Friday, August 30, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

I'm keeping it simple this week here at Ten Things of Thankful. This weekly blog hop hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me gives the participants a chance to reflect on things for which they are thankful and write about them. That can be done as simply as listing them or, if desired, expounding on them in more detail. The most important thing to my way of thinking is the act of ruminating about those people, things, and experiences that are meaningful in our lives. There is value in both remembering and in sharing. 

I am linking my post to Ten Things of Thankful. To make it easy for readers to navigate to other posts the co-hosts besides myself are Clark, Dyanne, and Lisa. Those who post at TToT will show up at the bottom of my page as well as our host and the other co-hosts. Just click on the images and it will take you to their posts. 

1. Tree-lined paths, lanes and roads
For many years we had a painting in our home that was of a country road with trees on either side of the road. From the color of the leaves, the season was either late summer of early fall. Looking at the painting was very calming to me. 

Gravel lane lined with filbert, oak and fir trees

2. Hills
We live in a very diverse state as far as topography is concerned. I have grown to appreciate these differences, but having lived the majority of my youth on property that was hilly, that was my first love. Being able to live with hills surrounding us and yet drive on roads through flat farmlands almost daily is a delight to the eye.

Hilly rural area, with the furthest hill rising
higher than the two in the foreground

3. Orchards
The orderliness of orchards is something I appreciate. Being able to see examples of this in nature is especially appreciated when other aspects of life may feel out of control at times.

A view of an orchard of young walnut trees
 on a sunny day with billows of white clouds
in the blue sky overhead 

4. Blue sky
My favorite colors are blue or blue/green hues, so being able to look up at a big blue sky has a very tranquil effect on me.

5. Finding solutions to problems, and the encouragement of others in overcoming the challenge
People are not the only ones who have challenges. When I was taking some photos outside today, I heard some noises behind me. When I turned around, I saw the wild hen turkey and her two youngsters who are now no longer chicks, but nearing the jake and jenny stage of their lives. The hen was on top of a fence railing and promptly flew down to our neighbor's property. The youngsters got flustered and ended up still being on our side of the fence. One of them shortly discovered he could squeeze through one of the sections of wiring. The other one just couldn't seem to figure out what to do and scurried back and forth in front of the fence. The hen walked further away from the fence, while the sibling acted very concerned about the separation as shown by its actions (ruffling of feathers, repeatedly rushing toward the fence and then running away from the fence, and touching the beak of the sibling through the space in the wiring). Several times the one on our side tried to squeeze through one of spaces in the wiring, but would try to expand its wings which just made it impossible to go forward and then it had to back out. This scene went on for about 10 minutes, before the separated turkey was able to figure it out and be reunited. 

Turkey hen and her two youngsters
touching beaks through the fence

6. Natural soil aeration
The gophers seem to think it is all up to them to aerate the soil this summer. When a flicker was standing on one of the gopher mounds this week, I think a gopher may have snagged one of the bird's feet. The flicker appeared to be struggling to lift off from the ground, but finally took flight.

Gopher mounds (or natural soil aeration)

7. Fruit in season
This isn't a heavy crop year for the apples, but then again it is hard to say, since the deer are such frequent visitors to our trees.

Two apples on the tree that the deer
couldn't reach

8. Old trees
Does anyone else get attached to trees? I am going to miss this old tree. It is scheduled to be cut down next month because it is dying.  A few extremely old apple trees used to be on one of the neighboring properties. I loved seeing those old  trees in the different seasons of the year and was sad to see them taken out.

Trunk of old maple tree

9. Hospice services
As of this week my mom has started receiving hospice care in the nursing home where she lives and already I can see what a blessing this is for her to have their services in addition to the help of the nursing home staff. 

10. Memories
My mom's mother had red hair and was told she had some Irish ancestry. I remember my mom telling me that her mother loved the song Danny Boy. I hope you enjoy this rendition too.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Howl

Wednesday is the day before the link opens for the Six Sentence Stories blog hop, so it is time to get creative. I hope you will share your stories too, written with only six sentences, of  course. Denise, of Girlie on the Edge's Blog will thank you. As the host of this blog hop, she gets things rolling. Click here to read other Six Sentence Stories - Howl.

Outside, the wind battered against the weathered shingles of the home that had endured many storms both outside and in.

The outer turbulence increased as the hours passed  during the night that seemed to never end, and she wished that she had been able to retrieve the bird feeders, but they were gone from sight when dawn finally approached, as was the storm.

Hanging and maintaining feeders had brought solace to her mind and had given her something simple to focus on when the world as she had once known it had suddenly fallen apart several years earlier.

The howl of life seemed to intensify and was almost more than she could bear during the years that followed, but with time her heart healed and the pains associated with that day began to dissipate.

A loud rapping on the door forced her to move, to shift her thoughts away from that which had lain buried.

As she opened the squeaky screen door, her neighbor smiled and said, “Aggie, I found these bird feeders in my yard and I just knew these had to be yours.”

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

The last week and a half I was missing in action from blogging due to getting ready for a trip and then being on a trip, but I had  a thankful heart nevertheless. Kristi, of Thankful Me, who is the host of the blog hop Ten Things of Thankful, invited me to spend a week with her at BYU's Education Week. Thankfully things worked out for me to take her up on the offer and my husband kept things going while I was away. A big thanks to him! Not only is Kristi a great host of this blog hop, she is a great daughter and hostess! Be sure to click the link to read what others are sharing this week, and while you are at it, take a minute to reflect on what has brought you joy, or made you smile, or just made you feel glad to be alive. 

1. BYU Education Week
Although I attended a different university than Brigham Young University when I was young, and I didn't belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at that time, I am very grateful that as a middle-aged adult I began attending Education Weeks and have benefited from the instruction I receive each summer I attend. 

2. Musicals
One evening, after a busy day of attending Education Week classes, we attended a SCERA musical production of The Beauty and the Beast held on campus. It was fantastic, and I continue to be amazed by talents of youth and adults in the performing arts.

3. Shaved snow
While I have eaten snow cones, and shaved ice, I had never experienced shaved snow! This was not only delicious, but a feast for the eyes! 

Pina Colada shaved snow
4. Families that sing together, such as The Bonner Family, and who share their talents with others. 
Janice Kapp Perry, one of the presenters at Education Week, invited the Bonners to perform during her presentation. Their enthusiasm, talent, and testimony was a blessing to all in attendance.

5. The man on the airplane  who lifted my carry-on bag up into the overhead compartment for me.
I appreciated his help, and it did not go unnoticed by the flight attendant who was impressed that he performed the same act of service for two others who boarded after I did.

Fountains and flowers in front of one
 of the buildings on the BYU campus

A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.
---Washington Irving (1783-1859)

6. Being in the right position to avoid a mishap
When I was walking down the ramp to board the airplane, a baggage handler was pushing a large cart loaded with baggage and was approaching behind me. All was well until I heard the tumbling of suitcases behind me. I was glad the cart wasn't any closer than it was, or I possible would have been struck off balance by one of the tumbling pieces of baggage.

7. Being able to see the humor of losing by a mile
Part of the fun of being with family is playing a few games. My daughter and her husband were neck in neck for having the fewest points, the object of this particular game. Then there was my score. LOL

Two players are almost tied to
win the game, but their two scores
added together was still quite a bit
less than my total losing score.
8. The beautiful scent of roses
My son-in-law worked hard a few months ago to prepare a place for Kristi to be able to have a rose garden. The roses they planted are now in bloom and the scent of Ebbtide is like perfume on a stem. 

A closeup of a magenta colored
Ebbtide rose blossom held by my
 thumb and index finger 
9. Those who worked hard to put out a fire burning over 6,000 acres in Utah a few days ago
The smell of smoke was in the air one morning and the blue sky was hazy from the smoke over the valley. I am thankful that the fire was contained and the sky was clear and blue again the morning I would be flying home.

Houses in the foreground, with
Utah Lake and mountain range
in the background and a beautiful
blue sky above

10. Sunflowers
I loved seeing all the sunflowers in bloom in Utah. (In our area, those from out-of-state have often remarked about the beautiful Scotch broom plants in bloom, not knowing that they are an invasive plant here.) As far as I know at least sunflowers are not invasive plants and the birds seem to love them.

A wild sunflower in bloom with a
yellow blossom a little broader than
the span of an adult hand

Besides myself, Clark, Dyanne and Lisa are co-hosts. 

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Code

Due to Internet problems last week, I missed participating in the SSS. The prompt this week is a timely one for me, so a story was ready and waiting to be written. Thanks to our host, Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog, I have a place to link to Six Sentence Stories - Code


Although with the assistance of glasses and sometimes a magnifying glass she didn’t miss much, there were times when what was obvious to others didn’t register at all in her mind.

When those moments came, books, manuals, YouTube, the experience of others, and Google awaited her determined approach.

The gift was exciting and the first of its kind in her home and came with a very simple instruction manual which included the mention of an app to access more features and of course the one she wanted.

Having used a number of different apps, she figured this would be easy as pie, unless of course it was one of those fancy latticed topped pies.

Little did she know that her question wasn’t listed in the FAQ, but was to be found in the minuscule dots at the top of the screen that were just waiting to be noticed and were so much more than just embellishment.

The dots seemed to be a piece of ancient code leading to greater knowledge, like how to operate in maximum power.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

Due to circumstances beyond our control we were without internet access from midday last Tuesday until today. I am linking up the my list of thankfuls now. Hopefully Kristi of Thankful Me and host of the Ten Things of Thankful blog up still has the link open. 

1. Last Saturday I was finally able to meet and have breakfast with a shirttail relative* that I was amazed to learn lives only about 20 minutes driving time away from me. She contacted me several weeks ago through Until then I didn’t know that the husband of my 1c1r (first cousin once removed) had a brother. I have always been amazed by people who quickly grasp  relationships. I to this day, still need to look at a relationship chart which makes it so much easier to understand how I might relate to someone.
*In this case, the daughter of the brother of my dad’s 1st cousin’s husband

2. My brother, who lives out of state, was able to visit our mom at the nursing home last Sunday. He had arranged to be there at the same time my husband and I would be visiting her. In addition, one of my brother’s sons came and brought three of his sons along for the visit their great grandmother. I was happy that mom smiled a few times while they were there.

3. We don’t always make to the Empty Nesters’ lunch once a week, but we did get there this week. This time, it was just lunch with two other couples, but it was good to visit and catch up.

4. It was good to have the energy and flexibility needed to work outside with my husband trying to rid part of our property of tansy ragwort, and Scotch broom. A second thankful as we worked was having an unusually cooler August day.

5. I am thankful that we have a tractor that helps the above mentioned work easier and faster.

6. A friend brought us some fresh garden produce this week. I appreciated her kindness and her taking a few minutes to visit when she came.

7. I am thankful for having a robot in the house! This one is making life a little easier as it just loves picking up dust on the carpet and floor. (Thanks, Kristi!)

8. Air conditioning on hot days!

9. The movie, The Art of Racing in the Rain, even if it did make me shed tears.

10. Our family

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Friday, August 2, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

This was a week of ups and downs for me, but one way to tackle the downs is to look for the things that remind you of the good, the happy moments, those things that raise you up, happy memories, etc.

Kristi of Thankful Me and our host for the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop now has four co-hosts (Clark, Dyanne, Lisa, and myself) to keep this blog up and running efficiently. Welcome to Lisa, the newest co-host.

1. Gifts from my husband
A couple of times this week, my husband brought me a feather (compliments of the wild turkeys mentioned in my last Ten Things of Thankful post). Some people believe that feathers have symbolic meanings. Although neither of us knew about the following symbolism having to do with brown feathers, I really like the following expression.

"A brown feather may be a reminder to keep a balanced perspective, to live life in moderation and to set healthy boundaries. It reminds you to stay grounded, to connect with the Earth and stay present in the moment." Source

Turkey feather, perhaps from a molting poult

2. Being able to escape with my husband to a beautiful day on the coast
I am glad that we have a place with cooler temperatures to flee to when the temperatures soar.

A shorter lighthouse can been seen across
the bay

A tall lighthouse makes the people look
minuscule, and the house to appear
very small.

3. People and things that make me laugh
While slicing a cucumber this week, I just had to laugh when I saw these little cucumber faces, especially the smiling one in the middle. It doesn't take much to entertain me. 😄

A dinner plate with slices of pizza, some
carrot sticks and three cucumber slices, one of
which has an angry expression, one which
appears to be smiling, and one with a
surprised appearance

4. Those who listen and console

5. Those who repave the roads and highways
Just getting from point A to point B was at times taxing this week when we had to wait for the road crew to turn their signs from Stop to Slow. There were some long waits, one of which caused us to turn around and try a different route. Being able to travel on a newly paved road, minus potholes, is deeply appreciated.

6. Good neighbors
We have been fortunate to have had good neighbors for 38 years and we are going to miss them a lot, but we are looking forward to living next door to the people who bought their property.

7. Exercising with friends
I have hesitated to exercise with a group of friends for fear of not being able to keep up with the video they are following. I decided to give it a try and I stuck it out, although I did need to sit out some of the exercises. Since I was among friends, many which knew some of my limitations, I wasn't as embarrassed by my inability to keep up as I might have felt in another setting.

8. Products that make life easier, especially those that enable people who are limited in what they are able to do by themselves due to aging, illness, physical disabilities, pain, etc. I am also thankful to those creative people who pondered, “What could I invent to make life easier for (fill in the name)?

9. Exercise of all types (physical and mental)

10. Music that gets a body moving
Luca Sestak knows how to play the kind of music to get us moving.

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