Monday, February 22, 2016

Share Your World - 2016 Week 8

When I should be tackling my "to do" list, I was reminded of one of them as I read the challenge at Cee's Share Your World - 2016 Week 8.  I'll let you guess which one.

1.  What household chore do you absolutely hate doing?  Cleaning the toilet is not high on my list of favorite chores, but I do it anyway.

2.  What was the last URL that you bookmarked?  It is this one at the New York Public Library.
It has free online public domain collections.  This photo  of the Falls of the Willamette in Oregon City in 1901 is one from their collection.

3.  Close your eyes.  Listen to your body.  What part of your body is seeking attention?  What is it telling you?  My total body is telling me to take some slow deep breaths.  My lower back and hips are telling me to move more and rub some re balance ultimate healing cream on those achy places. I do not sell this product. I bought some at a place where I have had massage treatments.  When I was purchasing some supplies for my Mom at a medical supply store, I discovered that they sell it too.

4. Would you rather have a two-bedroom apartment in a big city of your choosing, or a mansion in the countryside in the state or country where you currently live?  This is a very hard question for me.  How about living in a two-bedroom cottage that is not too far out in the countryside, as long as I can still drive?  The years are starting to catch up with me, so there is a lot to consider.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  Please view my post to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop to see my gratitude list for this past week.  I'm looking forward to seeing some more of our family during the next couple of weeks.  :-)

TJ's Household Haiku Challenge - Art

Art is displayed in so many ways.  On a trip to a small town in the state of Washington I saw a couple of pieces of unique outdoor art.  I'm sharing images of these along with some haiku for the blog hop at TJ's Household Haiku Challenge - Art.  The third haiku is about some natural art in Oregon that is worth the trip.

slender sticks reaching
like brush strokes the art appeared
as Spring's scarlet tree

red and yellow limbed
branches become new art form
above Spring tulips

eagles soar over
sandstone art is the abode
for snakes and lizards

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Ten Things of Thankful

Being thankful for the little things and the big things in life are blessings.  Why?  I believe it is because sometimes people may not be able to see the bigger picture, and just need to first see the minute things.  After a while all those little things will combine and form mountains enabling people to see how much their lives have been tailor fit for them and blessed them all along the way in one way or another.   (This post is being linked to the blog hop, Ten Things of Thankful.)

For a few weeks we had been planning to go visit one of our children and his family this past week.  Our grandson was in Guys and Dolls at the high school, and one of the granddaughters took part in a living history exhibit at the elementary school.  We were able to see the musical two nights in a row and since our son was the photographer for the show, we were able to sit in the front row with him.  There were different cast members for the leading parts on the two nights we attended.  There are so many talented youth at the school, that the performances were equally enjoyable both nights.

Being with the family brought back to my mind how very busy parents are when they have children in three different schools and who have children who have busy lives.  I remembered those days of being the designated taxi cab driver who was paid with hearing the stories of the kids' lives day by day.  That is something I fondly recall, especially when I had one on one time with them.

Three days before we left on our trip, the nursing home called very late in the afternoon telling me that Mom had a broken tooth, but she wasn't in any pain.  I wasn't able to get her in for an emergency appointment until 4:30 p.m. the day before we left. It was fortunate that she hadn't swallowed her broken tooth, which we later learned was a porcelain cap that had been put on about ten years ago.  The dentist thought that it had lasted quite a while.  There was no decay on the remaining tooth, so the dentist, with my consent, just painted some protective material over the tooth that was left.  It seemed that was the best of the options, short of doing nothing.  The dentist was able to do what he did with her sitting in her wheelchair.  Recapping the tooth would have required putting her in a lift to get her into the dental chair.  That would probably have been upsetting to her and perhaps added another dimension to some of the delusions she has.

An interesting bit of knowledge I gained from going to the dentist with Mom was that teeth nerves shrink with age, and some people as young as 70 may not need any kind of pain killer when having dental procedures done.  Mom is 99, so no wonder she didn't feel any pain.

At one point we thought we'd be having sunshine the latter half of the week, but it is the northwest, so we really can't count of the weather reports.  (It rained on our trip, but was a beautiful sunny day driving back home.) We did drive over to the shoreline near the Canadian border, but after walking down to a nearby beach, I found I wasn't up to the wind, rain and cold weather.  So our son drove us around the beautiful countryside for a while.  There are so many scenic old barns in the area.  If I ever decide to paint barns, or photograph them on a drier day, this is the place I want to go.

One of our daughters learned the names of so many different breeds of dogs when she was young.  I don't know if she knew of this breed then.  This Australian Labradoodle posed for me at one of the places we stopped.  He is four months old.


By quickly highlighting some of those things I've been grateful for this past week, I see I should apply something from Wakefield Book of Rules, but I'll leave that up to the more knowledgeable.  Enjoy your coming week.  

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Finish the Sentence Friday - Once I knew the truth

What could possibly go wrong? Before attempting a task I have learned from experience that besides looking at what good could come from the venture, it is just as important to consider the opposite reactions that might happen.

I'm linking this post to the blog hop, Finish the Sentence Friday - Once I knew the truth, I could no longer talk myself out. . .

In 1964 much was astir on college campuses. While political and ethical issues abounded, l was just trying to make my way through some of those required courses, one of which was Oratory Speaking.  I avoided taking a speech class during high school because it wasn't a required elective, but more importantly because I turned bright red whenever I had to give an oral report and shook like a leaf.  Now I could no longer stand behind the skirts of fear.

The assignment was to give a demonstrative speech where I had to show how to do something while simultaneously telling how to do it.  Now as a young adult, speaking in front of my peers shouldn't evoke the same high school fears, or so I thought. Once I knew the truth, I could no longer talk myself out of giving my speech titled How to Sew on a Button.  My classmates listened and watched with rapt attention as I nervously managed not to shed too much blood on the fabric while pushing the threaded needle through the buttonholes and fabric several times.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Six Sentence Story - Fray

What do you think of when you hear the word fray?  I'm linking my story using this word, and  at Ivy's blog hop, Six Sentence Story - Fray.  

Different in numerous ways, but at least in one the same, the sisters  loved similarly right from the start.  Could it have been because of a genetic trait?  Perhaps a parent had displayed similar behavior, but those who could shed some light on this story are no longer able to tell, or have passed into the next realm of existence.  The girls' younger brother didn't seem show the same characteristic.  Beloved white, furry "Pup Pup" once caressed by the older sister, and a pink and blue checkered quilt with white lace edging that was fondled by the younger sister suffered the same fate.  They were literally loved to pieces, or in other words, the sisters knew how to fray.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Cee's Fun Foto Challenge: Things that are smooth

What comes to your mind when you think of something that is smooth?  You could travel to far away places to find things that are smooth, or just explore your own surroundings.

This is quite an eclectic mixture of some of my photos that I'm linking up to Cee's Fun Foto Challenge:  Things that are smooth.  If you like photography blog hop challenges, Cee offers many at her site, and the challenges change daily and weekly.  Come join in the fun.

Smooth, but avoid those tentacles!

A "smooth as silk" scarf draped over the sofa

Smooth lotion waiting to be rubbed into her hand

Smooth glass pear on silky smooth scarf

A little wooden bowl which had been sanded until it felt smooth

Monday, February 15, 2016

Share Your World - 2016 Week 7

Cee's Share Your World - 2016 Week 7, a weekly blog hop, tried to stump me with the first question, but I think I've thought of a response.  I wonder how you would answer these questions and complete the sentence she gives us.

What are you "natural" at doing?
I'm a good listener, although I wonder sometimes how good I am at remembering these days.
I have an eye for details.  That is a good trait for some projects, but at other times can be downright annoying to others and can be a time waster.
I have a natural tendency to see two sides to things and situations.  Even though deep down, I might not agree with a point of view, I am able to see how someone else might see things differently.  This is probably a case of me gradually becoming "natural" at doing this.

Would you prefer a one floor house or multiple levels?
At my age, because of safety issues that will surely become more apparent in the future, it seems the sensible thing to have a one floor house.  Earlier on I liked having multiple levels and more space for the family.

A lovely home like this would not be something I would purchase now because of the steps leading to the door and because of stairs leading to the upper floor.

What was your favorite subject in school?
In high school, I enjoyed my biology class the most.
In college, I especially enjoyed an Advertising Design course and also a Child Development class.

Complete the sentence:  If only the rain. . .
If only the rain didn't cause flooding conditions and unsafe driving conditions for people in some areas, the reports of heavy rains wouldn't be so alarming.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  Please view my post to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop to see my gratitude list for this past week.   I'm looking forward to a visit with our son and his family and to seeing photos my husband took at the Winter Wings Festival this past week.


Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #84 Milk&Smooth

As a child I loved that there was a river in our valley named the Pudding River.  It was easy to see why it was given that name.  It meanders through the farmland of the Willamette Valley in Oregon looking very much like chocolate pudding in the summer.  With the higher water tables of winter, it resembles chocolate milk!  I'm linking my haiku about the river to Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #84 Milk&Smooth, a weekly blog hop.

Pudding River flows
smooth chocolate milk through fields
nurtures the farmland

Ten Things of Thankful

This post is being linked to Ten Things of Thankful, a weekly blog hop.  One really can be happier by taking time to be grateful.  Even when life may seem dreary at different times, there is always a bright side.  One just has to look.  Here is my "look" for the week. 

Some couples find it difficult to let their spouses have some time to themselves  to develop talents or do things that are not so enjoyable to the other.  My husband will do somethings with me that are not a hot item for him, but I would never ask him to spend an afternoon going into antique shops or clothes shopping, because I know he would not enjoy that.  Likewise he doesn't expect me to watch football games on TV with him.  He is not hurt if I choose to do something else during game times.  That doesn't mean that I never watch any football.  He often plays back some of the funny plays or outstanding plays for me to see, and I do enjoy that sharing he does with me.  I'm thankful for the relationship we have.

This week I got to help with a project that the women at my local church are doing.  Because of these personal hygiene kits that we and many other organizations around the world are making, girls in Africa and elsewhere are able to continue attending school.  By being able to continue their schooling, they will have a large impact on their communities and standard of living.  To learn more about this worthwhile project, click here.  I'm thankful that all through my life, I was able to attend school, and didn't have to drop out of school because I didn't have a way to tend to my physical needs when my body began changing.

A few years ago I was walking down our lane about 5:30 a.m. to get the newspaper.  As I headed down the hill, much to my surprise I saw a cougar at the end of the lane, fortunately heading away from me.  A cougar had been spotted by a few other people in the area during the weeks before and after my spotting.  I learned that cougars have a large range, and most likely doesn't hang around long in any one area.  This week when I returned from visiting with my Mom, the sun and already set.  As I drove up in front of our house, the beam of my headlights caught the eyes of any animal down by our garden fence.  We are used to seeing deer in our yard, but I could tell right away that the size of the eyes and the spacing of the eyes was not that of a deer.  The height of the animal didn't fit that of a deer either.  When the animal stood up, and started to move, it and slinked off through the bamboo.  I was able then to see that it was a cougar.  I was able to call our neighbors and let them know that one was in the area, since they have sheep which are lambing.  I have now studied again what to do if one encounters a cougar.  To learn what to do, click here.  I'm glad I didn't have a very close encounter. Cougars are generally fairly solitary animals.

I enjoyed a lunch date with a friend one day during the past week.  It was good to catch up on each other's lives.

My husband had a couple of doctor appointments.  Since no news usually means good news, we think there is nothing to worry about on one thing.  He has to go see another doctor to pursue things a bit on something else, so we just have to wait and see.  Hopefully, things will get better for that too, like it did a few years ago.  I'm thankful for those who can check things out.

I made time for a little more family history research.  I'm enjoying the hunt!

It has been a time for healthy eating, EXCEPT when I indulged in eating a box of Valentine chocolates.  It surely was good!

Much to my surprise, I slept 10 hours straight one night.  I didn't dream, didn't wake up during the night, nor did I even turn over!   I found that to be highly unusual, but I'm thankful for the sleep.  I apparently needed it.

Pinterest can be a time gobbler, but today I was glad that I have an animal board.  I took my iPad with me when I went to see my Mom. She really enjoys seeing the animals, since the most common animals she sees at the nursing home are a few therapy dogs once in a while, an occasional therapy rabbit, and quite often squirrels and birds that frequent the patio near where she eats.  Variety is the spice of life at all stages of life.

I'm thankful for the examples of kindness I see in others, for people who hold the door open for the approaching person, for the young people who go to visit and help the elderly and the sick, for those who offer a ride to give someone unable to drive, for those who let someone go ahead of them in line at the grocery store, or reach for an item on a high shelf that the person in the wheel chair cannot reach, and the list goes on.  I love you all.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Cee's Odd Ball Photo Challenge 2016 Week 7

When I was out and about this week I snapped a few photos that just seemed to be waiting to be taken.  Cee's Odd Ball Photo Challenge 2016 Week 7 is a good place to share them, because they are just that, a little strange, and kind of odd ball.  Click the link to see some of the odd ball photos others have shared on Cee's site.

These new born lambs are like little kids.  The mud in our neighbor's field appears to be more interesting!  This had been an area where some brush had been burned.  Perhaps the lambs like charcoal.  If you look closely, you will see that there are two little lambs in a wrestling match in the middle.

This old tree has quite the unusual root system intent in tearing apart the sidewalk in front of the buildings in a downtown section of the city!

A gentleman who likes to do woodwork makes cute patio characters to brighten up the faces of the residents of a nursing home.  I think this turtle fisherman needs to cast that line again.

I'm not sure if this is some kind of a game or some fun pens I saw today when I was at the nursing home, but one can't help but smile upon seeing them.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

TJ's Household Haiku - House Number

haiku waiting to 
be discovered in my brain
at TJ's blog hop

Today's discoveries are being linked to TJ's Household Haiku - House Number challenge.

going door to door
he wrote down the house number
on the census form

large gray and weathered
driftwood numbers hung from house
railing on the porch

ornately fashioned
the house number stamped grandeur
to a simple home

gravelled sparingly
lane led to house sans number
missing from mailbox

quite hidden from view
the house number failed its use
to guide visitors

Friday, February 12, 2016

Finish the Sentence Friday - When I look in the mirror

If memories reflect in any way the real me, what I have done with my life, and what I have experienced, what is that reflection I see when I look in the mirror?  That is the focus of this blog which I am linking to the blog hop Finish the Sentence Friday - When I look in the mirror.

When I look in the mirror, do I see what others see when they see me?  Often I'm told that I have my mother's smile and that I look like her, yet I don't see that resemblance.  I'm glad that others do, because she has a nice smile that radiates warmth, in spite of her shy nature.

As a young teen, a beautician once asked me if I put bleach (hydrogen peroxide) on my hair.  Some girls were doing that to their hair in the 50's to become blonds.  I'd spent the summer picking strawberries and beans and hadn't worn a hat.  Silly me!  Being under the hot summer sun all those months turned my hair dry and blond.  Brown was my natural color of hair.  My hair darken with the years, but never became almost black like my Mother's hair as she aged.  When I look in the mirror now, I see more grey hairs on my head than my Mother did at my age, or for that matter than my Mother has now when she is within a year of turning 100.  There is something to be said about genetics.  One of her sisters turned completely grey headed in her 30's.  As I have aged, my hair has gone from being wavy in childhood and as a teen to having more definite curls in adulthood.  Now I see curls on the crown of my head that show a degree of obstinance much to my chagrin.  The Woody Woodpecker look isn't one to which I aspire.  From the photos I've seen of Mom, she seems to have had much curler hair all through her life.

Where once I had a front tooth which had been chipped due to a mishap while playing catch with my brother sometime in my childhood,  I now see instead a fine looking tooth thanks to a skilled dentist.  I'd lived with that broken tooth until we had a child attending college.

Sometimes I think a lot goes unnoticed when we look in the mirror.  For instance, it wasn't until a went through of period of my life where I needed physical therapy, that I really took notice of my posture.  A mirror helps one to really see.  You may feel you are standing correctly, but the mirror shows you the truth, if you will take the time to notice.  As I look down over the rest of my body, I'm reminded of my changing shape and that it isn't what it once was, but that is okay, and somewhat expected as one ages.

I'm thankful I am able to see, and do not have to rely on others to comb my air, or to pick lint off my clothes, apply just the right amount of makeup, and brush on a little mascara so that one can tell that my now lightening lashes really do exist.

More age spots, some wrinkles, or smile lines as I prefer to think, reunions of skin gathering under my chin, and some occasional blushing across my nose and cheeks seem to be taking up residence.  This is normal for my age group.  Although there are so many procedures that are available now to make one's skin look so much younger, I'm sure these would be deemed medically unnecessary by Medicare.  Even if Medicare covered some of these procedures, I wouldn't indulge.

When I look in the mirror, I cannot see that which others see while looking at me or conversing with me.  When we speak with others, we see expressions, or the sparkle in their eyes that light up their faces.  It is hard to obtain that while looking at one's self, I think. When is the last time you've had a real conversation with yourself while looking in the mirror?  That person in the mirror cannot talk unless you are talking saying the exact same thing at the exact same time.  This is not a conversation.  We are unable to see our the reality of our outward selves in a mirror, but a video being taken of us, if we weren't aware it was being taken, would be more revealing.  More natural expressions and actions would be shown.  Genuinely smiling at myself isn't an easy thing to do.

When I look at people, I look into their eyes.  Without even a word being spoken, the eyes reveal so much.

This special lady, now deceased, and one of her great grandsons, enjoyed life and brought laughter to many.  Even though she had to wear the glasses the day the photograph was taken, I know exactly how her eyes looked.  She hated to see herself in a mirror and in a photograph.  Unfortunately, she never was able to see the beautiful person others saw in her.

 May you see the real you and know that you have a purpose and are loved.

Six Sentence Story - Draw

There are so many different meanings for the word draw, but I only chose one meaning for my story written in just six sentences.  I'm linking the post to the blog up at Six Sentence Story - Draw.  Each week we are given a different word as the impetus to write a story in any genre.  This is fiction with an element of truth to it.

 Feeling Vulnerable

There it was again, that sound like a baby crying just outside the front door, and although she knew the impossibility of such a scenario of an infant being abandoned on her doorstep, it nevertheless sounded like one. The darkness of the night, the fact she was still getting used to living in her rural mountainous home far from what had once been familiar, and being all alone, except for her young sleeping children made her feel vulnerable and on edge.

It didn't help that she'd been reading a new mystery novel when she heard the sound, but she finally decided she couldn't have possibly heard what she thought she'd heard and resumed reading almost to the end of the paragraph only to be interrupted by another cry.  At that point her detective mode tried to kick in with questions running through her mind, like if it isn't a human baby, is there an animal that makes such a sound?

Some of her reference books were still in boxes, among a sea of cartons not yet unpacked in one of the rooms, and her internet service wasn't scheduled to be connected for another week. That meant she would either have to overcome her fear and open the door at 10:45 in the evening, wait until tomorrow to introduce herself to her nearest neighbors and ask if they had heard a crying baby last night and risk being known as the crazy newcomer, or better yet, draw her own conclusion as to the exact source of the sound.

Cee's Black and White Photo Challenge: Pets

He brought us laughter, frustration, exercise and a greater understanding that dogs do have differing personalities just as people do, and of course love.  He was totally an alpha male and never let us forget it.  This is my blog hop post at Cee's Black and White Photo Challenge:  Pets.  Photos in black and white, sepia tones, or a selective color with the majority being black and white are acceptable for this challenge.

He quickly found a place to hide when he sensed we were getting ready to go back inside the house, and then waited for us to find him.  In this photo he was only sort of hidden.  Other times, one had to look quite a bit harder to find him.


Although he looked quite sleepy, it appeared that he was still listening to the conversation going on among the humans.

Who could not love that smile?

Perhaps this is the 'fetal position' pose of dogs, or maybe the 'my feet are cold' pose.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Cee's Compose Yourself Challenge: Week #16 Color Basics

Capturing just the right colors in photographs often can be helped along once one gets them into the computer, depending on what compositional tools you have at your fingertips and how skilled you are at using them.  There are many who are way more advanced than myself, but I decided to see what I could do with what I have available.  Cee's Compose Yourself Challenge:  Week #16 Color Basics asks that six photos be shared, three showing warm tones and three showing cool tones.  I use Photo on the Mac to edit my photos.

This is the original photo and has a cooler look to it even though there must have been some sunshine, because of being able to see the shadow of the feather.

I used the Transfer filter to change the color in the photo to a warmer tone.

This is the original.  The grass shows a warmer green.

By applying less color and less light to the photo, it now takes on a cooler tone.

This is the original.  Before working with the tones, I decided it needed the help of the cropping tool so I could straighten it.

This photo shows the photo now straightened and cropped.  I also used the fade filter to give it a cooler look.

The last photo has been warmed up by applying the transfer filter.

Be sure to check out Cee's site to see how others have responded to this blog hop challenge.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Cee's Fun Foto Challenge: Things that are cold

In looking back a few years when we had some freezing rain and a silver thaw, I found some photos I took that seem to work for the blog hop at Cee's Fun Foto Challenge:  Things that are cold.  It makes me shiver just looking at them.

The bamboo in the middle of the photo is quite tall, but the weight of the ice made them bow to the earth!

I think any birds trying to hold on this wire fence or these tree branches incased in ice would have a tough time.

These look like little tear drops suspended in air, but are actually ice that has formed around little dead stems from a type of ground cover that once had blossoms.

Thank you, Cee, for naming me a featured blogger for this post.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Share Your World

The questions for this week's Share Your World blog hop were suggested by Bridget from The Happy Quitter blog for Cee's Share Your World  2016 Week 6.  James Lipton on the American television show Inside the Actor's Studio frequently asks his guests similar questions.  Most responses are quickly answered, so that is how I chose to answer the questions.  I think that I am going to enjoy going to Cee's site to see how others answered these questions.  You might find that entertaining as well.

1.  What is your favorite word?  Love

2.  What is your least favorite word?  Hate

3.  What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?  Seeing the creative efforts of others inspires me.  Meditation and serving others strengthens me spiritually as well as emotionally.  Being out in nature also helps me emotionally.

4.  What turns you off?  Rudeness, very loud restaurants, swearing, the taking of the Lord's name in vain

5.  What is your favorite curse word?  None of them.  I don't use them, and don't like to hear them.

6.  What sound or noise do you love?  Laughter of babies and young children, the sound of ocean waves, the chirping of birds, the sound of quiet, many different kinds of music

7.  What sound or noise do you hate?  Screeching of chalk on a chalkboard, angry voices, hard rock

8.  What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?  It is too late to start now, but these are some professions that sound interesting to me:  Music therapist, researcher of some sort, animal behavioralist, neuroscientist, and anthropologist.

9.  What profession would you not like to do?  Mathematician, lawyer, chemist, physicist, and engineer

10  If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?  The words as spoken by the lord unto his servant in the New Testament, Matthew 25:21.   To read the rest of the story click here.

21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 

Cee concludes this blog hop with a bonus question.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  My usual response is to steer readers to my weekly post to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop.  Gratitude is the focus of the posts. This week I'm looking forward to going to the temple, having lunch with a friend, and making progress on a couple of projects and whatever else comes along.  😀