Saturday, November 30, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

For me his has been a week of preparation, anticipation, reflection and remembering. How about you? I think the act of being thankful for what one already has is a wonderful way to begin the Christmas season which begins almost immediately after Thanksgiving day, or even hours after people step away from the feast in some cases.

Kristi of Thankful Me gives us an opportunity to consider what we are feeling grateful for during the past week, or just in general. She is the host for the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop to which I am linking my post. Clark, Dyanne, Lisa and myself are co-hosts. Having co-hosts makes it quick and easy for the readers to navigate to the other posts in the blog hop.

1. That I was alert to the speed of bumper-to-bumper traffic flow in front of me and didn’t hit the car labeled . . .county coroner

2. That when there wasn’t a roadside rest stop available after several hours of driving, that there was a service station nearby and that when finding out that we had managed to pull into the only service station I’d ever heard of that didn’t have a rest room, the manager was nice enough to tell us where nearest public restroom was, and it was only a block away (Whew!)

3. That I absolutely know who all my children are even when a young man I didn’t know waved at me and said “Hi, Mom!” (He was the driver of a vehicle at the above mentioned service station. When he noticed my surprised and confused look, he smiled and said “Your shirt!” I was wearing my shirt that said, “Navy Mom.”)

3. To see my teenage grandchildren helping prepare different parts of the Thanksgiving meal 

4. That our almost nine-hour drive (three hours longer than the usual travel time) was on a beautiful day and was one of safe travel for us

5. Seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they know the gift they have given is the perfect gift by the receiver’s expression

6. Receiving a delicious free apple pie for Thanksgiving

7. Being able to join with others in recognizing the advancement of a young man becoming an Eagle Scout

8. Being able to read from one of my Mom’s journals about a Thanksgiving she spent with our family (particularly poignant with this being the first Thanksgiving since she left this earth)

9. Joyful enthusiasm mutually expressed  between pets and their owners 

10. Receiving a card with a special handwritten message for no reason (meaning not for a birthday or a special holiday) and it meant so much to me

11. For Vic and our family and for the times we are able to gather whether in person or by other means

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Sunday, November 24, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

With Thanksgiving approaching those in this country within a few days, many are no doubt either planning to travel to be with loved ones, or are expecting family and/or friends to come to their homes to share a meal. I hope that all will be safe in their travels and be able to enjoy a meal and friendship with others. I feel a sense of gratitude for those things simple and great. I am linking my post to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me. Co-hosts are Clark, Dyanne, Lisa, and myself. 

1. Being in a circle of friends
This past week I had the opportunity to meet with a  group of women of all ages. We sat in a circle and were given a chance to introduce ourselves and then if we wished share some tips or tricks that have made our lives easier. This was such a great inclusive activity. The old learned from the young, and the young learned from the old. There was lots of laughter and bonding as well as gaining some tips and tricks.

2. Being able to go to the temple again
To me it is a house of prayer and a house of learning, where in a sacred quiet place the Spirit teaches me.

3. Going to see a wonderful movie
Mr. Rogers is a man for whom I had great respect and who reinforced those things that I had hoped our children would embrace. As I related to a friend, "A person's heart would have to be made of stone not to be touched by this movie."

4. New solar lamps to light the driveway
We had solar lamps, but it was long past the time to replace them. This past week I took time to make that happen. Let there be light!

5. The quickness of being able to transmit photos
When I was missing a few photos I needed for the book I've been writing about my life, one of our daughters was able to send some as an attachment in an email. 

6. Salad bars
Having ingredients on hand to make a quick salad bar is always a "go to" whether there is expected or unexpected company.

7. Guava paste and cheese for dessert
I tried to buy some guava paste a few days ago, but wasn't able to find this product quite as quickly as I'd hoped. One store has some on order, so I still plan to get some to have one hand for the holidays. In some South American countries a little guava paste on a slice of cheese is what hits the spot for dessert. We once had an exchange student from Brazil live with us for a year and she introduced us to this delicious treat.

8. Being able to make something sweet almost at a moments notice
When you need to make and take something sweet to an event or party, and you don't have a lot of time, Cracker Toffee is about as quick and easy as it gets. When I'd run out of time trying to find the guava paste mentioned above, there wasn't a lot of time left to make something. What instantly came to mind was my Cracker Toffee recipe, and I already had the ingredients I needed. 

9. Friends stopping by

10. Being able to live in a country that allows the public to view the hearings held in our nation’s capital
Not all countries are as obliging to allow their citizens to hear the questions asked, and the testimonies given under oath. I am thankful for the freedoms we have in this country.

As always Vic and the rest of our family mean the world to me and I give thanks daily for them.

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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Tardy

Could it be that one of the bloggers joining in with this blog hop hosted by Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog might be a future Lewis Carroll? 

Stories written in only six sentences is a long cry from writing a book of over 100 pages, but who knows if a practice of writing simple stories of six sentences might lead to greater works. In fact, if you have read some of the six sentence stories shared by other writers who link up each week, you may have discovered that some of them are in the process of writing books and that sometimes a character from one of their works-in-progress will make an appearance in a six sentence story. Clark immediately comes to mind.

The cue this week brought to mind a famous oft quoted line from Carroll's book, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I'm linking my post to Six Sentence Stories - Tardy, and I'm not late yet!

Gramps always told him stories about what he remembered his own grandpa telling him about the family and invariably reminded him to never defame the family name. 

It was becoming increasingly difficult for Gordon not to squirm upon hearing those words. “Don’t you ever get teased Gramps, you know. . .about our name?”

“Oh, it has mostly been in fun, and I just teased them right back, but it wasn’t so easy to combat the whole town that time when Granny thought we were going to be late to church. If I hadn’t thought she got kidnapped and got the police involved, it wouldn’t have been so bad. Boy, did the Tardy family make the headlines that day!”

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

Hopefully everyone has had a great week, or at least looking back can see the blessings in spite of any challenges. In less than two weeks it will be Thanksgiving here, and participating in this blog hop each week certainly gives one lots of practice thinking about what makes us feel grateful.

Kristi of Thankful Me, our host of the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop, sets the stage so to speak by getting the link up and running each weekend. She has a few helpers, aka co-hosts, Clark, Dyanne, Lisa and myself.

If you have happened upon this blog and thought to yourself, I should do this, it is never too late. Even if you don't have a blog, just writing the things you are thankful for in a journal is a great practice.

This beautiful barberry bush looks like it is getting
ready for Christmas instead of Thanksgiving!

1. We were able to replace the visor on the driver's side of the car
For some crazy reason, I thought that it wasn't possible to get a new visor for our car. We have been living with it flopping down without any help from us for longer than I want to admit. It just would not stay up. We had even bought some Velcro tape thinking maybe that would work. It didn't. Well, when we took the car in to be serviced this week, the technician got in the driver's side, and immediately said something to the effect that we also needed a new visor. Come to find out it is a fairly simple procedure. Best of all, this made my husband's day! He is a little taller than me, so having this nuisance of a visor getting in his line of vision was really kind of annoying.

2. The squeaking sound I was sometimes hearing from under the car is gone!
The technician said there were a couple a possible causes. Getting the front brake pads replaced and tightening a belt took care of those disconcerting noises.

3. I was able to help someone find some needed information to add to the history she is writing about her family

4. There are still some apples on the Johnny Appleseed tree to add to the oatmeal! 
A simple breakfast for the two of us lately has consisted of cooking the following:

Add 1 cup of raw oats to 1-3/4 cups boiling water and cook for about five minutes. Then toss in one chopped unpeeled apple and 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts. Cook until the apple has heated thoroughly. Before serving, add cinnamon to taste. (I do not add any salt or sugar, but with the cinnamon and the sweetness of the apple, it makes up the difference.)

This is my version of unintentional kitchen art which has the
appearance of  some kind of a mushroom. This is what happens when one gets distracted while  warming a tortilla in a skillet.

5. Conversations with friends
I enjoyed all the conversations I had with friends this week, whether it was going somewhere with friends and chatting on our way to a destination, visiting with friends in their homes, or talking on the phone with them.

6. Online Date Calculator
If you are into finding that perfect someone, this won't help with that. This is one of those sites that does the math for you. For instance, if you found out someone passed away on a certain date and was so many years, months, and days old and all you wanted to know was the exact birth date of the person, this will help you figure it out.

7. The Ancestor Hunt online site
I have been using a certain online site for finding newspaper clippings. The site does not have every newspaper in its collection, so I was very happy to discover this additional resource this week. 

8. Unscented products
It seems that there are many people I know who are sensitive to the scents found in everyday products people use. Although I am not as sensitive to certain products as some, I can understand the discomfort they can bring. I am thankful that there are actually scent-free products that they and their friends can use that really can make life more bearable for them. 

The Christmas cacti are starting to bud. This is the
first blossom this fall. Ours bloom around
 Thanksgiving, and then again later on. These are
 great if you enjoy flowers, but need the unscented type.

9. Drawings for Roots Tech registration fees
There are a number of Roots Tech Ambassadors who have tweeted ways they are giving people an opportunity to participate in a drawing. If your name is drawn and you have already registered, you would just be reimbursed. Although, our host for the TToT blog hop is an ambassador at Roots Tech in Salt Lake City in February, I am not eligible to participate in her drawing because of our relationship, but that does not eliminate my participation in the drawings of other Roots Tech ambassadors. If you would like to attend Roots Tech and are interesting in saving a little money on the registration fees, just go to Twitter and search #rootstech to find ambassadors who are offering this great opportunity. Some are for one-day passes and others are for four-day passes. Just remember to follow the directions, as the directions vary depending on the ambassador. 

10. Old photos
For one of the above mentioned drawings (see #9), I needed to post a photo of an ancestor on Twitter and tag the person who tweeted about the drawing. I found this one of my Dad, Claude Louis Pierce.

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Scrub

This is a shout out to Denise at Girlie on the Edge's Blog for providing a weekly prompt for the blog hop she hosts. That little cue has been flickering here and there, but finally it sunk in enough for me to create a story for Six Sentence Stories - Scrub. There is always room for other bloggers to join us. Just click the link to see the rules, and to also read the other stories.


As a means of distraction, or to make the miles pass quickly, she found herself reverting to the ways of women who had traveled this path of existence before her.

Like others, often not giving much consideration to what the original author or lyricist intended, she repeated the words which had become a familiar part of her childhood.

It was somehow easier to scrub away the grime from little Sam’s knees than to remove the embedded memories of some nursery rhymes, especially after what Sam’s much older brother told her he’d learned in his English class.

No way would great great grandma have allowed that to have been repeated in her house had she known the implications, she thought to herself.

Such a simple phrase and perfect for bath time, although even then modified to scrub-a-dub dub, now had tossed in additional information for her neurons.

If only there were a delete key for pick-as-you-choose new information, she thought.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful - A Little of This and That

When you try to recall what you did over a period of time of whatever length, do you trust your memory, or do you resort to clues, like a note on a calendar, or just looking around the house or yard hoping for something to jump out at you that will trigger something in your mind? When it comes to preparing for these weekly blog hop posts, I have taken a variety of approaches. What works best for you?

I am linking up to Ten Things of Thankful hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me and co-hosted by Clark, Dyanne, Lisa and yours truly.

1. Luggage moments
My husband has more than once mentioned how they put a man on the moon before they put wheels on luggage. This week when I discovered the value of using a feather duster (one that actually has feathers) to try dusting my Christmas cacti before they start blooming, I was astounded by how much better and quicker that approach worked than my previous method.

2. Attending Empty Nest luncheons
Having an opportunity once a month to meet with friends who have children who have left the nest, is something we enjoy. Depending on schedules and commitments, we have missed some of the lunches, but not this week. A local restaurant with a large buffet usually has something that everyone can enjoy. 

3. A photo of Mom and me
One of the sympathy cards I received this week included a photo that my friend had taken when we were visiting my mother several years ago. I appreciate her thoughtful gesture.

4. Rake and leaf blower
On this hillside we have plenty of leaves on the ground from the oak trees and the maple trees. Thanks to the drier weather, we were able to each grab tool and make  short work of a big project.

A photo taken a previous fall of rain soaked maple leaves

5. Invitations
There is nothing like invitations that give a person the feeling of being included. This week I received three different kinds of invitations. The one this week will be gathering with others to celebrate an upcoming event in a young woman's life. The other two next week include going to the temple and getting together for a study group.

6. Television stations that start working again after having taken a weekend hiatus
We were not sure why we were not able to watch any local stations all last weekend, but were set to call someone on Monday. My husband decided to try one more time. He turned on the TV and the stations were all up and running again.

7. Being able to decipher the pop-up message on my phone by going to YouTube before clicking to initiate the action
Sometimes I just want to know more before just aimlessly doing something that looks official, but may not be a wise move.

8. Stories
The race is on. I need to ramp up my speed a bit in order to write the number of stories I desire for the book of my personal stories before the end of the year. I should be able to continue with this increased pace. It has become plain to see the value and importance of writing about one's life for not only one's posterity, but for the lessons one learns from contemplating one's life. 

9. Humor through random comments
A new type of humor has erupted in a group text my kids and I have. It is called random comments. I think it got started accidentally, but immediately caught on. Basically one person just shares a word or maybe two which leaves the rest of the group wondering what THAT is all about. The comments that spew forth bring laughter and a plethora of emoji. A little laughter is good.

Seeing this little frog perched on the head of this swallow painted on the sign gave us a good laugh a few years ago.

10. Family connecting
Several months ago I accepted a Facebook friend invite thinking it was someone I knew. Afterward, I realized she wasn't who I thought she was. I didn't unfriend her because I thought maybe I would eventually figure out why she sent the invite. That moment came early this week. Her dad is my second cousin. I saw a comment he had made on one of her posts and I recognized the name as being one that was on my Mother's Christmas card list. (When the Alzheimer's made everything too confusing for her, there was a period of time several years back when I addressed her Christmas cards for her and she just signed them.)

11. Vic, always and forever.

A beautiful rainbow we saw the morning my mother passed away

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Nest

This foggy November morning seems the perfect time to curl up with blankets surrounding me to come up with a post for the Six Sentence Stories - Nest blog hop hosted by Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog. Click the link to read the other very short stories  written with only six sentences. It is amazing what can these different prompts can imbue.

The gift had seemed a strange one at the time, as were the two messages inside it, but she smiled politely and thanked her elderly friend who had been almost like a second grandmother. She remembered seeing the same old empty green jar setting on the counter in Anna’s  kitchen.

Although many years had passed, and Anna had long ago left this world, the messages inside the jar lingered in Julie’s heart and mind. Whether she was doing laundry, or pulling out miscellaneous items beneath the sofa cushions, “a penny saved is a penny earned” came to mind. 

Once again it was time to take her little nest egg to the bank and she was thankful for Anna’s second admonition of “a place for everything and everything in its place.” 

As the teller reached for the jar, she said, “Did you ever consider getting that old jar appraised?”

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

It has been a couple of weeks since I have posted a Ten Things of Thankful post, but it is a new month and the month of Thanksgiving. I am linking this post to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me. I am thankful that there were other co-hosts to carry on during these past couple of weeks when I have been missing in action because of a funeral. Thanks, Clark, Dyanne, and Lisa

1. Rain isn’t forecast for the next seven days in our area and the maple trees are rapidly losing their leaves.
That is a plus since we hope to be able to get those leaves blown or raked from the shrub beds and the lane before they get soggy and slippery and encased in mud and gravel. The smaller leaves from the Japanese maple tree are not nearly the problem as the leaves from the big leaf maple trees.

Japanese Maple in full splendor
taken October 24, 2019

The same Japanese Maple taken
October 29, 2019

2. Having a copy machine made my life so much easier this week.
If you dislike having to fill out those patient forms that want you to list all your medications and and the associated details, keeping a copy of your most recent list is so helpful. Just make a copy of that list so it can be attached to the form you need to complete.

3. There is a pharmacy locally that does compounded preparations prescribed by doctors.

4. Doctors who are skilled communicators make it easy for patients to make decisions about their health and I am grateful to have met one this week.
A doctor who discusses the options and the advantages and disadvantages of each makes it easier for the patient to make the final decision. (Note: For those who may worry about me, this is nothing life threatening, just part of aging.)

5. It made me smile when I found some candy to purchase this week that was fat-free, gluten free, was made with natural flavors and was allergen free.
I knew that some children who might be attending the Trunk or Treat held in our church parking lot on Halloween were restricted as to which candies they could eat. This was the first time that I can remember that I did not buy any candy to keep at home, just in case we actually had some kids come trick or treating. (Most kids out here go into more populated areas to trick or treat, go to Halloween parties, or to trunk or treat gatherings.)

6. Our family members were able to return safely to their homes and to other family members who hadn’t been able to attend the funeral for my mother.

7. There is such an immense sense of appreciation I have for memories.
After my mother became a widow forty years ago, she decided to write a personal history and began writing about her daily life in a journal. Over the course of those years she completed many journals. Boxes filled with photos, letters, notes, copies of emails, etc. keep her alive in my mind and in my heart and will also keep me busy.

8. The sacrifices made by family members who were without their spouses or parent for the week prior to the funeral and had to deal with incurring challenges were thankfully made a little easier due to the help of others and the many means of communication.
Being able to have our children gather with us and help in so many ways to prepare for a funeral service in just one week from the date of my mother’s passing is a memory we will treasure forever.

9. I am thankful for the manner in which messages are conveyed.
During the past couple of weeks there have been messages of condolences conveyed in person or through cards and messages sent through phone calls, texts, social media, and emails. There have been many other tender moments when I received very personal messages while reading the scriptures when a particular passage spoke directly to me and conveyed greater understanding and peace. Often. .. quite often, a line in a song or a hymn has been very relevant for me at that very moment. Even certain memes shared on Facebook seemed to have been posted just for me although they were not tagged.

10. I am glad that twos are made of ones.
Vic is one and I am one. There are just the two of us living in this house and we take turns being “the one.” This is especially helpful when one can do what the other can’t. We take turns being “the one” in certain situations, but he is always “my one and only” in our marriage.

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