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

Cee's Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2016 Week 46

The longer I take part in some of Cee's photo challenges, the more I keep an eye out for things that might work for upcoming challenges, and sometimes I take a photo just because it interests me.  Today I'm posting some more photos that seem to fit for Cee's Odd Ball Photo Challenge:  2016 Week 46.  Enjoy.

This huge sign was leaning against some other items on the deck of an antique store.  I tried to discover more about "Of the world Inc" but wasn't able to find a business by that name.  Perhaps it was used on a float, or in a play, and wasn't actually a business.


I couldn't  resist taking this photo when we were on a trail in Alaska.  Apparently a tree fell and rather than try to remove it, they just sawed down a ways and evened out the rest so they could do some cross cutting to make it less treacherous for the hikers.

A fallen log with tread

This was the oddest store-bought salad.  I've blotted out the store name to protect the innocent.  I did not notice the mistake in packaging until my husband saw the salad at home and said, "A mouse must have gotten into your salad."  There was no salad in one corner.  It was perfectly sealed, so I assumed it was safe to eat and I suffered no ill effects.

Why is part of the salad missing?

We have a ramp and we have discovered that the space between the boards is a perfect spot for the big leaf maple seeds to lodge. They do it all on their own and so very perfectly without any rearranging from me.  My kids used to refer to these as helicopters when they fell from the trees.  In this photo the "wings" apparently led the way into the space.

Big leaf maple seeds

Friday, November 18, 2016

Six Sentence Stories - Light

The blog hop Six Sentence Stories sent me dipping into the past.  I'm linking my six to Six Sentence Stories - Light.  What memories come to your mind when you think of the word light?  What creative juices start flowing when you receive this cue?  Why not write a six sentence story in a post and share for the blog hop?  It is fun!

Farming with two preschoolers in tow was difficult, and keeping the bills paid was challenging enough that he demanded that his wife get a job as a secretary to make ends meet.  Perhaps if she had been at home that day, the children would not have been so scared and would not have been left alone in the big old bare-bones house while he took care of the errand that took longer than expected.

The sun had set, and with the house being pitch black, fear crept in when he hadn't returned. Being there in the dark seemed like an eternity to the little girl and her younger brother.  They were standing in the corner of the large room when they heard the creak of the door opening.  It was only when they heard the familiar click and saw their mother standing under the high string leading to the light bulb that their fear melted away.

Cee's Black and White Photo Challenge: Any Tracks and Trains

There are tracks aplenty, but I need to be in the right place at the right time to get photos of trains.  With a little searching through some old toys, I came up with the needed items.  I'm linking this post of black and white photos to Cee's Black and White Photo Challenge:  Any Tracks and Trains.  Thanks Cee for this challenge.

Railroad tracks  in Marion County Oregon

Tracks alongside Salem OR train station

Railroad tracks in Marion County Oregon

Toy train made of wood and plastic

Plastic toy train missing the engine and the caboose

Cee's Which Way Photo Challenge - November 16, 2016

There are many options for photographs depicting the challenge presented in Cee's Which Way Photo Challenge - November 16, 2016. You  probably have some great photos that you could post and link to her blog hop too.  Click her link to see what others have shared.

Drivers using this road must make a choice of which way to go.  It is easy if they know where they are going.

This paved road has taken a beating.

Travelers need to be prepared for the sharp turn on this gravel road.

Gravel road alongside water-filled ditch

At first this path appears to dead end, but look closely.

Path at the Mission Mill Museum * Marion County Historical Society

The parking lot and bricked walkway and entry lead to the red steps, railing and porch of this very old building.

Mission Mill Museum * Marion County Historical Society

How many signs can you find in this photo?

Overhead walkway from Willamette University to the Tokyo International University of America

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

52 Week Photo Challenge:Week 14-Soft

Sometimes I know exactly at least one photo I want to take for a photo blog hop challenge, and such was the case for 52 Week Photo Challenge:Week 14-Soft.  Here are some of my photos that I think go well for the cue this week.  Be sure to visit to see what others have shared for this challenge.

Creamy soft hand lotion on back of hand

Sunset clouds that have the appearance of softness

The soft fuzzy leaves of an African violet

A stuffed Alpaca on a soft mohair blanket

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge 123 Breathe&New

A week or two back I saw a field of dried cornstalks still standing in a field.  It was this memory, though sans photo, that inspired my haiku for the blog hop at Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #123 Breathe&New.

beige cornstalks rustle
as I breathe new musky scents
wafting in autumn air

Cee's Fun Foto Challenge: Roofs

It wasn't until I considered this challenge at Cee's Fun Foto Challenge:  Roofs that I began to see how many kinds of roofs there really are.  I wasn't able to take photos of all those that I thought would be fun to share, but maybe next time when the weather is more cooperative.  Enjoy.  Check out Cee's site to see more roofs that have been shared by others.

Kiosk at the Jensen-Olson Arboretum in Juneau AK

Bottom of bird house serves as roof for spider and web

Roofs of storage units

St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Juneau AK

Building at the Enchanted Forest, Salem OR

Share Your World - 2016 Week 46

It is time to muse, but these are some light thoughts based on Cee's Share Your World - 2016 Week 46 questions.  Please feel free to join up for her blog hop if you have some burning answers to questions for this week.

1.  Are you a traveler or homebody?  I do enjoy being able to travel to visit family, and/or to see and experience other places. Although I have only been to a few foreign countries and only a smattering of states in my homeland, I have treasured those occurrences.  Equally so, I like the quiet, peacefulness of our home.

2.  What kind of TV commercial would you like to make.  Describe it.  To be able to make a seasonal advert like John Lewis shares at Christmas would be my goal.  These touch my heart.  If I had a store or a business, I would be much more likely to use this technique to draw people in, or to just use this as a way of saying thank you for their business.  Since I don't live in the UK, it wasn't until I searched to learn more about the John Lewis who shares these adverts, that I learned John Lewis is a chain of department stores.  As to what the story line would be, and how I would go about making it, I think I'd need be independently wealthy so I could hire some very creative  people who know much more about doing these kind of things than myself.

3.  Describe yourself in a word that starts with the first letter of your name.  Patient.  There have been many experiences in my life where I haven't felt very patient, but with time, I am recognizing that I am more patient than I used to be, and I feel that I have made progress.

4.  List some fun things for a rainy day.
Looking through family photos with a family member or members
Playing Scrabble
Watching a movie and eating popcorn with someone you care about
Calling or visiting people who are shut-ins
Attempting to learn a new skill, or become more knowledgeable about a certain subject
Go thrift store shopping

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  Click here see my short list from my Ten Things of Thankful post.  One of the things that happened this past weekend, that happened after my post, was that my camera didn't break when I dropped it!  Yeah!  I love any serendipitous things that happen that just brighten my life.  So that is what I am looking forward to this week.


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Ten Things of Thankful

Although this week has been disconcerting to me in some ways because of the similarities I see to some disturbing events in history, I am grateful for things that transpired that helped me to see the goodness, charitable acts, willingness of people to rise above those things that would tear asunder all that has been achieved and that is beneficial for the human race.  These are my ten things of thankful that I am posting to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop.

November blue skies, but December mistletoe awaits

1.  The weather cooperated enough that much progress was made in getting the solar panels ready for installation.

2.  Hubby and I met with some other empty nesters for lunch.

3.  An invitation to see photos that our neighbors took of their recent trip to Ireland.  It was fun be a part of their trip, though vicariously.  I have a lot of Irish in me, but I've never visited Ireland.

4.  A nice visit with two women from church who visit me or contact me monthly.  If there is ever a need, they are ready to help out.  Mostly, I just really enjoy their friendship and being able to share our lives with one another.

5.  A nice lunch with some women from church.  We tried out a new restaurant that lets you build your own pizza.

6.  An invitation to visit a place where our son used to spend some time on camp outs when he was in Boy Scouts.  The place is now under different ownership.  We were able to walk on the property and see the progress they have made with the help of those knowledgeable individuals who have advised and helped them.   Improvements are being made in tree farm restoration, upland prairie and oak restoration, floodplain restoration, improvement of the slough, etc.  It was such a beautiful day, and being able to see and learn of the efforts of so many was indeed impressive.  Our son loved this place, and I can certainly see why.

7.  Learned a new craft at a church craft night.  I'd never used a wood burning tool until this week.  I found it to be quite fun.

8.  Going up to listen to a gentleman play such wonderful music on the piano for those at the nursing home.  I'm not sure how well Mom was able to hear the music, but I know that I thoroughly enjoyed it and she enjoyed having me there with her.  This man is well up in years and can add rousing accompaniment to just a melody line.  What a gift he has and what a great service he renders.  He usually ends his hour of playing with some  hymns, and "God Bless America."  This week, more than some others, that last piece was especially touching.

9.  Going to a couple more Christmas bazaars.  At one of them I received a free nerve scan of my back from a chiropractor.  My experience in the past with a chiropractor wasn't especially beneficial.  I learned that the chiropractor I talked to today is a Maximized Living Chiropractor.  After looking at the website, this sounds more up my line than what I have experienced in the past.

10.  Gratitude for my faith which helps me feel hopeful and helps strengthen my courage to stand up and speak out for what is right.

Friday, November 11, 2016

TJ's Household Haiku - Peeking

TJ is posting his household haiku challenges once more, so I'm linking up one of my haiku to this week's TJ's Household Haiku -Peeking.

doe is well hidden
as peeking buck steps lightly
toward fencerow thicket

Six Sentence Stories - Draft

With it being Veterans Day here, I considered going that route with the cue of draft, but decided to go with another blast from the past memory instead.  I'm linking this post to Six Sentence Stories - Draft.

The ride had been long, as it always was when returning home after visiting the grandparents who lived in another state.  To save money, there was no stopping to spend the night halfway home. Neither was there any anticipating what lay ahead in her room in the attic when they arrived home.

Being careful not to stumble as she carried her luggage up the steep stairs to her room, she set her things on the bed.  Turning around toward her dresser, her eyes widened in surprise upon seeing feathers scattered all over the dresser and the floor.

She could take care of the feathers, the beginnings of a nest, and the poop, but Dad would need to nail up a shingle to eliminate the draft coming through the hole in the unfinished bedroom wall.