Thursday, December 29, 2016

Six Sentence Stories - Patience

One never knows what life stories she will have.  Some are good and some not so good, but like most stories we learn from them.  I am linking my story to Six Sentence Stories - Patience. Perhaps you have had a similar experience, but I hope not.

What were those white things on her that seemed to be so illusive as she tried over and over to pick them up with her 97-year-old arthritic hands.  Each time she tried, she failed, and finally in desperation she turned to her daughter sitting beside her and asked her to pick them up and toss them away.  The daughter at first said that she couldn't see anything, which only caused her mother to become more frustrated, replying, "You can't see them; well look closer!"

The lightbulb went on in her daughter's mind, when she said as she pretended to be picking something off her mother's blanket and tossing it into the nearby trash can, "There I threw it away!"  Her mother, looking down on the white blanket replied, "Well, I can still see it!"

Reality would start returning as soon as the doctor got the test results and medication could be started for a common infection of many elderly patients, but for the next few hours her daughter would try her best to attain a high level of patience as she tried to distract her mother from those bothersome things (animal, mineral, or vegetable?) upon which she was fixated.

2017 Possibilities and Dreams

My daughter shared this new blog hop challenge with me that she found at Nancy's Wyoming Breezes - Want to Join Me.  I will be linking my post to Nancy's site.  The directions are fairly simple and is an easy way to remember your 2017 Possibilities and Dreams. Doesn't that sound a little nicer than goal setting?  Check out Nancy's site and join along if this sounds like something you want to do.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Cee's Which Way Photo Challenge - December 28, 2016

For my final post of the year that I am linking to Cee's Which Way Photo Challenge - December 28, 2016, I've selected three photos that were taken on travels in the northwest this year.  Enjoy, and be sure to visit Cee's site to see other photos participants have shared for this blog hop.

Some stone steps leading from the trail down to a lake near Juneau, AK

This trail near Juneau AK was great for hikers and those on bicycles.

Roads near Deming, WA

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

CFFC: Duck Duck Goose

Young children used to play the game called Duck Duck Goose, one of those circle games kind of like Drop the Handkerchief, only instead of dropping a handkerchief behind some one, the person who is it, taps each seated child on the head while saying either "duck" or "goose."  When the child who is seated hears the word "goose" instead of the word "duck" when he is tapped, he gets up and chases the child who is it and tries to tag him before he is able to run around the circle and sit down in the empty space (the goose's space).

In looking through my photos I found one which works perfectly for this post that I am linking to Cee's Fun Foto Challenge:  Duck Duck Goose, because the photo has both ducks and geese.  As I was taking this photo I had to hurry, because at this park the ducks and the geese have been given treats quite often by the park visitors.  Since I had no treats to offer, I snapped my photo and hurried back to my car.

Ducks and geese

Monday, December 26, 2016

Share Your World - 2016 Week 52

This is my last post that I will be linking to Cee's Share Your World - 2016 Week 52 in 2016!  I love the questions and sentence completion she gave us.  By the way, the questions, sentence completions, or lists we are given change from week to week.  These are not meant to take a lot of time answering.  Usually something comes to mind fairly quickly.  If you enjoy blog hops, consider joining in with this one.

Here are my responses.

1.  What's your favorite ice-cream flavor?  As a kid, I would have answered Neapolitan because there weren't that many ice cream flavors available then, and Neapolitan came with three flavors.  Now however, in the age of plenty, there is hardly a limitation of anything, ice cream included, so narrowing it down to one favorite flavor is really difficult.  Here are some favorites of mine:  lemon custard, maple nut, mint chocolate, and strawberry cheesecake.

A summertime favorite - peach shortcake with vanilla ice cream

2.  If you were to treat yourself to the "finer things" what would you treat yourself to?  A finer thing, would actually be the finest thing, and that would be to be able to bring joy to my Mother who lives in a nursing home and has advanced Alzheimer's.  I would love to be able to treat her to a day trip in a large comfy transport vehicle that has a handicapped accessible bathroom in it, large windows at a level that would enable her to see the beautiful scenery outside, a driver that is used to transporting people in her condition, and a couple of aides to assist her.  Of course I would want to travel with her so it would feel like the two of us were going on an outing together and it would make her happy.

A couple of "finer things" that would  turn into "finest things" if they could include a family member would be tickets and travel expenses to attend an AndrĂ© Rieu concert, or an Andrea Bocelli concert, or a Nathan Pacheco concert, or a David Archuleta concert.  You get the picture by now.  Ideally, these concerts would need to be at least on the same side of the country where I live.  In the meantime, youtube is great.  Below is a youtube video showing two of my favorites singing together.

3.  Have you ever been drunk?  No.  I have only had liquor to drink a few times in my life.  I didn't like it, and didn't think it was good for me.  I have not had any liquor since 1971 when I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

4.  Complete this sentence:  My favorite supposedly guilty pleasure is. . .sleeping later than usual in the morning when I wake up feeling tired, and when I do not have any early morning obligations.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  For this optional question I refer my readers to my Ten Things of Thankful post that lists things for which I am grateful from the previous week.  Click here to see my list.

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #129 Feel&Space

When I first started writing haiku, I generally wrote just a one stanza three line haiku, but I'm finding now that I like to write haiku that is a several stanzas' poem.  Such is the case for the haiku I have written for this post and am linking to Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #129 Feel&Space.  Feel free to visit Ronovan's site to read other haiku participants have written for this challenge.

Night sky photo taken by my husband

Voluminous Space

dark voluminous
celestial space feels massive
and I a mere speck

standing below gaze
in my space I feel wonder
enveloping me

lighting within me
a spark I feel opens space
to believe I'm His

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Sunday's Whirligig 91 - Haiku

Each Sunday at midnight (Pacific Time) one can post a piece of writing on their own blog and then link it to Sunday's Whirligig.  The writing can be in any genre using as many of the cue words given, in any form as we wish.  This week the words come from "Christmas Away from Home" by Jane Kenyon:  sleeves, swish, streams, candles, city, cars, painted, passing, pines, wildest, white, water. I'm linking my haiku to Sunday's Whirligig 91.

Precious fluid

long pine needles freeze
in sleeves of ice then fresh snow
trees are painted white

deer tread quietly
ever alert for danger
they move stealthily

waiting for the cars
as they swish by on their way
drivers don't see them

only distant lights
like candles they mark the path
to their city homes

exiting the wild
beauty of nature that springs
streams of pure water

flowing on its course
the precious fluid provides
what is life saving

an earthly treasure
it weaves its way through the globe
within and above

leaving returning
its passing goes unnoticed
taken for granted

Nooksack River in Washington state

Ten Things of Thankful

Santa's already come and perhaps more goodies have been eaten than should have found place on my frame, but I can't end the day without giving thanks for Lizzi who started this blog hop, and for my daughter who said, "Mom, you should try writing a blog." Once I made the decision to give it a try, I soon started joining with this blog hop, as well as others. 

Ten things to remember, to laugh about, to learn about, to cherish, you name it, I think it can be found in my post that I am linking to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop.  I'm thankful for each one.  Here are a few that I remember from this past week.

# 1 - 2 High on the list is the great melting of ice and snow that kept some of us housebound, thanks to the fact this part of the state really isn't prepared with the equipment and budget to sand and deice the roads.  

I was finally able to mail the last couple of packages Monday afternoon.  Hopefully they were able to get delivered before Christmas, but I know the rest of the country has had their share of weather related challenges too.

# 3 Around the holidays, there is a lot of focus on food.  There are opportunities to contribute monetarily to organizations that provide food to those in need in other parts of the world, and there are chances all around to donate canned goods to local groups distributing food to those who need assistance.  I'm thankful for opportunities to share food for those in need.

# 4 - 6  This week I was given a little fruitcake that my neighbor made, and it is the best fruitcake I've ever eaten.  It was so good I asked her if she would share her recipe, and today I made several loaves. 

The recipe is one that was handed down from her husband's grandmother.  It calls for a lot of walnuts, so many  in fact, that stirring in the nuts required my husband's assistance.  It was fun working with him on this project.  I certainly couldn't have done it without him.  

It has been years since I have made a fruitcake, since it wasn't something that my family particularly liked, although I'd grown up eating a very dark fruitcake that my Mother made every Christmas.  Thankfuls here are having received a fruitcake this week, being able to get the recipe, and having my husband's help and muscle power to finish the project I'd started. 

There are eight cups of walnuts waiting to be stirred into this fruitcake  batter!

# 7 This week I have learned about several things.  
There is a free app called Scorekeeper that allows you to keep score of points you get in the games you play.  This is timely to know since families often play games at Christmas and New Years.  I now have it downloaded and ready to use the next time I have an opportunity to play Scrabble. 

There is a product called Good Hangups and is something that allows one to hang up drawings, posters, cards, etc. on any surface without having to using tape, or pins.  The refrigerator often isn't large enough to post all the drawings children make.  Some teens cover their walls with posters.  

This week I learned some interesting information about startle reflex, thanks for google searching.  It is fairly common for babies to demonstrate the startle reflex, but this can carry into adulthood and even those with Alzheimer's can exhibit this behavior.  

# 8 I'm thankful my alpaca has a baby.  See what Santa brought her.  You should have seen the smile on my face, and I'm still smiling.

Stuffed alpaca with alpaca Christmas ornament

# 9 We had some carolers visit us tonight.  One group of singers gave us some gingerbread men.  After they left, we discovered that one of the gingerbread men was ready to go into space! So cute! The bright light from the flash at the bottom of the photo almost makes it look like the rocket was getting ready for blast off.

Gingerbread man ready for blast off!

# 10 Potlucks A friend invited a few of her friends, including me, to a dinner potluck and to play some games one evening.  It was fun evening.  She had used her crafting/sewing skills and gave each us a cute candle holder made from webbing. 

Candle holder made from webbing
The Dessert Potluck Christmas party at the nursing home Friday was fun.  I got to push Mom in her wheelchair around the circle of numbers taped on the floor for a version of cakewalk.  She even won a Christmas present when her number was picked out of the bag! One of the ladies didn't have a family member there to push her in her wheelchair to play the game, so my husband volunteered to do that.  They both seemed to be having fun.

# 11 It's Christmas eve, so I'm throwing in an extra thankful for those who sacrificed their time and even their own welfare for my Mom this week.  Mom took had an assisted fall this morning, meaning that the aides did all they could to keep my Mom from falling directly on the floor.  Mom became startled, resistant, and began to fall toward an aide. The aide ended up on the floor and my Mom fell on top of her.  Mom came out unscathed, but I imagine the aide will be a little sore for a while. 

# 12 Last but not least, I am thankful for the birth of Jesus Christ, because His teachings, His life, and His willing sacrifice of His life for all mankind helps me to make sense of my life and answers some very basic questions for me.  

Merry Christmas to all


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Six Sentence Stories - Mark

To write a story of any genre in just six sentences can be a little challenging.  Perhaps that is why I like participating in this blog hop.  To see the stories of others who are responding to the cue this week, check out the site at Six Sentence Stories - Mark, and join in the fun.

Her skin must have been smooth, free from wrinkles once, but as she perused her body, she saw lines that weren't furrowed like the wrinkles in her face, but instead, these lines were raised up or widened, slightly different in color from the rest of her skin and evoked a memory and a lesson.

As she looked at the line on the bottom knuckle of the index finger on her right hand, she recalled how her frustration and angry words said toward her younger brother, when he didn't seem to be doing his share of weeding in the garden, elicited a quick downward swing of the hoe toward her.

While doing some farm chores in her teens, it would have been to her advantage had she slowed down a tad before trying to navigate her body between two wires of a barb wire fence, especially since she was wearing shorts.  The nasty wound that remained on her right shin formed a magenta scar that took years to fade and is a reminder to think through a situation first to consider the possibilities and consequences of one's actions.

A tiny white line on her left forearm developed after her arm came in contact with an oven rack as she was taking something out of the oven while helping prepare a meal for the family of her recently deceased friend.  That small permanent mark is a reminder that sometimes serving someone may require some kind of a sacrifice.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Sunday's Whirligig 90 - Christmas Haiku

When I came across this writing blog hop, I wanted to give it a try.  We are given 12 words to use as many of them as we want in any form of writing we choose.  The 12 words we are given  come from "A Christmas Poem" by Conrad Bilberry.  The words are the following:  mouth, mother, mutter, sticky, slip, straw, faces, father, figs, wasting, ways, warp.  I'm linking Christmas haiku I wrote to Sunday's Whirligig 90.

Christmas nativities
Christmas Haiku

children gather 'round
ready to taste fig pudding
they forget manners

sticky fingers grasp
as mother mutters to self
father takes over

with firmness but love
remember to mind your ways
it is Christmas time

they hush their voices
as they slip into their chairs
they bow and listen

father mouths the prayer
as beggar's tears fall on face
gratitude abounds

manger filled with straw
with sleeping babe the room glows
as they remember

time warps once again
as they sing well known carols
they feel the Spirit

resolve to cherish
with their plans to freely give
wasting world receives

Monday, December 19, 2016

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #128 Bells&Ring

This time of year it almost impossible not to hear bells ringing.  Bells catch our attention, call us to action, remind us to worship, to give, and to remember.  I'm linking my haiku in this post to a blog hop at Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #128 Bells&Ring.

fog embraced the tower
as the bells began to ring
swallows escaped nests

wings fluttered and soared
in a ring 'round the bell tower
they waited to roost

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Ten Things of Thankful

Ice and snow in front of our home

This week has flown by in some ways, but in other ways it has been like standing still.  With a second storm system whamming our area in two weeks, I've been mostly at home due to the hazardous driving conditions from the ice and snow on the roads, many of which are very steep and hilly.

There have been a lot of posts on Facebook joking about how people drive here compared to drivers in other parts of the nation, who "know how to handle this stuff."  Well now that those areas have received the same or similar storm systems with the ice and snow scenario, it seems to be another story.  There have been accounts of many accidents due to the weather in other areas of the country. It seems driving on ice is just as much a problem there as it is here.  I suppose there will always be those ready to point fingers, and rant and rave.  Because I'm making a statement here, I think I'm just as guilty of a little ranting and raving about those ranting and raving. Perhaps I'm just frustrated a wee bit, and really it is just a bit.  Now on to "thankfuls."

I love that we need to remember the past week to write a post for the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop.  The more challenges for me to remember, the better.

Last Sunday evening I attended a Christmas Fireside at my church.  The music and program were beautiful.  It was  nice that the snow and ice storm on the Thursday before had all melted and made it safe to travel.

A friend treated me to lunch on Tuesday.  It was a wonderful break in the many tasks I had going that day.

My visit with Mom on Tuesday went well, but I learned that there were some cases of the flu that had been detected at the nursing home.  All the staff and visitors were given face masks to wear.  Anyone who had obvious symptoms were asked not to visit. Unfortunately the flu virus vaccine that was given this year doesn't protect against this strain, so now Tamiflu is being given to the residents.  The residents had already received the flu virus vaccine earlier.  I'm thankful for the staff who so carefully tend to the residents and the treatments they need, and for face masks and medications to slow the spread of illnesses.

My hubby needed to have a couple of crowns put in on Wednesday.  Unfortunately, another ice and snow storm system started to hit with a vengeance about the time he was leaving for his appointment.  The appointment took longer than was anticipated, so by the time he left I was worried about his safety as he headed home.  What happens when driving on ice is so unpredictable.  There were already reports of accidents happening on the roads because of the ice.  I am thankful that he made it home safe and sound, and for the power of prayer. The fact that we had the money to pay for this unexpected outlay of cash in the month of December was also a blessing.  Having a great dentist who keeps up with the latest techniques is surely not to be taken lightly either.

Because I had to cancel an appointment Thursday morning that I have had scheduled for over a month, I'm grateful that they totally understood my reasoning for canceling due to the weather and did not charge me for canceling on short notice.  They had called the day before and I'd explained that we live on a hill, and depending on what the weather was like in the morning, I might need to cancel.

The last time I've been able to drive anywhere was on Tuesday.  Fortunately we haven't lost power, so our house has stayed warm, and we'd gotten a load of pellets for the pellet stove about a week before the first storm this month.  We've had groceries that we needed, but we did take up the offer of a kind neighbor. He has a four-wheel-drive vehicle and was headed to town anyway, so he picked up a few things for us when he was at the store.  Not knowing exactly if there is to be another storm headed our way, we had him pick up just a few items.  The latest report is that Monday and Tuesday will bring warmer temperatures and heavy rains.  We are going to hope that report is right.

This deer is probably wishing some of the ice and snow would melt, so she can graze on our lawn.

I was only able to get one package wrapped and in the mail before the storm, but the others are ready, so I will no doubt join a lot of others standing in line at the post office on Monday.  I'm thankful for priority large flat-rate boxes and self-sealing stamps (so much better than licking and tasting the backs of the old postage stamps).  

When the cold weather sets in we enjoy eating soups.  Although I have amassed more cookbooks and recipes than one really needs, and I have done my fair share of cooking over all these long years, it is often faster to just do a quick internet search including a few of the ingredients I have on hand, or just start putting things in a pot and see what happens.  This week I did the latter and was happy to find that the end result was something we both enjoyed.  It is a good thing, since there is enough for more than just one meal.  I actually wrote down what I did this time so I could make it again, and I could share the recipe with you.  I'm thankful for urges to create recipes.

Vegetable - Chicken Soup Recipe
Makes about 4+ quarts

Place the following in a kettle and cook until tender:

2  32-oz boxes of organic low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2-lb frozen all natural boneless chicken thigh strips
4 small whole garlic cloves
5 medium carrots cut into slices
1/3 of a large head of cabbage, chopped
1/2 C chopped onion
1 C diced celery
1/4 C uncooked green lentils
1/4 C uncooked barley

Add the following toward the end of cooking time:
1 C uncooked curly egg noodles
1  15-oz can of young tender peas (undrained)

Add seasonings:
I used thyme, oregano, dried parsley, and some Italian seasoning mix and a little salt.  (I add pepper to my bowl of soup at the table,)

Vegetable - Chicken soup


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Six Sentence Stories - Pine

One of us in our home grew up where there are a lot of tall ponderosa pine trees, and we even planted some on our property when we moved here.  Naturally my mind started stirring as I thought about what story I could write with a cue of pine.  There I sat thinking about our pine trees and staring at our ceiling, when the beginning of this story crossed through my mind.  I'm linking this post to Six Sentence Stories - Pine.  Click the link to see what others have written for the cue pine.

There is a pine tree on the left and a smaller one on the right.

The lodge near the beach had been reserved for them.  It was like a small log home, and it was all theirs for a few days before the fall term classes started up again.

It almost didn't feel real, to be there, just the two of them.  She had longed for him when he had been away working on the fire suppression crew during the summer, but now they were married and on their honeymoon.

He built a fire in the fireplace to take off the chill in the air.  Soon they were enjoying the glow the flames cast on the shiny knotty pine walls of the room, and the warmth they felt in their hearts for each other, never mind a little bit of smoke in the air.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Ten Things of Thankful

Only ten, just ten, well okay, but that is a challenge!  It is time to consider all those things for which I am thankful.  That is a lot, so ten is all that this blog hop asks of participants.  I am linking my post up to Ten Things of Thankful.  Even if you don't write a post and link up, I hope you will find joy in considering those things for which you are grateful.  Remembering those things truly blesses one's life.

1.  I have been participating in the #LIGHTtheWORLD challenge this month.  Though I haven't written about it on my blog, I sometimes share something about it on Facebook.  Sometimes I think as individuals we fail to recognize the things that we are accomplishing already, until we see a challenge such as this.  Other times we realize that we may have become stuck in a rut basically doing the same kind of things and failing to branch out in new ways and develop new talents in helping others.  Pondering the concept to make a difference and considering what others are doing opens the doors of our minds to see more possibilities of what we can do.  I am thankful for the #LIGHTtheWORLD challenge.

2.  It has been wonderful to read of the ambitions of people of so many faiths desiring to be good and to do good.

3.  Christmas decorations including a beautiful fresh wreath given to me which I was able adorn it with some of my decorations.

Decorated tree at the nursing home

Wreath in my home

4.  Christmas music.

5.  Hospice workers and their desire to grant a wish to someone receiving hospice care.  This week as I walked by the room of a resident at the nursing home where my Mom resides, I saw two alpacas standing beside the bed of a woman who is on hospice.  That was quite an unusual sight to see in a nursing home.  I wanted so badly to take a photo, but didn't want to infringe on the woman's experience.

6.  Holiday dessert at nursing home for residents and their families.  I fixed the Lemon Lush dessert because for many years it was my Mom's favorite dessert to take to potlucks.

Apple cobbler and Lemon Lush dessert

7.  Christmas in the Woods with a buffet supper (chili, baked potatoes, cobbler, and hot cocoa) and music by the children and youth and singing carols by all.  People came dressed in clothes they might wear in the woods, i.e. flannel shirts, jeans, stocking caps, etc.  This was an activity my church had for members and their friends.

8.  Being able to stay safe and warm during some crazy weather this week.  Fortunately for us, it amounted to higher than normal winds, a little snow, freezing rain, and sleet just one day and evening, but 30 - 40 miles north of us, people had much more harrowing experiences.  Most airlines were unable to make their flights for about a day and many people were stuck at the airport unable to get to destinations even by land due to the icy streets.  Since we had some trees pruned the end of last month, we didn't have any branches break off during from the wind.  When I took our car in to be serviced the week before, I found out we needed new tires, so I went ahead and had that done.  I felt very grateful for having it done when I did, because one evening when I returned from visiting my Mom, I had to stop very suddenly when several cars in front of me on the freeway all came to screeching stops.  Apparently there had been a hailstorm in just one little section of the freeway and the hail had covered a stretch of the road catching everyone completely off guard.  I'm not sure how many cars had been hit, but it looked like there were about eight cars facing both directions in the southbound lanes where I was traveling.  The emergency vehicles hadn't even arrived yet.

9.  Thankful for a good report on my husband's skin biopsy.  One always hopes for the best, but a friend of his recently got a report on a skin biopsy and it will mean some surgery in his case.  We hope that things were caught in time, so that the surgery will do the job for his friend.

10. I'm thankful for my husband.  He has been out of his comfort zone a couple of times this week and he did it for me.  In the past month, I have been out of my comfort zone a little bit too, for him, but ended up really enjoying the experiences.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Six Sentence Stories - Home

For me, home is where the heart is.  With this thought in mind, I'm linking this post to Six Sentence Stories - Home.  The post can be any genre, but needs to be only six sentences and use the cue.

The landlords, a sweet elderly couple originally from Denmark and who still spoke with their strong Danish accents, lived on one side of the first floor of the old craftsman-type home, like the kind one used to be able to purchase from a Sear's catalog.  A young pastor and his wife and baby lived in the apartment on the other side of the main floor.  Two male college students occupied the apartment directly opposite the apartment of the couple on the second floor.

They were college newlyweds ready to begin their life together and excited about moving into their own furnished apartment, albeit the furnishings were quite old, even some antique.  They felt fortunate to be able to rent a place within their budget of $50 a month, even if it did have the oldest squeakiest box springs ever!  It was home, their first home where they watched in disbelief replay after replay of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and where they made homemade Christmas ornaments for their first Christmas together a month later. 

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #126 Pet&Play

This week Ronovan suggests some photos to go along with the haiku challenge.  I'm linking up this post to Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #126 Pet&Play.  To see other pets and haiku about this challenge, be sure to click the link.

bamboo clumps await
pet stops energetic play 
sits still and watches

rests awhile and waits
as owner calls pet to play
the dog's panting slows

labrador hiding in bamboo

TJ's Household Haiku - Water Lilies

Water lilies are beautiful plants and sometimes seem to fill most of a water area and other times are just getting started it seems.  I'm linking my post to TJ's Household Haiku - Water Lilies.  Click the link to see other haiku written by those linking up to to TJ's site.

blooming flowers hide frogs
near pads of water lilies
koi prey upon them

koi and floating iris blossom

Monday, November 28, 2016

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #125 Gold&Sing

The challenge at Ronovan Writes seems like I should have written an haiku that reminded one of Christmas, but I came up with something entirely different.  I'm linking my post to Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #125 Gold&Sing.

sadness is dispelled
when the gold birds sing their trills
daylight rays  appear

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #poetry Prompt #Challenge #124 Dream&Dare

Perhaps you are dreaming of that Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday if you live in the United States of America, but I wanted to spend a few minutes dream to come up with a haiku to post and link up to Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #124 Dream&Dare.

midst the forest glen
dare to dream and look upward
casting doubt away


Monday, November 21, 2016

Share Your World - 2016 Week 47 (Grateful list)

Because it is Thanksgiving week here, Cee has veered slightly from her usual style for her blog challenge at Share Your World.  This week using her cue, I am posting a list and linking it to Share Your World - 2016 Week 47 (Grateful list).

1.  Your home life?  My husband and I have been married for 53 years and have lived our entire married life in Oregon, mostly on the west side of the Cascades.  I have loved growing old with him.  He brings a lot of joy and laughter into our home.

2.  Your family?  We have three grown children, two daughters and a son.  They are all married.  We have 12 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.  Of our parents, my Mother, who will be 100 years old within a few months, is the only one still living.  She is living in a nursing home now due to the type of care that she requires with advanced Alzheimer's.

3.  Your blogging community?  I've participated in Cee's five blog hop challenges, Ten Things of Thankful, Six Sentence Stories, Finish the Sentence Friday, Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge, TJ's Household Haiku Challenge, and some others.  It has been fun to try to develop my own talents by seeing the talents that others have shared on these blogs.  I am fairly new to blogging compared to others.

4.  Your city or immediate area in which you live?  We live outside the city limits between Turner and Salem, Oregon.  We both enjoy being able to have neighbors, but like having some space and property between the houses.

5.  The regional area in which you live?  The Pacific Northwest is home.  I love being able to live out in the country, but being able to drive within an hour or two to the largest city in the state, to the coast, into the Cascades or over to Central Oregon.  This state is so diversified in its terrain too, and that is an education in itself.  The changing seasons have their own beauty.

Smith Rocks in Central Oregon

On a hill near Stayton, Oregon

Near Yachats, Oregon

6.  The country where you live?  I live in the United States of America.  My ancestors came here very early on when the country was being founded and settled by people from other countries.  As far as I have been able to determine, I don't have any Native American heritage, although I've wondered if I don't have some Mulungeon heritage.  I wish I knew all my ancestors' personal stories, other than what I can glean from history books.  We live in an age when there is so much out there about our personal lives, but once upon a time, that wasn't the case.

7.  You?  I am thankful for who I am, thanks to all those who came before me.  I'm thankful for what I have been able to learn about what it might have been like to live during their lifetime in the places where they lived and with some of the hardships they had. Knowing these things has given me a greater understanding of my more immediate ancestors, and even of myself.  I have a strong faith in God, and that has carried me through during some of the rough spots that one goes through in life.  I give credit to the blessings in my life to Him also.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Ten Things of Thankful

Sunshine and light have a way of lifting one's spirit.  From that vantage point, there seems to come renewed energy, even a bounce to one's step.  Sometimes it is the physical world around us that makes the difference, but other times it is the people who enter into our lives, or perhaps we become involved in their's.  Can we become a light to others?  I think that we can, and often we don't realize that we have until someone points it out to us.

Being thankful, and making a point to recognize one's blessings each day can make a huge difference in a person's life.  A individual begins to change inwardly, and then outwardly.  People become attracted to that difference, or goodness.

This week we will be celebrating Thanksgiving in this land.  Here is my post to that I am linking to the blog hop Ten Things of Thankful.  There are a total of 20 because I wanted to share what I consider as the big 10 that have great meaning to me all the time, followed by 10 that are specific to this past week.

The Big 10

1.  Living in this great land.  Perhaps it is because of when I was born and becoming aware that our country was in a world war when I was very young, that made be feel such a sense of gratitude for living here.  I knew that there were children who were suffering from the war that was being fought in their countries.

There was a conversation I had with my mother once when I was a child where I distinctly remember asking her a question about why it was that I was born in this land.  I wanted to know why some people are born in one country and others born in yet a different country, ones which may have been lacking in so many advantages, at least from my point of view.  I somehow felt that there must be a reason.  Mothers are often asked hard questions that are difficult to explain, especially if they do not even have a hint of an answer.  I nevertheless continued to feel extremely blessed to have been born here.

2.  Freedom.  From a young age, I was aware there were certain freedoms we have in our country that were not granted to some in other lands. Because of where I lived when I was young, I was aware that some people, if for no other reason than the color of their skin, were not treated equally, even in the land where I lived.  I did not understand that contradiction and I felt fearful of those who treated fellow beings so egregiously.  As the years have gone by, I've seen many improvements, even amazing progress.  However, I hope that we won't lose the progress that has been made, through ignorance of what has transpired in the past.

3.  My faith and the power of prayer.  I have had experiences throughout my life, that led me to believe in a power greater than myself or any living being on the earth.  Although it has taken me a lifetime to reach the point I am at now with my beliefs, and it has been a personal journey, I am grateful for that discovery which has helped me in so many ways.

4.  Family.  My family means everything to me--- my immediate family, my ancestors both known and unknown, and my descendants both known and yet to be born.  As we have shared experiences and have learned from one another, I have been taught in meaningful ways that have helped me become the person I am and hope to yet be.

5.  Those who serve by trying to make a difference for the better, whether it be in very small ways, one on one, or in larger ways that might affect our communities, nation or other nations.

6. Those who try to make peace through their words and their actions.

7.  The words of wisdom found in scriptures, and writings of those who have been revered because of their goodness and the power of their inspired words.

8.  Music, art, or prose that thrills my soul.

9.  The protectors of those who unable to protect themselves.

10. The very earth upon which we live and all that is in it, on it, and above, and all the living creatures therein that delight the eye and bring a sense of wonderment at their very existence.  To be able to look upward and see the celestial bodies, and marvel at the incomprehensible number of such bodies is a mind-boggling view.


Red lily

Here is my short list of gratitudes from this past week.

1.  No one was hurt when some branches fell from an oak tree when a load of gravel was delivered.

2.  I was thankful that one of the neighbors had a power saw that he was able to use to cut up the fallen branches and that three neighbors could work together on the project.

3.  We enjoyed seeing rainbows off and on through the sun and rain showers

4.  We enjoyed seeing some of the life forms that sprout up through the moist fallen leaves and through the wet moss on tree branches.  This week it was some mushrooms and lichen.



5.  Some accordion and harmonica playing by a couple of people provided entertainment at the nursing home where my Mother resides.  The harmonica player also sang a few songs.  He appeared to be at least the same age as some of the residents he was entertaining.  These entertainers provide something that my mother and I can do together.

6.  The installation of the solar panels have been completed and the inspections done.

7.  My husband and I were able to go see Inferno starring Tom Hanks.  This is an action-packed film which caused me to jump more than once.

8.  I enjoyed one of those moments when you smile at someone you don't know.  The person genuinely returns the smile, but then looks at you quizzically as if to say, "Do I know her?"

9.  As I read over the lesson about teaching that we were going to be studying in a class at church today, many memories came to mind of teachers who had influenced me in one way or another.  Earlier this week my daughter had shared a memory she had of one of her teachers at school. Teachers can have a great impact for good in the life of a student. It doesn't have to even take a lot of time.  Just one comment can often penetrate the mind and heart of a student and motivate the student to great aspirations or to have the courage needed to overcome a personal challenge.

10.  Although I personally didn't see them, my husband did.  I had decided to stay home and do some tasks at home instead of going over to the wildlife refuge for a few hours.  When he returned home, he said he saw some elk on the refuge as he was headed home. We had heard that others have seen them there, but we hadn't seen them.  I'm thankful my husband got a chance to see them.  Next time I may postpone doing the tasks, and take a break.  

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

TJ's Household Haiku - Drift

My purpose was to write just one haiku for TJ's challenge, but instead more and more thoughts kept coming to mind.  This week I am posting four haiku and linking them to TJ's Household Haiku - Drift.  To see what other blog hoppers have written for this week's challenge, go to TJ's site and take a peek.

upon the river
the auburn leaves drift downstream
quickening their pace

Big leaf maple leaves

on currents of air
the white billowing clouds drift
across the blue sky

Billowing clouds

'tis hard to escape
the current drift of chatter
droning the airways

holding memories
the red balloon drifts upward
toward the heavens