Saturday, December 28, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

It is time for my final Ten Things of Thankful post for the year. What a year it has been! Thanks to Kristi of Thankful Me who is the host of this blog hop, there have been weekly invitations and an open link to any and all who wish to acknowledge their weekly gratitude. Clark, Dyanne, Lisa and myself are co-hosts. If you have been considering joining us in the adventure, January 2020 is a great time to begin. Click here for the details.

1. Food that is prepared just like (fill in the name) used to make it, because even if that person can’t be with you, eating the same food somehow makes you feel closer to them

2. Sunshine appearing sooner in the mornings now that we are on the other side of the shortest day of the year

3. Choir because of the way many voices become one voice

4. Discovering that I can scan documents with my iPad, thanks to a comment made in card I received this week

5. Recognizing that sometimes one has to enter a period of darkness to be able to see the light (can be taken figuratively or literally)

The lights of this Christmas display brightens the
darkness surrounding it

6. Receiving a text from a friend saying “I have something for you.” The next day she dropped off a cute little bowl cozy she made for me, and thanks to YouTube I now know how to make one.

A reversible bowl cozy (green print on one
side and yellow print on the other) holding
a custard dish

7. Diffusers to help bring the smell of Christmas into the room without needing to bake more cookies, of course unless you want to

8. Knowing that your family is safe (Read Dyanne's post.)

9. Fog that lifts or hasn't settled by the time you need to drive somewhere

10. The value of communication (conversing and listening) in strengthening family relationships

11. Vic, my other half 

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Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Pine

When I saw the new prompt for this week's Six Sentence Stories blog hop, I knew exactly the story to tell. I just had to quickly search to see if I'd already used this story. Yeah! The path is clear. Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog is the host of Six Sentence Stories - Pine. If you have a story to tell using this prompt, check out her site for the guidelines and link up.

He had only meant to take a short break, but he enjoyed the company of his friend and before he knew it ten minutes had stretched to twenty and then to a half hour. He decided that if he was ever going to be able to finish the job, he would have to resort to a tried but true tactic and his friend would be none the wiser. It wouldn’t be the first time he had used this method, but his pal was an adventurous sort and always easily forgave him.

The large pocket on the front of his sweatshirt contained just what he needed at times like this, a dirty, well worn tennis ball. Quickly he shoved the ball into the wand and thrust the ball toward the forest just like he had done many times in the past. 

Although the hope had been to send his buddy on an exciting hunting expedition, a tennis ball stuck high up between the branches of a pine tree only created canine pandemonium in the neighborhood and more delay in getting his job completed.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful - Christmas

As the days of preparation leading up to Christmas day are winding down for some, others are already thinking ahead to the new year and anticipating the things they hope to accomplish, or the changes they want to make in themselves in the hopes of becoming a better version of themselves. Wherever you are in your path of becoming, I hope that you are able to look back and within and recognize the source of the goodness that is within you and how you can use that goodness to help others. This is a reminder to myself as well.

Here are my Ten Things of Thankful for this week. (This post is linked to the blog hop, Ten Things of Thankful, hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me. Kristi's co-hosts, Clark, Dyanne, Lisa and myself are there to help in whatever ways we are able.)

1. This week I enjoyed spending some time in my kitchen making Christmas cookies that I hadn't made before and of course making some treats that I've made previous holidays. One of the cookies I made includes cardamon. This is the second batch of cookies I have made this season that includes this spice. I am thankful for its flavor.

2. Being able to listen to Christmas music while I bake makes the task all the more enjoyable.

3. I am thankful for a home that gives me safe shelter. I know that there are many who do not have a place that provides a place to reside that feels safe. I am especially thankful for my husband who helps me feel safe.

4. Warmth (physical, emotional, or spiritual such as is mentioned in Jeremiah 20:9 . . .But his word was in mine heart as a aburning fire shut up in my bones,)

5. Family connections, my own, as well the connection I was able to make this week when I explored a little store run by one of the senior centers and found Joseph, the "exact" missing Joseph to one of my nativities. Now one of the wise men who had been filling in for Joseph has returned to his proper position. It has been many years of looking to discover the exact Joseph who was missing from the used nativity I'd purchased.

Joseph and Mary with the baby
Jesus in the stable with
an angel in the background

6. One of the blessings that stands out more resoundingly as I age is that of being able to be mobile, as I have seen first hand how having to depend on others to get around is often a hard adjustment for many to make.

7. People who reach out, show concern, and provide assistance, not just at Christmas but year round make life more bearable.

8. For experiences in my life (intentional and unintentional) which prepared me for future experiences and helped me along this road of life

9. For knowing the value of taking first steps

10. Making goals and assessments using the dimensions of wellness wheel to help you see where your life may have gotten a little out of balance. If you are like me, it is easy to do more of what we like to do, or what is easiest, etc. If you liken the dimensions to a wheel, you may see areas that need to be pumped up a little to make the wheel round again. 

I saw this small decorated artificial tree at a
wedding reception tonight and thought 
it was so pretty.

Wishing you all joy this week!

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Saturday, December 14, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

From your experience what have you found to be most beneficial in taking time to intentionally identify people, things or experiences that cause you to feel thankful? Has the practice of doing so changed you for the better? Does knowing that you are going to write in a journal, or on a blog post, about what you are thankful for cause you to view the world around you differently? Since life sometimes throws a curve ball or two, we all know that there are times when it is easy to get caught off base.  What then? 

Not everyone deals with challenges in the same way, and in reality there are times when a person has to, or needs to take a break from what has been his or her routine, so for anyone who has followed the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop for any length of time, it should not be surprising to see bloggers participate for a while, stop posting for a while but maybe still continue to read what others are posting. As one can determine from the side bar on my blog page, I have been participating in The Ten Things of Thankful blog hop since 2015, but there have been some gaps in my participation such as when sitting at a computer wasn't feasible, etc. As I said sometimes life throws a curve ball.


1. Kristi of Thankful Me has been our faithful host for The Ten Things of Thankful blog hop, welcoming new participants, encouraging and commiserating as the case may be. The position of hosts and co-hosts (Clark, Dyanne, Lisa, and myself) changes from time to time perhaps because of some the things mentioned above, but that is to be expected. I am thankful for each of these individuals who have blessed my life to one degree or another. It is wonderful to have some blogging friends.

2. A Night of Reflection and a Holiday Service of Remembrance to remember loved ones who have passed away were held this week, and I am thankful I was able to attend both events. One was held by a hospice service and the other by a funeral home.

Hospice center's Memory Garden where stones
inscribed with the names of loved ones lay

Candles lit in honor of those have passed

3. In wading through photos that my mother had realized that although I knew the majority of the people, it would be a good idea to write the names of the relatives friends on the backs of the photos so those who look at these photos in the future won't be left in the dark. I am thankful that I have a pen that is perfect for this kind of task. It has pigment ink, is acid free, is archival quality, light fast, waterproof and non-bleeding.

4. Knowledge comes in a variety of ways. I am grateful for those times I attempt to help someone, even when I am not exactly sure of the answers or even if I can help, that more times than not I expand my own knowledge in the process.

5. Hidden gems sometimes lay in cardboard boxes. Oh, these are not of the type found in jewelry, but the kind tucked away in files in stored boxes. The hidden gems of which I speak are homemade Father's Day cards telling of the things our young children loved about their dad. Another gem was a poem I'd written to be read at a ceremony to announce our engagement when we were in college. Others were letters written by our parents, all of whom are now deceased. I'll take more of these jewels any day!

6. THIS! Being able to backtrack the choices one makes, the thoughts and impressions one has, and the actions or lack of action one takes and realizing that one small thing may have been what mattered most at that very moment and had you not been there, each would have missed a very special moment in time which became indelibly imprinted on our hearts

7. Classical music
I found that quite a few times this past week, I was turning to the classical music station while driving in the car. It has always amazed me that composers are able to write music for an entire orchestra. It is beyond my comprehension how this is done, but I am so thankful for those composers. Their music has enriched my life. I am also glad I was introduced to some of the classics when I took piano lessons as a child, even though I really wanted to learn to play some of the more popular songs during my lessons.

8. Meeting for lunch with friends
Good food and good conversation is a win win.

9. Time to rest

10. Vic and our family
They are mentioned last, but they first in my heart and mind.

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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Absent

Do you believe that absence makes the heart grow fonder? With the onset of the holidays many people long for gathering with their families, but for some people it can be a lonely time, especially if they are confined to their home or other place of residence with no resemblance of their home. For those whose abode changes from day to day and who have lost all connections with their family, invitations to spend the holiday in the home of a stranger may be bitter sweet.

Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog is the host of the blog hop Six Sentence Stories. I am linking up to Six Sentence Stories - Absent. More details on how to add your story written in six sentences can be found here.

When did the house turn from clamor to sounds of silence, she wondered.

The unexpected booms and crashes along with bursts of giggles and accompanying screams had ruled the roost for what had seemed to have been an inexplicable amount of time, although in reality was quite short. The noises were more likely to have been incited by the humanity within, whereas now the mechanical sounds, which had always been there, had risen to the top of the auditory domain.

When the humming, or droning completely stopped, it was likely to cause the humans to start investigating to see what was wrong, quite similar in nature to how they had reacted to the sudden quieting of the raucousness caused by their youngsters.

Absent are their little children. Present are the memories and pictures in her mind.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Ten Things of Thankful

This has been a week of activity, but all good. I'll share some of that here with you at the Ten Things of Thankful post which I plan to link to the blog hop by the same name which Kristi of Thankful Me hosts each week. She has a few of us helping as co-hosts: Clark, Dyanne, Lisa as well as me. 

First of all I am thankful for the time and the energy to do things that I have had to put aside the past few years. While I don't know how long this will be the case, it is wonderful while it lasts. So what does that exactly mean in real time? Well, first of all, I actually got some Christmas decorations up the first week in December!

Years ago I bought a nativity set in a  second-hand store. It was in a box, and I didn't realize that it was missing a very important person.
Do you see who is missing? If anyone asks, I just say, he is on an errand for Mary. (We have other smaller nativities with no one missing.)

Nativity (Where is Joseph?)
Also, a few years ago a granddaughter gave me a Christmas decoration that I continue to display. She was going to be moving and the family was downsizing. The decoration was a little on the heavy side, so I gladly accepted her offer. I love how certain things remind me of family members.

A clever use of a glass block to make a
Christmas decoration

Some decorations I display year round, but seem so appropriate at this season of the year.

Someone did this stitching on a large piece
of plastic canvas. I am glad that I discovered
it in a second-hand shop. Some messages
are never too old.

Recently I attended an activity where people shared some tips and tricks for making life easier. This week I tried an idea for how to hang a wreath on a door. Although this idea probably has been around for a while, it was new to me. Best of all it was easy to do, worked and required no nails. Have you tried something new this week?

An easy way to hang a wreath on a door

When there is a big job to be accomplished in a short amount of time, many hands make light work. It was surprising how quickly a group of the helpers were able to decorate the tables for the Christmas breakfast held at my church this morning. I am thankful for those who see the bigger picture and for all the helpers.

One of many decorated tables in
a large meeting room

Have you ever hesitated to do something? I think we all do at one time or another, perhaps for good reasons, or at least the reasons may have seemed good at the time. My husband and I had both noticed a leaf that has clung to the top of a branch long after all the other leaves have fallen. I am thankful for the times I have had the courage to tackle something seemingly impossible for me to do.

If you look very carefully, you will see a
little yellow leaf still attached to the top
of a bare branch. It is the only leaf left on
the tree.

I am thankful for the cute Christmas sweater I was given at Thanksgiving, in time for me to wear it to some Christmas activities. I am also thankful for becoming instant friends with a little boy at the Christmas breakfast this morning when he saw the animals on my sweater.

Christmas sweater adorned with

After a year of writing in response to weekly questions about my life, I finally received a copy of my book in the mail today. This whole project started almost a year ago, when I received a gift subscription to a company that promotes the idea of writing a story about one's life.
 This book is not one I am selling, but is for the sake of posterity.

My book for my family.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Six Sentence Stories - Circuit

At times what is penned is as much for the writer as it is for the reader. The thoughts may arise unexpectedly and seemingly cannot be held back until the words are tossed around and the finished product emerges. Such is this piece written in six sentences. If it were not for Denise of Girlie on the Edges Blog, these words may have remained jumbled within my mind and would not be linked to the blog hop hosted by Denise. Thank you Denise for Six Sentence Stories - Circuit. 

Her fingers searched for the spot where reassurance lay, where she could feel the beat.

The coursing within was barely noticeable now, but when she felt it, it was like a connecting circuit from one body to another.

Never knowing when the course would veer in a direction only attainable for the one seemingly tethered to the bed, but in reality only by her physical and mental inabilities, she knew the path would go upward while hers would for the time being remain earthbound.

Gently she rubbed the shoulders and neck of she who had given birth to her and had carried the weight life had given her. . .in hopes that somehow she could lighten the load she was carrying now.

She made herself breathe and remember. . .until the love she felt conveyed a one-sided nonverbal conversation which she knew was known by she who lay on the threshold of stepping away.

Love converged and lingered as the veil began to part.