Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Sunday Whirl Wordle 284 - Grandmother's Bucket List

The Sunday Whirl Wordle 284  provides participants with 11 words for this challenge to write a poem or short prose using some or all the words.  Forms of the words are also acceptable.  My composition this time is a poem.

Grandmother's Bucket List

crooked eaves of a cliff
blue sky seen through hole in a cloud
verdant tobacco plants growing
in distant world below

grandmother gave a gasp
wondering if she had been wise
to position herself right there
to be first to descend

Sunday's Whirligig 96

This week's words for the challenge at Sunday's Whirligig 96 come from "For the Consideration of Poets" by Haki Madhubuti:  resistance, defiance, unafraid, demands, doubt, promises, academic, clown, talk, lies, void, suspicion.  Participants may create a poem, a short story, or some other piece of writing and use as many of the words, in any form, as they may wish.  I've chosen to write a poem including all of the words, with slight difference in the form of two of the words.

a parade of clowns
walked without any resistance
unafraid of the defiance
and doubt of the crowd
of hopeful demands
and academics' suspicions
the clowns rambled on void of plan
caught in talk and lies
they had miles to walk
but they were lost among the people
fearing promises were futile
the clowns ceased smiling

ABC Wednesday - D is for Dress

For this post which I am linking to ABC Wednesday - D, I've chosen the word DRESS.  

I've always found it fascinating how styles of clothing repeat themselves throughout the ages. When I was in high school there was a new style (so I thought) that I was anxious to try.  My mother pointed out that the same style had been "in" during her younger years.  That was quite a surprise to me at the time.   Sometimes the names for the fashions change, but it is really the same style.

In the photo below, my aunt, now deceased, was wearing a dress that is very similar to the style of dress I wore as a teen.  She was wearing this sometime during the 1920's.  She was an excellent seamstress and worked for many years doing alterations in a women's clothing store that sold very fashionable clothing.

Aunt Woodworth Kimes Burrell

The photo below was taken in 1913 probably at the christening of the baby, my second cousin, Richard Colton Crandon, now deceased).  My great grandmother, Susan Durbin Pierce Johnston is holding the baby.  (She had remarried after my great grandfather, Thomas H. Pierce died.)  The mother of the baby, Mayme Loretta Shively, my first cousin once removed, is standing.  My great aunt, Sarah Ann Pierce Shively is seated.  The 1920's hadn't arrived yet, and the collars of the dresses in this picture are all high necked, similar to the style of some clothing I have worn in other years.

Four generation photo with
 great grandmother, Susan Durbin Pierce Johnston

Old photos are so interesting to look look at and scan so they can be shared with other family members.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Share Your World - January 30, 2017

Just four questions, and as always the optional bonus question, makes this blog hop Share Your World - January 30, 2017 a quick and easy post for blog hoppers this time.  Click the link to see how others respond to these questions at Cee's site.

1.  What is the most incredible natural venue that you've ever seen in person?  We saw a calving glaciers in Alaska this past summer.  The immensity and the sound was incredible.

Dawes Glacier
2.  How many siblings do you have?  What's your birth order? I have one younger sibling.

3.  If you were a shoe, what kind would you be and why?  I would be a running shoe exactly like the one I am wearing, only the shoe would have more durable fabric that goes over the area of the toes.

4.  What is the strangest/weirdest thing you have ever eaten?  When I my paternal grandmother baked chicken, she always baked the feet too.  My grandmother and I both really liked to eat the feet. I haven't tried eating them as an adult, so I'm not sure I would still enjoy them as much.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Here is my link to my Ten Things of Thankful post where you can read those things for which I am grateful.  This week I am looking forward to enjoying a whole week of better sleep. If we get the forecasted freezing rain and snow, I hope to be able to travel safely to visit my Mom.

Cee's Odd Ball Photo Challenge: January 29, 2017

If one keeps their eyes open, the strangest things can be seen in the outdoors.  I'm posting some of the oddities I have seen this past summer and linking them to the blog hop, Cee's Odd Ball Photo Challenge:  January 29, 2017.  You may have some photos that you have taken, just because you found them interesting or odd, that may be just right for this challenge.  If you like blog hops, then join in the fun.

Unusual school marm tree

Several kernels of corn growing in the same spot along the road

One of several shiny black mushrooms were growing in a park

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #134 Blow&Please

Memories of little children running around the yard blowing on dandelion puffs was the thought that surfaced when I wrote my haiku to link to Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #134 Blow&Please.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

It has been a good week, and being able to recognize those things that make us happy, that make us feel blessed in some way, that make us feel that life is worth it, etc. are things to consider on a regular basis. Every week has some ups and downs, but being able to concentrate on the good more than the bad is a healthy thing to do.

1.  When a couple of friends stopped by to see me this week, I learned about an app that I can use on my iPad so I can listen to podcasts.  (There are many things that I haven't learned at the speed of lightning as you will soon see.) I didn't realize that I could download a podcast and add it to the app while I still had internet service in the house and then take my iPad with me when I go some place in the car and be able to listen to the podcast while I am driving.  This was a lightbulb moment for me!

2.  After a recent yearly follow-up with my doctor to see how my CPAP has been working for me, I learned that it would be a good idea to get a new CPAP machine.  I had the same machine over six years.  I was wondering if that was really necessary to get a new one, but after getting the newer model I realize that it is a wonderful improvement.  It turns on automatically when I put the mask on, and IT IS QUIETER!  That is a good thing for both myself and my husband.  The mask also fits differently, so there is nothing pressing on the bridge of my nose.  I'm really not trying to sell CPAPs here, but I am very excited about this new machine.

3.  There are lots of "thankfuls" in this #3.  I had been looking forward to going to the temple this last week.  I was going to meet a friend at her house and she planned to drive.  When I went out to get in my car, I discovered that there was a lot of ice on the windows, so by the time I'd scraped off the ice, that put me a couple minutes late.  When I got to her house, she didn't realize it was as late as it was, so she hurried to get out of the house, and accidentally locked her keys inside her house.  I said it was no problem, I would drive.  I'd filled the car up with gas the previous night.  We drove to a nearby Park /N Ride to pick up another friend.  That friend realized she'd left something at home, but decided she could get by without it, otherwise we wouldn't make it to the temple at the time we had planned.

We head up the freeway slower than usual because of the heavy fog.  We'd gone about six miles, when the friend we had picked up remarked that she didn't think she locked her vehicle and leaving it unlocked at a Park /N Ride probably wasn't a good idea.  I said I'd just take the next exit and loop back and maybe the fog would start to lift.  On the way there we unitedly agreed that she could just drive her vehicle back to her house and get the item she'd forgotten and we would meet her at her house.

Finally we were on our way again.  We decided that we would just plan on getting to the temple an hour later than our original plan and we wouldn't even have to hurry.  However, that fog was not lifting very quickly and the freeway traffic was heavy and driving was very slow the entire way.  We passed two different places where there had been wrecks, and we think that there was another wreck beyond our destination.  Between the fog and the wrecks and the traffic it was a slow drive but at least for us we had safe travel.  All those monkey wrenches in our original schedule was probably for the best for us!

4.  My husband loves taking photos of eagles and had been looking forward to seeing the documentary, The Eagle Huntress.  We finally went to see it this past week and totally enjoyed this movie.  The setting is Mongolia and is about a 13-year-old girl who captures and trains an eagle to hunt.  In the past only men were allowed to become  eagle hunters.

5.  One of the times I went to visit my Mom this past week, my husband went with me.  Mom was especially talkative that day and seem more with it.  My departures went smoother  this past week, meaning she didn't cry.

6.  Feeling the sense of unity of many of the people here and in other countries who are not happy with many of the decisions that have been made by our current president.  Hopefully reason will reign.

7.  Places where I can feel peaceful. Click here to see some photos that are calming places to me.

8.  A body that still allows me to do some work and enjoy life.

9.  A family that I feel close to in heart and mind, though none of them are physically near.

10. Fourteen deer in the yard!  I was at the temple at the time, but my husband took the count.  Let me tell you, I'd rather we have 14 deer than five cougars like they recently did in La Pine, OR.

I'm not even going to give this one a number, because it is just too immense.  My husband has been so supportive of my blogging attempts.  I say attempts, because I know that I am very much a novice in comparison to many of you who are very accomplished writers and authors.  With that I know that even all of you had to have a starting point, and that you no doubt had someone who encouraged your attempts.  Thank you to my husband and each of you who read my blog.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Six Sentence Stories - Given

It has taken me a while to consider what I would write for this challenge, but the thoughts finally came.  I'm linking my post to Six Sentence Stories - Given.  The stories others write for the challenges are so interesting.  I always look forward to reading them.


His heart ached as he pondered why.  Accepting decisions of others when it doesn't make sense to you and brings such mixed emotions, not only to you but to the younger ones less experienced in the ways of the world, is difficult.

The news wasn't completely a surprise, but that didn't make it any easier to accept.  There was the letter that had been sent telling the details, the date, and so forth, but would they really go through with it?

Before it had happened, he had wondered about what additional responsibilities he and his wife might have due to the nature of their relationship with them, and could they handle the extra strain considering the challenging things they were already  facing at this time in their lives.

Then the phone call came, the news was given, and it was final.

Friday, January 27, 2017

ABC Wednesday - C

When I want to be calm, often I will sit still and visualize some place I have been where I felt peaceful when I was there.  I'm posting a few photos of some of the peaceful places I have been and linking them to the blog hop ABC Wednesday - C.  Be sure to click the link  to see what other contributors have shared for the letter "C." 

C is for Calm

Walking around a wildlife refuge has a very calming effect on me. The sounds of the birds, the rustle of the breeze in the trees and the grasses, the smell of scents emitted by the plants, and the reflections in the water all play a part.

Finley National Wildlife Refuge

There is something so serene about seeing a perfectly raked sand garden.  It is very restful to the eye.

Sand Garden at Portland Japanese Garden

The sound of the waves approaching the shore with a perfectly calm sea in the background is so beautiful and calming to my soul.

Pacific Ocean

Whenever I go into this temple, I feel a special kind of peace and look forward to going there as often as I can.

Portland Oregon Temple

I love the message at the top of the arch at the border between Canada and the United States of America.  It says, "Brethren Dwelling Together in Unity."  I think that this is a wonderful message and reminder to all people on earth.

Peace Arch, Blaine WA and Canadian border

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Cee's Fun Foto Challenge: Good and Bad

There are times, when depending on how one looks at it, things may appear good or bad.  When you look at these photos I am posting and linking to Cee's Fun Foto Challenge:  Good and Bad you may see why I say this.

This first photo depicts something bad that has a toxic agent that acts on the central nervous system.  The red and white pattern depicts a good appearance.

Fly agaric toadstool

Although jelly fish are beautiful (good) to see moving in the water, their sting can feel very bad. (Note:  Some claim that washing the area of the sting with salt water helps relieve the pain.) 


When this plant blooms, it is covered with an abundance of yellow blossoms (good).  When it first appeared in this country it was introduced as an ornamental flower, and then was used to stabilize hillsides, but it didn't take long for it to be recognized as an invasive plant.  It is a bad plant because it will take over your property, and some people are allergic to the flowers.

Scotch broom

These two very old pans I've identified as bad.  One is an aluminum pan and the other is stainless steel, but has one of its handles missing.  Some countries don't even sell aluminum pots and pans now.  Cooking foods with citric acid in an aluminum pan isn't a good idea. Although the stainless steel pan has the one handle missing, there is still a little piece that one can use to hold the pan, so I still consider it useable or good, if you are careful to hold on to both the good handle and the nubbin of a handle.

Old aluminum pan and old stainless steel pan

Weekly Writing Challenge #73

Today I have written five unconnected haiku for this post which I will link up to Weekly Writing Challenge #73.  Various kinds of poetry and fiction are acceptable for this challenge.  More details are explained when you click the link.  The words for the challenge this week are | LIFE | WORK | REAL | SAFE | CLEAR |

he needed to work
when it was clear and safe
his real life would start


with a real clear voice
sung in a safe range she led
the work of her life


with a clear blue sky
the real work began for life
safe among rubble


unable to work
real or not it wasn't clear
if her life was safe


in the clear moonlight
she felt safe to start her work
scoping some real life

Monday, January 23, 2017

Share Your World - January 23, 2017

Questions and a list are what is at Cee's Share Your World - January 23, 2017, a blog hop we all have an opportunity in which to participate.  Different questions are always there, but the list may be replaced with another kind of request, depending on the week. Click the link to read more about Cee's blog hops.

1.  Do you prefer juice or fruit?  I prefer eating the actual fruit, although I have used fruit to make smoothies which I also enjoy.

2.  Did you grow up in a small or big town?  Did you like it?  I grew up on a farm in the country, but enjoyed the benefits that a nearby city provided.  To my way of thinking, I kind of had the best of both worlds.

3.  If you were to paint a picture of your childhood, what colors would you use?  Blue and greens

4.  Ways to Relax List:  Make a list of what relaxes you and helps you feel calm.

  1. Music
  2. Being in a quiet atmosphere
  3. Being out in nature
  4. Meditating
  5. Reading scriptures
  6. Attending church or going to the temple
  7. Getting a massage 
  8. Getting an acupuncture treatment

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? As always, I refer you to my Ten Things of Thankful post from this past weekend.  I'm looking forward to a visit from two friends from church and going to the temple this week.

Sunday Whirl Wordle 283

There are 12 words given for this Sunday Whirl Wordle 283 over at Brenda Warren's site.  I'm using all 12 words, mostly in the forms given to write a piece of poetry.

one who cannot cope
whose heart is saddened
whose birth on the earth
seems a heavy burden
can seem light
by the mere touch
of He who gives hope
to the soul and reaches
his yearning

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #133 #Flow&Tear

Writing Haiku can become addictive, especially when there are so many writing challenges for bloggers.  I'm thankful for Ronovan's weekly challenges devoted to haiku.  I'm linking my post for this challenge to Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #133 #Flow&Tear.

ripping earth apart
flooding waters flow and tear
as the heavens weep

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

This week I have felt such a range of emotions that I've had to really focus on simplicity as I write my post to link to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop created by Lizzi .  Recently we have been sharing a link to our post on the Facebook group, Ten Things of Thankful.

1. Home, a place of peace and security.

2. Being able to listen and try to understand the viewpoints of others, even if I don't agree fully with their points of view on some matters.

3. Being thankful for the women, men, and children all over the world who are standing up, whether marching or not, for the rights of other women, men and children, for the disadvantaged, for the people with disabilities, whether it be physical, emotional, or intellectual, for their rights to health care, and equality of freedoms as granted in the Constitution, for treating others as we would want to be treated, etc.

4. For white boards, and drawing screens on iPad Notes that make it easier to communicate with those who are hard of hearing.

5. For expansive, bright rainbows that appear, even though they sometimes disappear before I am able to get to a place along the road where I can get out and take a photo. The one I saw today was truly gorgeous and made me smile!

6. For the return of rain, which is more like our usual weather fare in the winter.  The snow was beautiful but most of us were ready for it to be gone here in the valley.

7. For sleep.  At times I find it difficult to do something part way.  I want to get to the bottom of something, or find the answer, or figure out a plan, etc.  On days like that I push myself further than I should and then pay for it later, thus finding myself lacking in the kind of restful sleep I need.

8. For learning something new and having a way to use that new knowledge within a day or two of when I learned it.  Those kind of happenings always seem so serendipitous, and lets me know that someone is looking over me.

9. For brighter light bulbs.  We have had three light bulbs burn out in our kitchen within the last month.  The last time I bought light bulbs I bought some that are supposed to be more energy efficient and last a lot longer.  They are also much brighter than the ones we had before, so now I'm noticing things in the kitchen that weren't as visible before in the dimmer light.  With my older eyes, the brighter light is better, unless of course I am looking directly into the light.

10. For group book discussions.  I attended a meeting for the women in my church this week and we discussed different points that were mentioned in a book.  It is interesting to hear the view points of others and to ponder the points mentioned.  

***For my husband and our extended family.  I would not be who I am if it weren't for them!

Have you learned something new this last week?  Have you discussed a book?  Have you been able to feel peace in your home or elsewhere?  I'm sure you have at least 10 things for which you are grateful.

Sunday's Whirligig #95

For this week's blog hop Sunday's Whirligig #95 I've written a piece of flash fiction.  Click the link to see what some of the other writers have written for this challenge of using as many of the 12 words given and in what ever form and genre they wish.

This week's words come from "Boy Breaking Glass" by Gwendolyn Brooks:  broken, create, pepper, plank, revenge, music, longer, mistake, cliff, loneliness, everything, snare.

Just in Time

"Don't do it," they said, but she barely heard their words as she crossed over the old and rotting, mossy plank someone had placed from one side of the stream to the other.  Her iPod was playing one of her favorite songs that she was hoping would eliminate the loneliness she was feeling.  Sometimes music helped to change her moods and get her out of her slumps, but she had never felt this bad, ever!"

The group of friends, if you could call them that, shrugged their shoulders and walked on.  "Just let her go.  She wants to be alone.  Can't really blame her after everything that has happened.  It was probably a mistake to bring her with us."

She wasn't familiar with this part of the forest, but she didn't plan to go very far.  She walked up a steep trail, probably made by some deer, until she reached the top of a cliff that overlooked the beach far below.  She sat down on a log to rest, but her thoughts began to wander instead of finding joy in the beautiful scene below.  "I wish I could just forget how mean they were to him, but they just kept peppering him with cruel words and actions everyday, for months.  She had wanted to take revenge to make them stop, but her parents thought it best for her younger brother to learn to defend himself and for her to stay out of it.

Finally there was one day when some of the boys decided they would create a snare for him when he was planning to go fishing down at the pond.  Her brother thought they were finally being nice to him when they invited him to go around to the far side of the pond with them.  He knew that if he went with them he would be gone longer than what he'd told his parents, but he thought they would be glad that he was finally making friends with these guys.

Hours later, he hadn't returned home, and she and her parents were nearly frantic.  They decided to go down to the pond together and find him.  She had been the one to find him there among the reeds below a log that extended out over the pond.  When the full story was finally known, her heart nearly broke.

"Life was just not going to ever be the same without him," she thought as she looked over the edge of the cliff one final time.  Then she heard her friend's coming up the trail when they called, "Hey, we were worried about you!  Come along with us.  Let's go get some pizza at that place we passed on the way here."

ABC Wednesday - B

The ABC Wednesday blog hop at mrsnesbit.blogspot.com challenges us with a different letter each week.  This week it is the letter B.  I'll be linking my post to ABC Wednesday - B, so you will be able  click the link and see what others have shared for this challenge.

B is for Branches

Branches catch balls!

This is what happened when someone threw the ball for the dog!

Branches are resting and nesting places for birds.

Bald eagle resting

Family trees have many branches.

My grandmother Eduth Lavada Boyd

Eduth Lavada Boyd had never been married.  My grandfather had been married, but his first wife died tragically, taking her own life, and left my grandfather with eight children, the youngest being slightly over a year old.   A little over a year after the death of his first wife, my grandfather married 28 year old, Eduth Lavada Boyd, or Vada as she was known.  Vada and my grandfather, Joseph Leander Kimes had seven children, bringing the total number of children in the family to 15.   

Some branches of families break away because of strong hurtful words or actions of others in the family and don't speak for years, and hesitate to be the first to say, "Let's make bygones be bygones, okay?"  

Branches of families can be sheltering and loving places for others in the family, and the world will be a better place for it.  Peace in the world begins with peace within the home.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Six Sentence Stories - Turn

The cue for the Zoe's blog hop this week is "turn."  It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to write for this, but thoughts started turning in my mind and took me back to some memories.  I'm linking my six up to Six Sentence Stories - Turn.  Be sure to click on Zoe's site to read some more stories written in only six sentences, and if you are so inclined and have a blog, join in the fun.

It was a meeting place, home, or safe base from a certain monster, the pretend Gila monster, and when the sun was blazing hot, it provided shade.  Rolling it required group effort since it was a little wobbly, and the ground wasn't exactly smooth.  It could be a  mountain top, a table, or a jumping off spot.  With its simplicity of style, it could be transformed into many uses and was a special backyard attraction, or perhaps an eyesore to some who didn't see its value.  In the last days of its original purpose the large wooden spool became know as the "roly-poly," a favorite toy of the children and the neighbor children.  The last words uttered to it were, "It's my turn!"

Sunday Whirl Wordle 282

Wordle challenges provide 12 words that the writer may use in their poem or short prose.  Writers are challenged to use all the words, but it isn't a requirement.  Forms of the words are okay to use as well.  I am linking my haiku of five stanzas to Sunday Whirl Wordle 282.  Sunday Whirl has a Facebook page too, where you can find out on Friday what the clues are for the coming week. 

This week the words are the following:  water, become, shrill, sense, stitch, peak, wake, singe, circle, draw, blue, ribbon.


above the water
the shrill sound of a gull called
waking her from sleep

she squinted her eyes
with a sense of drowsiness
she felt her singed skin

not wanting to move
she drew the blue ribboned kite
over her body

circle of light shone
over shoreline rocky peaks
a memory comes

a stitch at a time
in her mind it becomes lodged
at last without pain 

Cape Foul Weather Lookout, Oregon coast

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Cee's Which Way Photo Challenge - January 18, 2017

It is Wednesday, so that means it is time to share some photos I've taken that might be suitable for linking up to Cee's Which Way Photo Challenge - January 18, 2017.  For details for this photo blog hop challenge click the link.  While you are there be sure to click on some of the other participants' links to see what they have offered up for the challenge.  Browse Cee's site to see the other blog hops she offers.

This road around one of the water areas at Ankeny NWR is closed  during the winter months.

It was a busy day in the sky that day.

Taken at Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cee's Fun Foto Challenge: Big and small

Big and small is the theme of this next blog post I'm linking to Cee's Fun Foto Challenge:  Big and small

Small, bigger, and biggest cruise ships in Juneau, AK.  The smallest is actually a boat, but people can take a cruise on it and we did.

I liked the graduated windows going from big to small on on this building in Juneau, AK.

A big ewe with her small lamb

Monday, January 16, 2017

Share Your World - January 16, 2017

This week at Cee's Share Your World - January 16, 2017 we are given a series of questions from Netdancer's Musings post "Getting to Know Me - 50 Questions."  For the blog hop at Cee's we only have seven questions to answer.  These were fairly quick for me to answer.

1. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed? We don't really have a set habit on this.  It seems like we generally leave it partly ajar. If one of us arises before the other one, there is no opening of the door to make a disturbance.

2. Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotel? Most times we take our own toiletries to use.  We don't take either the unused items or the partially used items.

3. What is your usual bedtime?  Typically no earlier than 10:00 p.m. but sometimes as late as around 1:00 a.m.  I've set a goal this year to go to bed more regularly around 10:00 p.m.

4. Do you like to use post-it notes? I used to use them a lot, but I hardly use them at all now.  Now I put my notes on my iPad.

5. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper? Last week, but I don't write long letters on paper like I once did.  If I have a long letter to write, I tend to do it on the computer, print it, and include it with a short handwritten note.

6. Any phobias? I do not like being on a Ferris wheel when it stops at the top, and I do not like roller coasters.  A note of interest though is that I have go on rides at Disneyland that are a little like a roller coaster. They don't bother me if the ride is in a darkened building.  I guess not being able to see down makes it okay.

7. How tall are you? I used to be 5'8" tall but now I am two inches shorter.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? A quick look at my Ten Things of Thankful post that I did this weekend will fill you in on brought me joy which is what I get when I feel grateful.  This week I am looking forward to going to a meeting for the women in my church congregation.  Someone is going to be reviewing a book she has read.

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #132 Flame&Kiss

In this area we are in a cold season, so it is nice to have a challenge from Ronovan this week to make us think warmth.  I've written a haiku that I am linking to Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #132 Flame&Kiss.

beach bonfire dying
with small flames a kiss is sparked
between the lovers

Ten Things of Thankful

If you want to help yourself stay focused on positive things, remember throughout the week that on the weekend you plan to write about ten things for which you are grateful.  It helps one to think, do, and see things in a positive way.  By writing about them it gives you some things to review later on when you may be feeling a little down, and in the meantime, there might be someone who reads your list that will see life differently and be lifted and cheered by how you see life.

Here are my Ten Things of Thankful. (I'm linking this in the comments of another Ten Things of Thankful participant this week because we don't have a way to link up this week.)

1.  Although the snow and ice storm last weekend was bad enough here that church was cancelled, there was enough melting of the ice that by Tuesday I was able to get out to meet some other women for lunch.  It is always fun to get together and share things that perhaps we have learned, or concerns we might have.

2.  One evening my husband and I went to a surprise birthday celebration for a friend who was in town visiting relatives.  It had been several years since we had last seen one another.

3.  My husband and I went to see Hidden Figures.  We enjoyed the movie so much that we both want to read the book.

4.  One would think that our neighbors and ourselves were raising herds of deer.  They are an everyday occurrence and the herds just keep growing.

5.  I appreciate so much the patience of the nurses and aides at the nursing home where my mother resides.  People with Alzheimer's present their symptoms differently, and the staff needs the patience of Job to deal with some of these behaviors on a daily basis.  I pray daily for my Mother and the staff who not only cares for her but for the others there.

6.  Finally the last of the Christmas decorations are stored back in the storeroom.  I didn't even put very many up this year, but since there weren't that many, I just kept doing more urgent tasks first.  I'm thankful for those extra days of seeing the nativities on top of my piano.

7.  I started participating in a few blog hops that I hadn't been taking part:  ABC Wednesday, Weekly Writing Challenge, and Sundays Whirligig, and A Prompt Each Day.  I'm thankful for these blogs which help me recall memories in some instances, and in others push me to be more creative.

8.  I finished sending out thank you cards and notes to people I'd heard from after Christmas.

9.  With the start of a new year, I am off to trying to get back in the exercising mode (using the treadmill for more than a family room eyesore and doing some strengthening exercises that will help me get more flexible so when I need to get down to some lower shelves in a store, I can actually get back up on my own in a lady-like manner.  I feel like I'm off to a good start.

10. I am combining my treadmill exercising with listening to the scriptures I am studying this year. It seems that I retain more when I listen while exercising.  There is probably some kind of scientific explanation for this, but I don't know what it is.  When I read a book, my eyes tend to go back on a line and repeat what I have read, and it takes forever to read a book.

***One more thankful is for my husband and his love and support.  This life is so much more enjoyable with him at my side, whether it is to help keep me upright as we walked up a snowy, icy, sidewalk this week, or his giving me the encouragement and compliments to keep doing the things I do.  

Sunday, January 15, 2017

ABC Wednesday - A is for Ancestor

It is the first month of this new year, so I thought I'd participate in a blog hop that I haven't linked to in the past.  It is called ABC Wednesday.  Click on the link to see more about this challenge and to see what others have shared.  

A is for Ancestor

Melissa Edna Morgan
born 3 August 1878, Jennings County, Indiana
married 3 October 1904 Galveston, Galveston, Texas
died 12 November 1963 Hanford, Kings, California
my paternal grandmother

Note:  I am focusing on things about her that start with the letter A.  Those subjects are in bold print.

Melissa, or Lis, as many people called her, was always attired in a hat when she was in public because she lost most of her hair when she was young due to having a very high fever.  Her hair never grew back except for a few strands.  She put a net over those fine strands of hair, and then her hat.

She suffered from many adversities in her life.  She was the last child to be born to her mother who died of lockjaw when Melissa was between two and three years old.  She had no memories of her mother.  One of her Dad's sisters and her husband took Melissa to live with them in Kansas.  After spending some time there with her aunt, she went to live in a boarding house owned by a German couple. The couple treated her kindly and Melissa grew to love them as if they were her parents.  Her father, a miner, meanwhile married at least two more times and moved to Colorado.  She had very little contact with him.

She suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, painful varicose veins, and had one of her eyes removed because of a tumor.  When the eye was removed, she was left with an eye socket that constantly required at least daily cleaning of matter from the eye socket for the remainder of her life.  I was fascinated watching her remove her glass eye and putting it in a cup filled with water when she got ready to retire for the night.

Although not considered an adversity for some people, her height caused her to feel out of place.  Her husband and his siblings were not tall people.  Although Melissa's own father was described as being a very tall man, over six feet, with large hands, and Melissa probably took after him in height, she felt very self conscious about being 5'8" tall.

Some time after Melissa's youngest son was grown, their house burned to the ground.  The things that she missed the most were the family photos they had that burned in the fire.  She was able to obtain a few photos from some relatives after that, but the total fit in a small stationery box.  She enjoyed showing the photos to me as much as I liked seeing them and hearing her explain who the people were.

Most people considered one of my Grandmother's abilities as being an excellent cook.  Some of her cooking skills may have been learned while living at the boarding house.  She like many women in that day canned their own food.  She also made quilts.

Melissa was easily amused.  I remember clearly how she and I would find something funny and how we would giggle to the point it was hard to stop.  I hear that same giggle in my own daughters laughter.  One of her favorite shows to listen to on the radio was the Art Linkletter People are Funny show.  I suspect she enjoyed the sound of his laughter too.

She was an affectionate grandmother.  Since she had two sons and no daughters, and no other grandchildren other than my brother and myself, she may have felt especially close to her granddaughter who was also her first grandchild.  I remember her rocking me as she sat in a wooden rocking chair.  I doubt that I had started school yet.  I distinctly recall her looking at my little hands and telling me that she hoped that my hands would never become like hers (crippled from arthritis).  Perhaps she wanted to be the kind of grandmother she may not have come to know.  When she was taken to live with her aunt after her mother died, she most likely never saw her grandmothers again, as they lived in Indiana, and she lived in Kansas.

The actions of others, even if they are negative actions, can often teach something of importance to those around them.  I remember a conversation I had with my grandmother when I was in the second grade.  She had asked me who I sat with on the school bus.  When I told her the name of my friend, she was shocked to hear me say the name of a girl who had a Portuguese name.  That was when I felt disappointed, learning that my Grandmother was prejudiced.  Deep down I knew her way of thinking was not correct.  I don't know why she had this kind of prejudice.  Perhaps had she known her mother and her mother's ancestors she would have felt differently.  Some of them were involved with the Underground Railroad efforts.  What I learned at this early age was that it is possible to still love someone when they have disappointed you, but you don't have to embrace a negative action or thought the person has.  You can choose to think and act differently.

Although I only saw my grandmother twice a year after our family moved to another state when I was seven, I still felt quite close to her because I wrote letters to her frequently, and she wrote letters to me.  As an adult when I started trying to learn more about my ancestors, one of the first things I did was search for the name of my grandmother's mother and to learn about her mother's ancestors. It brought me a great deal of satisfaction to do what my grandmother had not been able to do, and it also made me feel even closer to my grandmother.

Sunday's Whirligig #94

This blog hop challenge is posted each Wednesday.  The link up begins the following Sunday at midnight (Pacific Time) and stays operable for one week.  The words to be included in your genre of writing is to include as many of the words in any form as you wish.  If you want to participate, click the link to read more about this challenge at Sunday's Whirligig #94.  This week's words come from "The Well of Grief" by David Whyte:  slip, well, grief, turning, place, breathe, source, glimmering, coins, thrown, something, still.  

My genre this week is a haiku of several stanzas in which I wrote about the nature of a fictitious lost human relationship. 

Lost to Anger

her mind was racing
as glimmering diamond fell
she could hardly breathe

her grief was a source
well beyond understanding
her hopes were slipping

dreams thrown like small coins
in fountain water they sank
to a still dark place

no longer something
they both were planning to share
their love forever

now turned forgetting 
the good things soured by harsh words
spoken in anger

Friday, January 13, 2017

Weekly Writing Challenge #71

This is my first time to participate in the blog hop Weekly Writing Challenge #71.  I thought I would write something for this challenge and then link up.  I decided to write a piece of flash fiction which includes (5) words given for this weeks post:  blood, present, progress, search, face.  It is acceptable to write poetry for this challenge too.

That summer morning she had just finished weighing the eggs, straining the milk and putting the raw milk into the refrigerator to cool when she heard someone fumbling to open the screen door from the porch to the kitchen.

Her Dad called urgently, "Open the door!  Get some thread, a needle, and the scissors."  He was cradling an injured squealing piglet in his arms.  He'd gone down to the barn to check on the American Landrace sow who was due to deliver anytime and found that she had already delivered ten little pigs and had accidentally stepped on one.  He brought the newborn piglet into the warm kitchen to do the needed suturing on its belly.

She hurried to the dining room where the sewing machine cabinet was and pulled open a drawer to search for the needed items.  Unsure what size needle her Dad would need, she brought the whole package of needles to him.  The anticipation of watching the procedure made her stomach squirm.  She didn't really want to be present for this surgical task her Dad was going to do.  After all, he wasn't  a vet, but her help was necessary.  Her Mom could have helped, but she had already left for town where she worked in an office as a secretary.

As her Dad began threading a needle in preparation for stitching up the gash, she tried to hold the piglet still so its innards didn't pop out.  She didn't like to face the gaping wound and see the blood, but she had to do it.  A couple of times she had to have stitches on the bottom of her chin, and knew how painful that was, so it was difficult for her to imagine the pain the piglet was experiencing.  She and her Dad worked together as they sat by the red metal kitchen table, similar to the tables many families had in the '50s.  Finally all the stitches were tied off.  She wondered if their efforts would be enough to save the piglet's life and whether the sow would accept it back.

After her Dad returned the piglet to the pen to join its mother and siblings, every few hours he went to the barn to check on the progress of the new piglets.  He wanted to make sure the sow was accepting each one of her babies, and especially the injured one.  

The American Landrace hogs were by nature good mothers and more gentle creatures than some other types of hogs they'd had in the past.  She was hopeful that this little one would live, but one never knew what was going to happen next on the farm.  She had learned not to get too attached to the animals, because she had learned early on that animals not only lived, but they died.

Click here for source of image.