Friday, June 5, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

Everyone’s story as to why and when creating a blog seems to be a good idea will vary. It was the example of my daughter, who had already created her own blog, and her encouragement as well as a little technical assistance to walk me through setting up my blog that was the impetus I needed. 

Recording a portion of my life experiences had already been a pattern for almost 37 years, starting when our children were young, via writing in journals. For a couple of years I made copies of weekly letters I wrote to our son while he was serving a church mission overseas. (That time was an extremely busy time in my life, so just making copies of the letters I wrote on the computer seemed to be a time-saving plan.)

Toward the end of 2011, the year I set up my blog, I posted only five times to the blog. None of the posts were to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop which didn’t even exist yet. Then I took a hiatus because life got in the way.

In the middle of 2015 my daughter told me about the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop she was participating in and how she thought I might enjoy doing that too. I already knew the advantages that come from trying to see the sunny side of life even when life looks a little dismal at times. At that time I was trying to recover from a recent back surgery and was also dealing with the fact my mother now needed to live in a long-term care facility when we had anticipated being able to continue caring for her. I needed to be feeling a lot more positivity and gratitude from my own outlook as well as reading those things expressed by others, so I hopped on board. 

The Ten Things of Thankful blog hop broadened my perspective of people and of the world in which we live. In some ways this particular blog hop is much like a neighborhood which ebbs and wanes. Neighbors may move away and one doesn’t see them for years, but then when you do see them again, it is just like old times. That is what is fun about the Ten Things of Thankful birthday celebration! As I understand it, we may get a visit from Lizzi, the creator of the blog hop as well as old timers from the Finish the Sentence Friday blog hop which I also started participating in about the same time in 2015. 

There is nothing new here today as this is a smattering of my old TToT entries I have posted throughout the years. I smiled at some of them when I realized how relevant some of them are today. In addition, if you click here it will take you to  My Forever Long Birthday Celebration story I posted on Finish the Sentence Friday back in August of 2015 with a picture of me eating cake even. After all this is TToT's birthday and FTSF and TToT are doing a mashup post today. Thanks Kristi of Thankful Me and Kristi (a different Kristi) of Finding Ninee for doing this mashup celebration!

1. There are so many ways people can brighten the lives of others.  I often visit my mother in a nursing home.  She, along with others there, suffers from varying degrees of dementia and Alzheimer's.  Fortunately there are people in the area who regularly go to the nursing home and share their musical talents.  Many times, "the lights come on" when people with dementia hear music, especially musical pieces they may have heard earlier in their lives. This week a woman in her 70's went to the nursing home and played music on her accordion. One of the residents asked if she could play any Lawrence Welk type music.  She promptly started playing one of the signature pieces that was often heard on his show.  To see the absolute joy and enthusiasm on the face of the man who had made the request was just priceless.  I'm thankful for those who bring joy into the lives of others as they share their talents. 
June 20, 2015

2. This is kind of a crazy thing to be thankful for, but I'm thankful for fly swatters tonight.  For some reason, we have had a lot of flies in the house tonight.  I'm not sure if the door was left ajar sometime today or what, but we have killed a lot of them tonight.  And this is just an aside, but those new light bulbs, that last forever and are cool to the touch, don't kill flies that land on them! 
September 19, 2015

3. Some couples find it difficult to let their spouses have some time to themselves  to develop talents or do things that are not so enjoyable to the other.  My husband will do somethings with me that are not a hot item for him, but I would never ask him to spend an afternoon going into antique shops or clothes shopping, because I know he would not enjoy that. Likewise he doesn't expect me to watch football games on TV with him.  He is not hurt if I choose to do something else during game times.  That doesn't mean that I never watch any football.  He often plays back some of the funny plays or outstanding plays for me to see, and I do enjoy that sharing he does with me.  I'm thankful for the relationship we have. 
February 15, 2016

4. When I was growing up, my parents had a sofa that was kind of a blue-green color.  Years later when the sofa needed to be reupholstered, my Mother chose another fabric, but in kind of the same color.  I guess that color has had quite an influence on me, because to this day, I love blue-green colors.  That is why when I saw some unusual berries on a vine in our friend's garden I was quite smitten.  She explained that it was a porcelain vine.  It is a grape-like plant and produces beautiful porcelain looking berries. Unfortunately, the vine can be quite invasive, especially with the help of birds dropping the berries here and there.  I'm thankful for similarities between parent and child.  I'm thankful for beautiful colors making life so much more interesting than living in an all black and white world. October 30,  2016

Porcelain Vine

5. Living in this great land
Perhaps it is because of when I was born and becoming aware that our country was in a world war when I was very young, that made be feel such a sense of gratitude for living here.  I knew that there were children who were suffering from the war that was being fought in their countries.
There was a conversation I had with my mother once when I was a child where I distinctly remember asking her a question about why it was that I was born in this land.  I wanted to know why some people are born in one country and others born in yet a different country, ones which may have been lacking in so many advantages, at least from my point of view.  I somehow felt that there must be a reason. Mothers are often asked hard questions that are difficult to explain, especially if they do not even have a hint of an answer.  I nevertheless continued to feel extremely blessed to have been born here.
November 20, 2016

6. Seeing similarities in the lives of my ancestors and my own always make me feel happy.  I suspect I may have already seen this similarity in the past, but I rediscovered it this week. One of my great grandmothers had a twin sister. She and her twin have the same birthday (month and day) as I do.  My mother was young, under six, but she remembered seeing my great grandmother, Sarah H. Andrews Boyd, and spoke of how she sometimes went over to the next state to visit family.  After the research I did this week, I suspect that she went to visit her twin sister.  Knowing how close twins feel toward  one another I feel firm in my conviction that was the case.  I wish I could find a photo of my great grandmother.  If I ever do, I'm sure that will be a 'thankful' on my blog. 
February 19, 2017

7. Poetic thoughts (I think)
One blustery day a few days ago, the wind seemed to have blown up some little leaves that crossed my path in front of the car. That prompted the following thought.

Dead leaves seeming to skip across the road from the brisk wind, enjoying the ride, leaving their earthen bier if but for a moment. Will their form change through this energetic endeavor and mix with the atmosphere and become a new kind of life, or will they settle just as quickly back to their earthly grave? Are we ready for that exit from our bier, or urn, when it is time, and become a more perfect version of ourselves, or do we suppose this is all there is?
January 23, 2018

8. Getting a haircut 
After some time of letting my hair grow and watching it become bushier and harder to control, I opted to go back to the shorter style. I had to laugh when the woman cutting my hair said after trying a couple of hair products on one part of my hair, "It's just going to do what it wants to do." I was hoping the experience would be a little more helpful, but instead she said she was going to go home and google it. (Actually I'd already tried that and hadn't found anything helpful.) So, my hair has a mind of its own, and now it has been confirmed. 
March  19, 2018

9. Walking under and through the pines
There is something awesome about walking through acreage where years ago my husband planted young pine seedlings. Now of course the pines are towering above our heads and provide quite a different habitat than was the case when we moved here. The deer seem to be enjoying it too, as they have left several impressionable highways through the understory.
April 28, 2019

10. That this world is made up of families and that I have my own family with whom to live, learn, and grow in knowledge and understanding of how to live and love
January 17,  2020

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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Six Sentence Stories - Passion

My story written in just six sentences is linked to the blog hop, Six Sentence Stories - Passion, hosted by Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog. Thank you Denise for keeping this blog hop in blog-o-sphere all these years.

When the professor saw Xavier with his shoulders slumped, his hands supporting his head, he knew he was not prepared, again, and he wondered why he even showed up. 

He was aware that even getting there twice a week was difficult in normal circumstances for this young man but doing it now against all odds made him feel a deep admiration for him and caused him to question if he would have been as capable if he were 20 years younger and the tables were turned.  

The room was quiet except for the sound of the chairs scraping across the grey institutional tiled floor as students one by one placed their completed assignments in the basket on the desk at the front of the room, until at last Xavier was the only student left. 

The professor, a title jeeringly given to him by those who thought he was showing off in junior high when he used words that would have required them to use a dictionary, had almost succumbed to the taunting that had put him in a very dark place for a few years and had delayed him discovering what it was that was his real passion in life.

As Xavier slowly raised his head, and opened his eyes, the professor approached him and handed him a couple of business cards, one for him and one to give to his mom. "If you are interested, they may be able to help, like they once helped me, and there is no charge," said the professor.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

Many are probably looking for some positivity about now, so here is my report. I hope you will grab a pen or a keyboard and write what is on your mind and in your heart today. You will feel a little better for doing so and by sharing maybe someone else will too. I'm linking my post to the blog hop Ten Things of Thankful  hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me. If you like, feel free to link your gratitude items on the blog hop. The more, the merrier, and speaking of merrier, click the link to read details about next week's party.

1. For those who continue to serve and protect because often they have made an oath to do so in spite of potential harm to even their very lives

2. For those who speak out  in defense of those who need to be defended

3. For those who seek to find the truth wherever it may be even when it may cause them to question what they may have once believed to be true or what they may have been taught

4. For those who contemplate possibilities of ways to improve our world and the lives of its inhabitants and are able to communicate those ideas with those who have the skills to create plans and those who have the abilities to build, manufacture, or plant and grow what is needed

5. For those who are willing to try to understand and see another person’s point of view even if it isn’t their own

6. For those who are willing to learn from mistakes, their own as well as the mistakes of others

7. For the speedy delivery of the new part for our range!

8. That the multiple loud footsteps on our roof were most likely multiple deer rather than people with ill intentions
( Occasionally we have heard light footsteps from probably a skunk or raccoon or maybe a single young deer, but not what seem to have been a herd.)

Deer treading quietly through the grass

9. That I now have a face mask that fits me perfectly
(I’ll make some improvements on the next one in regards to the ties.)

10. That feeling of happiness that comes when those you love are able to achieve their goals or when they receive answers to their prayers

*Bonus thankful - Vic and I being able to share our lives with one another all these years

May you all feel some peace in your lives this week.

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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Six Sentence Stories - Right

Well, we, by choice, are still not traveling much more than before a couple of weeks earlier, but that doesn't mean I can't do some via the written words in this blog hop post. Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog continues to provide just the right cue each and every week. This week it is Six Sentence Story - Right.

This is taking a lot longer than I thought it would and this road isn’t looking at all like I remember it from years ago. Why don’t you grab those directions Scott gave me and see if there are any familiar markers, like the pavement ends and the road narrows considerably, or hang on boulders ahead!

Are the directions in the glove compartment or are they in the pocket of your jacket on the back seat?

If I remember correctly, I gave the paper to you this morning when we were getting packed. Maybe you laid it down when Jean called you about the same time to answer our questions about the cabin.

Multitasking usually isn’t a problem, except when I am walking around talking on the phone, and now that we are lost out in the middle of nowhere, a long ways from any cell coverage, I do wish we would come upon a rancher or cowhand to steer us in the right direction. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

Whether life is fairly similar to what it has been the past few months, or if things have opened up a bit for you, this Memorial Day weekend is no doubt not quite like others you have spent. I did notice that one thing was similar. Great care had been taken to place a flag by the graves of those who had died or served in a war. They are not forgotten.

This is my post for the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me

1. Binoculars that enabled me to see the beautiful colors of a lazuli bunting on our property three different days this week
Lazuli bunting sightings on our property are a rare occurrence. 

2. The persistent tapping on our windows by the young bluebirds is subsiding. 
Maybe they are growing up and growing out of this annoying behavior. Click the link to see the photo of one of the bluebirds sitting in front of our window that I shared on my last Ten Things of Thankful post.

3. Being able to see bluebird courtship behavior
Both were sitting a short distance away from one another on a wire fence.  All of a sudden the male took about three little swoops back and forth about a foot in the air above the female and then returned to sitting on the fence. Then they both flew to the feeder. I couldn’t see the behavior at the feeder very well from my point of view inside our house so I don't know if he was feeding her. After they finished at the feeder they both flew over to the fence near one of the uninhabited bird houses. After a while I saw the female enter the birdhouse. The next day I observed the male gathering grass clippings and taking them over to the birdhouse. I saw him do this a number of different times. They have now taken up residence and I frequently see one or the other near the box. 

4. Our county made it to Phase 1 in regards to lifting COVID-19 restrictions.

5. Being within sight of the stove and hearing an occasional sound coming from the burner on our countertop electric range
Upon investigating I found that the burner was sparking! After turning off the burner and letting it cool, I started doing some online searching to learn what was the cause.  Considering the alternatives, the end result was me placing an online order for a new coil element cartridge. Unfortunately the burner that was the problem was a big pot canning element which is great to have when one does canning or uses a large wide skillet or pot. Apparently these have been discontinued, at least for our range model, so I am not going to be able to replace the 8" burner on the new coil element cartridge with a big pot canning element unless we decide to get a new stove. That will not be a consideration anytime soon.

6. Dinner from our favorite Italian restaurant
We called in our order and paid for it before we left home. We called the restaurant again when we arrived and they brought it out to the car. I wore my mask. Easy peasy. There have been many who have been supporting restaurants who offered this type of service during this stay-at-home period, but the two of us really did limit our venturing out to the minimum. Vic and I each ordered calzone which was a first for each of us. I know some of you may be shaking your heads and saying where have they been all these years. HaHa.

7. Being able to find a local pharmacy that had another TENS unit like the one I have
This may seem totally unnecessary, but in my world it makes a lot of sense, but I will spare you the details. I will share a humorous experience I had in connection with trying to find one of these units. Upon checking the internet I saw that one of the local stores had some in stock. When I went to the store, they had similar products to the one I wanted, and they were shelved to two locations within the store. I asked one of the clerks (through my face mask) if by chance there was a third location where they shelved any others. She misunderstood me and thought I was asking for a product that "sounds like" a product that is very familiar to many senior citizens. We had a good laugh, when she realized what I really wanted.

8. While I am at it I am very thankful that after a week of literally wearing the TENS patch most of my daylight hours for an entire week, I enjoyed a seven day hiatus from pain sans TENS. (NOTE: Using a TENS unit for as many hours as I did is not recommended procedure for everyone, especially if there are certain health concerns. Do your homework and check with your doctor before doing what I did.)

9. Being able to participate in a Zoom meeting organized for members of the church I attend
The topic discussed was meditation and mindfulness, the types and benefits. Apparently with all the stress some are experiencing as an outcome of the pandemic, more people are resorting to meditation and mindfulness for relief.

10. African violets in bloom
It was my mother-in-law who introduced me to African violets when I was a newlywed. They always make me think of her and how much joy she felt when she saw them in bloom.

Purple African violet

White African violet with ruffled edges and tinge of pink

Fuchsia African violet

Lavender blue African violet

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Six Sentence Stories - Eternal

The cue for this week's Six Sentence Story is eternal. It is actually one of my favorite words. Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog gives us a reminder nudge each Wednesday to get our creative juices flowing and link up to this blog hop. What comes to mind when you think of eternal?

Do you think you would have been willing to come had you known about all the pain we have experienced?

Could it be that we were told but just forgot during the journey? After all, even the concept of certain kinds of sensations were just part of the preparatory discourse which we had no way of comprehending until later.

You cleverly pussyfooted my question, dear, and I’d still like to know where you stand on this one. Who knows how long the next siege will last!

Don’t worry, ‘cause all the peaceful moments of eternal bliss we have had more than make up for any doubts I could have possibly have had if I had known.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

The month of May is aptly named I think. So many things may happen this month, but it can change almost hourly in regards to our weather here lately. Of course the latest updates on just about anything may change within the hour. Even though it is May, this blog hop post will happen each weekend thanks to our host, Kristi of Thankful Me who makes sure the link is open and ready for all who want to share their Ten Things of Thankful. As she reminded us this weekend, ten is just an arbitrary number when it comes to this blog hop, so if you have less than 10 or maybe more than 10, you are welcome to join in.

1. Vegetables such as artichokes and chard and the neighbor who brought us some fresh chard from her garden
Artichokes were something that was frequently served in our home from the time I was young. I loved pulling the cooked petals off and dipping them in melted butter and scraping off the tender parts of the petals with my teeth and working my way around until I came to the best part of all. . .the heart. Imagine my husband's surprise when I served him something that looked like a giant thistle for dinner when we were newlyweds! He had never eaten one. Have you?

2. Dreams don’t come true
Some dreams one can kind of understand why you had them, but others make no sense at all. I had some of the nonsense type this week, and I am glad they are not real.

3. My niece recovered from COVID-19 and no one else in her household came down with it during their time of being quarantined.

4. Social distancing with a cute persistent young bluebird 
If I got very close, he flew away. His frequent tapping on our windows this week brought to mind a tale by Edgar Allen Poe.

A young bluebird tapping on our window

5. The storm didn’t last more than a 1/2 hour yesterday and the gutter stayed in place, in spite of the fact the drain pipe couldn’t keep up with the onslaught of water in such a short amount of time.

6. Revisions
At one point this week I thought about resuming a project of making a few more face masks, but decided to once again watch the video showing how to make them. I learned that the creator of the site had posted a couple of newer videos, one of which shared some of the experiences of other mask makers. The second newer video has a pattern that allows for making masks that fit individuals better because it calls for taking face and head measurements. 

7. Freedom of speech

8. Flowering horse chestnut tree

This little flowering horse chestnut tree outdid
itself this year!

9. Putting two and two together after reading through numerous newspaper articles and now just awaiting confirmation that my assumption is right, that these two are sisters
While often siblings resemble one another, sometimes they don't and I think this is a case of the latter. I think they are both sisters of my grandfather.

10. As Vic and I drove to the grocery store this week, we passed this field of red clover in bloom. I am thankful he was driving so I could snap a photo! I am also thankful he was there to load the groceries into the car when I returned from shopping. 

Fields of red clover in bloom

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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Six Sentence Stories - Watch

Many have been waiting and watching to find out what is going to happen next in their home town or state. The news seems to fluctuate, so I am taking a break to write a little story to post to a blog hop. Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog provides a link so you can read the stories of the other participants too. Six Sentence Stories - Watch.

Remember when we went to the museum the other day with grandpa and he pointed to the pocket watch hanging from a chain in the display case, and how he told you his grandpa had one just like it? Well, see that little pocket right there on your blue jeans?


That’s it, and way back before there were cars, they started sewing a little pocket on the front of each pair of blue jeans just so there was a place to tuck a pocket watch to keep it handy and safe.

So THAT’S why that pocket is there! Hey, maybe I could shove the 50 cent pieces grandpa gave me in there, and maybe we could go to the five and dime store, and maybe I could buy a bag of marbles, okay mom?

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

In many ways it has been an exciting, beautiful week which makes up for so much other stuff. For that I am grateful. 

I am linking up to the blog hop Ten Things of Thankful hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me. If by chance you accidentally landed here at my site, not having any idea that there is such a thing as a blog hop, I hope you will considered taking part in this weekly exercise of remembering those things for which you are truly thankful. Details as to how to join are at the bottom of the page.

My main focus today has to do with mothers since tomorrow is Mother's Day in my country, but I just have to share a few things that happened here in my sphere this week.

It has been a week of discoveries as I have done family history research. Many of those discoveries were found in old newspapers. Those discoveries can be found by you too, because there are online sites that allow you to search old newspapers and one does not need to subscribe to the site. One site is called Chronicling America.

Finding out that a short article I submitted to a church magazine is scheduled to be printed this coming year was exciting news and made me feel especially grateful to one of my daughters for  suggesting that I share the experience I had last year with others via writing about it and submitting it to the magazine.

Receiving a message from a grand daughter of a person whose photo I had shared on my FamilySearch family tree brought a bit a  joy too, especially when I learned she is the daughter of a couple my husband and I met when they were visiting my mother years ago. I had lost touch with the couple and now know where they are at and that they are okay.

Just sitting and meditating last night about the lives of special mothers in my life brought back so many memories and some tears too, just because of how this very act of meditating caused me to feel especially close to each one and thankful for how they have shaped me into the person I have become and am still becoming. Many of these lessons I have learned and am still learning actually sometimes have been demonstrated by more than one mother. (I am including mothers in this case as my grandmothers, mothers [my own and my MIL], daughters and daughter-in-law.)

The number of English daisies represent the number of mothers mentioned above (one daisy appears to be hiding)

Seeing the beauty in something someone else might discard

Being respectful 

Realizing that combatting anger with anger often just makes matters worse

Being prepared with a Plan B, such as asking oneself what talents would you need to develop should you not be able to go on to college and had to support yourself or perhaps needed to work to help support your family at some point in your life

Setting goals and sticking to them brings rewards.

Discovering there is almost a tangible feeling that comes from being quiet while observing others who are in a similitude of prayer

Taking time to smell the flowers (Lilacs are the first flower I remember smelling. My paternal grandmother introduced me to them when I was very young.)

Appreciating that although some things are difficult in life one doesn’t need to look very far to see that someone else has a much more difficult cross to bear

Finding joy in laughter (and discovering that even one's grandmother can giggle)

Understanding what it means to be loved as a child and what it means to love a child unconditionally

There is even a mothering side to my husband. For instance a few years back he planted some native plants on our property. He purposely planted the rose checker-mallow which tends to attract bumble bees and honey bees. I am thankful for his nurturing ways, not only to our  children, but to the bees.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Six Sentence Stories - Gulf

As I approached writing this six sentence story I decided to keep it short and sweet, well maybe not so sweet, but definitely short. I am linking my post to Six Sentence Stories - Gulf.  Denise of Girlie on the Edge's Blog is the gracious host of this blog hop.

Do you think throwing this in would help?

If I am understanding you correctly, perhaps, but better not add too much.

I just want them to know what I am making here.

The reports coming in sound like they are confused by what you are telling them.

How much plainer should I say it?

It’s up to you, but I hear some are already falling into the gulf of misinformation.