Friday, May 24, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

There are so many things for which to be thankful and sometimes in the midst of being thankful you may find yourself laughing. 

For instance, this week when I was driving to pick up a friend, I was hearing a sound which I thought was coming from my air vents. (A year or so ago, we had a problem with some mice getting into our car via the air vents.) My thought was, Oh, no. Here we go again. When I got to my friends house and I turned off the car, I no longer heard the suspect sound. Later as I was returning home I realized that the sound was not from mice moving around, but from the styrofoam blocks jostling inside a large plastic bag in the back of my car. I was planning to take them to a collection center the next day. Whew, what a relief, and it was definitely worth a good laugh and a lot of gratitude for no mice in the car!

Here are my Ten Things of Thankful for this week. Thanks to Kristi of Thankful Me, we have a central place to link our posts for this blog hop. Click the link and you will be able to quickly traverse across the internet to read the other bloggers' TToT posts.

1. Being able to access online the most viewed speeches from the university some of our children and grandchildren attended  (I didn’t know that there was a link to find a list of the talks starting with the most viewed.)

2. Podcasts that mention something that I find interesting (See #1)

3. Being invited to attend an activity of playing some games with a group of young teenage girls who wanted to get to know the older people in our congregation at church. A couple of the girls even made the delicious desserts that were served. I especially enjoyed getting to know a little more about these young women. Sometimes when people get older and all their children and their families do not live nearby, it is nice to be invited to an activity like this.

4. Making significant progress in a cleanup project (think major spring cleaning in one section of the house)

5. A phone call telling us that everything is on schedule for getting our new siding and windows

6. Paint chips
The photo doesn't depict the colors on these paint chips as well as I had hoped. At this point in time, I think we are going to choose Malted Milk. The chip in the photo looks like it is kind of gray, but it really appears as a very light cocoa color.

Three paint chip cards spread
out in my hand like playing cards.

7. Being able to learn the identity of a yellow flower (actually a noxious weed) that has made its appearance on our property
If the green leaves spread out around the flower were yellow like the blossom, they would resemble the rays of the sun.

Holding the blossom of the weed,
Western Salsify or Goat's Beard;
also known as Yellow Salsify
or Oyster Plant 

8. Having a calendar app that now has all our events on it
As strange as it may seem, I had still been referring to a calendar hanging on the wall, and/or a small calendar booklet in my purse. Sometimes I would add something to the one in my purse and then not remember to add it to the calendar on the wall, or vice versa. I think you get why this might be problematic. I will probably still add events on the paper calendar for the benefit of the other person in this family who does not have a calendar app.

9. Being needed and my husband and I being able to help

10. Garden nurseries filled with all sorts of flowers in bloom
with the added advantage that most of plants are set on tables which are at a height that doesn’t require one to squat down or bend over very far to smell the flowers

A beautiful sunset this past week

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Frame

This week it took me a while to figure out what direction to go with the cue given for this blog hop, Six Sentence Stories - Frame. Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog is our host and keeps us guessing with what prompt she is going to throw our way each week. She keeps things interesting. 

I was almost on the verge of skipping a week, but I am so glad I didn't, because of all that I learned in the process of writing this little story of only six sentences. I am really curious as to what other bloggers are sharing this time, so I will be clicking the link to read their posts. You have an open invitation to do likewise.

It is going to be an interesting session today, dear.

Well there has been an increasing amount of discussion among the ladies when we get together to do our embroidery work. We are wondering how all you men are going vote on the matter.

All I can say is, it’s about time! If Indiana leads the way in this, the other states best follow suit, or there will be a real ruckus.

It may have been fashionable during the Civil War, but after hearing about Ethel’s death when her skirt caught fire on the grate, I am not going to ever be caged in a frame of steel again.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

This is a time to remember and to consider the thoughts that came to me this past week and the things that I experienced that made me realize that there are many reasons to be thankful. So with no further ado, I will link my post to the blog hop Ten Things of Thankful hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me

1. Our middle daughter and her youngest son came to visit us on Mother’s Day weekend, and of course we had calls from our other children and some of the grandchildren too. I am thankful that these are not rare occurrences.

2. Being able to go with them to see some of the old familiar places in the town where she lived half her childhood was one of the highlights of their visit.

3. Sharing things in common with our grandson 
He likes exploring antique stores, as do I, and he shares a common interest in reptiles, as does my husband. After seeing a photo taken by our grandson when he and my husband went birding, I think he has the eye of a photographer much like his grandpa.

Grandson holding one of the
fence lizards he caught

4. An iris that a neighbor left on our doorstep
We have the nicest neighbors. (This was left by a different neighbor than the one who left a DVD on our doorstep last week.) The symbol of a purple iris is wisdom, while a white iris symbolizes purity. 

White iris blossom fringed in purple

5. Hearing the stories of why people choose their professions, hobbies, or crafts
When I asked one of the aides helping my mom at the nursing center how she happened to choose her profession, I learned that she had watched the care her grandmother had received while living in a nursing home. This young  woman is currently studying to become a nurse's aide and then eventually plans to become a nurse so she can provide better care to people who cannot care for themselves. As I spoke to her I sensed of her genuine care for my mother and the other residents. She told me she sometimes sings to my mother at night to help calm her. Yes, this pulled at my heartstrings.   

6.People who are willing to share their knowledge and experience with others
A Master Gardener came to speak to our women's group at church this week. She came well prepared and did an excellent job of answering questions that the women had.

7. Viability of sweet pea seeds
Years ago we planted a long row of sweet peas along a fence surrounding our garden. I was so surprised this week to see a sweet pea in bloom surrounded by lots of weeds inside what had once been a raised bed area. I just had to bend over and smell of its sweetness. A symbol of sweet peas is blissful pleasure.

A sweet pea with purple/magenta
blossoms blooming among weeds

8. Siblings helping siblings

Nothing warms a parent's heart more than seeing this in action. There was a need this week, and it was wonderful to know that our children were there for each other.

9. Rags and fiber cloths
Having plenty of these on hand made some of my tasks so much easier this week.

10. Good news
There is an abundance of news that can be quite depressing, so it is wonderful to hear the other kind. Some of the good news this week has been the medical type: good reports on tests, and friends who have been dealing with some difficult health challenges are showing improvement. Yeah! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Goal

William Cowper in 1785 wrote "Variety is the very spice of life" in his poem The Task. We who participate in the Six Sentence Stories blog hop include those who are just getting their toes wet, so to speak, all the way up to those who have actually had some of their works published. Perhaps to some of the more accomplished writers, this may provide a means of relaxation from a more daunting writing task, while for others writing a story in only six sentences requires immense effort. Being introduced to characters in a variety of venues and circumstances expands one's horizons. 

Whatever your writing goal is this week, take a minute to consider linking up to the blog hop Six Sentence Stories - goal hosted by Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog. Be sure to click the link to check out the rules for this blog hop, in particular to reading the definition of a story as it pertains to this writing challenge. I think you will like the inclusivity of this writing challenge.

He sat on the sturdy tree branch where he could survey the roiling seawater below the rocky cliffs on the shoreline.

He was undisturbed by visitors walking on the paved trails to the lighthouse.

They were more interested in ascending the spiral staircase within the towering structure and in listening to the volunteers at the surrounding observatory share their knowledge about this noteworthy coastal region.

Some had spotted him and zoomed in with their cameras to take his photo when he turned his head, but they kept their distance.

His real adversary was the determined black crow that dipped and dived toward him from all angles trying to disturb his equanimity.

The goal of this caterwauling, ebony enemy was to get him to fly away from the crows’ tree.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

This photo captured my mom's
happiness at being with her children
when they were both able to be
with her in the nursing home.

From my childhood and throughout my life, through her words and actions, my mother's greatest desire was that I be happy. I am thankful for her beautiful example.

Thanks to Kristi of Thankful Me who hosts the blog hop Ten Things of Thankful we have a place to share those things for which we are thankful. I am linking up, and so can you every weekend, actually from Friday to Tuesday. Click the link to get the details and to read what other bloggers are sharing.

Time out with my husband and doing it with friends
We got together with some empty nesters in our area for lunch one day and then met with some of my husband’s fellow retired teachers and their spouses on another day.

The realtor we worked with to sell mom’s house a few years ago, as a way of saying thank you to clients, paid for them and for us to see the original Mary Poppins at a local theater.  Since it had been a long time since we had seen the original, it was nice to be able to see it so soon after having seen the follow-up film. The invitation also included a free meal from the theater’s offerings.

Visitor at our door became the main character in my SSS blog hop post. The visitor has a family, as verified by my seeing a much smaller, and younger gopher snake among the flowers, where I did some hand weeding earlier in the week. These snakes will help deplete the ground squirrel, gopher and mice population that may decide to try to take up residence.

Gopher snake on the threshold of the doorway

Beautiful art and craftsmanship at the Historic Carousel and Museum in Albany OR.

Giraffe and hare on the carousel

My learning to watercolor paint has an added benefit. It turns out that this may be art therapy in that the physical pain I was feeling in the morning eased up during my lesson and wasn’t noticeable afterwards.

The feeling that comes from making progress in the beginners' watercolor painting class

My attempts this week to watercolor paint
a couple of leaves

My neighbor’s friendly gesture of loaning me her copy of a video because she knew that I like historical movies. Not only that, I received my very own copy, a gift from my daughter a couple days later . I am really looking forward to watching Jane and Emma.

The feeling of anticipation
Looking forward to Mother’s Day and seeing part of our family

Mothers and all those who mother and care for those around them

Quotations about gratitude

"Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul." Amy Collette

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Focus

How interesting it is that a writer can quickly switch gears almost in the middle of writing a story. It can become a do over if the main character has to move out of the picture because a new one has boldly entered the scene. I wonder how common an occurrence this is. 

Here is my quick little post for the blog hop hosted by Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog. I will be linking it to Six Sentence Stories - Focus. Click the link to see how other bloggers are responding to the need to keep it short. . .just six sentences. We would love to see you join this parade of writers.

The day was rather on the warm side, so he decided to scoot on over to check on them.

Figuring it wouldn’t be long before they would be heading outside to feed the hummers, he decided to wait in the alcove until they opened the door.

He liked surprising people.

Their response to his unannounced visits were a lot more cordial than some, and besides, they knew he meant no harm.

Like one with season tickets to symphony orchestra concerts, he lifted his head to focus on the resonating sounds coming from above.

When the anticipated moment happened, he was lost in the rapturous moment and didn’t even see their surprised expressions, nor the flashes from the cameras as they recorded his visit.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

Isn't it an interesting world in which we live. Some weeks fly by, others not so much, where each day seems like an eternity. No matter the speed of one's weekly journey, there are things we can can find to appreciate, even if in some weeks one might have to put themselves in a different position to see the blessings.  That is one thing about participating in the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop, a hop that causes one to look more closely at his/her surroundings and the events that are transpiring and how they might be a blessing when all is said and done. Then the next step is to consider whether, or not, to express thanks. Sometimes just talking or writing about these things is just what someone else needs to hear or read and just might be good reading material for our future selves. 

Thanks to Kristi of Thankful Me we all have a great place to link up our Ten Things of Thankful posts each weekend. She is a great encourager and she see's the sunny side of life even when life throws her an occasional challenge. Click the link and go see what others are sharing this week. You might even read a comment or two in a post that resonates with something that has happened to you.

Because we have phones, we were able to arrange for someone to work on our tractor mower. There was nothing in the manual that indicated a Mohawk cut (my husband's description of what was happening) was even an option for our lawn. I love his sense of humor.

Being able to read
Thanks to Clark Farley, I have had an opportunity this week to read more from Almira. You might remember that name if you have read any of his TToT posts.

Ears to hear and eyes to see
One could spend endless hours reading and watching live feed speakers online. That could take more time than most of us even think is healthy, but there are some things that just seem to draw me in. For instance, this week I listened to several of the keynote speakers at the Second Global Summit on Religion, Peace and Security held at the United Nations in Geneva. While one of my daughters was able to attend the BYU Women’s Conference held this week, I was able to watch some of it live on my iPad at home.

Doctors and others who are able to respond quickly to save a life
This week I learned, after the fact, that the young granddaughter of a friend very quickly went from a state of wellness to septic shock. What a scary close call for this little girl and her family! I am thankful that she is on the road to recovery.

Orders delivered on the day they were supposed to come
Having gone through the experience of ordering something and being told it would be delivered on a certain day and then having it arrive a month overdue, it was wonderful to receive my ordered art supplies arrive exactly on the day it was to be delivered, the day before my next class.

A surprise gift from a friend, just because
A friend who is so much more of an artist than I am (like super talented!), but who is encouraging me in my artistic attempts, knocked on my door to hand me a package of artist pens she thought I might enjoy, just because.

Junco friend
It is not everyday one gets to make friends with a bird. I didn't start my day with that intent, but I think being squatted down and hunched over pulling some weeds around some shrubs apparently seemed an open invitation. Since my face probably wasn't even visible to him because of the large brimmed floppy straw hat I was wearing, the dark-eyed Oregon junco probably thought I was also foraging. I could hear his quiet chipping sounds every once in a while and saw him about three feet away from me completely unafraid of my presence. I was beginning to think he was going to fly up onto my hat. Perhaps he wanted to tell me to give my husband a message. I think my husband heard him, as there will soon be a source of water for our chirping friends set up before I finish writing this post.

Easy fix for why the pump was turning on so often
One afternoon and evening we noticed that our pump was turning on more than usual, especially considering we were not running any water. The thoughts of possibly needing to fix a leak somewhere was not something we were wanting to add to the to-do list. The next morning the thought came that I should go check one more outside faucet. That was a good call as it was turned on just a little ways causing a small, but constant, stream of water to spray out on the ground around the faucet. The ground was quite wet! We do have a lot of deer in the area, so perhaps one of them bumped the handle, or maybe a raccoon wanted a drink. We have no idea how that faucet got turned on. 

Copy machines/scanners
There was a time when these were not so commonly seen in homes and required a trip to town to make a copy or to have something scanned. This week I made a copy of a photograph I took to use for a pattern for a future watercolor painting. In addition I pulled out some old family history documents so I could scan them and attach them to my Family Tree on FamilySearch and to my family tree on Ancestry. 

Death certificate of Susan Johnston, nee Durbin
Died from heart failure following LaGrippe (name
given to the Spanish Flu that killed so many during
1918 and 1919)

Years ago, I did a little tole painting and turned an old metal cafeteria tray into a frame for small photos. This week I bought a couple of plastic food trays which I found at a thrift shop. I will add them to my watercolor painting supplies. The white one will be a pallet and the yellow one can be a cover for the pallet. Four binder clips will hold the cover in place. 

Family photos framed in a 
repurposed metal cafeteria tray,
painted burnt orange and tole painted

Thursday, May 2, 2019

SSS - Stable

Thanks to Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog, the link is open for this week's blog hop Six Sentence Stories - Stable. I appreciate how reliable she is in attending to her commitment as host of this long-time blog hop and always coming up with new cues. Click the link to read more about how you can add your six sentence stories and also so you can read the other six sentence stories written this week.

Ma, I think for the good of this community I best become a member, come hell or high water. Things are just getting out of hand, and with more locals coming to the aid of the police, the faster the scoundrels will receive their due reward. Not only that, we need to look after our own, and the A. H. T. A. does a good job of that. After all, my own brother just had his horse stolen from the livery stable last week.

I suppose the next thing you will be wanting is an automobile so you can chase them down quicker.

Now. . .that's a lulu of an idea, Ma!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

The link is open for the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me. I am grateful for this weekly blog hop that causes participants to consider those things or happenings that make them feel thankful. In this case it is not just considering them, but actually making a written record of them on this blog hop for all who choose to read and contemplate. If you are a visitor reading this post and do not have a blog, you can always just write what you are thankful for in a journal if you have one. This practice has proven to be quite helpful for many people. Be sure to click to the link to read the other bloggers Ten Things of Thankful posts.

Bursts of energy
There were several times this week when it seemed that I had more energy than I’d felt in some time. One morning I was awake before 5:30 am and ready to be awake and out of bed. It was a nice to be able to use that energy in productive ways. 

Remembering a recipe I used to occasionally follow to make meatloaf, I went looking for it. We had eaten it often enough that I had included the recipe in a small cookbook of some of my favorite recipes to give to our children and to a class of teenage girls I was teaching at church at the time. This week I made meatloaf again, the first time in I don’t even know how long.

When I made a simple dessert this week, I found out what happens if you accidentally leave out one ingredient. Thankfully it wasn’t ruined. It was just a soft dessert instead of a crisp, but still tasted good.

In years past I cooked meatloaf in a loaf pan. This week I tried something different and decided that will be the way I will do it from now on. I put the prepared meatloaf mixture in a greased loaf pan and put in the refrigerator to chill. When it was time to bake it, I ran a spatula inside the sides of the pan and inverted the pan on a broiler pan rack until the shaped loaf descended. Any fat drippings drained into the pan below the rack during the baking process.

Coupon via my phone
This was the first time I had accessed a coupon on my phone. I imagine many of you are chuckling by now, but hey, better late than never. In my defense, I have had my new phone less than a year. You are probably thinking, that isn’t much of a defense. . . but I am on board now. Besides getting 40% off a regular priced item I wanted to get for the watercolor painting class I am taking was an unquestionable incentive.

When I was in grade school I discovered Trees by Joyce Kilmer in an old book of poems we had in our house. There was something about that poem that resonated with me, and still does. I am thankful that I was motivated to peruse several volumes of poems this week. 

A well worn path in the grass in a grove
of pine trees

Walking under and through the pines
There is something awesome about walking through acreage where years ago my husband planted young pine seedlings. Now of course the pines are towering above our heads and provide quite a different habitat than was the case when we moved here. The deer seem to be enjoying it too, as they have left several impressionable highways through the understory.

There was a time when stores were closed on Sundays. There still are some owners of stores who choose to keep their stores closed on the day which is their particular Sabbath day. (I remember seeing my Catholic grandmother cry when her local grocery store started staying open on Sundays.)  I am thankful for this special day of the week when I am not disrupted by weekly tasks, am able to attend church, study scriptures and gospel topics and serve my family and others in various ways.

My husband and family
I love and appreciate their goodness and desire to help their families and others and wish all that is good for each of them.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Memory

Although I am linking up to Six Sentence Stories - Memory just a little late, I had not forgotten. I just had a few irons in the fire. Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog provides the link up for this blog hop. Don't forget click here to read the other Six Sentence Stories. You will be glad you did.

When she told them what had happened, she could sense their doubt, but even repeatedly telling them only caused them to try to distract her by changing the subject.

Her vocabulary, once on the tip of her tongue, now was often captured, like a victim held bound tightly to her tongue. 

People no longer had names that she could remember, although some faces still looked familiar, but the setting was all mixed up. 

She had so many things she wanted to say, but her words and recollections combined in a jumbled up fashion when she occasionally was able to utter something, and those not used to communicating with her sometimes just raised their eyebrows or shrugged their shoulders not knowing how to respond.

The questions she had fluttered like butterflies in and out of her mind, never there for long, and not allowing her to give them a voice. 

She could only hope that someone, anyone, would somehow instinctively know what she needed and when because her entire life was becoming a fleeting memory.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

Ten Things of Thankful is a blog hop that I have been participating in off and on for about four years now. It has proven to be a healthy way of viewing the world around me and how I am connected to it and the people in it. Kristi of Thankful Me is the host of  Ten Things of Thankful. New participants to this blog hop are always welcome as you will see when you click the link. That link will also enable you to see what items of gratitude others are sharing this week.

1. Checked off an item off my bucket list 
For many years I have been saying one of these days I want to take a watercolor painting class. This week I signed up for a beginning class at one of the senior centers and the next day began learning some of the basics.

2. Beautiful parks
One day this week I walked around a park and took photos of flowers after having had a particularly depressing visit with my mom when it seemed her Alzheimer’s had the upper hand. Thankfully during the next visit I had her back for a few minutes when she smiled at me and squeezed my hand.

A close up of a camellia bush with
three beautiful white blossoms
 with pink stripes on the petals

3. Country roads
There are plenty of these around where we live. I walked about four miles on a hilly road yesterday. Going uphill enabled me to get my heart rate up a little.

A sloping hillside with oak trees in the
distance at the edge of a green pasture
and clouds ranging from white to varying
degrees of blue and gray above

4. Exercise gained from doing a little yard work 
With all the rain we have had and with the temperatures warming up somewhat, the grass and the weeds were flourishing. I was careful not to overdo and limited myself to just a half-hour of bending, stretching and reaching. It was a beautiful day for being outside. It got up to 78 degrees that day, the only day in April in the 70's and the fifth day of 70 degrees or above in 2019.

5. Flowers
Our orchid is blooming again and the poinsettia that I thought died has decided it wants to live. Although typically neither are usually considered as Easter flowers, the idea of living again seems appropriate for the season.

White orchid with multiple magenta dots
covering the petals

6. Blog posts about Easter 
This blog post, The Not So Innocent Bystander on the Via Dolorosa posted by Paul,  made me think about the time leading up to the crucifixion of  the Savior. . . in a slightly different way. Thank you Paul for your thoughtful insight.

7. Gatherings of friends and families and the joy it brings

8. Reaching goals 
A friend ran in the Boston Marathon again this week which is quite an accomplishment considering the fact that a few years back she didn't know if she would ever be able to run again.
Congratulations to our granddaughter who is beginning her first job in her chosen career after years of hard work and study.

9. My husband and his kindness to me and to others

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Point

It will be interesting to see the different directions writers go this week with the prompt word for the blog hop Six Sentence Stories - Point. Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog repeatedly comes up with just the right cue to keep us engaged in this little writing escapade. Click the link to read some more stories written in only six sentences. Are you thinking about venturing into the blog hop world? This is an easy one to test the waters.

Get up on that stool right now young man. Here, put this on and not a peep out of you, John Dunn!

Mary regretted having screamed when he had pulled a little too hard on one of her blond braids. She kind of liked him sometimes, but other times he was a pest.

As John sat on the stool he wished he could turn the dunce cap he was wearing into a conical cap like those worn by John Duns Scotus and the Dunsmen. He wondered what it would have been like to put on the wizard-like cap with a point on top that supposedly could draw down power to the brain and increase your intelligence.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

When I reflect on all that I have learned and experienced since my oldest daughter suggested that I should create a blog and try writing a post each week on this Ten Things of Thankful blog hop, I am almost speechless, but not yet. 

It is time to link up again. Every week I do a bit of soul searching just to consider what is making me feel thankful. That is a such a good feeling, whether it is just a smidgen or a humongous feeling of indebtedness. To take time to acknowledge those feelings makes a difference in one's life, and maybe, just maybe, will make a difference in some small way in the life of one who reads your post. 

I'm going to link this post to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me. Click the link to discover the other thankful items being shared by those participating in this blog hop.


1. Fields of yellow flowers that reminded me of my grandmother
This week I saw a field of yellow flowers in bloom. It brought back memories of my folks taking my paternal grandmother on drives to see the beautiful bright yellow flowers growing in the fields at the base of the purple hillsides. Seeing the mustard in bloom always brought her so much joy. I thought the yellow flowers I saw this week must be mustard, but I found out that this field was actually planted with purple top turnips being grown for the seed. (Are there any flowers that always remind you of a certain person, or an experience that you have had?) 

A field of purple top turnips in bloom,
the yellow flowers creating a dividing
 line between the gray clouds above
and the gray pavement in the foreground.

2. Anna's hummingbirds
These beautiful little hummingbirds are a delight to behold and from the looks of this interaction they might feel a little beholding to one another as they completely ignore the downpour of rain.

Male (facing the viewer) and female
 Anna's hummingbirds above
a feeder

3. A lizard soaking up some sunshine
My plan had been to sneak out and try taking some photos of the hummingbirds, but I decided to do that at another time since there was a lizard right there on the side of the house looking very surprised to see me. The lighting was too bright to really get the kind of photo I wanted, but I just couldn't pass up such a willing subject.

A lizard on warm cedar shakes

4. Sand bags and those who rescue
There has been a lot of rain descending from the skies above the western part of our state this week, so much so that many areas have experienced flooding from rising rivers and streams causing roads to be closed and damage to businesses, homes and vehicles. There have been many who have put in long hours trying to keep people safe and to rescue others. Although we have been safe in our residence and have been able to travel where we needed to go, that has not been the case for others.

5. Vision and perspective
This past weekend I was able to watch all the sessions of the General Conference that was broadcast worldwide. I always look forward to listening to the messages that are shared. Two speakers spoke a little about eyes in the same session of conference. (The talks that the speakers give are not discussed with one another ahead of time.)

When I was in the fifth grade, a man who was blind brought his seeing-eye dog with him to our little two-room school and talked about what it was like to be blind and what he was able to accomplish in spite of what some thought was a handicap. Somewhere around that same time, my paternal grandmother had to have one of her eyes removed. I do not know the exact reason, but I think she may have had a tumor. For many years there was a school for the blind in our city, and some of our children were involved in helping there. I have always felt that having eyes and my sight is a  wonderful blessing.

This talk given by Elder Mathias Held, a member of the Quorum of the 70 spoke about how having two eyes gives us another perspective producing a three-dimensional image of our surroundings. He then compared that to how we have been given two sources of information through our physical and spiritual capacities and what happens when these two perspectives are combined in our souls. Very thought provoking. Click here to watch or read his talk.

6. A beautiful sunny afternoon to drive to the temple

One of the spires on the
Portland Oregon Temple

7. Tulips in bloom
I have been waiting for this soggy part of the country to dry out a bit before I venture out to trod the paths in the lovely tulips gardens north of here. In the meantime I snapped a photo of some that were blooming by the temple.

Red tulips surrounded by
a ground cover of small white

8. Words of consolation
Sometimes words of consolation may come from the mouth of a friend or even a stranger. Other times it may stand out as a message just for you as you are reading lines in a book you are currently reading. There are occasions when a line from a song will seemingly speak to you. Yesterday I was reading a few passages from the Old Testament. I just picked up the book and flipped it open. It happened to open to Psalms. I just started reading and when I came to Psalms 138:8 I knew why I'd been guided to this page. (What words have jumped right off the page and into your heart in such a way that you knew it was a message just for you?)

"The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me:"

9. A delay not of my choosing
Have you ever had something happen that made you just shake your head trying to make sense of it all? After leaving the temple yesterday, my car was acting strangely. For some reason the dashboard lights didn't come on, but the car was running. After about a block I pulled into a parking lot, turned off the car, waited a bit, then turned the car back on. There still weren't any lights displayed on the dashboard. Again I turned off the car, but this time resorted to what I always do when I don't know what to do. . .pray. I turned on the car. The lighting on the dashboard was back to normal. I proceeded on my way, and just a few miles down the freeway I came upon a wreck. There was  a police car there, but no tow truck yet. I am thankful for that delay which was not of my choosing. 

10. Those who are brave
One of our granddaughters has lived with mental illness and took a brave step this week. She wanted her mother to write her story in hopes it might help someone else. The mother is the host this blog hop and shared the story on her blog, Thankful Me.

A woman in a parking lot today who was visibly struggling to walk into a store refused any offers of help, such as grabbing my arm, or taking a cart someone brought to her. She seemed to be reaffirming to herself and others how physically strong she was and how she needed to do this by herself. She appreciated the offers of help, but wanted to walk just that far without any kind of assistance

There isn't a day goes by but which I see men and women braving the elements because they have no place which they can call their home, nor a job to earn the money they need to sustain themselves.

There are those who have bravely walked away from habits that could have completely destroyed them and their families. It is difficult to break habits and it sometimes takes a long time, but it is worth the effort it takes to create a happy family. 

What might be relatively easy for one person can take an impressive amount of courage and resolve for another to accomplish.  

An extra thankful for my husband who makes life so enjoyable!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Contest

Little tales can become big ones, but there are times when big stories can be turned into little ones. Trying to keep things to the point when there is so much to say can be a challenge some may not want to attempt whether it is in writing or in conversation, but if you are up to the challenge write your story in six sentences on your blog and link up to Six Sentence Stories - Contest. Oh, "contest" is the cue word this week. Try to sneak that word into your story. Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog is the host for this fun blog hop.

Well I may have grown up on a farm, but I still don’t think it is my job to promote this among the boys in our district. What will those wisenheimers in Manhattan think of next! 

Since there is no local organization who wants to take this on, it is designated to me, the county school superintendent, to find farmers’ boys between twelve and eighteen to plant and grow corn. 

It looks like I may be making more home visits than usual, since some of those boys stopped attending school to help out at home while others decided to hop a train for parts unknown.

The higher ups must be planning a lollapalooza of a corn growing contest. Take a look at this poster: Wanted: Ten Thousand Boys to Enter This Contest.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

Are you ready? It is link up time to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me. I've been feeling thankful all week, so I think I can do this. If you have felt grateful off and on during the past week, jot those thoughts down on your own blog and link up, but just on the chance you don't have a blog, never fear. When you click here, you can just write your thankful items in the comments section at the bottom of Kristi's page.

1. New tastes for my palate
While waiting to get new tires put on the car, I walked to a nearby restaurant that serves Lao-Thai food. I just wanted enough to satisfy my hunger, but not a full-blown meal. One of the appetizers, satay chicken served with peanut sauce and a side of sticky rice, sounded like it might be just right. It was very tasty.

2. Getting new tires for our car and the helpful salesman 
He did an excellent job of explaining the different features of tires that would fit on our car. I ended up getting tires that might not give me quite as good mileage, but which would provide better traction when traveling in the snow and rain.

3. Mom was able to manage part of her meal time by herself rather than needing assistance.
Mom was able to hold a spoon and eat some of her pureed meal by herself. I was so surprised to see that she was able to do this. It has been a long while since I have seen her doing that. In general during that visit with her she seemed more alert, at least for a while. So it is in the world of Alzheimer's where people fade in and out. Since she is in the late stage of this disease, being able to see a few moments of lucidity lifted my spirits.

4. Flowering plum and cherry trees in full bloom

I believe these trees lining this cemetery
are very old flowering plum trees.

5. Babies and memories

This week I wrote a StoryWorth story about my own birth as had been told to me by my mother at different times during my life. I loved thinking about what it must have been like for her to give birth during the WW2 era and how different her hospital stay was compared to my own when our children were born.

Later in the week, I attended a baby shower, and I thought back to all the baby shower cards mom had saved when I was born.

Very old gift card to go with baby gift for me

6. Terminology
While listening to the radio, or perhaps a podcast this week, I was impressed by a term I had not heard. It is "task saturated" or in other words, a fancy way of saying "I'm swamped!" (I am well aware that I am showing my age. :-)

7. Youtube plus instruction manual
In this case, I needed both in order to achieve the best results while hemming a couple pair of denim pants. I wasn't satisfied with how the first pair turned out. Since I was expecting the end result to not only be functional, but to look perfect, I knew I was going to have to resort to Youtube before working on the second pair. I found what I needed, but then turned to the instruction manual for my machine to see if my machine even had such a button that would allow the presser foot to sew easily up and over a very thick seam. I was in luck!

The little black button at the back of the
presser foot is not just decorative when
sewing over thick denim seams.

8. Something that made us feel the beat
When my husband was listening to some music by a singer we enjoy, he came across this. John McCutcheon at about 18 minutes into the video demonstrates hambone. Are you ready to give it a try?

9. Oregon Grape
This is our state flower and this time of year it is in full bloom around our place. Do you think your state flower should be another flower, or do you like the one your state chose?

Oregon Grape with holly-like
leaves and clusters of yellow

10. My husband who knows what music makes my head turn and for his recollections being put into writing that make me love him even more.