Sunday, December 10, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

When our family used to take trips to see my grandparents who lived where snow was never something that would be on the ground at Christmas, I remember thinking how strange it seemed to me to have sunshine and blue skies at that time of the year. Now having roads free of snow and ice is what I prefer, especially if I am traveling on curvy and/or hilly roads and in high elevations. So while certain parts of the country are dealing with the heavy snow, we are seeing sunshine, although with lower temperatures. Christmas Day is fast approaching, paying no heed to the temperatures. This year I kind of wish I could insert an extra week in the calendar before Christmas Day.

I am thankful for Josie Two Shoes blog hop and her reminders to share a post at her site Ten Things of Thankful. There are weeks when even with the reminders I mostly ponder possible entries instead of writing and sharing them, so I'll try to not let that happen again this week.


The last of the dental appointments for my Mom, at least for another six months, but my husband is up to the plate this week. Merry Christmas to our dentist. All kidding aside, he really is a great dentist. I recently learned that not all dentists and hygienists are as willing and able to do X-Rays, cleanings, and treatments for  patients who are wheelchair bound. I'm so thankful that my Mom's dentist is able to accommodate her situation. (If she had to have any drilling, etc. she would most likely need to that done elsewhere, i.e. hospital or ?.) Seriously, this is a topic that needs consideration. As people continue to live longer and with dental care having improved drastically and people able to continue to have their original teeth, there needs to be a way that people can receive dental care even though they may be wheelchair bound. This is also a concern of people who become disabled much earlier in their lives.

I'm thankful that what apparently was a little tendinitis on the top of one of my feet most likely came about because I hadn't quite matched my desires for increased fitness, and the energy I felt to get into gear, with my body's capabilities of doing so when I started going to the fitness club. After skipping a class at the fitness club and admitting to myself that it was okay to  take a different pace when I returned, my foot is getting back to normal.

Hair stylists who are willing to tackle cutting curly hair and all its quirks.

The natural curls that just keep appearing on the back of my head, apparently a gift to me in my mid seventies.

Did you know that there are some composers who offer downloadable free sheet music? It has been a while since I went to the site of one composer who does this. Today I printed off a few pages of her arrangements of Christmas music to play on the piano.
Understandably, one must adhere to the guidelines of how the 
music is used.

Real life experiences that remind me of the Savior and what he taught and how he lived. These happenings also remind me that there is so much goodness in people of all faiths and beliefs and good acts often promote a pay it forward action.

Date with my husband to see the movie, Wonder. It is an inspirational movie!

Discovering another way to increase my knowledge of the Spanish language by viewing some You Tube Spanish classes and listening to children's songs sung in Spanish on Pandora. The following songs sung by Jose Luis Orozco on this YouTube video would be fun to learn and sing with my great grandchildren.

Trying new recipes but revising them a bit to suit our tastes. We once in a great while have artichokes to eat and have always dipped the leaves in melted butter. Since I'm watching calories a lot more now, I searched for a less fattening dip and found one that uses yogurt, lemon juice, and a little garlic powder and dash of salt. Delicious! After recently cooking pork loin chops a few different ways, I found a recipe that we really like using apple and onion slices and pork loin chops. They are so good. I'm not sure I'm going to want to cook them any other way.

Scales, whether they are to weigh oneself or to weigh the food you are preparing, are beneficial. I suppose that with time, I will get to the point when I have an idea of how much certain portions of food items might weigh, but in the meantime, I'm weighing some things, like meat. Celebrating new numbers (good numbers)! For those of you who have a battle with numbers, whatever your particular battle may be, I think you can relate.

Wishing you all a very wonderful week.


Friday, December 1, 2017

Six Sentence Stories - Mate

With another holiday season approaching, and most of all the reason for the season, I've decided to use Zoe's blog hop to step right up with a story that I'm linking to Six Sentence Stories - Mate. Many stories are repeated year after year as families come together around the table to feast. Stories unite us to one another and that is a beautiful gift.

With the holidays approaching, she began making a list of certain items that she needed to buy to make their normal plain food taste extraordinaire, perhaps following in the footsteps of her own creative mother.

Green beans that were typically served alone with just a dab of butter and a little salt would be served at the Christmas meal after it had been baked with cream of mushroom soup. Many years later it was considered quite an odd pairing by some of the children who survived that taste only because it had some crunchy canned fried onions as a topping to disguise the taste of the mushrooms. The aroma of boiled and then baked carrots which had been drizzled with butter and ample brown sugar sprinkled on top until they were the color of cinnamon toast, just short of being burnt, was much more palatable to the youngsters.

At Christmas it was a tradition for the family to crack walnuts to be stirred into fudge and into the creamy divinity, which was the consistency of a soft-boiled candy, just the way her mate preferred it. Some of the walnuts were always saved to stuff inside some large dates which were then rolled in powdered sugar and served on a platter full of candies, but in her immediate family there was no Risalamande, a rich Danish rice pudding with an almond hidden in it waiting to be found, but who knows, perhaps a grandchild would someday have that experience.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

The months of November and December come closer each year to merging and being almost a reminder to be thankful for what we are blessed to have, enjoy and be, and then to share and give to others. It is as though the two months were planned to be in such close approximation. Here are my thoughts on gratitude and thankfulness this week. I'm linking my post to Josie Two Shoes Ten  Things of Thankful blog hop.

In an instant things can happen with no more than that amount of time to make a decision. On our way to our son's place for Thanksgiving, I was driving part of the way in heavy traffic. There were three lanes going each direction, and I was in the middle lane of the northbound traffic. Unfortunately a vehicle, most likely a semi, had blown a tire. A long flatbed trailer in front of me had apparently driven over the tire as the destroyed tire was suddenly flapping and moving around in my lane. There was nothing I could do to avoid hitting the tire. All the lanes were full and vehicles close behind me. Swerving wasn't an option and neither was slamming on the brakes. Traffic was moving along at about 45-50 mph at that point. My first thought was that we would have to have some repair work done, but then that thought was replaced with the realization that we could have been hurt, or caused injury to others if I had tried to change lanes or stop suddenly. We were okay, and I am so thankful. Before we headed home the day after Thanksgiving, our son was able to do a little quick fix on the car until we are able to have it inspected at a body shop this coming week. I'm thankful he is younger and more physically fit and able to  take a look at the underside of the car.

I associate holidays with playing games. Our grandchildren taught me how to play Codenames, a new game to me. Fairly quick to play and involves teamwork.

Our daughter-in-law made a scrumptious key lime pie. It was so velvety smooth. I've only had this type of pie maybe three times, but hers was the best key lime pie I'd eaten.

I haven't tracked calories these past few days. It didn't seem the thing to do with it being a holiday and all. I probably should have at least used more discretion than I did, especially since my body had no way to fight back other than to make me feel ill that night and most of the next day. Fortunately it was short lived, with no horrible repercussions.

My husband was able to take some cute photos on Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for his camera work and ability to use Photoshop to best advantage.

Thanks to a young man skilled with using a box scraper, the gravel lane we drive on daily is in much better condition. Delivery people and visitors will appreciate this too.

Being able to enjoy a good movie with my husband is also something for which I am thankful. We saw Victoria and AbdulWe should have left a few minutes earlier as the theater was packed. I think that is the first time we have had to sit apart from each other in a theater because there weren't two empty seats side by side.  Usually we share a bag of popcorn, but I said I just wanted a little popcorn, so he ordered a small bag for me. Good thing, because we were sitting a couple of rows apart and the people in the row between us probably wouldn't have enjoyed having popcorn being tossed over their heads.

Flowers in bloom are an always welcome sight, and this year all my Christmas cacti decided to bloom at the same time, by Thanksgiving!

Larger white Christmas cactus next to a smaller red Christmas cactus. Both pots are sitting on a wooden pine file box that my husband made prior to leaving for his freshman year of college.

This little pink cactus outdid itself this year!

Being around our children and grandchildren is a reminder to us that life is different now in many ways, and yet similar. The similarities are that parents still love their children and hope that their children will be able to reach their potential, and that they will always know that they are loved. 


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

As we approach Thanksgiving this coming week here in the USA, I appreciate having a little time to post to Josie Two Shoes Ten Things of Thankful blog hop. I like the fact that the blog hop stays open from Thursday evening until Tuesday evening. Some weeks are just busier than others, and with not having a very strict time constraint, there is less pressure on the blogger (self imposed). Our administrator is kind and most forgiving, so even if we posted at the very last minute, she would be glad we made it. 

1. A day devoted to being thankful which in the beginning began with being thankful for the harvest and then enjoying the fruits of the harvest and sharing it with others. The native Americans outnumbered the Pilgrims at the first feast. The feast lasted three days. Sometimes a lot of families enjoy leftovers now at Thanksgiving with some dishes that last three days if not shared with other family members and friends to take home with them. This national holiday was proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln during the time of the the Civil War. He proclaimed Thanksgiving as a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens." There were many during that horrible war that were in dire and meager circumstances and probably needed a reminder to thank the Father in spite of those cruel things that mankind does to one another. 

2. The knowledge that the our family will be gathered with loved ones on Thanksgiving Day and perhaps on the day before and/or after.

3. Extended weather forecasts that enable us to know about travel conditions, and to know that at least for now the weather is conducive to safe travel in the various places and routes where our family may be this next week.

4. Restaurants that post on their websites the number of calories in their meals. If you are trying to keep track of calories, this is very helpful. It then becomes up to you whether to partake or not. You are forewarned. Have you found a favorite restaurant that does this?
This link has some helpful information.

5. Being able to wear an outfit today that I haven't been able to squeeze into for longer than I want to admit.

6. Being able to be within 10 minutes of a fitness center and having insurance that covers some of the cost of using the center. The center has a Seca mBCA machine that will do a body scan. I'm looking forward to getting my scan results which will be helpful in knowing which classes and exercises are going to be of most benefit to me. 

7. Continuing to get stronger (which means being able to keep my balance better because my core and legs are getting stronger). 

8. Volunteers who try to console my Mother by sitting by her and attempting to interact with her calmly when she has moments when she is tearful in the nursing center when I am not there. It is such a blessing to know that people are not afraid to "enter into the world" of those who can no longer make sense of their world and can't communicate in a way that makes any sense to others. The following youtube video by Kristin Belfy is the best one I have ever seen about conversing with someone who has Alzheimer's. It is about 15 minutes long.

9. Friendships. A friend treated me to lunch this week. Another friend and I made some visits to other friends. It is wonderful to see the things people have in common as well as to see ways in which they differ. What a dull world it would be if everyone was exactly alike. We all have so much to learn from one another.

10. Being possible to laugh at myself when I say or do something silly because I lack the information I need, or I forget to do something that is vitally important, or I don't hear something correctly. Humor is necessary for living joyfully. Have you been able to laugh at yourself this past week?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Six Sentence Stories - marble

If you are short on time today, but just are feeling like reading a few short blog posts, try perusing some of the Six Sentence Stories. This is a blog hop that Zoe administers. I'm linking my post at her site over at Uncharted. Click the link SSS - Marble to see what other bloggers have written using the cue word this week. The sentences may be long or short, but the story needs to be only six sentences.


There were signs under the edges and in between. Some of them had never been seen by the former owners. She couldn't imagine having them and not at least holding them and turning them.

There was a time or two when she did some exploring with a sharp kitchen knife in hand when her curiosity won out. She turned back the thick cover and turned the sharp edge of the blade outwards away from her before making a slow deliberate slice between the first two sheets which had the appearance of being just one folded back on itself.

There was no beauty to behold on these rough edges, unlike the sheets pressed firm and aligned perfectly in some books with the marble-like designs.

The top book was printed in 1900 and the bottom book was printed in 1898. The edges of the top book have been marbled and feel quite smooth. The bottom book has pages that were apparently very roughly separated. Once in a while we still come across some pages that haven't been separated. Each of the books are among others in sets.

This is the cover of the book printed in 1898. Note the marbled cover in blues and golden hues.

This is the inside of the cover of the book printed in 1900.  The marbled paper is quite shiny and slick. The marbling here is a combination of greens and blues and golden colors.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

There are many things for which I am thankful and I know from past experience that when I give thanks for things, making those thanks specific, that I seem to be doubly blessed. However, I am behind with sharing those thankful things on my post each week to Josie's Ten Things of Thankful blog hop. If you click the link you will be able to read what others are sharing this week and may find that you also feel grateful for some of the same things.

The other day when I was visiting my mother at the nursing center, one of the residents had spilled one of her pureed foods or a drink, or both on the floor. When one of the workers came to clean up the mess, I saw that she was using some paper towels to sop up as much of the liquid as she could. She was using a method that I use quite frequently where I step on a towel use my foot to do as much as I can to clean up the mess before using a mop or getting down on the floor to do the final touches. That saves me needing to be in an uncomfortable position for very long. When the worker looked at me, I said, "Aren't you glad we have feet!" It brought a smile to her face and made her laugh. Laughs and smiles brighten those around us.

1. Last week I was ready to begin writing a post for this blog when my computer was acting up. That rotating round ball had appeared just one too many times. I hadn't been able to update to the newest operating system for some time and had been trying to live without it. Upon realizing that my computer was 10 years old, my husband boxed it up. We got another one for me this week. I am thankful that I can now log on so quickly, etc. It is so much less frustrating.

2. Among my friends there have been quite a few who have had surgeries and illnesses recently, and I am very thankful that they are  recovering.

3. I am thankful that I am making progress in learning (and relearning) Spanish using an app. It seems to be the perfect app for me at this stage.

4. Thanks to another app, I've been able to pay more attention to the  foods I eat each day, and to the calories I intake. I love being able to track my cardio and strength exercises on the same app. I'm thankful to actually see some small improvements on the all-telling scales.

5. Since I am no longer in PT, I am continuing with the suggested exercises at home and know that my balance and strength is getting much better. It is kind of a slow process, but it is progress. I will soon be going to the fitness center so I can use a couple of pieces of equipment there so I don't lose the strength I've obtained.

6. Have you ever been frustrated because you've stained an item of clothing and the stain didn't come out even with the product that was supposed to do the job? Recently I went into one of those pharmacies that sells a menagerie of items, and discovered a display at the checkout counter. When the clerk noticed that I was looking at them, she shared how some people raved that the product was a great stain remover. Since it was a very small bottle and the price was right, I decided to buy one. This week I used it to remove chocolate stains from a white shirt. The shirt has  been laundered many times, but no stain remover had taken out the stains, until using this new product. I had the same result removing some old blood stains on a pillow case and getting out an old cooking oil stain on a shirt. I sound like an info commercial, but I am so thankful to be able to get rid of these stains.

7. At a gathering at the church this week, I had a bowl of West African Peanut Soup. It was my first time to have this soup and I thought it was delicious. There are several variations of the recipe on Pinterest. I'm thankful for the many different flavors from combining foods and seasonings. Have you tried a new recipe this week?

8. I am still learning things about my iPad, such as how to make a video. That only came about because I wanted to see if the built-in mike worked. I had been having problems being able use the mike for my Spanish class, and one thing that was suggested online was to make a video using the iPad camera to see if the mike worked. Since it worked, my next step was to go buy some earbuds with a mike.

9. Today is Veteran's Day, and I appreciate all the sacrifices of our veterans and their families. I know that those sacrifices are very real.

10. To know that some of the hopes of our family are being realized is such a blessing. Things take time, hope, work and prayers. 

SSS - baked

What do you think of when you hear the word baked? A sweet memory came to my mind. This post is being linked to Zoe's Six Sentence Stories - baked.  By clicking the link you will have an opportunity to read some more stories written in only six sentences.
Enjoy and then maybe write one of your own.

After getting a small fir tree to put on their Green Stamps-purchased card table, there was almost no money left to buy Christmas ornaments, other than the popcorn and cranberries to string.

That evening as they walked down the sidewalk of the small college town, reflecting on what would be their first Christmas together since their marriage, they passed a little craft store, not much bigger than a barber shop. Although neither of them had even noticed the store until that moment, they ventured inside with the thought that perhaps they could find something to make ornaments for the tree. The sales lady gave them some suggestions that wouldn't cost too much, and they left with a bag of clear tiny rough-shaped objects resembling miniature beads without holes.

When they returned to their upstairs apartment owned by an endearing elderly couple who had immigrated from Denmark, they quickly went to work placing thin layers of the plastic beads in the cupcake pans and in the star-shaped form they'd created with aluminum foil, and carefully placed them in the antique gas oven to be baked, just long enough for the beads to merge.

After the ornaments cooled, she strung some thread through a little open space in each ornament and hung them on the tree, and then last of all carefully placed the shining star on the top.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

Absence from blogging often can be attributed to other writing deadlines, illness, travel, or family commitments. In my case, my time away from the blogging world has been due to some vacations. Although I have been away, I have been thankful for numerous things during that time. Now I'm ready to settle back at the computer with some thoughts to share. Josie's blog hop is a perfect place to share my post. Click on Ten Things of Thankful and read what others have to share this week.

1. Vacations - We celebrated our 54th wedding anniversary by going to Oahu and Maui, one week at each island. Neither one of us had ever gone to Hawaii, so we were glad to be able to see and experience what so many have shared with us. We were only home for about a week, when we took off to visit our daughter and family in Vermont. Although we had visited there before, our trips had never coincided with "leaf peeping" time, until now.

2. Colors  - I'm thankful that I am able to see colors.

I love the graduated blues in this ocean beach photo. The clear sky at the top is true blue which becomes a lighter blue as it appears closer to the ocean. White billowy clouds seem to float in the sky right above the ocean. The distant ocean water appears to be more of a dark blue-green color which lightens in color the closer it is to the tan colored sandy beach. The line of the beach is like a giant number three, with the middle of the three lined with rocks and jutting out into the ocean. Some large conifer trees are growing near the shore at the right upper edge of the photo. Some clumps of grasses appear through the sand at the lower right side of the photo as well as the right side of the lower part of the photo.

Green grass is shown on the bottom eighth of the photo. Beautiful red, yellow and orange leafed trees adorn the lowlands and upward slopes. A few dark green conifers are mixed in with the bright colors and provide a beautiful contrast. The sky is a pale blue with a couple of low flat purplish-grey clouds almost sitting on the crest of a couple of the hills. This photo was taken late in the afternoon in Vermont.

This photo was taken mid morning in Vermont. The colors are striking with all the maple and other deciduous trees with their variations of orange, green, red and yellow leaves.  About a third of the lower part of the photo is mowed light green grass. The upper eighth of the photo is pale blue-grey sky devoid of clouds. 

3. Multiplicity of uses for tools - A friend had offered me the use of some walking sticks to use when we traveled to Hawaii, but we weren't able to pack them and decided my husband's photography tripod would be a good substitute since he was taking it with him. I only needed to rely on it a few times. He held on to the closed tripod and placed it in front of me so I could navigate some difficult spots.  

4. Seeing creatures I hadn't seen before in their natural habitat

This large green sea turtle is feeding on some true green algae and lime green algae on the shore where it meets the ocean. The underside of his body is resting in the ocean water as it approaches the shore.

This little brown gecko appeared from under a sofa in one of the places we were staying in Hawaii. He was only about two inches long. He didn't bother us and we didn't bother him.

5. Opportunities to learn new things and to review what I once knew - Way back when, I took a couple of years of Spanish in high school and a semester of Spanish in college. When someone recently mentioned a free online language app, I decided to give it a try. It can't hurt, and it will help keep my mind active.

Since this weekend is the Worldwide Indexing Event, I decided to give it a try again. It is now possible to do the indexing online which is different from how it used to be done. I was able to use my iPad too.  The indexing event is open to one and all.

Do you ever learn how to do something quite by accident? I've had a couple of experiences like that recently with both the computer and with my camera. Love it when that happens!

6. Photography skills of my husband - When visiting Vermont, the subject of senior class photos came up in the conversation. He offered to take photos of the twins for their yearbook while we were there and has been busy doing the touch-up work on the photos since we got home.

7. Sewing skills - Although I didn't quite make it to the sewing part yet, I was able to cut out a couple of baby gowns from the fabric of a donated wedding dress. A local charity accepts the dresses for the purpose of giving them to the hospital to have on hand to give to the parents of stillborn babies.

8. Signs that make me laugh

As we approached the red stop sign at the end of the block, there was a No Exit sign.  It would have been helpful to have a No Exit sign at the beginning of the block.

One of the signs on the peaked end of the red painted covered bridge before entering Northfield Falls, Vermont, says

Beautiful fall colored foliage in the background of a Vermont white road sign. The sign is trimmed in red with red letters saying
9. Sounds in nature

From the right side of the photo the white foam and azure ocean waves crash against the black  craggy boulders on the shore at the top and flow on to the black sandy beach on the left. Low growing green foliage is flourishing above the boulders and is creeping down the face of the boulders. 

10. My husband and our family

There were so many of these cairns in this river bed in Vermont.  The photo just shows three of them. To me they resemble family groups, and like families sometimes have to do a balancing act to stay strong and support one another. The variations of grey, brown, and blue in the rippling water under the cairns is a peaceful scene to me. A large flat boulder appears to encircle this art work of cairns. 

May you have a peaceful week. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Six Sentence Stories - Yard

Zoe came up with a good cue for the Six Sentence Stories blog hop this week, but she always does. Although I don't always participate, it isn't due a lack of excellent word prompts. Here is my story for the Six Sentence Stories - Yard. Click the link and enjoy the other contributions for this week. 

The old two-story house, devoid of any sign of paint having ever adorned its outside, sat on water thirsty soil in the middle of the California farmland beset by drought. Running barefoot through soft green grass was a pleasure some children enjoyed elsewhere, but this wasn't to become her memory in this arid plot where a tire swing hung from a tree and where her shoes scuffed at caked dry dirt beneath. 

Water was needed to irrigate the crops, and give water to the farm animals and to a few roses on one side of the home.  It would soon become necessary to move on to where water fell freely from the sky, where wells didn't dry up, and maybe to a home that had been painted and where there weren't any dust storms that blew right through the boards of the house. 

In years to come she would recall how she and her brother on some warm summer Sunday afternoons would lay on the plush green grass surrounding their next farm home and watch the clouds adrift in the sky. The yard brought with it hours of weeding, mowing, raking, and mulching, but also feelings of accomplishment, and toned bodies from hard work, and of course some grumbling when starting the mower was difficult to do, and pushing wheelbarrow loads of mulch tiring.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Six Sentence Stories - Joint

Here is my quick six for my post for the Six Sentence Stories blog hop that Zoe administers. (okay, maybe not quite so quick) I'm not sure how Zoe continues to provide these cues each quick, but I'm glad she offers these writing challenges. I'm linking my post to Zoe's Six Sentence Stories - Joint. I wonder what stories others will write this week. If you have that same question, click the link so you can read the other stories, all written with just six sentences.

She remembered when she first saw him off in the distance with three of his male friends. He'd climbed a birch tree near a tall fence to sneak a peek of any potential materials on the other side that they might grab later that night.

With her female friends they once almost entered his territory in a cornfield at the edge of town at sundown. She'd noticed his strength and quickness in picking the fresh sweet corn, but she and her friends turned around and ventured elsewhere to pick, lest there be an encounter.

There was the one time when he approached her in the moonlight when she had been gazing at her reflection in the pond at the historic park in the middle of town. At that moment the attraction was almost instantaneous between the two of them, but as he followed her across the busy street they met a joint deathblow by a speeding oncoming car.

Photo of a raccoon looking down as he straddles a white branch of a birch tree.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

Since it is Labor Day Weekend, I am going to use that excuse for doing a quicker Ten Things of Thankful post using mostly photos to deliver my message this time. I'm linking my post to Josie Two Shoes' blog hop Ten Things of Thankful. Click the link to her site to find what others have shared this week. 

1. September is here and the pale purple crocus is right on schedule.

2. These delicious Criterion apples are almost ready to pick.

3. Although it is September, the summer heat wave is still  here, so our shady lane lined with oaks trees on one side and fir trees on the other helps drop the temperature a bit and at least gives the appearance of coolness.

4. Having a window near the top of our open loft allows for us to get a cool breeze in the evenings and let the hot air escape from the higher places in our home. Looking through the window and seeing the large maple leaves blowing in the wind is like looking at a painting. The painting changes each season.

5. Salads are frequently our main meal when the weather is hot. Thankfully we both enjoy them, and I appreciate not having to heat up the kitchen.

6. These pink carnations were part of a beautiful bouquet given to me about three weeks ago. As the different flowers were past their prime, I removed them and transferred the remaining ones into a smaller vase. Now I'm left with the carnations, which still smell very fragrant. I'm thankful for the thoughtful friend who gave them to me and the longevity of these flowers. Click the link to listen to one of my favorite songs when I was much younger.

7. After trying out a couple of different over-the-counter stabilizing products to use on my knee before seeing a doctor and then starting PT, I realized I didn't care for how they fit. When I went for PT this week, she asked if I'd tried any taping. She used some kinesiology tape on my knee and my ankle. What a difference! With the tape combined with the exercises she is having me do, I can see a huge improvement. Staying upright and feeling stable as I am, hopefully future falls will be out of the question.

8. Older movies are so much more enjoyable to me than some of the newer movies. I recently watched Never a Dull Moment, a comedy crime film that was made in 1968. There was an earlier version too, but this is the one I watched. It really made me laugh.

"What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul."
Yiddish Proverb

9. People who watch out for people and include them in activities are a blessing. Today I learned that a woman who visits her loved one in the nursing home where my Mom is included Mom in a summer picnic activity on a day we were out of town when our son was sustained as Bishop in his ward. She sat at a table with my Mom and her relative and enjoyed time with both of them. Mom even played a little game that involved placing colorful tiles on a board.

10. Unexpected flowers that my husband brought home for us to both enjoy made me smile. These orchids are a rose color with an abundance of tiny little darker rose colored dots on the petals. There is also another plant which has green variegated broad leaves and is planted in front of the orchid. There is a lighter green area in the middle of each leaf. 

May you have an enjoyable and safe Labor Day Weekend!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Six Sentence Stories - Bend

It is time for another post for the blog hop Six Sentence Stories. Zoe gives those who participate ample days to post their stories, and I appreciate that because sometimes life gets in the way or the inspiration just doesn't come. Today however, I'm ready to post at the beginning of that time allowance. I'm linking to Zoe's Six Sentence Stories - Bend. Be sure to click the link and see what creative juices this cue word has stirred up.

All of a sudden the car seemed very warm as her cheeks flushed and everyone quieted to hear her answer. Why was it so hard to speak up, to stand up for herself and say it didn't happen? Was it the shock that her friends might have believed what had been rumored? Was it because the instigator of the lie was older or that to defy someone wasn't a trait that was allowed in her home, at least not without the expectation of some kind of punishment? Even though she wanted to deny the rumor, somehow the words just didn't come out of her mouth and her friends were left to believe that the rumor about their shy friend was true. As the car came to a stop at the next corner, so did her life make an abrupt bend.

LDS Mormanad

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Six Sentence Stories - Border

Today I am just barely squeaking this little Six Sentence Story in under the radar. There is not much time to do this, so I'd better get on with it. I'm linking this one to Zoe's blog hop Six Sentence Stories - Border. By clicking the link you will have a chance to read what other stories have been written using the cue word border.

"Hold still," he said as he tipped her head back in an awkward position. He slipped the thread around her loose tooth and tightened the thread.

The light from a single lightbulb attached to a cord hanging from the ceiling glared down on her face. As she waited for her Dad to jerk quickly on the string, the room began to spin before her eyes and her body suddenly went limp. Her Dad caught her before she fell down onto the gray speckled linoleum covered floor.

She was still feeling a little dizzy and on the border of fainting again when her Dad smiled and placed the tooth in the palm of her hand.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

Where can we find evidence of the good things that are happening? That is my question for this week as I contemplate what to write for my Ten Things of Thankful post that I will be linking to Josie Two Shoes bloghop Ten Things of Thankful.

Ten things for which I give thanks. . .

1. The sky, but more specifically, the sun and the moon - It will be difficult to forget the ethereal display of light surrounding the moon on August 21. Even though the magnificent event mid morning didn't last very long, I am so grateful that the sky wasn't filled with clouds in our area which would have made it impossible to view the solar eclipse. Our son and his two daughters were able to join us that day and he and my husband had a great time discussing how to get the best photos as they waited for the opportune photo shoot.

2. Retirement - If it were not for being retired, I would have had to take sick leave a couple of times this past week for two PT appointments and a dental appointment, and would have had to make special arrangements to get our car serviced. My husband would have had the same challenge because of one follow-up medical appointment, and a yearly eye appointment.

3. That I can laugh at myself - I need some physical therapy to help me with some stability challenges I've been having. For one of my appointments this week, the therapist thought it would be helpful for me to walk in the grass between the sidewalk and the street in front of the therapy building. That probably doesn't sound too difficult, but she wanted me to walk as though I was walking a tightrope, the heel of one foot touching the toe of the other foot. The distance I had to walk was about 80 feet. She stood behind me ready to help me stay upright should I get wobbly. She had her work cut out for her, because this proved to be hard for me to do. I commented to her that I was wishing I'd worn something green or brown so I would blend into the surroundings better, rather than the purple pants which made me stand out like a sore thumb to the passengers in the cars passing by on their way to town. That wouldn't have been so bad, if I hadn't looked like a drunken sailor trying to walk the plank. This may have been a motivation for me to practice my PT exercises at home, so I don't repeat this humorous walk in the grass next time.

4. Clean air - Today is perhaps the smokiest day I've ever experienced here. There are a lot of active forest fires in our state, plus an air inversion here today. After going outside to put some trash in the garbage can, I returned quickly to the house, as the smoke is so intense it hurt my nose and stung my eyes. I feel for those who actually live closer to the fires. I'm thankful for all those days of the year when we have clean air. 

5. Online forums - These online sites offer a wealth of knowledge and experience and feedback from others to address just about any question or subject. I've used these sites frequently, especially when I don't know someone personally who might be able to assist me. Of course, I do a fair amount of research trying to find answers, but often the experience of others offers additional insight. How have online forums been helpful for you?

6. The impact of a quiet calming voice - I recently watched how a chaplain in a nursing home helped calm a new resident. The elderly lady had been put in a wheelchair and rolled out into the area where many of the residents eat their meals, but she was alarmed and yelling quite loudly and speaking unintelligibly for the most part. The chaplain got down to her level and spoke quietly and assuredly telling her that she was safe and that the people were there to protect her. He stayed right at her side continuing to speak softly. He remained there even after she became calm and she let an aide feed her. He left at the point she was being returned to her room. I remember years ago how a whisper from a teacher in a room full of preschoolers or kindergarteners could gradually get a bunch of rowdy children ready to transition to another activity. As a mother, I used this approach at times when our children were small. The following might be of help to those who have difficulty falling asleep. Apparently it helps some people to listen to a whispering voice.

7. Scrabble - I know that I've shared this one before, but I really do like playing this game, and do not get a chance to play it often. When our son was here last Monday, he played it with me that night. It ended up being probably the longest Scrabble game I'd ever played. I think that if either one of us expected it would take so long, we might have either started the game earlier, or not played it. Once started we were determined to finish it though. Both of us took turns trying to keep Old McDonald out of the picture.

8. Oldie Goldies - When I was a junior in high school I took a shorthand class. The teacher told us that we could check out a record of shorthand dictation so we could practice at home. Although I'd hoped that we could have a record player, that wish had fallen on deaf ears until not having one might interfere with me being able to get a good grade in shorthand. My parents bought the record player and also some very old records of music like my parents may have listened too when they were young. The music on the records sounded quite tinny, but it grew on me, like perhaps my Dad thought it might. (By the way, the record player did help me get the desired shorthand grades.) Do you enjoy listening to the music from your parents' generation?

9. Crickets - When we first moved into our home, it wasn't finished. We didn't even have walls up to separate rooms, so we used some paper, similar to that used to make brown paper grocery bags, to separate the rooms. It didn't do much to quiet sounds coming from the rooms. It was slightly better than having the whole family share one bedroom like many pioneer families did. Well, the first night after we moved in and after an exhausting day, there was a very loud cricket chirping that was disturbing my sleep. My family remembers me getting up that night hunting for the noisy intruder and putting him out of the house. Fast forward to the present day when I actually love the sound of what seems like armies of crickets chirping outside at night, or when a solar eclipse happens. Now it is a pleasant sound to me. Are there some sounds that you once disliked, but now like or perhaps even love?

10. My husband - He makes my world complete, by the things he says to brighten my day and the things he does to help my life be easier. It is so nice to be able to go through this season of our lives together and to be able to laugh as we stumble through it. 

I am thankful for the many people who have reached out to those who have been impacted by the horrible hurricane and accompanying flooding in Texas. Those who have experienced flooded homes and businesses are going to need a lot of help in the weeks and months ahead and need our prayers too.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

County and state fairs are cropping up on event calendars. School supplies are lining the shelves of the stores. Families are gathering for yearly reunions before the kids are back in school. Some people have tried to escape the hot weather by traveling to cooler places. Others have been able to go on their dream vacations. We are into the third week of August and the last month has flown by without a Ten Things of Thankful post from me since July 25. It is time for me to get something posted and linked to Josie Two Shoes Ten Things of Thankful blog up.

1. Contrasts - Sometimes it takes contrasts for people to be able to appreciate things and situations. For instance in our area we are able to have a change of seasons and temperatures which may bring along accompanying sweltering heat (105° F) here on August 3. With heat like that 85° F doesn't seem so bad. 

After days of sweltering temperatures in the valley, this overcast misty cool day on the Oregon coast felt quite refreshing. I took this photo from a high hilltop at Ecola State Park. As one glances through the Sitka spruce trees and shrubs lining the hillside, down below can be seen a number of sea stacks of varying heights in the water.

2. Historical places - When we were able to escape to the coast for three days this month to get away from the hot inland weather, we stayed in our neighboring state and explored a pioneer settlement.

This white picket fence is topped with pink climbing roses. A sign with the date 1892 and Oysterville Church is attached to the fence.

The Oysterville Church in Oysterville, Washington is painted white and has red trimmed window panes and a red door. The steeple with bell tower is alternately painted red and white in a horizontally striped fashion similar to the stripes on the USA flag. 

3. Goals - I'm thankful that through determination, hard work, and desire to work toward a goal, one of our grandsons received his white coat in a White Coat Ceremony today as he begins medical school.

4. People who care and who help - One of our daughters and her husband had a big move from a very large home into a much smaller home in another state this month. I'm thankful that there were people who were able to assist them in various ways in each state as they prepared to leave and as they arrived.

5. Aging - Yes there are some things that are difficult as one ages, but being able to look back and see the things one has learned over the years is a blessing. This month I turned another year older. I once thought as this age as old. My body reminds me that some aging is happening, but somewhere in my mind I still have times when I feel quite young.

6. Historical perspective - Having been born during the time WWII took place, some of the things I see transpiring in our country and in the world are of concern to me. When I see those who mimic the actions of those who brought terror into the hearts and minds of people during WWII, it is disheartening, but I also am glad to see many more who are speaking out to let it be known that they cherish freedom and those things for which the founding fathers fought.

7. Regular medical appointments - This month has been a month of yearly and follow-up appointments. It was a reminder to me of how important it is to get my scheduled dental cleaning done. The dentist always checks my teeth after the cleanings. Although I hadn't noticed any discomfort from any of my teeth, he discovered that I have a cracked tooth and filling in one of my molars. Although I am not ecstatic about needing another crown, with modernized dental care, this will just require one appointment. No doubt this tooth cracked when I fell and obtained the lovely black eye and bruised cheek on the same side of my face a month ago. I didn't consider going to see the dentist after the fall because I didn't notice any pain when chewing my food.

8. Calming music - What music soothes your soul? I've discovered that Hawaiian music can do that for me. What a treat it was to hear some individuals from the Marshall Islands singing at a alzheimer's/dementia center the other day. (I was visiting a friend at the center when they were having a Luau.) I recognized some of the music as songs on a CD I'd received this earlier this month. Here is a link where you will be able to watch a video of Hawaii Aloha.

9. Historical novels - After receiving a historical novel, The Life She Was Given, by Ellen Marie Wiseman this month, I've found it hard to put it down.

10. Attending memorable events - Last Sunday our son was sustained as the Bishop of the ward he attends (a congregation of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints within a given area). We were able to travel to be there for this special day. 

And speaking of historical, we are in the direct path of the total solar eclipse on Monday! Are any of my readers on the direct path for this event?