Sunday, March 31, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

There are weeks when the "ten things of thankful" don't add up to ten and others when a blogger has way more than ten. Whatever may be the case, there is a spot saved just for you to join in with this blog hop hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me and you are not held exactly to the number 10. As it turns out, I do have ten this week, and most other weeks, but that is just me. I will be linking my post as usual to Ten Things of Thankful. If you click here you will be able to click on the sites of others who have shared a TToT post.

1. Knowing when and what to question
I caught a huge error on a statement I received. After my phone call to get some clarification about it and my still not understanding how that could be correct, they did some further checking into the matter. Instead of having to pay over a thousand dollars, I will not have to make payment and will receive instead a bit of a refund because I had been overcharged. Phew!

An amount indicated by an accountant on a line of our tax return didn't seem correct considering the records I had submitted. A phone call quickly took care of that matter.

2. Discovery
One of the ways people can find the names of children born to ancestors is by checking to see the names of children included on some census records for the family. Sometimes children are born and die between census years, and if no mention is made of them in family records, i.e. Bible, journals, letters etc., they may not be known by future generations. This week I found the name of a little girl who passed away between census years, and other than the mention of her in a tiny article in a newspaper, there seems to be no other record of her existence. (When her birth certificate. . . if there is one . . . becomes public information, there would be proof.) There is no mention in the article as to her age when she died, but she would have been under 10 and most likely under two, based on the years the other children were born.

3. The unexpected scenes that bring a smile
These made me smile this week: Seeing a young woman wearing a beautiful flower printed dress sitting on a riding mower mowing her yard; seeing a young girl, perhaps six years old, in a restaurant where we were eating, smile ever so sweetly at us when she saw my husband pass me something he wanted me to taste.

4. Nature and spring at the coast
Being able to witness Swallowtail butterflies flitting from flower to flower and then “spiraling upward” together and  seeing a couple of birds behaving similarly was a reminder that it is unquestionably springtime.

Whales are headed north along the Oregon coast and we were able to see quite a few of them spouting just off shore.

Whales were sited spouting near a large
congregation of murres (The murres appear
as white specks in the photo.)
Unfortunately, I didn't get capture the

We were delighted to be able to listen to the calls of peregrine falcons to see proof that they are intent on making sure that there will be a next generation.

Bald eagles 

Bald eagle resting in a tree near
the ocean before being pestered by a crow
dive bombing him

Elk grazing in green pastures

5. Being places at the right time
There was one thing I needed to buy at an outlet store this weekend, but then I decided that it made more sense to buy two. (Thanks to the clerk who pointed out that they were having a special two-day sale and how it really made sense to buy more because in this instance I would end up spending less.) The total came to almost $50. The clerk then told me that if I my total purchase came to $100, I would be entitled to 50% off the total purchase. (All the items are sold at discounted prices  and some were on clearance before the 50% discount of the total order, so WIN WIN.) I added a couple of clearance items to bring my total to $105 and my actual cost to just over $50.  Since this store was out of town, I had not been aware of the sale.

6. Those who are able to consider the possibilities
One day this past week I visited the place I lived during most of my school years. Imagine my surprise upon learning that the barn where I had milked the cow, and fed the hogs, chickens, and rabbits was now being remodeled into a home! 

That barn has quite a history because before it was used as a barn it was a very large prune dryer. It was built between 1922 and 1923. It was built on a hillside, so one half of it is actually two stories high, plus there was a loft above the tunnels where the plums were dried. 

I am grateful that I was taken on a tour to see the progress that is being made to eventually turn the barn into a beautiful home. 

My dad standing with the barn
(once a prune dryer)
in the background (1953)

7. "Now's the time" occasions
Whether it is now time to get (fill in the blank) fixed, or is now the time to stop at that little antique store you have driven past for years, and thought about going into and never did, maybe now is the time. We had a now is the time week!

8. A prayer answered 
I am thankful for the times I am aware of prayers being answered. My belief is that they are always answered, but sometimes the answer is no, or not yet. Maybe there are things I, or others (if I am praying for someone), still need to learn or do before the prayer will be answered. Sometimes the prayer is answered slightly differently than one expects.

9. New knowledge to me
Years ago I would have needed to drive over an hour to another town to research my state's newspaper morgues. One of the universities had a large collection. It was a challenge that I never attempted then. This week I learned that by clicking this link I could access those newspapers online. Now I am anxious to find out if other states have such online repositories of the newspapers in their states.

10. Conversations that lead to a better understanding of what people feel, how they interpret the world around them and their own experiences PLUS the places and occasions that allow for that openness of mind and thought

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Place

It seems that some blog hops have people waiting at the gates for the link to open each week. Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog is the host of Six Sentence Stories - Place. Last week the prompt was drive.  I think we are driving to a place this week. . . or maybe not. You will need to click here to see what others have done with the cue this week.

To say he stood out like a sore thumb was putting it mildly.

He most likely wore what was typical in the area he had moved from mid-semester. 

Maybe in his former school back east wearing a suit to school and carrying a briefcase was nothing out of place, but no one, except a male teacher, would do that here. 

With his height, build, and demeanor he could have been easily considered a first year teacher, rather than a senior in high school. 

It didn’t take long for him to find others, who like him, were highly motivated and gifted students, who accepted him into their circle of friends. 

A few years down the road, many in that orb donned their own suits and carried satchels filled with new ideas for the betterment of mankind.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

It is that time again when some thankful people begin showing up at the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me. Why do they go there week after week you might wonder. Only the participants can tell you and they do. Click here to discover what made them do it this week. I must warn you that sharing your gratitudes is addictive and catching, but in a very good way. Maybe we will see your TToT blog post there sometime soon. Sure hope so.

1. A tour of an alpaca farm and gift shop
At Christmas we received a gift coupon to tour an alpaca farm. The giver, (the host of the TToT blog hop), knew of my fascination for these animals, so it was sure to be a hit. This a breeding farm with the goal being high quality fiber. They raise huacaya alpacas. Their fleece varies in color just like the hair on humans varies in color. Another interesting thing about alpaca fiber is that it is hypoallergenic because there is no lanolin in the fleece, unlike the wool of sheep. I was surprised at all the various facial shapes and personalities of these animals, AND that the babies (cria) are born during the daytime most commonly between 10 am and 2 pm. Now that is some kind of planning!

A side profile of two white huacaya alpacas
at the Marquam Hill Ranch 

2. Things to consider
Since I have not ever taken a yoga class, although I have done some yoga by myself at home, taking an alpaca yoga class would be out of my comfort zone. I think it wouldn't be too much different than doing yoga when our yellow lab was trying to figure out what I was doing down on the floor. LOL

3. Mountains
There is nothing as striking as a snow covered mountain peak on a spring day.

Green spring pasture with snow covered
Mt. Hood off in the distance

4. Daffodils in bloom on our hill
Although daffodils have been in bloom for a week or more at slightly lower elevations in our area, the buds on ours had not opened up yet, so I am glad that the several days of sunshine this week enticed them to show their faces.

A cluster of daffodils blooming 

5. Beautiful sunset that miraculously showed up at the end of what had been an overcast day

Beautiful pink and orange colors from the
sunset cast upon blue and grey clouds above
fir trees on a hill 

6. Early evening walks

7. A change in diet
For over five months I have been on a very strict diet per doctor's instructions, which has limited my consumption of a lot of different foods. I have diligently followed the instructions. When my husband recently received a coupon for a free frozen pie redeemable at a wonderful pie shop in our area, I took advantage of it. Not only that, I baked the apple pie and bought some vanilla ice cream. We both ate a piece and then we gave the rest of the pie and ice cream away to someone who can either eat it or serve it to guests . . . without regrets. It tasted delicious and I enjoyed every bite, but I know avoiding sweets is a good thing for us to do.

8. Newspapers articles that make me laugh
My grandfather was the barber that was mentioned although not by name. It was a small town. Everyone knew everything about anyone in the town, or if they didn't, the newspaper passed on the news and the gossip, as was the custom with a lot of newspapers at the time. In 1900 he and my grandmother were not married yet.

The Chanute Times, 22 Jun 1900, Fri,  8

It never even occurred to me what barbers did for fun over a hundred years ago. My grandparents were in their sixties when I was born. I never saw either of them drink alcohol.

Parsons Daily Eclipse, 17 Nov 1903, Tue,  4

9. Having something fun on the calendar for next week

10. Reading my husband's memories of his life and our life together brings a greater understanding of the person he was, is, and is becoming. (Thanks to StoryWorth assignments which we each write every week.) 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Drive

Some stories are fictitious while others are authentic. As you visit the Six Sentence Stories blog hop you no doubt will see a little of both from time to time.

Denise of the Girlie on the Edge's Blog is the host of the this blog hop. I will be linking up to Six Sentence Stories - Drive. By clicking the link you will be able to read some more stories composed of only six sentences. Some clever writers even write six sentence stories that are serials in nature, but staying true to the blog hop rule of using the cue word that changes each week. 

One hundred thirty acres of land, with the remains of the foundation of a pioneer home that once had been built at the edge of the forest, was a lot to explore for people and for sheep. 

Unfortunately the fencing that existed either needed to be replaced or was in dire need of mending, and money was too short to hire some help to repair all the fencing.

She and her brother were considered free labor in 1951 even as young as they were with only seven and five years of experience on this earth. 

So it was a hot summer day to remember when their dad tried to drive the the sheep up the hill, with him following behind on the tractor, the brushy fence row with plenty of poison oak and wild blackberries mingled in on one side and she and her brother on the other side of the sheep to keep them together as a herd.

They followed an old rutted road up the hill, and then along the edge of the forest where it eventually turned and wove its way up through the fir trees until they came to the highest peak of the property and a large clearing where the sheep were to graze. 

Their dad had other farm work to tend to, so what could go wrong if he left them to tend the sheep making sure that the sheep didn’t stray away from the clearing where they might get lost in the forest, or stray through a broken fence into neighboring properties?

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

It is time for ten. Ten what you might wonder. Well those of you who have been visiting my blog for a while, know that I enjoy participating in the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me. As you look back through my posts you will find that this is the blog hop that I have participated in the longest, and that is because I feel that it is so important to remember to be thankful. Click here to see some of the benefits. Click this link to get access to the posts others are sharing on this subject this week and also to find out how you can take part in this blog hop.

Purple striped crocus emerging through a
a layer of dead maple leaves

1 - Being able to get another load of wood pellets, just in case, even though we are getting some warmer days now when starting the stove isn’t necessary 

2 - Thanks to my husband that the 50 bags of pellets are all stored and readily available

3 - Being able to schedule a tour of an alpaca farm for this coming week after weeks of waiting for perfect timing (weather and health improvement)

4 - My husband's discovery of some crocuses in bloom and calling me to bring my camera outside with me

Yellow crocus reaching toward the sky
amidst bark dust and mature maple tree seeds

5 - Finishing my mom’s tax preparation packet for her accountant, because I have power of attorney and that is one of the things I take care of for her

6 - The name I was given at birth (I did some reflecting this week on why my father chose my name and why specifically he chose that name.) What do you know about your naming?

7 - A friend offering to pick me up to attend a Women’s Conference that we both were planning to attend this morning

Purple crocus growing against a young sapling

8 - Group texting with our daughters and our son when we were all free to text at the same time

9 - Some of my old journals that I was able to peruse today (I was looking for some specific information, which I didn't find, but it was fun being reminded of so many other things that have taken place in my life.) When was the last time you read something that you wrote about some aspect of your life, say 10 years or longer ago? Were there things you read that you had totally forgotten?

10 - Old newspaper ads that remind us how little things used to cost, but because wages were drastically lower then, it was still a struggle to pay the bills

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Flash

Are you looking for a short writing challenge? Every week Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog offers us just that in the way of a blog hop. There is a new prompt word as well to get our creative juices flowing. This week it is Six Sentence Stories - Flash. By clicking the link you will be able to see how many stories are on the slate for this new prompt.

To some he was considered a friend and not to be feared if he and others of his kind came around. There were a few who went out of their way to make sure he had a comfortable place to hang but not everyone was as obliging.

He couldn’t understand why when he was quietly zipping along doing his job, a few girls would scream if they caught sight of him.

Was he really that different? Perhaps if he wasn’t always in such a hurry .  . . or got a day job . . . , it would be different. The last time he tried to follow a crazy flash of insight like that, someone found him acting more than just a little batty.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

As always there is much be thankful for, and I am grateful for this weekly opportunity to share a few of those things that have come into my mind. Kristi of Thankful Me hosts the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop and opens the link at 1:00 a.m. Friday MT and closes the link the following Tuesday at 11:55 p.m. MT. 

To find the links to other bloggers at Ten Things of Thankful just click the link above. It is always interesting to read the variety of things that have made people feel thankful each week. You no doubt are mulling over your own list in your head. There is no limit on how many bloggers can join this blog hop. The more, the merrier. Consider yourself invited to participate.

Daylight savings time
Although, I don’t relish seemingly losing an hour of sleep when we set our clocks ahead, I do like having more daylight hours when I am awake. (I wasn’t so fond of it when our children were young and we were ready to call it a day, but they didn’t want to come inside when they could still be playing with the neighbor kids during the remaining daylight hours.)

Family similarities
Long before my parents met, their parents celebrated a birthday on March 5. My dad’s dad was born on March 5 and my mom’s mom was born on March 5 a few years later. 

I bought a little Precious Thoughts Birthday Book, Copyright 1929 many years ago, probably at a garage sale. For every day of the year, there is a quotation and opposite the quotation are four spaces to write the names of friends who celebrated their birthday on that day.

“The eyes are of little use if the mind be blind.” Arabic
(The quotation from the book by March 5)

One of our relatives and one of our neighbors were released from the hospitals they were in this past week after fairly short stays, and both are on the road to recovery.

Covered parking structures are especially appreciated when the weather isn’t pleasant.

Serendipitous occurrences
This week I read a talk by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, one of the 12 apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The talk is titled The Ministry of Reconciliation. What was amazing to me was what happened that evening when I decided to watch a TED talk. It was an interesting talk, but it was the TED talk that came on after the first one that had a similar theme as Elder Holland’s message. I had not selected this second TED talk, meaning I did not purposely press the button on the remote control. The talk, Say your truths and seek them in others, by Elizabeth Lesser, had a message about reconciliation which came about in her own life in an unusual way. 

The things we can learn, or seek to understand , or wonder about when we read a book, article or verse multiple times

The many ways one can visit the past and gain understanding of not only the past but how those things may have in some way impacted the present time 

An unexpected phone call from a friend

Photos of children which seem to capture the utter joy that shines from their eyes
A friend posted a photo of her little girl this week that captured exactly what I am saying here. Smiles are contagious. Sharing a smile can be a gift to someone. Sometimes we are the giver and sometimes the receiver.

All people smile in the same language. (Anon.)

The color orange
Many years ago my mother-in-law told me that her favorite color was orange, and at that time one could see a lot of that color in the clothes being worn and in household decor. (Guess what decade that might have been.) I must admit, orange wasn’t a color that I appreciated that much then. I have grown to appreciate the color more now as I see it displayed so boldly in nature, not only in the fall, but in the springtime too.

Orange in Spring
New branches, the color of Creamsicle orange, reach skyward as on tiptoe from the last year’s growth on the bushes in the blueberry fields, while orange breasted robins poke their beaks in the wet soil, similar in color to that of a dirty basketball. Spring emerges, but not without reminders of the previous season which still proclaims it might pop in for another appearance. Although there are an abundance of pastel colors associated with spring, orange boldly leads us to them. ©Patricia E. Brockett

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

Things really are just things, and when it comes right down to it, the majority of tangible things can be replaced in some manner or another. If one reads the posts to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop very frequently, it will become apparent that this blog hop often includes a combination of things that one can hold in one’s hands, but just as often there is mention of those things that one holds in one’s heart and mind. As usual, I am linking my TToT post to Ten Things of Thankful hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me

We had a colder than usual February in our state. We were fortunate not to lose power, so our pellet stove was able to function normally. We also had pellets on hand to burn. Afghans and fleece throw blankets were always nearby when we needed them. Having some wool and fleece clothing to retain body heat when it was necessary to be outside made February bearable.

The color white
We had a lot of snowstorms this past week. Watching the white flakes descend was beautiful and mesmerizing. So many of the other colors one could normally see, like the red soil (usually mud this time of year) and the green grass and shrubs, were painted over in illustrious white.

Trees and shrubs encased in snow

For me, stillness energizes me. It is in quiet settings that ideas come to me, when I am able to concentrate and focus. It was much quieter outside than usual this past week because of the muffling affect of the snowfall.

Lawn and shrubs covered by snow

Online access to old newspapers
I love stepping back in time reading about people and places. It does have a way of bringing it to my attention how many years I have lived on this earth and the many things that have transpired during those decades.

Those who rescue
With the heavier than usual snowfall throughout many of the areas of our state this past week, many were and some still are, trapped in their homes awaiting those who can fix power lines, replace power poles, and saw through trees which have fallen on vehicles, homes and across roadways. Utility companies are working as hard and as fast as they can, but it has been a slow and arduous process. In some cases, there were people who made it to safety and then returned to take food and water to those who were still awaiting rescue from their vehicles backed up for miles on uninhabitable roads.

Lessons that I learned from my parents
This week I pondered the things that I learned from my parents and wrote about some of those lessons. It was the subject of my weekly StoryWorth assignment.

Inspirational movies
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a beautiful production well worth watching, imo.

Waking up to sunshine streaming through the windows in the first days of March and seeing the sunset at the end of the days

Sunset above forested area

Repetition and knowing what is worth repeating 
It seems like much of my life has been about learning from experiences. Some experiences have needed refining or repetition in a slightly different setting for me to get the full picture, or to get it right. Other times a lesson is quickly learned, almost in an instant, and no recurrences is needed either for me or any onlooker.

One day this week when my pain was intense and I didn’t think I could drive, my husband drove me to a PT appointment. There are many who freely drop whatever they are doing to take those who are unable to get to needed destinations. I am thankful for these angels here on earth.

Click here to read more Ten Things of Thankful posts written by other bloggers.