One of these days I'm going to write down some questions to share with Cee. I think of them at times when I'm not anyplace to write them down. Well, you can imagine what happens. The thought is lost in never never land. She welcomes feedback. For now, I'm answering her questions on this post and linking them to Cee's Share Your World - February 20, 2017. Consider how you would answer these questions and check out the responses of others by clicking the link.
When you cut something with scissors, do you move your jaw (as if you were about to chew)? No, but I have seen people who do this, or perhaps stick their tongue out the corner of the mouth.
Do you chew your pens and pencils? No. I have not ever done this. Perhaps I'd been warned not to do that because of the lead in the paint on the pencils. There were high concentrations of lead in the paint used on the pencils until the middle of the 20th century. Lead in paint was outlawed in the United States in 1978. It is graphite, not lead, that is the writing material in pencils. According to most sources graphite is non-toxic.
Are you a collector of anything? If so what? I'm not intentionally a collector, but I have accumulated a lot of cookbooks over the years. Even though I've said more than once that I don't need anymore cookbooks, I still buy some and still receive some as gifts, and of course enjoy each one. One of my favorite old cookbooks is one that is filled with handwritten recipes the owner slipped in between the pages. The book was printed prior to 1900.
What size is your bed? It is a queen size.
Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?Once again I'm sharing my most recent Ten Things of Thankful post. Please click the link to see the things for which I was grateful. This week I'm looking forward to going to the temple again, if the weather doesn't get in the way. Snow is on the horizon again, but unless things change it may not deter me from making the trip on the day scheduled.
If you are feeling a little 'off' today, perhaps seeing some odd ball photos will cheer you up. I'm posting a few photos I have taken and then linking them to Cee's Odd Ball Photo Challenge: February 19, 2017. If these don't make you laugh, try clicking the link to see how others have responded to the challenge.
goat taking refuge on a rainy day
The faucet pictured below isn't used much now, because the original green house was remodeled. I hide it from view, sort of, with a plant. It is kind of odd.
Some stanzas of haiku is what I have chosen to write for this post. I will be linking this to the blog hop at Sunday Whirl Wordle 287 hosted by Brenda Warren. The challenge is to write a poem or prose using some or all of the 12 words given. Participants may use different forms of the words if they choose. Want to know what others have written? Just click the link.
Sometimes a whirligig will stir up in me a many-worded composition, but this time it evoked just a few lines using the given words at the blog hop at Sunday's Whirligig 99. Be sure to click the link to see what others have written for this challenge.
THIS WEEK'S WORDS come from "Logic""by Alice Notely: cords, could, corridor, anymore, are, anarchy, tie, twisted, there, experiences, explanations, else
It is time to sum up my list of 'thankfuls' for this past week. I hope all of you who are participants of this blog hop have had a good week, or if it hasn't seemed to be all that exciting, that looking back you are able to pull out ten things that you can recognize as blessings and things for which you truly are thankful. If your list falls slightly under or over, that is okay too. The idea is just to be pointed in the right direction. I'm linking up to Ten Things of Thankful at Josie Two Shoes site. Click the link to see the assorted 'thankfuls' others have posted.
My list 1 Last week I mentioned that I needed to take my car back into the shop to have them try to get my burned out tail light pulled out on Monday. Two different guys were not able to remove it last week. I was told the cost might run up to $60 if the shop had to pull out the back lighting system. This week I was in and out in practically no time. A different guy tried to get it out this time and didn't even have to run it into the shop. Total cost was just under a $2 for the bulb. Yeah! 2 I'm thankful for those things I see others doing to help out. I was backed up in a line of traffic when I saw a man running across the street from his work place to push a car that had stalled at the front of the line. He made it look like a piece of cake. Thanks to him traffic was soon on its way. I suspect the tow truck that passed by him as he was doing his good deed was going to loop back to tow the car. 3 Seeing similarities in the lives of my ancestors and my own always make me feel happy. I suspect I may have already seen this similarity in the past, but I rediscovered it this week. One of my great grandmothers had a twin sister. She and her twin have the same birthday (month and day) as I do. My mother was young, under six, but she remembered seeing my great grandmother, Sarah H. Andrews Boyd, and spoke of how she sometimes went over to the next state to visit family. After the research I did this week, I suspect that she went to visit her twin sister. Knowing how close twins feel toward one another I feel firm in my conviction that was the case. I wish I could find a photo of my great grandmother. If I ever do, I'm sure that will be a 'thankful' on my blog. 4 - 5 There were two activities during this past week at church that were quite enjoyable. The first one was a dinner for the grandparents in the church. The youth planned the activities and decorations, made the dinner, etc. There were four youth at each table along with four grandparents, and there were getting-to-know-you games that helped the flow of communication between the two groups. The room was packed with attendees. It was so enjoyable. The second activity was held the following night just for the women. There was no dinner, but there were some yummy sweets to dip in chocolate! One of the women led a discussion based on a book titled The 5 Love Languages, by Gary Chapman. It was quite interesting. There is a little quiz that you and your spouse can take to discover which is your particular love language. Actually knowing what each other's love language is can be very helpful in a a relationship. There are even tests for teens and for children that can be beneficial in helping those in the family improve their communication and relationships with one another. 6 I stopped to get a take-out meal from at a small local Japanese restaurant this week. It had been a long time since I'd been in there, and since I was there in the middle of the afternoon it was not a busy time. I had a nice visit with the Japanese owner and his wife. There were some newspaper clippings on the wall about their restaurant that I found quite interesting. The food is cooked the way they cook it in Japan, not an Americanized version. It was very tasty. 7 My husband is on a bird photography adventure for a few days, so my listening ear is gone. There was one day when I was feeling a little down about my Mom and wishing she didn't still have those times when she feels fearful of the Arjo mechanical lifting machine at the nursing home. There are ups and downs with dealing with her Alzheimer's. My help came in the way of a neighbor who was a willing listener one day. She has been in a position similar to mine, so I felt comfortable talking to her about my concerns. 8 Remembering old songs that have such great messages, such as 'Let There Be Peace on Earth' and 'What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love.' 9 Our children and their spouses and our grandchildren and great grandchildren 10 My husband who means the world to me.
In the northwestern part of the USA there are many beautiful flaming colors and so I have chosen to post some photos that work for the blog hop at ABC Wednesday - F. Be sure to check out what others have chosen for the letter F by clicking the link.
F is for Flaming
the world seems brighter when clouds plants and creatures flame the darkness departs
Since we are always walking, stepping, climbing, driving, or riding, there are lots of opportunities to take photos of where we are going or where we have been. This challenge at Cee's Which Way Photo Challenge - February 17, 2017 is pretty open to interpretation as long as the way is visible and the main focus of the photo. Signs are also acceptable.
path at Deepwood Museum and Gardens, Salem OR
step up to tread mill
path by Eagle Marsh, Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge
Perspective is the challenge this week at Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge: Perspective. Using a different point of view or a different perspective when taking your photos is what it is all about. Desaturation is another way to take a different perspective. Click the link to see what perspective others have taken for this challenge.
This is a great challenge! I often see faces in things, so it was fun to take a few photos to post and link up to Cee's Fun Foto Challenge: Things that Look Like Faces. I can't wait to see what others post for this challenge. You can see their posts by clicking the link.
Since we have a lot of knotty wood in our house, I am always seeing faces on the ceiling and walls.
Even at Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge I couldn't get away from the faces. The bottom photo appears to look more like the face of an owl.
Well it is time to sink my next post on the page for the blog hop Six Sentence Stories - Sink. This story is fiction, but unfortunately these kind of things have happened in the past. Playing chase and trying to avoid the cockleburs in the field was just about impossible for the two little girls. The field was near the two story farm house where Mom could see them while she was hanging clean laundry on the old rope clothesline outside. Because of the drought there was little water other than for the bare necessities. All the farmers had to drill wells, sometimes more than one, trying to find water, and abandoned well shafts were not always filled in. While Mom was gazing at her daughters, she screamed a blood curdling scream as she saw the youngest suddenly sink from view.
For my post which I am linking to the Sunday Whirl Wordle 286, I am writing some prose using the early words posted on Facebook on Feb. 10, 2017. Participants in this blog hop may use as many or as few of the words as they wish. Various forms of the words are also acceptable. The early words are song, rhythms, melody, unusual, face, half, rag, upright, stool, challenge, root, resound.
all on a blistering hot day
memories of your face smiling looking at two children walking up to the counter and asking for a drink of water in a drugstore soda fountain in a small town on a blistering hot day while others sat on stools drinking root beer floats while rhythms of the day played on the bright red jukebox in the corner a waitress taking a clean rag from a bucket to wipe up a spill on the red and blue plaid plastic tablecloth covering a small table where some young 'uns had been eating their soft vanilla ice cream cones which had been dripping between their fingers and down their checkered sunsuits a paddle wheel fan slowly rotating from the ceiling in the middle of the room screen door squeaking when customers entered escaping the heat a tall lean cowboy strolling slowly up to the counter and sitting on the only empty stool ordering a coke and casually gazing around to see if there was anyone he knew an upright young man taller by half again the height of his grandmother holding the door for her as she shuffled in to find a package of hearing aid batteries with her sight now failing her in reading the numbers on the batteries and challenging her to get them off the hook a family of five sitting at the counter finishing their malted milkshakes and walking out into the bright sunlight past the antique store with old dolls and an unusual bubble gum machine in the window display while a phonograph with opened top was playing an old Irish melody just inside the open door family beginning to sway to the music and then singing a resounding chorus of When Irish Eyes Are Smiling a tipping of the hat of an old gentleman who was singing under the awning across the street all on a blistering hot day when I remembered you smiling at the children and then at me
The questions for the blog hop at Share Your World - February 13, 2017 are easy ones for me today, so this is a very short post. If you click the link, perhaps there will be some longer posts from others for this challenge.
Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out? By morning any part of the sheet that was tucked in on the sides is untucked, while the end of the sheet remains tucked in.
Have you stolen a street sign before? I have never done this, nor even been tempted to do so. I never wanted to risk getting in trouble and I didn't think it was the right thing to do.
Do you cut out coupons but then never use them? Years ago I did cut out a few coupons and only used some of them, but I don't even cut out coupons now.
Do you have freckles? Although I have a lot of Irish in me, I didn't end up with the red hair and freckles.
Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Once again I'll direct you to my Ten Things of Thankful post from this past weekend. This week I am looking forward to several events where there are going to be special meals and/or desserts. One of the meals is being put on by the young women in my church for the grandparents in the church. Sounds like fun.
Today the lesson that was taught to the women in my church was "Cultivating an Attitude of Happiness and a Spirit of Optimism." I couldn't help but think about this ongoing blog hop here where we post each weekend things for which we are thankful. Knowing that each weekend I am going to be writing of these things, causes me to reflect on my life on a daily basis.
For over three years Lizzi Lewis at Considerings has been hosting the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop. She has done a great job. Thank you Lizzi.
Josie Two Shoes is now hosting the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop. Please click the link if you would like to read the posts others have shared for this past week.
This past week the accumulation of rain turned many areas in this state into huge lakes and rivers. Some of those rivers hadn't even existed as streams before the rains came. I'm am thankful for the fact that we live on a hill, but not so much of a hill that we experience slides of earth that reposition our home or make it impossible for us to drive down our lane. The fact that the valley is covered with many country roads surrounding the farmlands is very helpful too, making it possible to take alternate routes on my way to visit my Mom in the nursing home, in case a road is flooded.
Flooded road in Marion Co. Oregon. I turned left.
Now we did not have rain all week. We actually had some beautiful sunrises and sunsets. There is nothing better than seeing the sunrise first thing in the morning.
The sunshine eventually dried up a large puddle which had developed on our property and with the warmer temperatures my husband and I even got outside and did a little pruning. He didn't let me overdo either, so I am not sore from too much exercise. That is good to remember for both of us.
We have a tail light on our car that is burned out, so one morning my husband said he would change it. When I checked youtube to see if there were any demonstrations on how to do that for our car, it seemed a little involved, plus it was pouring down rain that day, and we have no garage. Not wanting any added frustration for my hubby, I told him that I could just have the dealer take care of it when I was in town. Well to make a long story shorter, I will be taking the car in again on Monday. Two different guys could not get the bulb out! They didn't want to force it for fear of breaking the bulb, so on Monday they will have to take off the whole lighting fixture on the back of the car to be able to hopefully get the bulb out. Of course what wouldn't have probably cost very much, now will cost more, because it will take longer. I am so thankful I listened to that gut feeling that maybe it would be better to take the car to the dealer, and my husband didn't have to deal with a frustrating situation.
Most of us who have been blogging for a while, have discovered that blogs hold a wealth of information that bring enlightenment, humor, new possibilities of thinking, enjoyment, etc. This past week because of blogging, I heard a musical solo played on a euphonium. I was not familiar with this instrument and am so thankful for being able to hear the beautiful music a skilled musician can make on it.
The movie, Lion, had been highly recommended to me, so my husband and I went to see it this past week. We enjoyed it so much!
Have you ever said something and then wonder , "Where did that come from?" At the beginning of last week when I was at the nursing home, I spoke to the nurse to see how my Mom was doing with the transfers they were doing with her using the Arjo, a mechanical machine for transferring patients. The whole procedure was very unsettling to her. I asked the nurse if they ever gave her something to hold while they were doing it. At that point they had not been doing that. When I got home, I searched on the internet to see what if anything was done for patients, and in particular ones with dementia and Alzheimer's, who are very fearful when being transferred in this manner. After much searching I found one post that said that giving the patient something to hold helps the patient feel some stability. When I was at the nursing home the next time, I mentioned my discovery. I told them I was going to purchase a medium sized teddy bear for her to hold, but in the meantime, maybe having her hold a rolled up blanket might help. Yesterday, we gave her a teddy bear, and she loves it. That had been a concern, because I didn't know if she would think it was too childish, but she didn't, and she likes it. The other great news was that the staff told me that transferring her was much improved by having her hold a rolled up blanket. Yeah! Sometimes those thoughts that seemingly come into our minds are really there to help us as we live our lives her on earth. It is up to us to discern the thoughts we should heed.
Yesterday as my husband and I were visiting my Mom, there was a resident sitting at the table behind me. The woman had been dozing off. Suddenly I heard her saying, "Hey, can someone show me a little kindness?" When I turned around, she looked at me and said, "I just woke up. What are we doing?" I told her that we were just enjoying the sunshine outside, and I looked out the sliding glass doors to the patio. When I did that she looked outside, and made a comment about the sunny day. Often visitors at nursing homes are thought of as another staff member by the residents, especially those whose memories are impaired. If I see a need of resident that requires moving a patient, when perhaps the aides are busy helping other people, I will make sure that someone is aware of the need as soon as possible. I would want that kind of attention given to my Mom if I weren't there.
I'm pretty sure there are more than 10 things for which I am thankful. Hopefully I've mentioned that many here.
My objective of this post is to write a piece of flash fiction (300-500 words) using the words in the cue at Sunday's Whirligig 98. Participants in this blog hop may use as many or as few of the cue words as they wish. The type of writing may vary as well. Click the link to read more about the options available for participating in the blog hop.
THIS WEEK'S WORDS come from "They Feed They Lion"by Philip Levine:burlap, butter, bread, gutted, gray, grained, feed, ferocity, forgiven, holiness, home, hidden
Beauty in the Morning
He was startled awake at 10 p.m. by the ringing of the phone at his bedside. It was his Mom calling for the third time that day. I wonder what she needs at this time of night, he mused. After listening to her for a few minutes, he told her that he would check it out in the morning.
As he drove to his Mom's place the next morning he thought back to the time when his parents had made a loan to him. He had tried to make payments to them, but had struggled. After he and his wife divorced, his parents decided to forgive the loan since he was going to be making alimony payments and it would be even harder for him to make payments to them. He never remarried, but faithfully paid the alimony payments and made sure that his ex-wife and their almost grown daughter had what they needed. His wife remarried a few years after the divorce.
After stopping at his Mom's place and fixing a leaking faucet in her kitchen, he was ready to check on an ad he'd seen. She seemed to need an listening ear, so he decided to sit a spell and hear her story about another of her long time friends who was moving out of state to live closer to other family members. He finally gave her a hug and said he would see her again soon.
Now that his mother was a widow and getting up in years, he thought it would be nice to find a place that would work for both of them. When he had seen a listing for the old farm home a couple of miles from town, he was intrigued by the price of "as is." The small barn seemed to be in good shape and the five acres of land had been cleared except for an acre of uncleared deciduous and fir trees. There was even a small creek that ran through the wooded area.
After seeing the interior of the home, he decided all that would be needed would be to make it suitable for his Mom's needs now and in the future. He would add a ramp leading into the house, and remodel the inside to make the house handicapped accessible should that ever become an issue. His gut instincts were that this was a good deal for the two of them. He knew his Mom would love the two lilac trees by the back porch. After a few days, he spoke again with the realtor and began the paperwork needed to get started with purchasing the property.
His Mom continued to live on her own until the remodeling was done, and used the time with the help of friends to get rid of some things she no longer needed, including those hidden things in the attic. Being able to still drive was a blessing. She had remained in fairly good health, but she understood that her time would come sooner or later, just like her husband's. She was thankful for her only son, who retired early and lived nearby, although she regretted the demise of his marriage. By the time her son offered to have her move in with him, she had few reservations. Her present two story home with a large yard was getting more difficult to keep up.
After the house was remodeled, he moved in first, and then some of his friends helped him get his Mom and her things moved. There was one box of hers that intrigued him, marked, "To be opened after." The date had faded. He decided now was not the time to talk to Mom about it.
A couple of weeks after they were settled in, he took his Mom to an auction. She enjoyed seeing the farm animals, except when a young bull got quite ferocious being led into the show ring. Thankfully the handlers got him under control fairly quickly. Long ago her husband had been injured badly by a fiery young bull. She finally settled down and enjoyed seeing the young calves being led into the ring and was happy when her son decided to buy three of them. On the way home, they stopped at the farm store and bought some feed.
Her son thought she might enjoy the association with the calves, although at this point in her life, he needed to do the other chores. Raising the calves would help them both to earn their bread and butter, and would help her to feel like she wasn't totally dependent upon him.
As her son went with his Mom to the barn the next morning, and saw the rays of the early morning sun shining on her face and her gray hair glistening, he had an epiphany. He thought that there was a holiness about her as she bent over the burlap bag filled with oat grains. The scene reminded him of a Dutch painting.
She scooped some grain into an old empty shortening can and slowly walked over to the trough where the reddish brown calves were waiting to be fed. She held some grain in her cupped hand and savored the moment of a calf nuzzling her palm before going back to get a couple more cans of grain. The smile on her face as she completed her chore was like a child who had just blown on a dandelion puff for the first time.
It has been a while since I have participated in this blog hop, so I was kind of surprised there was something I had to say on the subject today. For one thing, I don't think of myself as getting upset. To me being upset conjures up an image of a person out of control, but sometimes one's thoughts can be out of control and one can be upset within and it is that subject I want to address in my post I am linking to Finish the Sentence Friday - When I get upset I, over at the Kristi Campbell's Finding Ninee site.
It is difficult to know if my perception of my world as a child was reality, or if with my emotional makeup I saw the behaviors of others differently than how others saw them. When my father got upset, his loud shouting made me feel like getting as far away from him as possible when his anger was expressed toward my sibling. Of course it it was addressed to both of us, I had no recourse but to stay physically present and let him rant.
Outbursts of anger made me feel physically and emotionally upset. I learned early on that retorting back in defense didn't get the response I hoped for, so I stayed quiet. It was easy for me to stay quiet. However, not everyone's emotional makeup is the same in such situations, and causes them to receive more punishment, whether deserved or not, and whether or not the type of punishment is warranted. Maybe in that day and age, it was more common, but certainly now a parent would be deemed abusive using the same kind of punishment that followed the yelling.
It was a time when what happened at home was certainly not spoken of elsewhere, or so it was how I was taught. Staying quiet, mulling things over and over in my young mind, was a learned behavior, and not a healthy one when it came to repeatedly thinking about disturbing things and not knowing what I could do about them. Stay out of trouble, be a good student, and get through those years was my goal.
In defense of my father, I must say that he was a good provider, worked hard on the farm and held a job where he worked 40 hours a week on rotating swing shifts, plus dealt with frequent back pain. My mother worked as a secretary, a necessity, according to my Dad. In those circumstances, I'm sure being the parent at home, he may have easily gotten upset.
As an young adult and adult, I had to learn how to stand up for myself, to learn when it was best to let people know what I believed was right, and to be comfortable in my own skin. I also learned to listen to my body and know when something was bothering me. Fortunately those things that bothered me as an adult didn't come in the way of abuse, but just in dealing with everyday life challenges. Some people are prone to headaches when they get upset. For me gastrointestinal problems, sleeplessness, and worrying came into play. I'm still basically a quieter observer type of person, but I enjoy life and upsets are way fewer.
How have I learned to overcome the symptoms when they arise? Sometimes it is not always immediately apparent to me even why I am having symptoms, so meditation and prayer have helped me immensely not only to discover what is happening but how to deal with it. Employing those two things in my life on a daily basis have helped me not to have the symptoms as often.
It may be that I am of need of more rest in my life, or better eating habits, or one-on-one time with my husband, or a massage or an acupuncture treatment. Reading scriptures and books help give me insight on a problem especially if the writer or main character has gone through something similar. Calming music and deep breathing settle my spirit too. Diffusing certain essential oils into the air has a calming effect for me. If I were able to run at my age, I would probably do that too, but as it is, walking gets rid of some of the bad energy. Sometimes speaking with a trusted friend, church leader, or professional who has knowledge about the topic that is causing me concern alleviates some of the stress.
Joseph Parry's, Myfanwy, played on the euphonium by David Childs is so beautiful and helps me feel very peaceful.
Over the years, I have learned that it is okay to ask for help, to recognize that there are things I cannot do by myself, that there are people who are willing to help but cannot read my mind, and at times I must ask.
There are times when all of us will get upset by something we have caused, or think we have instigated. When that is the case, it is best to address the issue. Waiting only makes things worse. I've learned that postponing a task one doesn't want to do, only increases one's stress level. It is best to get the hard stuff done, so you can enjoy your life.
My childhood was filled with white balloon bread which I thought tasted mighty good at the time. There really weren't a lot of options in the stores back then, but even if there had been, I probably would have preferred eating white bread. That isn't the case anymore, in case anyone is wondering. I've written a story using just six sentences about the topic bread which I am linking up to Six Sentence Stories - Bread. If you click the link, you will be able to see what stories others have shared on this subject.
It needed to be in a dark warm place for a few days. She thought about some possible locations. Having it fully visible most likely would make someone upset. Grabbing an old piece, she sprinkled a few drops of water on it, wrapped it lightly with some waxed paper, and placed it among some items in a deep kitchen drawer. A few days later, her mom detected a horrible smell as she opened the drawer and began shuffling some things around. "Why did you have to put you bread mold experiment in the bread drawer?" her mom said.
It is always quite interesting to see how a color photo looks when I try it out in black and white. The blog hop challenge I'm linking my post to is Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge: Glass. Click the link to see what others have shared for this challenge.
glass light globe
glass chandelier at Ellis Island Immigration Museum
Even with all the rain we have been getting the past several days, I was able to get a few photos for my post which I am linking to Cee's Which Way Photo Challenge - February 8, 2017. Since I was in the area, I was able to capture a flooded road and the steps and walkway of a church.
This vehicle must not have seen the sign.
Flooded road, Marion County, OR
Here is a slightly different view of the scene above.
Flooded road in Marion County, OR
There are three views of this church from slightly different vantage points.
St. Mary's Catholic Church, Mt. Angel, OR
St. Mary's Catholic Church, Mt. Angel, OR
I was even able to capture a reflection of the church on the wet pavement of the parking lot on this very cloudy rainy day.