Saturday, December 28, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

It is time for my final Ten Things of Thankful post for the year. What a year it has been! Thanks to Kristi of Thankful Me who is the host of this blog hop, there have been weekly invitations and an open link to any and all who wish to acknowledge their weekly gratitude. Clark, Dyanne, Lisa and myself are co-hosts. If you have been considering joining us in the adventure, January 2020 is a great time to begin. Click here for the details.

1. Food that is prepared just like (fill in the name) used to make it, because even if that person can’t be with you, eating the same food somehow makes you feel closer to them

2. Sunshine appearing sooner in the mornings now that we are on the other side of the shortest day of the year

3. Choir because of the way many voices become one voice

4. Discovering that I can scan documents with my iPad, thanks to a comment made in card I received this week

5. Recognizing that sometimes one has to enter a period of darkness to be able to see the light (can be taken figuratively or literally)

The lights of this Christmas display brightens the
darkness surrounding it

6. Receiving a text from a friend saying “I have something for you.” The next day she dropped off a cute little bowl cozy she made for me, and thanks to YouTube I now know how to make one.

A reversible bowl cozy (green print on one
side and yellow print on the other) holding
a custard dish

7. Diffusers to help bring the smell of Christmas into the room without needing to bake more cookies, of course unless you want to

8. Knowing that your family is safe (Read Dyanne's post.)

9. Fog that lifts or hasn't settled by the time you need to drive somewhere

10. The value of communication (conversing and listening) in strengthening family relationships

11. Vic, my other half 

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Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Pine

When I saw the new prompt for this week's Six Sentence Stories blog hop, I knew exactly the story to tell. I just had to quickly search to see if I'd already used this story. Yeah! The path is clear. Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog is the host of Six Sentence Stories - Pine. If you have a story to tell using this prompt, check out her site for the guidelines and link up.

He had only meant to take a short break, but he enjoyed the company of his friend and before he knew it ten minutes had stretched to twenty and then to a half hour. He decided that if he was ever going to be able to finish the job, he would have to resort to a tried but true tactic and his friend would be none the wiser. It wouldn’t be the first time he had used this method, but his pal was an adventurous sort and always easily forgave him.

The large pocket on the front of his sweatshirt contained just what he needed at times like this, a dirty, well worn tennis ball. Quickly he shoved the ball into the wand and thrust the ball toward the forest just like he had done many times in the past. 

Although the hope had been to send his buddy on an exciting hunting expedition, a tennis ball stuck high up between the branches of a pine tree only created canine pandemonium in the neighborhood and more delay in getting his job completed.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful - Christmas

As the days of preparation leading up to Christmas day are winding down for some, others are already thinking ahead to the new year and anticipating the things they hope to accomplish, or the changes they want to make in themselves in the hopes of becoming a better version of themselves. Wherever you are in your path of becoming, I hope that you are able to look back and within and recognize the source of the goodness that is within you and how you can use that goodness to help others. This is a reminder to myself as well.

Here are my Ten Things of Thankful for this week. (This post is linked to the blog hop, Ten Things of Thankful, hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me. Kristi's co-hosts, Clark, Dyanne, Lisa and myself are there to help in whatever ways we are able.)

1. This week I enjoyed spending some time in my kitchen making Christmas cookies that I hadn't made before and of course making some treats that I've made previous holidays. One of the cookies I made includes cardamon. This is the second batch of cookies I have made this season that includes this spice. I am thankful for its flavor.

2. Being able to listen to Christmas music while I bake makes the task all the more enjoyable.

3. I am thankful for a home that gives me safe shelter. I know that there are many who do not have a place that provides a place to reside that feels safe. I am especially thankful for my husband who helps me feel safe.

4. Warmth (physical, emotional, or spiritual such as is mentioned in Jeremiah 20:9 . . .But his word was in mine heart as a aburning fire shut up in my bones,)

5. Family connections, my own, as well the connection I was able to make this week when I explored a little store run by one of the senior centers and found Joseph, the "exact" missing Joseph to one of my nativities. Now one of the wise men who had been filling in for Joseph has returned to his proper position. It has been many years of looking to discover the exact Joseph who was missing from the used nativity I'd purchased.

Joseph and Mary with the baby
Jesus in the stable with
an angel in the background

6. One of the blessings that stands out more resoundingly as I age is that of being able to be mobile, as I have seen first hand how having to depend on others to get around is often a hard adjustment for many to make.

7. People who reach out, show concern, and provide assistance, not just at Christmas but year round make life more bearable.

8. For experiences in my life (intentional and unintentional) which prepared me for future experiences and helped me along this road of life

9. For knowing the value of taking first steps

10. Making goals and assessments using the dimensions of wellness wheel to help you see where your life may have gotten a little out of balance. If you are like me, it is easy to do more of what we like to do, or what is easiest, etc. If you liken the dimensions to a wheel, you may see areas that need to be pumped up a little to make the wheel round again. 

I saw this small decorated artificial tree at a
wedding reception tonight and thought 
it was so pretty.

Wishing you all joy this week!

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Saturday, December 14, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

From your experience what have you found to be most beneficial in taking time to intentionally identify people, things or experiences that cause you to feel thankful? Has the practice of doing so changed you for the better? Does knowing that you are going to write in a journal, or on a blog post, about what you are thankful for cause you to view the world around you differently? Since life sometimes throws a curve ball or two, we all know that there are times when it is easy to get caught off base.  What then? 

Not everyone deals with challenges in the same way, and in reality there are times when a person has to, or needs to take a break from what has been his or her routine, so for anyone who has followed the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop for any length of time, it should not be surprising to see bloggers participate for a while, stop posting for a while but maybe still continue to read what others are posting. As one can determine from the side bar on my blog page, I have been participating in The Ten Things of Thankful blog hop since 2015, but there have been some gaps in my participation such as when sitting at a computer wasn't feasible, etc. As I said sometimes life throws a curve ball.


1. Kristi of Thankful Me has been our faithful host for The Ten Things of Thankful blog hop, welcoming new participants, encouraging and commiserating as the case may be. The position of hosts and co-hosts (Clark, Dyanne, Lisa, and myself) changes from time to time perhaps because of some the things mentioned above, but that is to be expected. I am thankful for each of these individuals who have blessed my life to one degree or another. It is wonderful to have some blogging friends.

2. A Night of Reflection and a Holiday Service of Remembrance to remember loved ones who have passed away were held this week, and I am thankful I was able to attend both events. One was held by a hospice service and the other by a funeral home.

Hospice center's Memory Garden where stones
inscribed with the names of loved ones lay

Candles lit in honor of those have passed

3. In wading through photos that my mother had realized that although I knew the majority of the people, it would be a good idea to write the names of the relatives friends on the backs of the photos so those who look at these photos in the future won't be left in the dark. I am thankful that I have a pen that is perfect for this kind of task. It has pigment ink, is acid free, is archival quality, light fast, waterproof and non-bleeding.

4. Knowledge comes in a variety of ways. I am grateful for those times I attempt to help someone, even when I am not exactly sure of the answers or even if I can help, that more times than not I expand my own knowledge in the process.

5. Hidden gems sometimes lay in cardboard boxes. Oh, these are not of the type found in jewelry, but the kind tucked away in files in stored boxes. The hidden gems of which I speak are homemade Father's Day cards telling of the things our young children loved about their dad. Another gem was a poem I'd written to be read at a ceremony to announce our engagement when we were in college. Others were letters written by our parents, all of whom are now deceased. I'll take more of these jewels any day!

6. THIS! Being able to backtrack the choices one makes, the thoughts and impressions one has, and the actions or lack of action one takes and realizing that one small thing may have been what mattered most at that very moment and had you not been there, each would have missed a very special moment in time which became indelibly imprinted on our hearts

7. Classical music
I found that quite a few times this past week, I was turning to the classical music station while driving in the car. It has always amazed me that composers are able to write music for an entire orchestra. It is beyond my comprehension how this is done, but I am so thankful for those composers. Their music has enriched my life. I am also glad I was introduced to some of the classics when I took piano lessons as a child, even though I really wanted to learn to play some of the more popular songs during my lessons.

8. Meeting for lunch with friends
Good food and good conversation is a win win.

9. Time to rest

10. Vic and our family
They are mentioned last, but they first in my heart and mind.

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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Absent

Do you believe that absence makes the heart grow fonder? With the onset of the holidays many people long for gathering with their families, but for some people it can be a lonely time, especially if they are confined to their home or other place of residence with no resemblance of their home. For those whose abode changes from day to day and who have lost all connections with their family, invitations to spend the holiday in the home of a stranger may be bitter sweet.

Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog is the host of the blog hop Six Sentence Stories. I am linking up to Six Sentence Stories - Absent. More details on how to add your story written in six sentences can be found here.

When did the house turn from clamor to sounds of silence, she wondered.

The unexpected booms and crashes along with bursts of giggles and accompanying screams had ruled the roost for what had seemed to have been an inexplicable amount of time, although in reality was quite short. The noises were more likely to have been incited by the humanity within, whereas now the mechanical sounds, which had always been there, had risen to the top of the auditory domain.

When the humming, or droning completely stopped, it was likely to cause the humans to start investigating to see what was wrong, quite similar in nature to how they had reacted to the sudden quieting of the raucousness caused by their youngsters.

Absent are their little children. Present are the memories and pictures in her mind.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

This has been a week of activity, but all good. I'll share some of that here with you at the Ten Things of Thankful post which I plan to link to the blog hop by the same name which Kristi of Thankful Me hosts each week. She has a few of us helping as co-hosts: Clark, Dyanne, Lisa as well as me. 

First of all I am thankful for the time and the energy to do things that I have had to put aside the past few years. While I don't know how long this will be the case, it is wonderful while it lasts. So what does that exactly mean in real time? Well, first of all, I actually got some Christmas decorations up the first week in December!

Years ago I bought a nativity set in a  second-hand store. It was in a box, and I didn't realize that it was missing a very important person.
Do you see who is missing? If anyone asks, I just say, he is on an errand for Mary. (We have other smaller nativities with no one missing.)

Nativity (Where is Joseph?)
Also, a few years ago a granddaughter gave me a Christmas decoration that I continue to display. She was going to be moving and the family was downsizing. The decoration was a little on the heavy side, so I gladly accepted her offer. I love how certain things remind me of family members.

A clever use of a glass block to make a
Christmas decoration

Some decorations I display year round, but seem so appropriate at this season of the year.

Someone did this stitching on a large piece
of plastic canvas. I am glad that I discovered
it in a second-hand shop. Some messages
are never too old.

Recently I attended an activity where people shared some tips and tricks for making life easier. This week I tried an idea for how to hang a wreath on a door. Although this idea probably has been around for a while, it was new to me. Best of all it was easy to do, worked and required no nails. Have you tried something new this week?

An easy way to hang a wreath on a door

When there is a big job to be accomplished in a short amount of time, many hands make light work. It was surprising how quickly a group of the helpers were able to decorate the tables for the Christmas breakfast held at my church this morning. I am thankful for those who see the bigger picture and for all the helpers.

One of many decorated tables in
a large meeting room

Have you ever hesitated to do something? I think we all do at one time or another, perhaps for good reasons, or at least the reasons may have seemed good at the time. My husband and I had both noticed a leaf that has clung to the top of a branch long after all the other leaves have fallen. I am thankful for the times I have had the courage to tackle something seemingly impossible for me to do.

If you look very carefully, you will see a
little yellow leaf still attached to the top
of a bare branch. It is the only leaf left on
the tree.

I am thankful for the cute Christmas sweater I was given at Thanksgiving, in time for me to wear it to some Christmas activities. I am also thankful for becoming instant friends with a little boy at the Christmas breakfast this morning when he saw the animals on my sweater.

Christmas sweater adorned with

After a year of writing in response to weekly questions about my life, I finally received a copy of my book in the mail today. This whole project started almost a year ago, when I received a gift subscription to a company that promotes the idea of writing a story about one's life.
 This book is not one I am selling, but is for the sake of posterity.

My book for my family.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Circuit

At times what is penned is as much for the writer as it is for the reader. The thoughts may arise unexpectedly and seemingly cannot be held back until the words are tossed around and the finished product emerges. Such is this piece written in six sentences. If it were not for Denise of Girlie on the Edges Blog, these words may have remained jumbled within my mind and would not be linked to the blog hop hosted by Denise. Thank you Denise for Six Sentence Stories - Circuit. 

Her fingers searched for the spot where reassurance lay, where she could feel the beat.

The coursing within was barely noticeable now, but when she felt it, it was like a connecting circuit from one body to another.

Never knowing when the course would veer in a direction only attainable for the one seemingly tethered to the bed, but in reality only by her physical and mental inabilities, she knew the path would go upward while hers would for the time being remain earthbound.

Gently she rubbed the shoulders and neck of she who had given birth to her and had carried the weight life had given her. . .in hopes that somehow she could lighten the load she was carrying now.

She made herself breathe and remember. . .until the love she felt conveyed a one-sided nonverbal conversation which she knew was known by she who lay on the threshold of stepping away.

Love converged and lingered as the veil began to part.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

For me his has been a week of preparation, anticipation, reflection and remembering. How about you? I think the act of being thankful for what one already has is a wonderful way to begin the Christmas season which begins almost immediately after Thanksgiving day, or even hours after people step away from the feast in some cases.

Kristi of Thankful Me gives us an opportunity to consider what we are feeling grateful for during the past week, or just in general. She is the host for the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop to which I am linking my post. Clark, Dyanne, Lisa and myself are co-hosts. Having co-hosts makes it quick and easy for the readers to navigate to the other posts in the blog hop.

1. That I was alert to the speed of bumper-to-bumper traffic flow in front of me and didn’t hit the car labeled . . .county coroner

2. That when there wasn’t a roadside rest stop available after several hours of driving, that there was a service station nearby and that when finding out that we had managed to pull into the only service station I’d ever heard of that didn’t have a rest room, the manager was nice enough to tell us where nearest public restroom was, and it was only a block away (Whew!)

3. That I absolutely know who all my children are even when a young man I didn’t know waved at me and said “Hi, Mom!” (He was the driver of a vehicle at the above mentioned service station. When he noticed my surprised and confused look, he smiled and said “Your shirt!” I was wearing my shirt that said, “Navy Mom.”)

3. To see my teenage grandchildren helping prepare different parts of the Thanksgiving meal 

4. That our almost nine-hour drive (three hours longer than the usual travel time) was on a beautiful day and was one of safe travel for us

5. Seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they know the gift they have given is the perfect gift by the receiver’s expression

6. Receiving a delicious free apple pie for Thanksgiving

7. Being able to join with others in recognizing the advancement of a young man becoming an Eagle Scout

8. Being able to read from one of my Mom’s journals about a Thanksgiving she spent with our family (particularly poignant with this being the first Thanksgiving since she left this earth)

9. Joyful enthusiasm mutually expressed  between pets and their owners 

10. Receiving a card with a special handwritten message for no reason (meaning not for a birthday or a special holiday) and it meant so much to me

11. For Vic and our family and for the times we are able to gather whether in person or by other means

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Sunday, November 24, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

With Thanksgiving approaching those in this country within a few days, many are no doubt either planning to travel to be with loved ones, or are expecting family and/or friends to come to their homes to share a meal. I hope that all will be safe in their travels and be able to enjoy a meal and friendship with others. I feel a sense of gratitude for those things simple and great. I am linking my post to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me. Co-hosts are Clark, Dyanne, Lisa, and myself. 

1. Being in a circle of friends
This past week I had the opportunity to meet with a  group of women of all ages. We sat in a circle and were given a chance to introduce ourselves and then if we wished share some tips or tricks that have made our lives easier. This was such a great inclusive activity. The old learned from the young, and the young learned from the old. There was lots of laughter and bonding as well as gaining some tips and tricks.

2. Being able to go to the temple again
To me it is a house of prayer and a house of learning, where in a sacred quiet place the Spirit teaches me.

3. Going to see a wonderful movie
Mr. Rogers is a man for whom I had great respect and who reinforced those things that I had hoped our children would embrace. As I related to a friend, "A person's heart would have to be made of stone not to be touched by this movie."

4. New solar lamps to light the driveway
We had solar lamps, but it was long past the time to replace them. This past week I took time to make that happen. Let there be light!

5. The quickness of being able to transmit photos
When I was missing a few photos I needed for the book I've been writing about my life, one of our daughters was able to send some as an attachment in an email. 

6. Salad bars
Having ingredients on hand to make a quick salad bar is always a "go to" whether there is expected or unexpected company.

7. Guava paste and cheese for dessert
I tried to buy some guava paste a few days ago, but wasn't able to find this product quite as quickly as I'd hoped. One store has some on order, so I still plan to get some to have one hand for the holidays. In some South American countries a little guava paste on a slice of cheese is what hits the spot for dessert. We once had an exchange student from Brazil live with us for a year and she introduced us to this delicious treat.

8. Being able to make something sweet almost at a moments notice
When you need to make and take something sweet to an event or party, and you don't have a lot of time, Cracker Toffee is about as quick and easy as it gets. When I'd run out of time trying to find the guava paste mentioned above, there wasn't a lot of time left to make something. What instantly came to mind was my Cracker Toffee recipe, and I already had the ingredients I needed. 

9. Friends stopping by

10. Being able to live in a country that allows the public to view the hearings held in our nation’s capital
Not all countries are as obliging to allow their citizens to hear the questions asked, and the testimonies given under oath. I am thankful for the freedoms we have in this country.

As always Vic and the rest of our family mean the world to me and I give thanks daily for them.

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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Tardy

Could it be that one of the bloggers joining in with this blog hop hosted by Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog might be a future Lewis Carroll? 

Stories written in only six sentences is a long cry from writing a book of over 100 pages, but who knows if a practice of writing simple stories of six sentences might lead to greater works. In fact, if you have read some of the six sentence stories shared by other writers who link up each week, you may have discovered that some of them are in the process of writing books and that sometimes a character from one of their works-in-progress will make an appearance in a six sentence story. Clark immediately comes to mind.

The cue this week brought to mind a famous oft quoted line from Carroll's book, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I'm linking my post to Six Sentence Stories - Tardy, and I'm not late yet!

Gramps always told him stories about what he remembered his own grandpa telling him about the family and invariably reminded him to never defame the family name. 

It was becoming increasingly difficult for Gordon not to squirm upon hearing those words. “Don’t you ever get teased Gramps, you know. . .about our name?”

“Oh, it has mostly been in fun, and I just teased them right back, but it wasn’t so easy to combat the whole town that time when Granny thought we were going to be late to church. If I hadn’t thought she got kidnapped and got the police involved, it wouldn’t have been so bad. Boy, did the Tardy family make the headlines that day!”

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

Hopefully everyone has had a great week, or at least looking back can see the blessings in spite of any challenges. In less than two weeks it will be Thanksgiving here, and participating in this blog hop each week certainly gives one lots of practice thinking about what makes us feel grateful.

Kristi of Thankful Me, our host of the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop, sets the stage so to speak by getting the link up and running each weekend. She has a few helpers, aka co-hosts, Clark, Dyanne, Lisa and myself.

If you have happened upon this blog and thought to yourself, I should do this, it is never too late. Even if you don't have a blog, just writing the things you are thankful for in a journal is a great practice.

This beautiful barberry bush looks like it is getting
ready for Christmas instead of Thanksgiving!

1. We were able to replace the visor on the driver's side of the car
For some crazy reason, I thought that it wasn't possible to get a new visor for our car. We have been living with it flopping down without any help from us for longer than I want to admit. It just would not stay up. We had even bought some Velcro tape thinking maybe that would work. It didn't. Well, when we took the car in to be serviced this week, the technician got in the driver's side, and immediately said something to the effect that we also needed a new visor. Come to find out it is a fairly simple procedure. Best of all, this made my husband's day! He is a little taller than me, so having this nuisance of a visor getting in his line of vision was really kind of annoying.

2. The squeaking sound I was sometimes hearing from under the car is gone!
The technician said there were a couple a possible causes. Getting the front brake pads replaced and tightening a belt took care of those disconcerting noises.

3. I was able to help someone find some needed information to add to the history she is writing about her family

4. There are still some apples on the Johnny Appleseed tree to add to the oatmeal! 
A simple breakfast for the two of us lately has consisted of cooking the following:

Add 1 cup of raw oats to 1-3/4 cups boiling water and cook for about five minutes. Then toss in one chopped unpeeled apple and 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts. Cook until the apple has heated thoroughly. Before serving, add cinnamon to taste. (I do not add any salt or sugar, but with the cinnamon and the sweetness of the apple, it makes up the difference.)

This is my version of unintentional kitchen art which has the
appearance of  some kind of a mushroom. This is what happens when one gets distracted while  warming a tortilla in a skillet.

5. Conversations with friends
I enjoyed all the conversations I had with friends this week, whether it was going somewhere with friends and chatting on our way to a destination, visiting with friends in their homes, or talking on the phone with them.

6. Online Date Calculator
If you are into finding that perfect someone, this won't help with that. This is one of those sites that does the math for you. For instance, if you found out someone passed away on a certain date and was so many years, months, and days old and all you wanted to know was the exact birth date of the person, this will help you figure it out.

7. The Ancestor Hunt online site
I have been using a certain online site for finding newspaper clippings. The site does not have every newspaper in its collection, so I was very happy to discover this additional resource this week. 

8. Unscented products
It seems that there are many people I know who are sensitive to the scents found in everyday products people use. Although I am not as sensitive to certain products as some, I can understand the discomfort they can bring. I am thankful that there are actually scent-free products that they and their friends can use that really can make life more bearable for them. 

The Christmas cacti are starting to bud. This is the
first blossom this fall. Ours bloom around
 Thanksgiving, and then again later on. These are
 great if you enjoy flowers, but need the unscented type.

9. Drawings for Roots Tech registration fees
There are a number of Roots Tech Ambassadors who have tweeted ways they are giving people an opportunity to participate in a drawing. If your name is drawn and you have already registered, you would just be reimbursed. Although, our host for the TToT blog hop is an ambassador at Roots Tech in Salt Lake City in February, I am not eligible to participate in her drawing because of our relationship, but that does not eliminate my participation in the drawings of other Roots Tech ambassadors. If you would like to attend Roots Tech and are interesting in saving a little money on the registration fees, just go to Twitter and search #rootstech to find ambassadors who are offering this great opportunity. Some are for one-day passes and others are for four-day passes. Just remember to follow the directions, as the directions vary depending on the ambassador. 

10. Old photos
For one of the above mentioned drawings (see #9), I needed to post a photo of an ancestor on Twitter and tag the person who tweeted about the drawing. I found this one of my Dad, Claude Louis Pierce.

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Scrub

This is a shout out to Denise at Girlie on the Edge's Blog for providing a weekly prompt for the blog hop she hosts. That little cue has been flickering here and there, but finally it sunk in enough for me to create a story for Six Sentence Stories - Scrub. There is always room for other bloggers to join us. Just click the link to see the rules, and to also read the other stories.


As a means of distraction, or to make the miles pass quickly, she found herself reverting to the ways of women who had traveled this path of existence before her.

Like others, often not giving much consideration to what the original author or lyricist intended, she repeated the words which had become a familiar part of her childhood.

It was somehow easier to scrub away the grime from little Sam’s knees than to remove the embedded memories of some nursery rhymes, especially after what Sam’s much older brother told her he’d learned in his English class.

No way would great great grandma have allowed that to have been repeated in her house had she known the implications, she thought to herself.

Such a simple phrase and perfect for bath time, although even then modified to scrub-a-dub dub, now had tossed in additional information for her neurons.

If only there were a delete key for pick-as-you-choose new information, she thought.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful - A Little of This and That

When you try to recall what you did over a period of time of whatever length, do you trust your memory, or do you resort to clues, like a note on a calendar, or just looking around the house or yard hoping for something to jump out at you that will trigger something in your mind? When it comes to preparing for these weekly blog hop posts, I have taken a variety of approaches. What works best for you?

I am linking up to Ten Things of Thankful hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me and co-hosted by Clark, Dyanne, Lisa and yours truly.

1. Luggage moments
My husband has more than once mentioned how they put a man on the moon before they put wheels on luggage. This week when I discovered the value of using a feather duster (one that actually has feathers) to try dusting my Christmas cacti before they start blooming, I was astounded by how much better and quicker that approach worked than my previous method.

2. Attending Empty Nest luncheons
Having an opportunity once a month to meet with friends who have children who have left the nest, is something we enjoy. Depending on schedules and commitments, we have missed some of the lunches, but not this week. A local restaurant with a large buffet usually has something that everyone can enjoy. 

3. A photo of Mom and me
One of the sympathy cards I received this week included a photo that my friend had taken when we were visiting my mother several years ago. I appreciate her thoughtful gesture.

4. Rake and leaf blower
On this hillside we have plenty of leaves on the ground from the oak trees and the maple trees. Thanks to the drier weather, we were able to each grab tool and make  short work of a big project.

A photo taken a previous fall of rain soaked maple leaves

5. Invitations
There is nothing like invitations that give a person the feeling of being included. This week I received three different kinds of invitations. The one this week will be gathering with others to celebrate an upcoming event in a young woman's life. The other two next week include going to the temple and getting together for a study group.

6. Television stations that start working again after having taken a weekend hiatus
We were not sure why we were not able to watch any local stations all last weekend, but were set to call someone on Monday. My husband decided to try one more time. He turned on the TV and the stations were all up and running again.

7. Being able to decipher the pop-up message on my phone by going to YouTube before clicking to initiate the action
Sometimes I just want to know more before just aimlessly doing something that looks official, but may not be a wise move.

8. Stories
The race is on. I need to ramp up my speed a bit in order to write the number of stories I desire for the book of my personal stories before the end of the year. I should be able to continue with this increased pace. It has become plain to see the value and importance of writing about one's life for not only one's posterity, but for the lessons one learns from contemplating one's life. 

9. Humor through random comments
A new type of humor has erupted in a group text my kids and I have. It is called random comments. I think it got started accidentally, but immediately caught on. Basically one person just shares a word or maybe two which leaves the rest of the group wondering what THAT is all about. The comments that spew forth bring laughter and a plethora of emoji. A little laughter is good.

Seeing this little frog perched on the head of this swallow painted on the sign gave us a good laugh a few years ago.

10. Family connecting
Several months ago I accepted a Facebook friend invite thinking it was someone I knew. Afterward, I realized she wasn't who I thought she was. I didn't unfriend her because I thought maybe I would eventually figure out why she sent the invite. That moment came early this week. Her dad is my second cousin. I saw a comment he had made on one of her posts and I recognized the name as being one that was on my Mother's Christmas card list. (When the Alzheimer's made everything too confusing for her, there was a period of time several years back when I addressed her Christmas cards for her and she just signed them.)

11. Vic, always and forever.

A beautiful rainbow we saw the morning my mother passed away

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