Thursday, June 28, 2018

Six Sentence Stories - Manner

Most times I know what I am going to write, at least the general story, before I begin to formulate my words. This time I only had a thought, but not a story, so I just began to compose to see what would happen. 

My end result is being posted here because it is written in only six sentences and that is the challenge that Denise of Girlie on the Edge gives us each week. Click her blog hop challenge to read other stories written for Six Sentence Stories - Manner. You will be glad you did.


He was "in the moment" and feeling tired, but a good tired, after having tackled the tractor problem and then mowing the large natural lawn, a mixture of grass and weeds.  As they walked together over the shortened vegetation, she glanced toward a large unweeded shrub bed and said in all sincerity, "It looks pretty good from a distance."

She always seemed to have a to-do list, whether written on paper or in her mind, and could quickly move out of the moment they were in, admittedly not one of her best characteristics. Unfortunately those enumerations were sometimes taken as items of dissatisfaction and things he thought she expected him to do.

After years of togetherness it had become second nature for him to sense a little of what she was thinking in the back of her head even if her "wife speak" didn't say that. For the most part his manner of interpretation worked pretty well, except for the times when it didn't, and she needed to tack on an addendum to clarify the intentions of her words and her heart. 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Ten Things of Thankful

It is time to link up to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me. It has been a full week, and there is much I worth remembering and some I'd like  to share in my post. Check out Kristi's site by clicking the link to see the posts of other bloggers. I hope that you have had a great week and are feeling thankful too. 

Ten Things of Thankful

1. Being able to reunite with a dear friend. At the beginning of the week I received a phone call from a friend who has moved back to the area where I first met her. She has been living in another state for a long time, so I can't wait to get together with her again. She taught me so much about doing family history research and inspired me with her enthusiasm, to name just one of the many ways she influenced my life. 

2. A good samaritan who changed my flat tire. Somehow I managed to drive over a nail early in the week. A flat tire wasn't on my list of expectations when I walked out of the fitness center. Fortunately a man walking into the center noticed my flat and pointed it out to me. (I was looking at the beautiful sky instead of looking at my tires.) He kindly offered to change my tire for me, even though I said I could call AAA. Mike is a true samaritan and wouldn't accept any compensation for his time and effort on what was a warmer than usual day.

3. Being able to purchase my first smartphone. After years of using a very old version of a cell phone that was about 3/4" thick, I decided to make the plunge. I figured that since I am familiar with using an iPad, it wouldn't be as huge of a leap as it might have been without that knowledge. 

4. Being able to travel for a couple of days to an area where we hadn't been for a while. My mother had lived in the area for a summer after she graduated from high school. Her brother had gone there to work. His future wife descended from some of the early settlers in the area.

5. Spotting other animals that we don't see as often. During our trip my husband and I saw an elk, a badger, and a pronghorn antelope. Although we have seen elk on occasion in our neck of the woods, the other two are mostly see on the other side of the mountains.

Cow elk

6. Quotations that are meaningful to me. Although this quotation has been incorrectly quoted many times, the correct version (shown below) still speaks to me.

"The longer you can look back, the farther you can look forward." Winston Churchill

7. Old automobiles that remind us of different eras. We saw a couple of old autos in front of a restaurant one morning. One of them reminded my husband of the 1928 Model A Ford he had restored when he was growing up.

1929 Model A Ford

8. Museums that bring to mind items from my past and things used by my grandparents. We visited the Fort Rock Homestead Village Museum which consisted of several original buildings which had been moved to the site.

This is a closeup of a section of one of the old
 quilts covering a bed in one of the homesteads.  

Fort Rock as seen from the Fort Rock
Homestead Village

9. Conversations and stories about the lives of people. I asked a waitress about a huge painting hanging on the wall in the restaurant where we ate breakfast. Paintings that size are usually found in art museums. Since we were her only customers at the moment, she shared the story behind the painting. An artist who was on the set of the filming of the movie The Way West (1967) decided to paint a picture of a man and woman taking a break. The couple were part of the crew of cooks who prepared meals for the cast, etc. It must have made that couple feel very special to have someone paint such a beautiful massive painting of them, especially when there were many famous movie stars who could have been the models.

10. restaurant worth trying at least once. Although we learned that there are lots of repeat customers at this restaurant, we wanted to go there just once for the experience. We knew ahead of time, that it would be impossible for us to eat all the meal as shown in the pictures, but we planned ahead so we could take the leftovers home. We had been forewarned about the size of the steaks. Our leftover steak was sliced up and put in the freezer overnight, and then put in the cooler with ice the next day so it wouldn't spoil on the trip home. We aren't huge meat eaters, so this will last a while and add protein to our vegetables or be used in sandwiches.

Cowboy Dinner Tree

An extra thankful item, is just being able to spend time with my husband doing something we both enjoy.

Male Red crossbill

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Ten Things of Thankful

Wendy Harris of Josie Two Shoes has decided to turn over her position as host of the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop to Kristi of Thankful Me beginning next week. I want to personally thank Wendy for all the encouragement she has given me and others through her comments to our posts. She like so many others who bring themselves here week after week to reflect upon the things for which they are thankful feel like my blogosphere friends. Even though our personal lives vary somewhat, we are the same in that we want to share and remember our gratitudes. Maybe in that sharing we bring a smile to someone who comes by to read our posts. Click the link to see what pops up this week.

1. School is officially over until fall in many places. One of our grandsons completed the eighth grade this week. We wish we could have been there for his graduation, but look forward to being able to spend some time with him soon.

2. In the not too distant future our children and their families will all be living in the west. This is very exciting news for us. One of our daughters has received a promotion that enables she and her family to relocate. Yeah!

3. Our peace plant is blooming. The blossoms are quite unique, and we don't see them often.

The white blossom of a peace plant
positioned against its leaf

 4. The thoughtfulness of the dental hygienist who cleaned my mom's teeth this week. I'm sure that having to bend down and over to clean her teeth wasn't the easiest thing to do. (Because of mom's age and physical and mental capacities, the cleaning has to be done as mom is seated in her wheelchair.) I'm also thankful the the ride in the transport vehicle wasn't as scary as it has sometimes been for mom in the past.

5. Discovering two Western Salsify (tragopogon dubious) plants on our property. They stand about 2-1/2 feet high. What attracted me were the incredibly large seedpods about the size softballs. I'm thankful to have noticed them and for having done a little research. We will be burying the seedpods deep enough that the plants hopefully won't reappear in the future. 

Western Salsify seedpod
6. I'm thankful for 1-800 numbers that save me the inconvenience of sitting in an office for up to three hours waiting for my turn. Granted, the 1-800 number that I called required waiting for 1-1/2 hours to speak to someone, but I was able to set the phone down, turn up the speaker phone, listen to music that wasn't too offensive to my taste, and continue with my tasks. Thankfully, my question was quickly answered without my call being forwarded to someone else, or the call being inadvertently dropped after all that waiting.

7. When I have noticed Western tanagers as they migrate though our area, I have not been able to get a photo of them, until this week. Although I wish the photo had been more in focus, it will do for now. This one was enjoying getting a drink and taking a bath.

Western tanager bathing in water in hollowed
rock slab
8. I made it to the fitness center twice instead of just once!

9. One of our grandsons received his call to serve a church mission in the Buenos Aires North Argentina mission district. His five years of learning Spanish will be helpful as he tries to become familiar with the Spanish dialects spoken there. He will be reporting on Aug. 9. This will be a great opportunity for him to serve the people in that area.

10. My husband and father of our children, and our son and son-in-laws for being such good fathers. Learning how to become a loving family takes commitment and work, and I'm thankful for all they have done and still do. Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Finish the Sentence Friday - Stream of Consciousness - Move

It is that time to reflect for five minutes and write those things that come into your mind. This is Finish the Sentence Friday - Stream of Consciousness - Move. Kristi Campbell of Finding Ninee, who is having a "moving" experience, provided us with the prompt word for this blog hop. The co-host is Kenya G. Johnson of Sporadically Yours. Click on the link to read about Kristi's "moving" experience, and while you are there check out the reflections of other bloggers.

In the evening as the sun is beginning to set it is a relaxing time to move about outdoors. The cool breeze against my skin is welcome after having finished being in the kitchen. With camera in hand, I walk carefully through the grasses and  weeds and watch out for gopher holes that might cause a sudden downfall of my body. Wildflowers and native plants in bloom wait for me to take their pictures.

White Shasta daises blossoms with their orange centers
White Ocean spray blossoms

White Himalayan blackberry blossoms

The sound of a chain saw can be heard in the distance. I decide to walk down the road a little ways. A neighbor is sawing around the fence and the tree where there was an accident that took the life of a young man when his vehicle hit a cherry tree earlier this week. As I walk further up the road somehow the sounds of birds chirping relax my mind and calm my heart somewhat as I ponder the mourning of the deceased's family and friends. I hope the sounds of nature do that for them too as they consider the words of consolation and prayers offered by others.

The snow-capped mountain peak off in the distance isn't as visible as I was hoping this evening, due to the haze. I'll try to get a photo another day.

As I enter the house once again, I feel warm from the exertion, but glad that I chose to take an evening walk.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Six Sentence Stories - Investigate

This blog hop prompt was a personal challenge to see if it was possible for me to write a six sentence story without lengthening the sentences like this one. Denise of Girlie on the Edge didn't urge me to tackle my personal challenge, but she did provide the cue, Six Sentence Stories - Investigate. Click the link and see what other bloggers are sharing this time. You will find an assortment of writing styles. You can almost count on that.  

The tracks were confusing to say the least.

Impressions were left by a sure-footed being.

Maybe she went west, or did she go east?

Could it be that one leg torqued while she was fleeing?

There was no sign of her being released.

He must investigate this clue he was seeing.

Footprints in the snow

Monday, June 11, 2018

Ten Things of Thankful

Once again there is much to be thankful for on this sunny day, and especially knowing that even though this post is being written not on the first day when the link opens but on the day before the link closes. Thanks to our administrator at Josie Two Shoes' Ten Things of Thankful blog hop I have that option to post a little later. I may be the last to post this time, but you will never know unless you click the link and see if I grabbed that spot.

1. Windshield wipers. Although windshield wipers have existed throughout my life, I know that some of my ancestors did not have that luxury. While traveling on a very rainy day this last week, I contemplated what that many hours of travel time would have been like without those wipers.

2. Sunglasses. We experienced enough sunshine and blue skies this past week that I needed to don sunglasses. Had I been born early in the last century, I would have no doubt worn broad-brimmed hats on sunny days to shield my eyes because sunglasses had not been invented.

3. Fog lines at the edge of highways. I do remember how excited my parents were when fog lines started to be painted at the edge of the road. I have found them to be very helpful as are the additional reflectors on the lines, or the ruts that are sometimes added to call the drivers' attention that they are leaving the lane near the side of the road.

4. Car heaters and defoggers. As a much younger person I remember curling up under plaid woolen car blankets just to keep warm. Sometimes when my brother and I were sitting in the back sit, we were asked to clear the steamed up windows with a rag.

5. Lightweight breathable raincoats. During the spring and summer rainstorms and thunder showers, it is nice not to be sweltering under a vinyl raincoat, or worse yet a coat with a rubber lining as once was the case.

6. Reference rooms and libraries on online. I remember being so excited that we could afford buying a set of encyclopedias and then the yearbook every year that would keep us up to date with the new information about the world. We can receive the news almost instantly now, but libraries are providing a great service to their users by making digital collections available and through their other services.

7. Physicians and PNAs who listen and compare a patient's past tests with the current tests. After having had a recent yearly physical, my first with the PNA who filled the position of my past physician, I was very impressed by how very thorough she was. 

8. Graduations. It was wonderful to be able to have one of our granddaughters ride part way with us to attend the high school graduation of one of our grandsons. We were concerned by the weather report for the day of the graduation, since it was supposed to rain like it had the day of our travel. Imagine our surprise when we woke up to blue skies and sunshine the day of the graduation. The graduates were seated on the field of the stadium and would have been soaked if it had rained. Spectators were seated under a covered stadium. Our grandson's height made it easy to spot him among the graduates. This was a big weekend for him and for two of his cousins who also graduated from a high school on the opposite side of the country. We are excited for them and for the things they have accomplished. We wish them the best as they continue their educational careers, make plans for the future, and accept new responsibilities.

9. New exercise routines. I've been going to the fitness center to exercise. Although I don't get there as many times a week as I would like, I continue to make it at least once a week. Our leader makes it fun and exercises our minds by changing the routines every month. We are still exercising our muscles, but just in different ways.

10. Observant CNAs. Because of a very observant CNA, we now know what seems to be the cause of mom's sleep disturbances of late. It seems that waking up to a brown teddy bear on her dresser (one we had given her a couple of years ago) now looks terrifying to her in the middle of the night. After the bear was placed inside the closet, she was able sleep through the night peacefully. Those who have ever had a child who has woken up in the middle of the night terrified because of a shadow on the wall, etc. may be able to relate to this. Going backwards in time with Alzheimer's plays cruel tricks on people's minds. Note: Many people in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's enjoy having a doll or stuffed animal.

Wishing that the coming week will be filled with happiness for each of you.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Six Sentence Stories - Shed

Have you ever written a blog post but missed the time to link it to a blog hop. I have. This post as it was originally written was meant to be linked to #FOWC with Fandango or Fandango's One Word Challenge. The prompt word was skedaddle. I missed the link up time because of a trip we took. When I saw the new prompt for the Six Sentence Stories blog hop, I knew that with very little revising, I could make my original post work for the Six Sentence Stories - Shed instead. This is not a new concept, but I'm always glad for a quick fix.   Thanks Denise for providing these weekly prompts at Girlie on the Edge. Hop on over to her site to read some other stories written with only six sentences.

Skedaddle, exclaimed Susana. If you want to help, why don't you go to the shed and see if the chickens laid any more eggs in there. Now don't look so addlepated. Scram, but put on your galoshes first so your new patent leather shoes stay looking spic-and-span.

Oh, fiddle-fiddle, said Nancy Ann under her breath as she heard the screen door slam harder than she had intended. Just before she could grab her galoshes where she'd left them on the porch steps, Bowser snatched one and ran through the biggest mud puddle he could find!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Ten Things of Thankful

There have been lots of things to feel grateful about this past week. I'll list ten in this post and then link up to Josie Two Shoes' Ten Things of Thankful blog hop. By going to her site people can quickly find links to the posts of other participants. It is kind of a meeting ground for bloggers.  

1. Being able to watch a young boy bottle feed a katahdin lamb. Katahdin sheep have hair rather than wool, so do not need to be shorn. They are raised for their meat.

Katahdin lamb being bottle fed by a young boy.

2. Discovering that I can grow ginger. In a dark storage room, I had some ginger root inside an open plastic bag. I'd forgotten about it, and during my absence it decided to grow.

Ginger root sprout
3. Read my first large print book as a senior citizen. Although I don't need to read large print books, I must admit that it was easier to read. A friend passed on the book to me after she was done reading it. I'm thankful that these larger print books are available for people who need them. I'm also thankful for thoughtful friends.

4. Spring coats. When the warmer weather comes, we tend to wear lighter coats or no coats. So it is with animals.

This fawn has grown and is now getting a sleeker looking coat.

5. Children who share their talents

6. Being able to get take-out at a restaurant that makes West African meals. I should add, and survive. Let me explain. It was totally my fault in the choice of words I used when I asked the person taking the order if the food was very spicy. The answer was no, at least I took the shaking of her head side to side to mean no. I was having a little difficulty understanding her accent too. (My husband cannot eat very spicy food so it was important to know if the food was spicy.) The food was delicious, but the sauce that came with it, which I thought was probably sweet, was actually very hot, as in chile peppers hot. I poured the sauce on top of my rice before tasting some of the sauce. Fortunately my husband did not followed by lead, but put a fork tine into the sauce and barely tasted it. After him telling me how hot it was, I thought it best to disperse the sauce throughout my food thinking it wouldn't taste so  hot if it was spread thinly. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I would definitely order food there again, but wouldn't add the sauce to mine next time. This is one lesson I'll remember.

7. Laughter. As I was trying to read a menu at another restaurant this past week, the lighting needed to be a little better for me, and perhaps the printing a little larger. I passed the menu to my husband and I commented that I'd never heard of that kind of cheese. It started with an "E." He replied, "Either cheddar or. . ." I didn't see the "i" after the "E" and thought it was a type of cheese. We both had a good laugh about that one. Getting older is full of laughs. I hope we can continue to see the humor.

8. Retirement celebration. We went to a retirement gathering this week for some teachers who were retiring from one of the schools where my husband had taught. It was fun to catch up on what others had been doing since they had retired and to welcome the new retirees into the next chapter of their lives.

9. Being able to attend the graduation of a granddaughter. She has worked hard to get to this point. She received her JD from law school at the University of Washington. 

10. Being able to be together with so many of our family as we gathered together for our granddaughter's graduation.   

Saturday, June 2, 2018

One Word Challenge #FOWC - Autonomous

It is day two of the One Word Challenge #FOWC.  The prompt word today is autonomous. Fandango is the host of the One Word Challenge. Remember the rules will work for just about any kind of writer. Click the link and discover how easy or difficult this can be, and while you are there read some of the other entries.

because he said so
they were now autonomous
but feared to depart

Friday, June 1, 2018

One Word Challenge #FOWC - Inertia

The  One Word Challenge #FOWC blog hop is a new one for me to try. The prompt word for June1 is inertia. A new cue is posted each day just after midnight Pacific Time at FOWC with Fandango.

The rules given by the host are pretty lax so pick your style from prose, poetry, fiction, or non-fiction. The length doesn't matter and pictures or drawings are acceptable too. Just have fun with it, and link up or post your link in the comments. Don't forget to read some of the entries by other writers to see the many possibilities.

A shedding fence lizard sunning on some boards sticking out from under from some bricks

as hot rays descend
his inertia disappears
with spider's entrance