Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - pad

Did any of you scratch your head trying to figure out what you were going to do with our Six Sentence Stories blog hop prompt (pad) this week? Well I did, but now I am ready to link my SSS to the blog hop hosted by Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog. Go check out the other Six Sentences Stories - Pad. Denise has accumulated quite a following in this blog hop sphere.

With his arm around her waist, he gently guided her up the  wooden steps and opened back door with the black skeleton key, guided her through the large screened in porch and into the kitchen all the while making sure she didn’t bump into anything. The gauze pad over her eye was a protection but also a hindrance to her navigation as she shuffled over the old linoleum floor that had aged just as she had.

Hushed tones of adults who awaited their return added to the bewilderment of the young children with them in the adjoining room. The sound of the swamp cooler muffled the quiet conversations the children tried to hear as they wondered about the whereabouts of their grandma.

Whispers ceased as the swinging door was slowly pushed opened and they watched grandma make her way across the room to ease into her favorite wooden rocking chair where with magnifying glass in hand she checked the newspaper to see how the Yankees had done while she was gone.

The adults mused, well she may have lost an eyeball, but she is still in the game.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

It is once again time to link up to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop. Yesterday this part of the state heated up and kind of caught people off guard, so I'm doing my writing in the cool of the day this morning.

Whatever is going on in your area, I hope you will take a few minutes to consider those things that you are grateful for this week and share them on the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me. To make that really easy, since I am a co-host, you can also link up below on this page, and see who else is chiming in. Just click the images and you will be able read their posts.

1. Since I make use of camera on my phone quite often, this surely is something worth mentioning. The phone is so easy to slip into a pocket when I am working outside, although the real reason I take it with me is so I won't miss a call from the nursing home should there be a call about my mom.

2. I was glad my camera was handy so I could capture this moment of discovery. It was kind of like stepping into the movie, Bambi. I was outside watering a few plants, and when I turned to one side, there was a little fawn very close to me, but he was intently staring at something and it wasn't me! When I turned the other direction to see what had caught his eye, I saw a wild turkey hen and her two chicks. The fawn just couldn't resist checking out these strange looking creatures, and I was able to record the encounter. (At one point I almost dropped the camera when the fawn came running toward me in his haste to flee from the hen when she charged him.)

3. People who share good news with me make my day. This week the activity director at the nursing home where my mom stays related how much my mom enjoyed a balloon batting activity the previous day. A couple of girls, about 12 or 13 years old, are volunteering there this summer and were participating in the activity with mom and a few other residents. The director said mom was laughing and smiling and even hit the balloon! These moments of gleefulness don't happen as often now, so I loved hearing this news.

4. Young people who volunteer where others sometimes fear to tread gives me  hope for the future.

5. It was brought home to me again this week how hard things and big projects can be achieved by many hands, old and young, working together where help is needed. A friend really needed some yard help and within a couple of hours so much was accomplished.

6. One never knows when you might be in the right place at the exact time to help someone, or even save someone from a possible disaster, but I am thankful that my husband chose the day he did to visit someone in another city. All is well, thanks to his observant eyes.

7. I am thankful for the many years and miles of driving our car before it needed new brakes. (When I took the car in to get the new dashboard, it was discovered that the part we have been waiting for ended up not being the right part, but as our car was getting its routine service, it was brought to my attention that we needed new brakes.)

8. It is wild blackberry picking time. I am grateful for this abundance of fruit that we did not plant on our property.

A container filled with wild Himalayan blackberries
9. This week I saw that there are more varieties of bees in Oregon than in all the other states east of the Mississippi combined. I can believe that based on what I am seeing on some the plants we have that really attract them. I am thankful for those plants that provide a place for them to thrive. The video shows bees on a flowering wall germander plant. NOTE: I have made a correction to this post. Originally I'd written "west of the Mississippi." It should have been written "east of the Mississippi."

10. Unexpected events can bring all kinds of responses. I am thankful for these unpredicted visitors sitting on the railing in front of our house. . . as long as they don't decide to frequent it often. My hope is that it was just an instance of the hen wanting to find something low enough for her chicks to practice flying up from the ground and that tree branches will be their goal in the future.
At the moment when we saw them on the ramp, we both laughed at their boldness, but we really don't need guard turkeys here. I've read of instances when turkeys decided that a home was their territory and would aggressively attack visitors!

Wild turkey hen with one of her chicks
perched on a railing

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Thursday, July 25, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Wave

Many folks try to get away to the beach to play in the sand and the ocean while others are content to watch and listen to the sound of the waves hitting the shore. The beach can be a relaxing place to be, and perhaps Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog who also is the host of the Six Sentence Stories blog hop had her mind on that when she chose the prompt this week. I am linking my story to Six Sentence Stories - Wave. Click the link to see where the prompt took the other short story tellers this week.

After spending the last few hours of the morning washing the inside of the windows for her mother, she hurried to her room to get ready for her 1:00 p.m. luncheon appointment with her coach. 

She opened her closet door and flipped on the light switch, but just saw a flash of light and then complete darkness. As she stood on the ladder replacing the bulb, she grumbled to herself about having to do the same task she had done just a month earlier in the same closet. 

After a quick shower and dressing for the occasion, she grabbed the pearl necklace her grandmother had given her for good luck, the one her grandmother had worn back in the day for a similar occasion. She carefully slipped it over her head, making sure not to mess up her hair while doing so, and positioned the pearls just so. Then it dawned on her that her coach would be proud of all the wave practice she’d done that morning.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

"A day late and a dollar short" possibly could apply here with this day late of getting my Ten Things of Thankful blog hop post linked. Kristi of Thankful Me, and also the host of Ten Things of Thankful, was right on the ball getting the link open so all of you who were biting at the bit to share all those things for which you are thankful had a place to go. It isn't too late for you to share some of your gratitudes. The link stays open until Tuesday, but in reality it is never too late consider the thankful moments in one's life.

1. These twin fawns are just stepping out from under the solar panels. It seems their mom left them there while she went elsewhere. There were a couple of young bucks (maybe babysitters?) with them for a while. Hopefully nothing has happened to the mom, but they look in pretty good shape, so maybe they will be able to venture out on their own if something has happened to her. I am thankful we live where we can never tire of seeing wildlife.

Twin fawns stepping out from
under the solar panels
2. Our very old butterfly bush decided to "pop" this week. It has also been the habitat of many hummingbirds over the years. I'm not sure if they love it because it is within a short distance of the hummingbird feeders or if the branches are just right for building their nests, or both. Whatever is the case, the butterfly bush is all theirs, and I am thankful for the scent of the flowers too.

3. We had a date afternoon rather than a date night. A date to see a movie in the afternoon fits our senior schedule and also has the benefit of the senior discount! This was such an interesting movie on so many levels. Loved it!

4. The fluorescent fixture in one of our rooms just needed a new ballast rather than a new fixture, and while the electricians were here, they were able do an easy fix on another fixture. Yeah!

5. I am thankful for recognizing the serendipitous moments in a marriage when you realize how you both are on the same wave length. Google has been our friend this week as we have searched for information about the benefits of a possibly getting a heat pump. One day I found a site that had a lot of helpful information. I sent the link to my husband, only to discover within seconds that he had sent me the same link!

6. It was fun to walk around a nearby lake with a couple of friends one morning this week. Good exercise and conversation!

7. One late afternoon this week I went grocery shopping. When I got home, I opened the refrigerator to put the first item on a top shelf. Although I knew there was a two-quart pitcher full of sugar water on the same shelf, I somehow managed to tip it over. (We use the sugar water to refill the hummingbird feeders.) There are some thankfuls here in spite of a very sticky mess. Just two weeks ago I had  cleaned the refrigerator, so this time around there was less to clean. The  rag drawer is right next to the refrigerator. . . no reason, just was an empty drawer when I needed a place to put such items. Our children are grown. . . no little children to be inquiring "What happened?" and no little feet walking through the sticky liquid that that splashed on the surrounding floor. It was easier to clean up the mess than it was to clean up the gallon jar of honey that fell and broke on the kitchen floor when the kids were little!

8. Finding relatives is fun, and as you know I enjoy trying to locate old documents of my ancestors. This week I received a message on from someone who is related to the brother of my dad's cousin's husband. She invited me to email her, so I did. In my email I didn't tell her where I lived, but did mention a move our family had made to another state when I was young. In her reply she shared where she was now living, and guess what! She lives here! Here! We possibly have passed each other on the street or in a grocery store. I am looking forward to meeting her soon. 

9. The tractor has all its wheels again and now the weeds are much shorter, thanks to my husband. We needed to special order a new tire for the tractor, because our tractor is old and those wheels are not as easy to get now. We have been waiting for weeks for the replacement. Weeds can grow a lot during that time since we have had the perfect kind of weather to promote such a happening.

10. The car part for the dashboard is on its way, so within another week or so, we should be able to get that installed. Meanwhile there has not been anymore times when the dashboard has acted up. 

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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

This past week has included a little bit of traveling, so I'm linking up later than usual, but here I am with a little of this and that and some photos to boot for the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me. Besides myself, the other co-hosts are Clark and Dyanne. What has caused you to feel thankful this week?

1. This week my husband and I went to see a couple of plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (one of our bucket list items). It was great to be able to take some time to experience new things and places.

2. I'm thankful that my husband shared this Youtube video with me after we returned home. This made me wonder if videos like this one have taken the place of CliffsNotes. LOL

3. It is interesting to learn some of the history of places we visit and I'm thankful for the resources to learn more. The Ashland Springs Hotel, first called the Lithia Hotel, was built in 1925 and was expected to be the tallest hotel between Portland Oregon and San Francisco. I was intrigued by this building which we could see from the cute little cottage where we stayed on the hill behind the hotel. We took a few minutes to explore the beautiful lobby of the hotel when we were walking around town.

The back of the Ashland Springs

4. We were not the only ones who liked the cottage where we stayed. Some people have guard dogs, but apparently this doe and her little spotted fawn felt impressed to monitor things while we were staying there. She walked right across the doormat outside the front door before venturing into the shrubs below the cottage. (I know we didn't take any of our four-legged friends from home with us on our trip.🙂) This doe made us feel like we were at home.

A doe hiding in the bushes

5. During some previous outings, I have taken a few photos of dragonflies. It made me happy to see this one by a pond in Lithia Park. I had not taken a photo of this type of specimen in the past.

Western Pondhawk resting on a  rock
in a pond in Lithia Park

6. I was very thankful when I saw my husband walking toward me on the path at Lithia Park. We had become being temporarily separated in the park and only one of us had a phone. I won't go into the details, but it is just sufficient to say, it was really nice to see him.

7. Traveling always brings new opportunities to try out different restaurants. We decided to stop at a restaurant on the way home from our trip. It was just a typical eggs and bacon breakfast I thought. . .I'll let you decide. It was delicious by the way.

At least two, maybe three eggs,
five strips of bacon, potatoes with
gravy, a small slice of cantaloupe,
and a huge biscuit with blackberry

8. Being able to pass on some canning jars I am no longer using to people who can make use of them makes me feel good. I know that some of the jars that I have used over the years have been ones that I bought new, but probably just as many of them were passed on to me by others.

Some boxes of canning jars
waiting for their new owners

9. Summer may be a time for traveling, but it is also a good time to get the chimney cleaned. I am thankful for being able to have a chimney sweep come take care of that task earlier in the week.

10. The owners of the cottage where we stayed had placed a wind spinner in the yard for the guests to enjoy, and enjoy I did while watching and listening to it one morning when I was sitting on the deck. I had not ever "experienced" a wind spinner. It is so relaxing!
The screeching sound in the background is a bird, not the wind spinner.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Burst

It seems like just yesterday that I last responded to a writing challenge from Denise at Girlie on the Edge's Blog. She is the host of Six Sentence Stories and as such provides a new prompt word each week to help stir up our creative writing juices. This week I am linking up to Six Sentence Stories - Burst. Click here to read some of the other stories written in only six sentences by other bloggers. Write one of your own, if you feel so inclined.

He had been asked to come on this day because of all the use and abuse that had been rendered toward the patient throughout years of living. 

Although he had not been part of all that, he had come highly recommended and was considered one who might be able to help in such a situation as this.

It was still somewhat questionable as to whether or not he would be up to the task and whether he would be strong enough to remove all the evidence which might lay inside.

Armed with his so-called surgical instruments, an electric saw and industrial strength clippers, he ascended the steps ready to tackle the victim upstairs.

The windows were opened to let in some fresh air and remove the smell of any airborne debris that possibly might circulate from the innards of the old sofa.

Like a sudden fireworks display the sofa back burst open seemingly taking on new life to disseminate the aged stuffing as the surprised practitioner took a quick step backwards and abandoned the clippers that had caused the abrupt exhibition.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

While some bloggers may be away enjoying an extended holiday, and may be a little late linking up this week, that is quite okay, for like always, the link doesn't close until Tuesday night. Because we enjoy reading what the others have to share, if we don't see that you have linked up early, we will check back to read your posts later.

Kristi of Thankful Me, and host of the blog hop, Ten Things of Thankful, invited me to be one of the co-hosts. With that in mind, you will now be able to quickly see which bloggers have shared their TToT each week without needing to go to the Ten Things of Thankful page. You can go there if you wish, but it isn't necessary. You are welcome to read the various posts and make comments on their posts if you like. If you are feeling grateful, write a post on your own  blog and link up. 

1. I am very appreciative that there are people who do work others are unable to do. . .for whatever reason.

2. The technician knew right away what the problem was, based on my description. He personally had experienced the same thing with his own car. The dashboard on our car will be back in working order as soon as the new part arrives and is installed. I'm thankful for a quick answer to this car problem.

3. The arborist was able to come take a look at our big maple tree that suffered from a microburst during a recent thunder and lightning storm. I am thankful that he knows what needs to be done and will be able to return in a few weeks to do the job. (The company has been very busy since the storm.) The sad news is that part of the tree is dying.

4. I am thankful for hair salons that welcome walk-ins. This week I called ahead. The place I go, allows same day appointments as well as walk-ins. I have done it both ways, but if I don’t want to chance the possibility of having to wait a bit, I call in the morning and schedule an appointment.

5. Every July 4 for as long as I can remember, our church has held a July 4th breakfast. Tables are set up outside the church. Those who attended were asked to bring breakfast casseroles this year, while some of the leaders prepared sausage, provided the beverages and platters of fruit. There was plenty of food for all who attended. Before the breakfast there was a short program consisting of the Scouts presenting the colors, those in attendance saying of the pledge of allegiance, a patriotic musical number, and a speaker who talked a little bit about the history of the founding of our nation. At the conclusion of the breakfast, the children participated in a short parade with them riding their decorated trikes, bikes, and wagons, etc. I am thankful for traditions.

6. As we have gotten older we are content to watch the fireworks from the comfort of our home via the television. I am thankful for all who share their talents to put on such outstanding performances and music to accompany the fireworks.

7. Years back when we lived in an unfinished home we used boards and large concrete blocks to make some shelves. Other than the drawers in few dressers we had, we had very few drawers. When we were finally able to have the hidden spaces provided by more drawers, it was easy to put things in them and kind of forget how much was stored within them and at the bottom of some of the deeper drawers. I am thankful for the time to go through some of them and free up some space. I see no reason to hang on to directories that are 10 years old. LOL

8. I am thankful for larvae that feeds on noxious weeds. The larvae that devours tansy ragwort will become small red and black cinnabar moths, and from all counts we will be seeing a lot of them this year.

Orange and black striped larvae
of the cinnabar moths feeding on
tansy ragwort plants

9. The characters from Sesame Street impacted the lives of our children, and I guess my own. I didn’t realize until I listened to them singing at The Capitol Fourth Concert how touched I would be by these characters and the memories that flooded into my mind from 50 years ago. Happy Anniversary Sesame Street.

10. Never ending stories from historical records continue to amaze me. It seems that finding some answers only poses a new question and something else to be discovered. I am thankful for these new discoveries that lead me closer to my roots.

A young oak tree still attached to
the acorn and showing the very
long root (I pulled it up from a
pile of bark chips.)

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Process

What is your course of action when trying to write a short story that includes a particular word? You may be wondering, "Who does that?" Well among those who participate in some writing blog hops, this is a thing. Every week Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog hosts a Six Sentence Stories blog hop in which she gives us a prompt word to include in our stories. There is a plethora of different kinds of stories and each and every one includes the given word. Sometimes the word is so discretely and cleverly used, you have to go back and reread the story to even find it. Anyway, enough of that. I hope you will click the link and read all the other stories too. I am linking my story to Six Sentence Stories - Process.

The root of the problem began innocently enough with just a single yellow top on the green, but their numbers grew with each advancing year.

A battle plan began to stir in the mind of one least expected.

The yellow tops were young and had no idea what awaited them, nor of the technique proven over time used by their opponent, so they just looked up and calmly stood their ground.

The adversary, sporting her knee-high black garden boots and wearing her broad-brimmed sun hat to cover her angelic-like hair, knelt on the ground and bowed her frail body directly over her victim.

She calmly started the process of elimination and determinedly thrust the end of the large handled screwdriver at the root of the problem. 

Those destroyed were overcome by the darkness around them and unable to give a cry of alarm to try to save even one of their own for her grandchildren to blow into the wind.