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!