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.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Type

Today my goal is to not only write a story in six sentences, but to keep it short, or at least shorter than some I have written. There are all types of writers, just like there used to be several different kinds of typewriters. I'll am linking my post to the blog hop hosted by Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog. Click here to read more posts written by other writers for Six Sentence Stories - Type. If you have a blog, but have never participated in a blog hop, this is an easy one to enter. Hope to see you linking up.

Are you fast, I mean really fast? The other one just upped and left without even an explanation. 

I’ll be back in 15 minutes, so I can run it over to the vice chairman. I’m depending on you.

After pushing the button on the recorder, she positioned her fingers above the keys and was all set to type. She heard the tape begin to turn, but before she even heard the first word, there was a strange sounding click and then dead silence.