Monday, October 31, 2016

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #121 Creep&Race

Ronovan challenged writers with two ideal words that could be used for a Halloween haiku.  I chose to write a haiku that has nothing to do with Halloween, but presents a scene just as scary.  I'm linking this post to RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #121 Creep&Race. Check out his site to see others' take on this prompt.

lights flashed in her mirror
as her heart raced her car crept
to the side of the road

Share Your World - 2016 Week 44

Every week at Cee's Photography, she presents questions, etc. for us to answer.  I'm linking my post to her Share Your World - 2016 Week 44.  As you read my answers, consider what your answers would be.  It is often a good way to stretch one's memory.

1.  What was your favorite subject in school?  In elementary school I loved  fifth grade geography when we had an assignment to make a relief map of the United States using salt dough.  We then painted the map and identified the states.  Using salt dough was a brand new experience for me.

In the seventh grade I particularly enjoyed my social studies class where we were given assignments to make reports about countries of our choosing.  We  could often get a higher grade if we included photos and articles from magazines about our topic.  There used to be a store in town that sold a lot of used magazines.  They had multiple copies of old National Geographic magazines.  They cost very little and were a great resource of wonderful photos.

In high school I enjoyed an advanced biology class where we got to use microscopes and make drawings of what we were able to see. We collected murky water from ponds, drainage ditches, etc. to bring to school specifically for this assignment. The hardest part was making the final drawings using India Ink. This was back in the day when the only way to use India Ink was by dipping the nib of the quill dip pen into a jar of India Ink, and hoping a drop of ink didn't fall from the nib onto your almost finished drawing. Needless to say, more than once I had to start all over again to complete a drawing.  The more drawings of different species of protozoans a student did, the higher the grade. It was also a test of my patience.

My favorite class in college was a child psychology class where we had the opportunity to sit behind a screen and take notes of what we observed in a preschool class being conducted by the college and some students (probably student teachers).  I found this to be a very interesting exercise, and actually used some of these type of skills later on in life.

2.  If you could have a servant come to your house every day for two hours, what would you have them do?  The things that would be most beneficial to me would be things that require bending, stooping, or lifting. The jobs would vary depending on the day. High on the list would be weeding, pruning, cleaning the bathrooms, changing bedding, mopping and vacuuming.

3.  Where did you live when you were in the third grade of school?  Is it the same place or town you live now?  I lived in the country on a farm about five miles from the city limits.  I still live about five miles from the same town, but in a different direction and in a different county. Although we have some acreage, we do not farm.

4.  In your opinion, list some great places for shopping.  Grocery stores:  Winco, Life Source, Natural Foods, Trader Joes, EZ Orchards Market, and Roths.  Clothes:  I check out what is there at Goodwill and consignment stores, or on occasion go to an outlet store. Once in a while I buy a brand new article of clothing.

Bonus Question:  What are you grateful for from last week and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  I shared my grateful list for last week on my post for the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop.  Probably #10 on the list made the biggest impression on my life.   I'm looking forward to trying a new blog hop challenge #ThankfulActs at  This month long challenge begins November 1.

Photo Blogging Challenge - Water

I'm linking up for the first time to a blog hop at A 'lil HooHaa.  It is Photo Blogging Challenge -Water.  At the beginning of each month there is a new challenge.  The last day of the month we are supposed to post five photographs we have taken during the month that interpret the theme.

Here are my five interpretations.

Rain-splashed maple leaves

Raindrops on the windshield and maple leaf

Bashaw Creek near Pintail & Egret Marsh Boardwalk after recent rainstorm at Ankeny NWR

Egret Marsh at Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge

Pintail Marsh at Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Cee's Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2016 Week 43

It has been odd that I haven't linked up to this fun blog hop for a while, but today I have a really odd photo to post and link to Cee's Odd Ball Photo Challenge:  2016 Week 43.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did when I saw it.

Hat's off the gardener and hat's off to creative gardening!

Ten Things of Thankful

This has been an interesting week with a hodgepodge of "thankfuls" to share here and link to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop.

1 - 2 The past week as been a mixture of wonderful sunny days interspersed with some days of heavy rains and winds that tried to rid our big leaf maple trees of a considerable amount of the remaining leaves hanging from their branches.  The main lane is now a mess of mud, a blanket of soggy oak leaves, some gravel (it must be there somewhere) and now and then a branch that has fallen and is quickly removed.  I'm thankful that on one of the days my husband was able to get out and use the leaf blower on our driveway making backing up easier to see exactly where the driveway is.  A couple of days later, the rain returned and covered up all his good work.  Even though having so many leaves can be a problem when they being to fall, I'm thankful to have these trees that we planted about 35 years ago.  The same trees give shelter to the deer at times too, when they aren't nibbling on the apple trees or mowing the grass.

Four-legged lawn mowers

3 - 4 On one of the sunny days we went on a drive to visit a couple we know.  It takes about a 90 minutes to get to their place out in the country.  We sometimes play a birding game when we go on our drives.  This time, I had to pick a number and then say over or under in relation to how many eagles I thought we would see on our trip.  I said "over ten."  My husband was left with "under ten."  He won.  He saw only one and I didn't see any.  It isn't quite lambing season yet, the time when eagles prey on the afterbirth of the new born lambs. There are a lot of sheep in the fields on our way to visit our friends.  We should have been looking for nutria.  Sometimes we see dead ones along the road, but I saw five of them grazing in a field.  That is kind of an unusual sighting, at least for me.  I'm thankful for things to do that make life fun and interesting.  I'm thankful for the unexpected or novel events.

5 - 6 We occasionally see wild turkeys in our area or over at the wildlife refuge not far away, but not flocks of them.  Most often people refer to a group of turkeys as flocks or gobbles, but officially they are called a rafter of turkeys.  The couple mentioned above took us to a restaurant about eight miles from their home.  We followed them in our car, and on the way, we saw a lone turkey near some bushes in a fence row, and then a rafter right along the side of the road.  As we entered the little town where we were headed, I saw another rafter in front of a house.  These rafters included about 10 - 15 wild turkeys each.  I've read articles that told of how possessive wild turkeys can be, to the point of attacking visitors to the homes where the turkeys feel they have guardianship.  I'm thankful for two unusual sightings in the same day, and thankful that neither nutria nor wild turkeys have taken up residence on our property, at least not for now.

7 - 8 When I was growing up, my parents had a sofa that was kind of a blue-green color.  Years later when the sofa needed to be reupholstered, my Mother chose another fabric, but in kind of the same color.  I guess that color has had quite an influence on me, because to this day, I love blue-green colors.  That is why when I saw some unusual berries on a vine in our friend's garden I was quite smitten.  She explained that it was a porcelain vine.  It is a grape-like plant and produces beautiful porcelain looking berries. Unfortunately, the vine can be quite invasive, especially with the help of birds dropping the berries here and there.  I'm thankful for similarities between parent and child.  I'm thankful for beautiful colors making life so much more interesting than living in an all black and white world.

Porcelain vine
9 There is a cute little restaurant that used to be a church in Veneta OR.  It is called Our Daily Bread Restaurant.  Our friends treated us to a delightful lunch there.  The lunch was delicious and definitely worth going there again.  I'm thankful for the creative vision of people starting up a businesses, whether it be a restaurant, or otherwise.

10 Yesterday I attended a funeral service that honored and celebrated the life of a man who attended my church.  He had recently passed away from effects of ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) after having lived for much longer than expected with this terribly debilitative disease.  No one ever heard him complain even as this disease took its toll on his body.  His dear wife cared for him in their home until the very end.  Many were blessed to have been able to serve him and his wife as his physical needs became greater, especially when he could no longer attend church because of his limitations.  Those who went to serve him came away from those experiences feeling like they were the ones served.  I have no doubt that the teen-age boys who served him experienced life-changing moments that are etched into their minds and hearts forever, and that they will reflect much of this man's characteristics in their own lives as they mature. The service yesterday was truly a sacred experience for me.  I am thankful for the truly good people I am blessed to know and the things that I learn from them in deed and in word.  Good people create peace and harmony in the world and we need that.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Six Sentence Story - Stick

Which direction should I go with this blog hop challenge?  I thought of several different ways the word is used, but a story seemed out of reach until tonight.  This took me back to childhood memories living out in the sticks.  I'm linking this post to Six Sentence Story - Stick at Ivy's Uncharted blog.

Her black rubber boots slipped on the muddy red clay bank of the creek behind the barn.  She almost plopped down right behind the cow she was herding, but she managed to stay upright as she gave the cow one last poke on the rump to urge her to climb up the bank.

Seeing that Bossy was contently grazing now, she turned her attention to the creek where sometimes she found interesting rocks, and if lucky, agates for her collection.  What really intrigued her about the creek were what lived in it:  mussels, tadpoles, an occasional trout, bullfrogs, slithering garter snakes, and crawdads, as most people called here, instead of crayfish.

The crawdads often went to the deeper areas of the creek where they weren't as easily seen, especially when they stirred up the mud underneath them.  She grabbed a narrow stick she found in the undergrowth, and slid it gently into the water toward what she thought were crawdad pincers and waited, hoping to carefully lift it up from the water when he took hold.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #120 Heart&Petals

This haiku was inspired by the prompts at a blog hop Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #120 Heart&Petals. To read the haiku that others have written for this challenge, click on the link.

I'm sharing a photo of one of my favorite types of flowers.  The name hopefully isn't an indication of the future of the bride and groom.

Bleeding hearts

stepping down the aisle
her hands held heart-shaped petals
entwined with ribbon


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Ten Things of Thankful

It is once again time to consider what has happened, or not happened, during the past week and jot down 10 things for which I am thankful.  It always amazes me what a diverse group of individuals we are that link up our posts to the blog hop Ten Things of Thankful.  We vary from one another in many ways, but the one thing that unites us is the desire to take stock of our lives each week and contemplate the ways we have been blessed.  Just in recognizing our blessings and sharing them with others, our blessings seem to be added upon.

1 - 2 Monday my husband and I enjoyed a wonderful lunch at a couple's home.  My husband had already met them, but I had not.  We both really enjoyed their company and hospitality.  They both know a lot about naturalizing properties with native plants, and since we are considering doing more of that, it was great to "pick their brains."  This "we project" is really more my husband's idea at this point, since doing a lot work outside at present isn't an option for me. I'm thankful to make new friends and to learn new things.

3.  A friend's husband passed away after a lengthy battle with ALS.  This is such a horrible disease.  He never complained.  I feel such sadness for his dear wife who cared for him in their home until the very end.  Both of them I consider to be saints.  My husband and I sat across from them at an Empty Nesters' dinner group quite a few years ago when they were first trying to figure out what was going on with his health, at the point they were being referred to other doctors.  To have watched how they have dealt with this unexpected detour in their lives has left an indelible imprint on my soul. I am thankful for having been able to see the love they have for one another.  They have taught not only me, but so many others by their example.

4 - 5  Thursday evening I attended a meeting at my church.  A representative from Catholic Charities met with us to explain their involvement with the Refugee Resettlement in Oregon and the need for volunteers in the community to help.  It was very informative.  One of the first things she explained was what the difference is between a refugee and a migrant,  to clear up any misunderstandings on that matter.  It was great to receive information as to ways those in the community can be involved as  individuals and/or as a groups.   I am thankful for opportunities to combine with other churches in the area to meet a common need.  I am thankful that even though there may be differences in how our worship services are conducted and some differences in how we interpret doctrine, we come together in a desire to help others.

6.  Friday morning I went for PT which included some massage.  Even though the massage wasn't very long, nor painful, I bruised from it. (?)  I am thankful for those in the health care fields who have training to help us improve our health. 

7.  My husband and I are trying to eat  a more healthy diet, but buying some bags of candy that were on sale, knowing I would want to have some on hand for the children who trick or treat, was our bane.  You guessed it!  The bags got opened sooner than later.  With the cooler weather, I am enjoying being able to make more soups and stews.  I am thankful for a friend that brought me some Tuscan tomato and basil bisque this week.  It was very yummy.

8.  One day we had very heavy rains most of the day.  The next day was combined with darks clouds intermittent with some sun. There is something about seeing the beautiful fall foliage still moist from the rain arrayed against blue sky and sunshine. The sight really lifts my spirit.  I was glad my husband was receptive to my desire to "Let's go for a drive."  I really wanted to soak up scenery for a while.

9.  Little by little I am making some progress in our home with the decluttering project.  It just takes me longer than I would like.  Patience, she said, patience.

10.  I am thankful that we received our ballots this week.  It truly is a blessing that we live in this country and have the right to vote.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Six Sentence Story - Fix

With some memories of children's antics, mischievousness, exploration or experimentation, depending on how you might think of it, I am sharing this memory for the blog hop at Six Sentence Story - Fix.  If you have a blog and like blog hops, consider Six Sentence Story which has different prompts each week .

How was it possible that it no longer worked.  It just stopped one day, or maybe in the middle of the night.  No amount of turning, pulling on knobs, or shaking it made any difference.  Mom didn't have the answer and neither did Dad.  He guessed it was up to him to discover what was broken inside it.  After breaking it apart with a screwdriver and staring at the inside, he wasn't sure where to begin to fix it. 

Do you have memories of a child breaking something in order to see how it worked, or perhaps thinking he/she could fix it?  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Share Your World -2016 - Cee's Photography

This blog hop post is in response to the questions asked on Share Your World - 2016 - Cee's Photography.  Chris from 61 Musings suggested these questions for Cee's challenge this week.

1.  If you wanted to de-clutter where you live, what room/space wood you start with?  (And why, if you feel like admitting to it.) 
It would  the storage room which needs to be less cluttered.  Once that is done I can move some other items into the storage room and free up some space in a couple of bedrooms.

2.  If you want to remember something important, how do you do it (sticky note on the fridge, string around your finger, etc.) and does it work?
I use my reminders app on my iPad, the wall calendar and the calendar in my purse, and depending on what it is, I might use my notes app on my iPad.  Most times this works for me.

3.  If you could create a one-room retreat just for yourself, what would be the most important sense to emphasize:  sight (bright natural light, dim light, etc.), hearing (silence, music, fountain, etc.), smell (candles, incense, etc.), touch (wood, stone, soft fabrics, etc.), or taste (herbal tea, fresh fruit, etc.)?
I think it would be a room with bright natural light!  Years ago when I was in Denmark, I remember how it felt being in a town that is noted by artists for its wonderful natural bright light.  It is so hard to describe, but I know how it felt to me.

4.  If you could interview one of your great-great-great grandparents, who would it be, (if you know their name) and what would you ask?
I have searched for information about my ancestors for many years.  Although I've collected many names and dates, it would interesting to know more about what it was like for them to live their daily lives.  I select Mary Custer, my great-great-great grandmother as the person I would like to interview.
She was born in 1780 in Maryland and died in 1856 in Missouri.  She was married to Valentine 
Kimes, Sr.

Bonus question:  What are you thankful for from last week and what are you looking forward to in week coming up? 
I will refer you to my Ten Things of Thankful post I posted this weekend.  Although I listed 10 things, I guess not breaking any bones when I fell is pretty high in importance.  This week I am looking forward to getting over the increased pain that I encountered when I fell last Wednesday.

Monday, October 17, 2016

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #119 Hunter&Moon

Hunters in the fall venture out for meat to fill their freezers.  Poets are on the hunt for something to write for this blog hop challenge at RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #119 Hunter&Moon.  My post for Ronovan's challenge is about another type of hunter.

black ring-tailed feline
hunter stalked under moon light
at edge of forest


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Ten Things of Thankful

Tonight as I write my post to link to the blog hop Ten Things of Thankful, I'm trying to divert my mind away from pain in my back.  I kept a bit of a short list this week, so I wouldn't forget some of these things.

1.  It has been many years since I needed to cancel services of any kind, so I'd forgotten that whole thing about giving a month's notice.  I was calling to cancel some of my Mom's services at her home which had just sold, and it was brought to my attention that she would still owe another month of payment, even though she wouldn't be living there.  In this case the new owners may or may not choose to use the service. I didn't want to give any earlier notice until the deal was final.  How can I turn this into a positive statement?  I'm thankful to be reminded of some things people should know (give a month's notice, and be sure you are talking to the one who takes care of stopping services).  I'm thankful that I didn't postpone taking care of the cancellations.

2.  Some people really like word games and some don't.  I fall into the first category.  One day this week I was visiting my Mom at the nursing center and saw a small group of residents in my Mom's area playing Scrabble with an activities' leader.  Mom was not one of those playing, but when I wheeled her near the game, I noticed that the playing board had ridges around each letter spot.  This seemed to be so perfect for anyone playing this game, but especially so for those who have less agility than they did in their younger years.  We have a much older version of Scrabble with no ridges.  I'm thankful for whoever came up with the idea of using ridges on the board and also enabling the board to spin.  Perhaps those suggestions came from people who have younger children or someone with less agility.

3. One day during the middle of the week, I decided to drive to town to do a few errands. My second errand was to go to an office supply store.  As I was trying to see the items on a lower shelf, I took a step backwards and must have bumped my shoe on a lower metal rack behind me.  I found myself being off balanced, and I couldn't straighten myself sufficiently to keep from falling.  On the way down I hit the back of my head, and about every spot on my backside and somehow even scraped my forearms.  No one saw this happen since I was the only one in the aisle, but with the banging of the metal shelves, a couple of workers came to inquire if I was okay, and if I needed them to call an ambulance.  I decided that wasn't necessary.  Mostly I felt I'd just injured my pride and added insult to injury since I am still trying to get back my range of motion from when I broke my arm, and have been dealing with a reoccurrence of back pain for several months.  The big thankful from this fall is that I didn't do any further damage to my shoulder and arm and that I didn't have to spend hours in the ER. 

4.  Thursday, the northwest was due for a big storm that was to hit in the evening and go through Saturday night.  The storm hit right as scheduled, but didn't seem to last very long Thursday evening.  As my husband and I were working at the computers, I heard a sound of dripping water in the next room.  The combined hard wind and the rain found a weak spot on the roof.  We quickly set up couple of containers to catch any further drips.  Since then there have been no more drips.  Yeah!  I'm thankful to have ears to hear, that we were close in vicinity to the sound of the drip, and that our house is dry inside.

5.  I'm thankful for the beautiful clouds that were a part of the storm system.

6.  I'm thankful that the storm didn't turn out to be anything like the Columbus Day Storm of years' past, as was forecast.

7.  One day this week as I was carrying a little bowl of grapes I'd picked, I saw something run between my legs on the ramp and run down the steps.  It startled me, but after looking closer, I saw that it was one of the two little fence lizards that seem to have taken up residence near our house.  I'm thankful for little creatures.  Since my husband grew up closer to the high desert, he particularly likes to see them.

8.  I'm thankful for my husband's assistance this week when I've taken it even easier than before this week's event.

9.  Once a month I have the opportunity to have lunch with some friends, and I am grateful for these times.  The number in the group varies from month to month, but it is always fun to attend when I am able.  Fortunately, Tuesday was a pretty good day for me, and I was able to attend.

10. Some people dread storms.  I don't like the destructions that often comes with a storm, but I must admit that I enjoy watching the lightning and hearing the thunder and the pounding of hard rain. Watching it from a safe place inside, I feel protected from this magnificent power.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Finish the Sentence Friday - My life is easier. . .

When most people consider items in a tool box, certain tools come to mind, and others, well not so much.  I'm linking this post to a blog hop at Finish the Sentence Friday - My life is easier. . . 

When I our first child was almost three, we bought our first home.  I soon became friends with an elderly neighbor lady.  Often she could be seen crouched down in her yard weeding.  She was trying to get rid of those yellow flowers that thought they must be ever as pretty as the yellow daffodils.  The tool of her choice to remove these abundant flowers, with the leaves that some people use in their salads, was a large slotted screw driver.  She said that the screw driver works better than anything else to dig down and remove the entire root of the plant.  After trying it myself, the screw driver became my tool of choice for getting rid of dandelions and some other small weeds with roots difficult to remove.  My life is easier when I listen and learn from others.

Now, here is a tip I'd like to share.  Purchase a bag of wooden skewers and add them to your household tool kit or drawer. They could be placed by some swabs that you may have found useful for things other than cleaning around your ears.  (Note, I said "around," not in your ears.  Much has said online about how it isn't actually good to use swabs inside your ears.)  The following lists ways I have used skewers as tools: getting out grime from around the trim on the sink and stove, getting out lint that clings tightly to the lint screen and drawer of the dryer,  and getting out dirt that has gotten lodged into the corners of the sliding door tracks, etc.  Once in a while I've taped a swab to the end of a skewer to reach into narrow spaces to drag out some kind of debris.  Have fun discovering the true value of these inexpensive tools.  My life is easier when I experiment and repurpose things.

How has your life become easier when you listened and learned from others?

What items have you repurposed that made your life easier?

Write your ideas in a post, and link your post to Finish the Sentence Friday - My Life is easier. . .  I'm looking forward to reading what you share.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Six Sentence Story - Season

There are so many ways one could go with the theme of the blog hop, Six Sentence Story - Season.  If you want to try your hand at writing and not get bogged down writing a whole book, or a whole chapter, try just six sentences.  The more the merrier in this blog hop!

It wasn't what she was expecting, although "it" wasn't clear in her mind.  After having received a briefing about how to interact with those who would soon join them, she and her friends huddled together in a room of this antiquated institution and waited.  Their conversations were somewhat muted, quite a contrast to the voices chattering unintelligibly in the hallway.  Soon a group of "boys and girls" entered, but from their appearance some appeared to be as old as the visitors' parents, maybe older.  

Someone turned on the record player and cheerful Christmas carols filled the room and helped to relax some of the tension she had felt.  She as about to discover "it" was the true spirit of the Christmas season, the giving of time and self in bringing joy to someone else.

The story took place at this historic building many years before its demise.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Share Your World - 2016 Week 41

It is time to share my world, after quite a few months of absence from the blogging world.  This blog hop post is being linked to Cee's Share Your World - 2016 Week 41.  If you enjoy blog hops check out her site for details on how to share your world.  It is fairly simple, so this is a great way to get started if you are new to blog hops.

The questions this week from The Happy Quitter were suggestions made by kids for the Share your World challenge.

1.  Do you believe in love at first sight? I think that one can be attracted to someone when first meeting, but I think true love is not realized immediately.  There are so many different aspects of love that it often takes a life time to discover them all.

2.  Your first car?  My husband and I bought a brand new little blue VW bug in the early '60's.  This was "our" first car.

3.  Who taught you to ride a bike?  How did it go?  When I was about 11, my parents bought a used boy's one-speed bike for my younger brother and I to share.  I don't really remember much about being taught.  We had a bit of a dirt and gravel hill on our lane which I used to my advantage to give me a little momentum.  With all the chuck holes on the lane, it wasn't such a smooth ride.  We mostly rode it down to the mailbox a quarter mile away, and then back home to resume farm chores.  Even the main road was dirt and gravel.

4.  Ugly and rich or beautiful and poor?  Outer appearance is not as important as inner beauty.  There are challenges that face both those who are rich and those who are financially poor.  Some of those trials are quite different from the other, but some are similar.

5.  What was the first dish you could cook?  If "could" means allowed to, I would have to say when I was allowed to make a cake from scratch when I was about 11 or 12.  I decided to make a sponge care.  It is a puzzle just exactly what step I omitted, but let's just say that the cake turned out to be a dense rubbery consistency which none of the family could eat.  Not even the pigs on our farm would eat it!  That was a pretty humbling experience.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  Being able to realize the closing of the sale of my Mom's home.  See my post at Ten Things of Thankful - What can I say more?  It's miraculous!  There was a lot of gratitude posted there.  This week I'm looking forward to getting caught up on some of those things I had to let go during the process of selling my Mom's home.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #118 Reward&Challlenge

For a number of months my world has revolved around the two words chosen for this blog hop, but my haiku for Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #118 Reward&Challenge displays my Mother's trial and many others suffering from Alzheimer's.  Ronovan allows synonyms to be substituted for the prompt words.

words trapped and jumbled
in her mind speech was a trial
with little reward

For more information about communication in the late stages of #Alzheimers click here.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Ten Things of Thankful - What can I say more? It's miraculous!

Have you ever said goodbye to an object?  This is not just goodnight to an object, like in the children's book, Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown, but goodbye.  It is a farewell to a large object that brings me once again to linking up to the blog hop Ten Things of Thankful, after months of not participating.

A lot has transpired over these months, some wonderful, and others quite challenging physically and emotionally, but such are the trials of life.  Now on to the Ten Things of Thankful from this past week!

1 - 3. The sale of my Mom's house is final!  Yeah!
My Mom is still in a nursing home and nearing 100 years of age in a few months.  Funds for her care have been dwindling so something needed to be done in order to continue making payments at the nursing home.

June 23, 2016 I met with a realtor about getting my Mom's house on the market to sell.  As it so happened it was really a seller's market.  I agreed with the realtor that having the home staged would be worth it and would make it possible to sell the home quickly.  Hubby and I moved the furniture and belongings into the garage over a three-day period just before leaving on a trip to Alaska.  We were thankful for the help of a couple of strong young missionaries from the church who helped moved some of the heavier items into the garage for us.

While we were gone, the staging company got started with putting in new carpet throughout the house, doing some painting in a couple of rooms, updating the appearance of the kitchen and the bathrooms and staging the home with some furnishings more current to today's market.  The stagers had completed the process a couple of weeks after we returned.

One of our daughters drove up from California to help us with the estate sale.  I truly wouldn't have been able to do it without her insight and help.  To say I was a  little overwhelmed by all the furniture and boxes of belongings we had moved into the garage that they all somehow needed to be unpacked and arranged into some semblance of order ready for shoppers is putting it mildly. . .very mildly!  My husband was a huge help too.  His very presence and manning the cash box, etc. was a huge support to me.  The sale was a two-day sale.  The listing took place and showings began that day as we began holding the estate sale in the garage.  On the first day of showing there were seven offers!  The best offer came from a cash buyer who was selling his home.  The sale of Mom's house was complete on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016.

The title company and realtor said this was the smoothest sale and quickest without hitches, etc.  that they had seen in a long time.  I told them that a lot of prayers had been being said praying that this sale would be completed in a very timely manner.  They laughed a little and asked if I would pray for the rest of their sales.

As you can see there are a lot of other items of gratitude mentioned in this account that cover more than just last week, but I'm going to count them.

4-5. Autumn with cooler days and soupThere have been some soup recipes that I'd been wanting to try, and the time finally came when it was cool enough for me to not only make it but to want to eat hot soup.  Thanks to my husband's help in chopping some of the vegetables, I made a couple of large pots of detox soups this week.  (Back in February I fell and broke a bone in my right arm near my shoulder.  Chopping food is still a little difficult for me.) A detox soup is made by combining a lot of delicious fresh finely cut vegetables, legumes, and broth together, slow cooking them and  blending some of the soup so it is easily digested. It was just what I needed.

6.  Fall apples and grapesWe and the deer and a few bugs are enjoying our fresh apples and grapes.  We do not spray the trees, but there is plenty for all.

7.  Pumpkin, anything pumpkin
So far this week I had a couple of small pumpkin-pie milkshakes, part of a pumpkin doughnut, an a piece of pumpkin pie. The pie was served to the residents at the nursing home who went into the dining hall to listen to a wonderful guest who brought his keyboard and played oldie goldie big-band dance music.  The newest piece was one written in 1953.  I think I enjoyed the music and the pie just as much as my Mom and the other residents!

8.  Walking on the treadmill and using the exercise bike
For much of the summer our treadmill was unusable, but now it is fixed, and I'm taking a little time each day to do some walking on it.  I'm gingerly starting to use the exercise bike again too.  It remains to be seen if the exercise bike is a good thing for me at this time.  I can already see some benefit from walking on the treadmill though.

9.  Rain and protection while traveling on slick roads
We been teased with some drizzle ever so often in September and October, but it wasn't until this past week that we had enough rain to thoroughly soak the ground.  The dried earth is even beginning to show signs and starting to green up again.  With the hard rains pounding on the roads and making contact with oil which may have dropped from vehicles over the summer, there is always a chance of drivers losing control of their vehicles.  That was the case one day this past week when I passed by three wrecks with emergency responders already on the scene.  I always pray for the injured and the families of the injured as well as those who have been called to the scene to help.  Although I don't know those who have been injured, nor those who are helping, I know there is power in prayer.  Seeing a wreck is always a reminder to me to me extra careful and to also say a prayer for other drivers as well.

10.  Where there was destruction, there were also miraculous events
A young couple I know were expecting their first child.  The due date of the child was today, but a few days ago they were ordered to evacuate the area in which they lived. They left and prayed that the baby would wait until they could get to a safer place.  They had made reservations at a hotel 100 miles inland.  When they arrived, they were told the hotel had cancelled their reservations and didn't have a room for them.  Due to an amazing set of circumstances, they learned that there was a couple in the area who had agreed to let them stay at their home.  The owners weren't even supposed to be there at that time, but their visas hadn't arrived for them to use on an intended trip.  The mother-to-be went into labor that  night, but when they went to the hospital, they were told that the hospital didn't have an obstetrics department.  The couple drove 30 miles away to another hospital where eventually the baby girl was delivered safely.  Mother and baby and doing fine.  This story took place during Hurricane Matthew.  I know there were many who were praying for this young couple, as well as for those they didn't even know who were living in the areas where the storm hit.  I'm so thankful for those who were spared, and sorrow for those  who lost loved ones and experienced destruction from the storm.