts from others.

At the nursing home on Saturday, a clogger performed for some of the residents.  I took Mom down to the dining room to watch the performer.  It was really fun to watch the clogger dance.  She had come from another state to perform so her relative, who is a resident at the nursing home, could watch.  What a treat this was for all who gathered to watch!

This is one of the many trees that has been decorated by the staff for the residents at the nursing home to enjoy.  This tree was set up in the dining room where the clogger was performing.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry #Challenge #74 Cake and Wolf

This haiku blog hop just about went unchallenged by me this week, but I'm barely slipping under the wire to link up to Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry #Challenge #74 Cake and Wolf.

with the scent of rum
he began to wolf down the cake
failing to share

Friday, December 11, 2015

Follow Friday Four Fill-in-Fun - Week #239

This Friday blog hop is one that is supposed to be quick and easy, whatever comes into your mind to fill in the spaces in the statements provided by Hilary or a guest host.  The guest host this week is OBI at Eloquent Rambles, and she provided all the statements.  I'm linking my post to Friday Four Fill-in-Fun - Week #239.  My fill-ins are in bold print.

1.  Being willing to compromise is best in some situations.

2.  I am likely to not want to quit a project I am working on before it is finished.

3.  If I could take a class just for fun I would take a beginner's watercolor painting class.

4.  I cannot live without thinking about the well being of my family members.

How would you respond to this week's statements?

Cee's Black and White Photo Challenge: Starts with the letters B or W

For this blog hop photo challenge Cee has used the first letters of the words black and white.  I'm connecting this post to Cee's Black and White Photo Challenge:  Starts with the letters B or W.

Pudding River in Oregon

The Pudding River expanded its banks after the heavy rainfall this week.  That's a lot of water!

bridge over Pudding River in Oregon
This bridge over the Pudding River was closed due to how much high water there was on the road ahead.



Cee's Compose Yourself Challenge: Week #10 Using two-thirds of your photo frame

Last week I shared some photos using the rule of thirds in photography.  This week I've gathered some photos that use mostly the rest of the space in a photo.   I'm linking my post to Cee's Compose Yourself Challenge:  Week #10 Using 2/3 of your photo frame.

elephant at the Oregon Zoo in Portland
The little dark spot on the rock surface in the background naturally draws one's eyes to the darkness of the elephant's trunk and then on over to the rest of the body.  The elephant is the main subject and takes up the right two-thirds of the photo.

whooping cranes in Eastern Oregon
In this photo the whooping cranes with the white wispy clouds in the background are the main subjects and use the left two-thirds of the photo.  The right one-third of the photo has just a few clouds, but the eyes tend to see mostly the blue sky.

rhododendron blossom
The rhododendron blossom uses the left two-thirds of the photo.  The bokeh on the right one-third of the photo helps one to more clearly see the outline of the right side of the blossom's edge.

Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater structure at the Enchanted Forest in Oregon
The bright colors of the main subject taking up the left two-thirds of the photo immediately cause the viewer to focus on it rather than on the green background using almost all of the right one-third.  Although the foliage is still fairly defined, because it is mostly the same, one doesn't focus long on it.

basalt rocks near the Dee Wright observatory on the McKenzie Pass in Oregon
These basalt volcanic boulders use the bottom two-thirds of the photo with the sky using the remaining upper one-third of the photo.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Cee's Fun Foto Challenge: Metal and Wood

Metal and wood are sometimes united in some way, while at other times it is only in their close proximity.  I'll let you decide which it is for each of these photos on this post being linked to Cee's Fun Foto Challenge:  Metal and Wood.

wooden building, metal cars and crossing lights

wooden posts and metal chain-link fence

wooden oak hutch with metal handles

some wooden chests and metal carts

metal mower and wooden gate and fence

Share Your World - 2015 Week #49

Each Monday Cee posts four questions and a bonus question for bloggers to respond to on their blogs and then link their post to her site.  It is always a surprise to see what the questions will be and sometimes even a surprise when one determines how he/she is going to answer.  I'm linking this post to Share Your World - 2015 Week #49.  I've put the questions in bold print.

1.  What would be your ideal birthday present, and why?  It would be to feel free of pain which would allow me to move easily and enjoy every minute of the day.

2.  What color would you like your bedroom to be?  If the walls were painted, rather than natural wooden walls, I would prefer lighter colors such as a soft aqua, soft blue, soft green, or possibly egg shell.

3.  Would you prefer snowy winters, or not, and why?  I would prefer snowy winters in the mountains so there would sufficient water for the lower elevations in the summer.  I prefer not having snowy winters right where I live, because there are not enough snow plows to take care of heavy snow falls in our area.  There are a lot of hills which makes it quite difficult to drive safely on unplowed roads.  When we do have snow, it usually melts fairly quickly and makes for a muddy or slushy mess on some roads.

4.  Would you rather go a week without bathing, but be able to change your clothes, or a week without a change of clothes, but be able to bathe?  If I were doing a lot of outside chores, I would rather go a week without bathing, but be able to change my clothes.  If my tasks were less intensive household tasks, I would rather not have a change of clothes, but be able to bathe.

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.  This week I'm looking forward to making several visits to see friends in the area.

Won't you consider sharing your world?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Cee's Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2015 Week #49

In looking through some of my photos, I discovered some that might be eligible for the blog hop at Cee's Odd Ball Photo Challenge:  2015 Week #49.  Have you seen some strange things that just required a photo?  In reviewing some of your photos, do see something you hadn't noticed before that makes you laugh?  If so, you might consider sharing them on your blog and linking up to Cee's Odd Ball Photo Challenge.

Do you think your feet might get wet if you walked on this bridge?

What do you see?  I see a bear in this piece of driftwood.

I thought it was Joseph and Mary who had trouble finding a room.

TJ's Household Haiku Challenge - Keyhole

There are a couple of definitions for the word keyhole, so the one that usually comes to my mind, merits two of my haiku on this post and the other definition earns one.  This post is being linked to a blog hop at TJ's Household Haiku Challenge - Keyhole.  When you visit his site, you will be able to view the links to others' contributions for this challenge.  What would be your haiku for this challenge?

jewelry box keyhole

with only fake jewels
the keyhole isn't needed
'cause it's make believe

cedar chest keyhole

treasures can't be seen
by looking through the keyhole
the inside looks dark

'twas a simple dress
with a pearl in the keyhole
she looked elegant

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Ten Things of Thankful

Just because I might be one of the latest to post to the Ten Things of Thankful post each week doesn't mean I don't have plenty for which to be grateful.  It wouldn't feel right if I didn't acknowledge that each week.  Somehow it does my heart good to remember that even from time to time when there are disappointments, trials, sadness, illness, and the unknown awaiting, there are always good things to be noticed, enjoyed, felt, shared and given.

The passing of a dear woman that I have known for 34 years passed away last night.  I'm thankful that earlier in the week another friend and I had a nice visit with her.  Upon learning of her stroke yesterday, I went to see her in the hospital.  I learned she probably wouldn't be around for long and she was uncommunicative.

I'm thankful that this week I not only was able to meet for another Quarterly Focus meeting at the Nursing Center regarding my Mom's care and activity this past quarter, but a couple of days later I sat in when the physician spoke with Mom and examined her.  Sometimes I feel like a parent meeting with one of our children's teachers and getting a progress report.  I come away feeling proud of my Mom and of the staff.  They all seem to love her.  Physically she is doing quite well considering her advanced years.  The Alzheimer's doesn't get better, but that is the nature of this disease.

Earlier in the week we were able to have the lighting fixtures installed that we purchased recently.  Each time I walk into the storage room now, I just love not having to carry a flashlight to find what I need.  Eventually things do wear out and need to be replaced, but for one reason or another some things end up being put on the waiting list.  Such was the case with the lighting in this room.

It was wonderful to be able to attend a wedding reception yesterday.  In the city, one of the very old buildings that was a large department store when I was growing up, now has many smaller shops. On the top floor is a large room that can be reserved for meetings, receptions, etc.  The reception was held there.  It was wonderful to be able to gather with friends to enjoy this special occasion.

This time of year many homes and businesses have Christmas displays.  Saturday I attended the Nativity (which is actually a display of many nativities) at the Salem Oregon Stake Center.  A stake is just the name for a territorial division of my church.  Members of the church and people in the community who which to display their nativities do this each year.  It is a free event open to the public. I am thankful for this wonderful way to start off the month of December when we celebrate Christmas.

Although I still haven't started decorating my home, that will begin this week.  However, my Christmas cacti apparently decided that they were going to actually bloom for Christmas instead of blooming at Thanksgiving like some of them have done in the past.  This probably has something to do with the fact that the plants were moved to other places in the home earlier in the year when I had my back surgery.  The little begonia is still growing and blooming.  I'm beginning to wonder if the branch is strong enough for all the growth.   I'm thankful for the beauty and multiplicity of designs of flower blossoms just in my little part of the world, not to mention all those I haven't seen in other places.

As I was downloading some photos from my camera, I had quite a scare this evening.  I thought I'd ejected my card reader before the photos had finished downloading and not only that, I'd already reformatted my card.  I could only see just a few of my downloaded photos on the screen.  After considering the situation, I decided to close out of the Photo program and then reopen it.  I'm thankful for little thoughts like that, because my photos magically appeared.  Yeah!

I'm thankful for a sweet little handwritten note we received from a grandchild this week.

Today as I drove to visit with Mom, I listened to some beautiful classical music.  As a child I probably only heard music played by orchestras as notes all meshed together.  Over the years of my life I've discovered the beauty of hearing the melodies and refrains played by individual instruments or sections of an orchestra.  I think it is kind of like seeing a crowd, group, congregation, class, bouquet, etc. as a whole versus seeing the individuals or parts within each.  Each one has value and makes a contribution if we open our eyes and see.

I'm thankful for my husband and the love we share for one another.  He makes me laugh and smile, and we work as a team in helping one another "remember."

It is my hope that you will remember to be thankful for the little things, as well as the big things, throughout this coming week!


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Follow Friday Four Fill-in Fun - Week 238

It is time for that fun fill-in blog hop, Follow Friday Four Fill-in Fun - Week 238.  This week Hilary Grossman, blog hop host, has Elizabeth from Silver's Reviews to thank for all the fill-ins for us to do.
My fill-ins are in bold print.

1.  Try to treat others as you would want to be treated.

2.  Books are treasure troves of information to be discovered, learned, and remembered.

3.  Last week I chose not to resist the yummy sweets, and now I'm trying to lose the weight I gained.

4.  Later in life I hope I will have a clear memory.  (To see a video that depicts what I hope to escape, click here.)

The Lie

Once in a while the prompts from more than one blog hop can be combined into a story that can be linked to several blog hops.  By finishing a sentence, writing a story in exactly 100 words using only six sentences, I am able to link this story to the following blog hops:

Ivy's SSS - Lie

What I'm really trying to say is, he never supposed he would lie.  He knew the person quite well, so it must have been from fear that his uttered responses came forth not once, but three times.  Did he not fathom what he had done in those moments of darkness? It was later when he heard the crowing of the cock that he realized the magnitude of what he had said.  He knew his friend would not hold a grudge, or even the idea, "but I thought we were friends." Upon seeing the forgiving look of his friend, Peter wept.