Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Ten Things of Thankful

Maybe there will be ten items I'll mention and maybe not. That is the good thing about this blog hop at Josie Two Shoes. Although it does have that title, we are given some liberty as to whether we actually mention ten and whether we mention them in a list.  Recognizing the differences and sameness among our blogging friends is what I like about this group of bloggers. Click this Ten Things of Thankful link and see how others are writing their posts this time. Is it a list? Are there photos accompanying the posts? Maybe music videos or art work? It varies each week.

1. Rainy day meals - It has been a while since I have prepared a big pot of soup. Because I have so much fun making it, I tend to make more than two people can eat. We enjoyed this made-from-scratch vegetable beef soup tonight. I even simmered beef bones for hours to make the stock. The fun part comes when I begin adding the vegetables until the pot is full. No beef meat was added to this soup. Since I'd cooked up a pot of brown jasmine rice yesterday and we had some left over, we served some of the soup over a little mound of rice. Thanks for the wind and rain and dark skies that spurred me in this direction.

A bowl of vegetable soup made using home-made beef stock. The bowl is light blue and is setting on a woven placement the color of wheat ready to harvest.

2. January growing seasons - When I went to get a couple of potatoes from the food storage room tonight, I found this poking up from a bag. There had been one small potato that had been forgotten in one of the bags, so it had to do something about that. It started growing and just kept growing until I noticed it. We have had an unusually warm and dry January this year in our area, so maybe this potato is trying to tell us something.  

3-1/2" long russet potato with one tall (5") sprout on top and one short sprout growing from the side, looking a little like a tan automobile, tapered in front, with an oversized antenna on top at the back and a little arm sticking out the window on the side

3. Life and reminders of what is really important - This past week a man that my husband has known for many years passed away. They had shared the same profession and had a number of common interests. Although we knew his passing would be soon and there was nothing to stop it from happening, it has been a reminder once again that life seems all too short sometimes. I can't help but feel that his kindness and caring in reaching out to people and his love for his family and other people were his greatest assets. He will be missed. I'm glad my husband was able to spend some time with him a couple of days at the beginning of last week.

4. Archaic words that seem like they should be revived - Words come and go and change in meaning, but this word that a friend brought to my attention today seems to fit many in the world today. The word is "grumbletonian." A person who is angry or unhappy with the government might have been referred to as one of these.

5. Stretching exercises - In a past post I mentioned seeing some trumpeter swans recently in our area. I grabbed my camera one day this past week and had it in the car as we drove to the post office. This time the swans were a little nearer to the road, so I was able to capture several images after my husband pulled over to the side of the road. Perhaps exercises and the hope that I can soon get back to doing them has been on my mind a little too much. When I looked at the photo below, I couldn't help but see how each trumpeter swan appeared to be showing one example of using it's neck.

Three trumpeter swans in a muddy plowed field that has a little green growth appearing within the mud. The swan on the left has its neck stretched out low to the ground and is trying to get something from out of the mud or vegetation. The swan in the middle has its neck curved upward like the letter "n" close to its body, but then the rest of the neck is reaching vertically downward toward the ground with only its head seeming to flatten when level with the ground. The third swan is standing with its neck straight upward at a vertical angle from its body. Just imagine an imaginary string attached to its head at one end and to the sky at the other to help the swan maintain perfect posture.

6. The temple - I'm grateful that I was able to go to the temple with a friend last Friday. With so much on my mind, I especially liked being there that day where there is such a quiet presence, and peaceful feeling.

7. My husband's photography skills - Soon I think I will be able to post a different photo of me on my blog. Thanks to my husband's desire to use some lighting equipment and try his hand at a little portrait work, this change will be coming to my blog.

8. Music challenge - Recently in a blog post I'd mentioned using the Thompson piano books when I was taking lessons years ago. When I stopped taking piano lessons, I'd finished the third grade book. (The grades pertain to skill level, not grade in school.) While browsing the books at a thrift store last week, I came across a never used Thompson's piano book which will give me a challenge, as it is the fourth grade book. The price was right, and I could not resist the brand new book.

9. Quotations - I'm not sure exactly when it was that I realized how much I enjoy quotations, but I suspect it was when I was in grade school. They continue to inspire me, such as this one. "Desires dictate our priorities, Priorities shape our choices, and Choices determine our actions." Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Click to see source.

10. Restful sleep under down filled duvet - After a number of years sleeping under a down filled duvet I have gotten spoiled. It is so light and yet keeps me cozy warm. As a child I slept under heavy quilted woolen blankets which kept me quite warm in the winter, but at this stage in my life, lighter but still warm suits me better.

What are you thankful for this week? 


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Finish the Sentence Friday - Story behind the photo

We have a new prompt this week for this blog hop which has both a host and a co-host. This week we are to share a photo and the story behind it. If you choose to join in with this writing challenge click FTSF - Story behind the photo to link your post. Kenya Johnson at Sporadically Yours is the co-host and Kristi Campbell at Finding Ninee is the host. 

Century old bank book that belonged to my paternal grandpa

The photo of a bank book filled with some dates and balances from over a 100 years ago seem to be an indication of something about the man I called grandpa. The dates in the book don't cover very many years. It appears that some deposits were made and the balances from the statements were noted in the book, but whether this was a savings account or a checking account, I don't know. As to when money was moved into and out of the account it is a little confusing to me.

From the first census record succeeding those years I was able to determine where he and the family had lived. The census records also showed that he had a truck farm, so money in the account is most likely from earnings from the truck farm. I remember hearing stories about my grandparents growing grapes and drying them. They may have had some apricot and/or peach trees too, as many of the farms in the area did. The censuses indicated my grandpa was an employer, so they no doubt had a few farm hands.

Because the census designates the county and the district/town they lived in, I decided to do a Google search about the history of that particular place. This is where things got really interesting.

My grandparents had only a handful of photos from those years of living there, because their house had burned at a time yet to be determined by me. What photos they had were ones they had sent to a few family members, who in turn gave them back after the fire. (Note to self: Share family photos with others.) The number of photos they had fit into a small stationery box. For instance they only had a couple of pictures of my Dad as a young baby and a high school graduation photo of him.

Now we will go back to the google search mentioned above. One of the first things that popped up in my search was a site that had old photos taken of children in front of a school that my Dad had attended. The first photo was thought to have been taken around 1920. My Dad is no doubt in the photo, as his friend who was the same age and was the best man at my parents' marriage had been identified as being in the photo. A woman who lived next door to my grandparents had furnished some information concerning the history of the school for the website. According to the census, my Dad and his brother both attended school in 1920, so that means they both would have been in that photo, unless they were sick or absent that day. Without other photos of my Dad at a young age, it is difficult to know which boy he is in the photo, but for now I am just ecstatic to actually be able to see a photo that probably includes him. Sometimes the path to discovery is not straight!

What is the history about one of your photos, or as in my case, did your photo spur you on to discover other things?

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Six Sentence Stories - Dry

There were lean years and dry years, and often they were a troublesome duo. Zoe at Uncharted is the administer for the Six Sentence Stories blog hop. Each week we are given a new prompt word. Since we've had a lot of wet stuff coming down from the sky this week, "dry" is a hopeful word at times, especially during the dashes in and out of a grocery store. Dashing isn't a thing that comes easily now, although I seem to dash at times to get a post written. Click the link to see what other bloggers have written in just six sentences this week.

The dark-haired, slender framed woman in her early 30's struggled to carry the handled wicker basket filled with heavy wet clothes as she had done with so many other things in her life, with a lot of womanly grit and a sturdy grip. She tried not to kick up any dust from the ground under the clothes line before setting the basket down. 

By using a clothespin to attach the corner of one sheet with the corner of another sheet, she could make do with the number of clothespins she had in the pockets of her printed flour sack, wraparound apron.

It will not take long for the clothes to dry today she thought as she took one hand to brush back her long curly hair that was beginning to blow into her eyes. As she reached for another sheet in the basket, she saw the wind whip a dish towel from the line and furl it down toward the sandy dirt underneath. "Oh me, oh my, that dry hot wind can be both a blessing and a cursing sometimes," she mumbled not too quietly to herself.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Ten Things of Thankful

It is so helpful to me that at Josie Two Shoes site we are given more than enough days to write our posts to link up to her Ten Things of Thankful blog hop each week. I seem to come trailing in each week on the final day, but that doesn't mean I am less than thankful. Acknowledging gratitude is an important way to help one's mental and emotional help to my way of thinking, and I am not alone. Click.  

1. Visiting my Mom. After not being able to visit Mom for almost a couple of weeks, her roommate got over the flu, and it was okay for me to make visits again. I could have worn a mask and visited with Mom, but I felt that would have probably been too confusing for her, and I really didn't want to risk getting the flu. With Mom having advanced Alzheimer's there is enough confusion in Mom's mind to add to it me wearing a mask.

2. Pain medication. First of all, let's just get it out there in the beginning. I am usually not one who likes to take pain medication, because although they sometimes help, they also can bring on adverse reactions. This past week I welcomed some relief from pain in my hip and knee from what the doctor diagnosed as a type of bursitis in my hip. After an initial injection in my hip, followed by five days of pain medication, things are more manageable.

3. Classical music. As a child I took three years of piano lessons using mostly the Thompson and Aaron books. During those years I got an introduction of sorts to some of the classical pieces. I came to appreciate more classical pieces when one of our daughters learned to play the violin and was in orchestra and Junior Symphony during high school. On my drive up to visit my Mom the other day, I turned the radio station to a classical station where they were sharing an assortment of piano arrangements, organ numbers, and various renditions for stringed instruments. I actually like many different types of music, but this is a shout-out for my love for classical this time.

4. Power of prayer. There are times when there seems that there is so little that can be said and done to make a situation better for yourself or for someone else. Distance, whether in miles or in mind, may prevent help being given or received. One's own knowledge may be an obstacle as well in knowing how to proceed. When we know or perceive of the suffering of others, we often suffer with them to a degree, and I have personally found that prayer can buffer the distress in each.

5. Seeing the unexpected. One day this past week as my husband and I were driving along a road that we travel often we spotted three sandhill cranes and a couple of trumpeter swans. We have seen these birds in other parts of the state, but not here! What have you noticed in your natural surroundings that have surprised you lately?

6. Old photos. I must admit it. Photos of what is old, even ancient, has always spoken to me in some way. As a child, looking at pictures in discarded school books and looking at old family photos my grandmother kept in an stationery box intrigued me. With the many platforms of social media now, we have instant access to images of historical places, photos of people dressed in attire not seen in present day, city scenes that show dirt roads instead of pavement, etc. This past week we received an unexpected package of three old photos from a niece. What a thoughtful thing for her to do.

7. Jar of "good things." At the beginning of the month I saw an idea I wanted to pursue. Each day write one good thing that happened that day on a slip of paper and put the paper in a jar. I think that there is going to be a collection of jars by the end of the year. Maybe I need to write smaller.

Quart canning jar filled with little papers noting something good that happened that day.

8. Poetic thoughts (I think). One blustery day a few days ago, the wind seemed to have blown up some little leaves that crossed my path in front of the car. That prompted the following thought.

Dead leaves seeming to skip across the road from the brisk wind, enjoying the ride, leaving their earthen bier if but for a moment.
Will their form change through this energetic endeavor and mix with the atmosphere and become a new kind of life, or will they settle just as quickly back to their earthly grave?
Are we ready for that exit from our bier, or urn, when it is time, and become a more perfect version of ourselves, or do we suppose this is all there is?

Some may prefer to call these random thoughts, or perhaps a stream of consciousness, or just crazy ideas from a confused mind. What ever they are, they sometimes just escape from me onto paper or the computer screen. :-)

9. Red in the winter. On those winter days that are gloomy, I am thankful for a bit of red to brighten things up. I bought this plant when it was blooming. The  blooms stayed on for a long time, but finally fell. It cheers me up to see these blossoms coming out again.

Kalanchoe plant showing red blossoms

10. My kind, thoughtful, husband. Is there anything better than to grow older with someone and in the growing, gain more and more insights as to the inner being of that person? I think not.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Finish the Sentence Friday - Winter

This week there is an optional prompt word (winter) for this Stream of Consciousness post to write within five minutes. Our two co-hosts for the FTSF blog hop are Kristi Campbell of Finding Ninee and Kenya G. Johnson of Sporadically Yours. If you decide to join us in the blog up you can link up at either of their sites. Note: Each week the challenge is slightly different. Last week we wrote a Listicle about 10 favorites.

The deer approach most silently and look through the window of our home and show little surprise when we draw near. The solar panels on our hillside, together with the sun's rays, that are the cause of our lower electric bill provide a shelter of sorts for these deer. How nice that we can share the land with them and them with us.

Could it be that the white egret standing tall among a flock of sheep really was hoping to disguise itself among them, though they were not nearly so white? Perhaps not, and maybe the lesson here is to become one with those not quite like ourselves. Savor the diversity.

How is it possible for that red-tailed hawk almost at the top of a tree devoid of leaves to see a creature far below and within seconds be able to snatch it and be sated for a while. Patience and focus bring results.

Sounds of geese flying overhead have such a beckoning call, not just for them, but for me too of the desire to stay close to family, not just in the winter, but always.

Six Sentence Stories - Ripped

There are many ways to use a word, but this prompt word at Zoe's Six Sentence Stories - Ripped had me wondering what I could come up with for this blog hop. Click her link to read some more of these stories written in only six sentences. If you enjoy these kind of short writing challenges, considering writing one on your blog and linking up. Hope to see you there.

"Fiddlesticks," Lis mumbled as she stared at the small hole in the woolen sock she held between her arthritic hands while she slowly turned toward her nearby sewing basket that held her oft used wooden darning egg. "How could Claude have ripped a hole so quickly in the heel of his brand new socks that his Aunt Gussie made for him? Sometimes I wish I had a daughter to help me do the mending. Oh well, it isn't a very big hole, and there is still daylight so I can see what I am doing."

She parted the cotton lace curtains to let in some more light and then moved to her ornate high-backed wood rocker by the Philco floor radio console so she could better hear the Yankees playing. "Strike one," the announcer shouted as Lis began weaving the yarn from one edge of the hole to the other. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Ten Things of Thankful

Life goes on with its ups and downs and though we don't always anticipate just how things are going to transpire, sometimes we may have a hunch, a certain feeling that we have come to recognize, perhaps personal revelation or inspiration, there are some ways we can prepare ourselves emotionally, spiritually, physically, educationally, etc. Other times things happen totally unexpectedly which can bring us to our knees. 

Over the time I have been reading posts linked to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop I have realize even more fully, that we are all in this life together, and together we can lift one another to a higher plain by sharing those things for which we are thankful. For those who may be feeling a little down this week, perhaps something here will make you smile or make you feel just a wee bit better. Be sure to check out the other posts that are linked to Josie Two Shoes Ten Things of Thankful blog hop.

1. Lunches with friends. Three days in a row this past week I went out to eat at lunchtime. The first was at a buffet with other empty nesters. My husband and I attended this one together. The second one was at a Mexican restaurant that is owned and run by a Mexican couple who make and serve real Mexican food, not canned or ordered from elsewhere. Some other women from the church I attend met for this lunch. The third lunch was at a neighbor's home. She asked me to come to meet a new friend who was born in Japan. We thought perhaps the oriental woman I had recently met was the same person my neighbor had met. As it turned out they were not the same person, but it was a delight getting to know her and her background.

2. Timing that is just right. One day last week I was doing a couple of loads of laundry in the evening. The second load was just a few pair of jeans and a couple of other items and was waiting to be put into the dryer. A few items in the dryer still felt a bit damp, so I decided to run the dryer just a couple of more minutes. The dryer started running and then just stopped. . never to go again, no matter what. Since we have a drying rack, the wet load dried overnight on the rack, and I started considering a new dryer. I'm so glad that the first load of clothes wasn't the second load. There would have been a need for more drying racks. Have you experienced a time when the timing was just exactly right? 

Our old dryer is 16 years old, and older than the life span of dryers these days. January is a good time to get some appliances, because of the sales. I was able to get a good deal. The new one will be delivered tomorrow. I decided we really didn't need a dryer with lots of "bells and whistles" and simpler was better. Our older dryer had some options that I never used.

3. Little pills. This last week I returned for a follow up visit with my doctor about my blood pressure. It is doing better after several weeks of taking a blood pressure medication. Supplement capsules and tablets often are large, so having a very small pill to swallow is a blessing. The only downside of the little pills are being able to find them if you drop one or more on the floor. 

I'm not the only one in my family to like little pills. My paternal grandfather used to take Carters Little Liver Pills. I always assumed that he must have had some kind of a problem with his liver. Imagine my surprise upon reading a little history about these pills. I also grew up hearing the expression mentioned in the article.

4. No surprise discoveries when taking our car in for a check up. Yeah for just the usual oil change, tire rotation, etc.

5. Being able to navigate, although be it with a cane at times. Trying to go forward with my exercising at the fitness club has been slowed down. I only made it in once this past week. Until I get some answers and/or relief, I think it best to lay off the Silver and Fit. I have the silver, but not so much the fit right now.

6. Being able to use some gift cards. We received a couple of gift cards at Christmas to a show in Portland this past weekend. It couldn't have been a more beautiful day for driving to the state's largest city. Mt. Hood was displayed in all its splendor. We ate lunch down on the riverfront where we were able to overlook all the boats and yachts docked there. People were out walking their dogs. Families were strolling along the wharf. It was so relaxing. The show was Live From Here with Chris Thile in the Keller Auditorium. The guests were the Tune-Yards, Willie Watson, The Fairfield Four, and The Lucas Brothers. What a beautiful day!

7. Appreciation for the many condolences expressed to the family of President Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints last Friday. So many people over the years have felt his love and care for "the one."

8. Progress. I hope to always be able to look at the progress being made, for the courage of the oppressed, for the determination of people to speak up for what is right, what is kind, what is helpful, and what is moral. Now is not the time to close our eyes, to refuse to hear, and to retreat. 

9. Appreciation for those who have shown how to quietly resist injustice and for those who shared their talents to support in whatever way they could those who were more visible in their resistance movements.  May we all become more articulate in expressing what is right and showing that by our actions as well.

10. My husband's care and help this past week in my times of physical weakness. His reminders to me of when I just needed to go sit down so he could help were just what was necessary.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Finish the Sentence Friday - Listicle: My Favorite Things

It has been quite a while since I have linked up with the Finish the Sentence Friday blog hop hosted by Kristi Campbell of Finding Ninee. There is now a second host for this blog hop. Welcome Kenya Johnson of Sporadically Yours. In addition there have been some changes in the types of prompts. For instance, the second week of each month is a Listicle. This week's challenge is to share a list of 10 of your favorite things. Click here to read what other bloggers have shared.

Friday Listicle

1. Family. For me family is a favorite because I am able to see a part of me in them and them in me. This has caused me to reflect on so many different levels and is ever a learning experience.

2. Experiences that I have had that have brought me to this point in my life.

3. Knowledge I have that if all those people I hold dear and if all my possessions were to be destroyed, I would still be able to feel the love of God and be comforted by the Spirit.

4. Natural beauty of the world and the people in it. Nature in its pristine state is beautiful, but there is also something aesthetically pleasing about the changes caused upon the plants and formations due to natural forces of nature. So it is with people. The smooth skin of young children is in stark contrast to the wrinkles of the aged, but there is a beauty in those lines so deeply impressed that touches the heart of the observer.

5. Life stories. Listening to the stories of the lives of others and learning what they feel they have learned from their experiences can be a blessing to those who take their stories to heart.

6. Inspirational quotations. There is a plethora of memes, often humorous, but the ones that catch my attention are the ones that cause me to ponder and if I choose, to change my behaviors and become a better person. Sometimes the inspirational quotations are poetic. These draw me in, maybe because from my years as a young child, my heart and mind have been receptive to this style of writing. 

7. Hugs. What more can one say? A sincere heartfelt hug feeds the soul.

8. Thoughtful people. In a world that can often seem unrelentingly cruel because of the lack of compassion spoken or shown by some, there are so many who choose to be good, to do good, and look for ways to serve others, whether they know them or not. These thoughtful people come in all sizes, ages, colors, and nationalities and often unite with those seemingly quite different from themselves to unitedly make a difference in small ways or enormous ways. Often thoughtfulness can be done in magnanimous ways. (The origin of the word magnanimous is from the Latin magnanimus magnus "great" and animous "soul.")

9. The color blue. The color blue and especially blue/green hues are especially calming to me. 

10. Beautiful music. There are many kinds of music that I enjoy with as many reasons for why I do. I do know that music vibrates within me, but not necessarily in a loud or harsh way, but often in a very tender way, giving me reason to hope or courage to do, or reason to feel joy.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Ten Things of Thankful

This last week was a good week and a busy week. It was kind of a week filled with this and that as some of our weeks seem to be. I'll share a few things for which I am thankful and link my post to Josie Two Shoes The Things of Thankful blog hop. I hope you will click on the link to see what she shared as well as what the other bloggers linked to her site. 

(Captions under photos are detailed to help those who are sight impaired to be able to better enjoy the photos.)

1. Celebrating 101 years! It is not every day that we get to share a birthday celebration with someone who has lived 101 years, but this week we went up to the nursing center to join my Mom on her special day. 

I love this cute little smile and the twinkle in her eyes. This is how I want to remember her. 

2. Bakeries. I'm thankful for the beautiful, delicious cakes made at bakeries that make my life easier.

This is a white cake with a raspberry-cream filling. There is a simple plastic Happy Birthday banner resting on top of the cake and three candles (101) right after the banner. Candles are not allowed to be lit in the nursing center. (Note to self: If there is a next birthday for her, use all dark colored candles to make it more visible for her to see them.) At first she wasn't interested in eating any cake, but later changed her mind and seemed to enjoy her piece.

3. Videos about family members. It is a common thing now for people to show memorial videos at special times in a person's life. These videos may be a collection of photos taken in earlier years and/or videos. A few times my Mom has seen a video that my husband made of her life a number of years ago, the last time being when she turned 100 years old. In part of the video, my husband included a time when he interviewed my Mom talking with one of her brothers. Mom and my uncle reflected on things they remembered of when they were growing up. Each time Mom sees this video, it is like she is seeing it for the first time. It seems to awaken her mind a bit and bring her a little joy. She smiled almost all the time she was watching it this year on her birthday. That made me smile watching her smile. To be able to see her stand, walk, and speak clearly without hesitation was a delight. I think making a video of our own lives is the least we can do for ourselves and our children, so when our memories begin to slip, we and they can watch ourselves as we once appeared.

I felt sad for one of the residents at the nursing center when she saw Mom in the video and some people gathered around to watch the video. She asked, "Where's my picture?" I thought to myself how wonderful it would be for each resident to have some kind of a video of themselves in their earlier years to watch on occasion.

4. Weather accommodating days. Our bags of wood pellets for our pellet stove were dwindling. Since my husband carries them bag by bag into a room where we store them until needed, a pallet of bags of wood pellets taxes his strength. Doing this task on a day when it wasn't raining and the weather was "just right" made it doable for him. Since I am no help at all with this job, I'm thankful when it isn't too daunting for my husband.

5. The power of reading aloud to oneself. In an effort to better retain what I read, in this case scriptures, I decided to start reading aloud as I study daily. Reading softly to myself works to keep me focused and to remember what I read. I won't be trying this around other people though. Has anyone else found this to be beneficial? 

I was curious if there were any studies that had been done about the advantages of people reading aloud to themselves. Click the link to learn more this study that was done at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario.

6. Easy goals with good benefits. After seeing a post on Facebook about having a Good Things jar. I decided to do this. At the end of the day I write on a slip of paper the date and something good that happened that day. I fold the slip and put it into a quart jar. Later on, perhaps at a family gathering if others in the family have jars filled with their own "good things," there could be a sharing time. Maybe I'll just pull slips out to read on a quiet New Year's eve. Who knows? For now, it is a jar being filled a day at a time. Has anyone else tried this?

7. The humor of a stress ball. It isn't like me to buy some little trinket at the checkout stand, but recently I bought something that was labeled a "stress ball." My guess was that by squeezing the ball one could relieve some of their stress by expending energy into the ball, but the way this worked for me was to make me laugh at the contortions of the face on the ball. Either way works.

This yellow stress ball is about 6" around.  There is a simple face consisting of two big heart-shaped eyes and a smiling open mouth of black and a row of white at the top of the mouth to represent the teeth. It is sort of dented in on the right side just below the eye from where I had squeezed the ball. (It was hard to get the camera in focus before the indentations popped out. It really did appear a lot funnier. LOL)

The rest are for you. Practice for your next post. 
8. I am thankful for___________________________________

9. I am thankful for___________________________________

10. I am thankful for__________________________________

Wishing you all a great week!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Ten Things of Thankful

We exited the year 2017 in a very quiet way this year. I'm ready to reflect and share a few things that have made me smile and be grateful. I'm linking this post to Josie Two Shoes blog hop Ten Things of Thankful.

1. Spending time with my Mom on Christmas Day. She wasn't wearing her glasses when we arrived and we were told they were missing. When we took Mom into her room, my husband found her glasses on top of her night stand. They had been partially obscured by the some holiday items which had been  placed there.

2. Good intentions. It is difficult to find the perfect gift for someone. Sometimes it comes from not knowing what a person already has, what book they have already read, what sizes they wear and brands they prefer, things they are capable of doing or understanding, games they already have, or foods that they are unable to eat, etc. In the end, it is the thought that counts and knowing that someone cares and loves for you.

3. Feeling well, for the most part. While many have suffered from the flu or some version of it during many of the weeks in December in our state, my husband and I only had a very mild version for about a day and a half at the very end of December. I'm so thankful for that.

4. Spending time with our son and his family for a few days at the end of December. We were thankful they were able to travel down to see us. We played a game of Scrabble and another game my grandson brought with him (that was beyond my ability to learn quickly). Due to the light flu some of us had, we stayed home. All the grandkids had brought books to read, so they were content with that.

5. Safety in travels. The northwest corner of Washington was hit with a severe ice storm while our son and his family were here. There was quite a bit of concern about being able to return to their home on Saturday due to icy roads, fallen trees and power lines, and power outages. We were glad to get their call saying they had made it home safely.

6. Tiny things. One of my friends gave me some cute little Christmas tree ornaments made from buttons. She knows that we usually just decorate a small Norfolk pine that we have as a house plant.

I love these miniature trees made from buttons of varying sizes and hues. There is a yellow tree, a red tree, a green tree and a white tree. Each tree is topped by a button in the shape of a star and an wire with a little button on it so the ornament can be hung.

7. Humorous happenings. The last couple of months I've been trying to keep my weight under control. One of the ways that I thought I could manage that was to avoid doing a lot of baking around the holidays. Instead I bought a few jars of Lemon Curd to give to a few people on our hill. The humorous part of this story was discovering that one of those family's was giving the same gift, only a homemade version. We had a good laugh about that coincidence. Many years ago I bought a dress to give to one of my daughters for Christmas. My mother bought the same dress for me for Christmas that year. 

A 1/2-pint jar of lemon curd given to be by a dear neighbor.

8. Goals. I've been all over the map with this idea of making and working toward goals during my lifetime. A few short years ago when life seemed to be demanding more of my time and effort, I kind of let some of my goals coast as I needed to turn my focus elsewhere. During this last quarter of the year, I decided to "just try" reaching some goals in the remaining few months. I now have the feeling of accomplishment and renewed energy to go forward in 2018.

9. Words of encouragement via memes. I love seeing inspiring photos with encouraging words. There seem to be a lot of those at the beginning of this new year.

10. Home. There really is no place like home when it is a place of love and of refuge. I appreciate my husband so much for his love and support.

Wishing you all the best in this new year!